The winter has begun! The snow has finally arrived in Chautauqua County - not soon enough for some, but definitely soon enough for others! This is a great time to reflect and plan for winter transportation needs. This could be in a car or your feet! Make sure you are prepared for cold weather driving with appropriate tires and a well-running car. If you can have a friend or family member take you to your appointments and shopping needs. NY Connects can give you information about public transportation that is available in Chautauqua County: CARTS - Chautauqua County Regional Transit System, is there for everybody.
The Chautauqua County website states: ''CARTS is for everybody living, working or visiting in Chautauqua County. Whether you want to go shopping, to a medical appointment, work, college or to visit a friend, CARTS can get you there safely, comfortably and economically.'' CARTS offers ''city services in Jamestown, Falconer, Celoron, Lakewood and Dunkirk as well as rural route services connecting to Jamestown, Dunkirk and many smaller towns and villages.'' Fares are determined by type of services used and discounts are available for seniors those with certain disabilities. Call NY Connects for more information.
If you are walking, even out to the mailbox - think ahead. Is it a sunny cold day and a bright glare off the snow - maybe you need sunglasses on? Different tints are helpful in different settings, so be sure to speak to your eye care professional for the best set of tinted sunglasses. The Chautauqua County Blind Association has excellent resources and information for people with low vision. They are located in Jamestown and can be reached at 664-6660 for more information.
How about shoes for winter conditions? Snow and ice pose a challenge for walking outside. If you use a cane there is a device or attachment called an ice pick that can be added to your cane that will grip the ice. Wearing shoes or boots with good tread can help with traction. Yaktrax are traction devices that go on over your shoes, much like rubbers over shoes. They can be found at local outdoor stores or sports stores. Be sure to look ahead and scan the area you are heading in. So many of us set our heads low against the cold wind, rain or snow - we forget to look where we are going!
How about the winter blues or cabin fever? It usually gets to us all so if you can socialize and get together with friends and family for an outing. The Office for the Aging has a dining-out program in some of our local restaurants. You can purchase a ticket(s) from our Mayville office for a suggested donation of $3.50 per ticket and use them to voucher a meal at one of theses restaurants: Green Arch, Brocton; Meeder's, Ripley; Cassadaga Shur-Fine and Grandma's Kitchen, Cassadaga; and Dutch Village, Clymer. Call NY Connects to find out more about this program.
Remember to dress warm, in layers - you can take off extra layers if you get too warm. Dress in bright-colored clothing or coats when you are outside to increase your visibility to others. Listen well to your surroundings - snow muffles sounds of approaching cars and stick to the sidewalks. Ask for assistance for snow shoveling - most neighbors are more than happy to do a little shoveling for a neighbor. Make sure your smoke detectors have good batteries and avoid using unapproved heat sources like candles or a stove opened for heat.
NY Connects is your one-stop call for information about services available to you in Chautauqua County. Call with your questions and we will provide you with local services and resources in an effort to meet your needs. You can reach NY Connects by phone: 661-7582, Jamestown; 363-4582, Dunkirk/Fredonia; and 753-4582, Mayville. Fax 753-4844, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can come and see us at 7 N. Erie St. in Mayville.
NY Connects is brought to you in cooperation from the Chautauqua County Office for the Aging and the Chautauqua County Department of Social Services.