Senior of the Year Awarded to Eleanor Nielsen
Please join us in congratulating Eleanor Nielsen on receiving the 2014 Senior Citizen of the Year award presented by the Office of Services to the Aging. Eleanor has been a tireless advocate for older adults in West Michigan, serving on the... AAAWM Board since 1985 and as Chairperson of the Board from 2004-2014. She was instrumental in the Allegan County Senior Millage campaign and has served on the Allegan County Resource Development Committee Board of Directors, the Allegan County Commission on Aging, the Allegan County Senior Fest and the Allegan County Life Long Learners as a leader and facilitator. She has also served on the AAAWM Proposal Review Committee, helping to determine funding for older adult programs throughout nine counties. Congratulations Eleanor and thank you for your dedication to helping older adults age with independence and dignity.
The Kent County Senior Millage: Aging with Dignity
If you could age anywhere, where would it be? Would you opt for a warmer climate? Live with family? Move into a facility? According to multiple studies, over 90% of seniors want to age in their own homes instead of going into a nursing home. For those that live in Kent County, the Kent County Senior Millage (KCSM) may be able to make that possible.
The goal of the KCSM is to help Kent County residents age 60 and over stay in their own homes instead of going into a nursing home. In 2014, the KCSM will provide 45 different programs to help make aging in place a reality for older adults.
The KCSM provides a wide variety of options including in-home care, home repair, healthy aging programs, senior centers, home delivered meals and transportation. Programs either help people remain in their own homes with the care they need or help them remain active and involved in the community.
Now in its 16th year, the KCSM served over 17,000 seniors in 2013 alone. Of those served, 70% reported having low incomes and 60% reported living alone. Without the help of the KCSM, these older adults would likely end up in a nursing home.
“The Kent County Senior Millage has been a huge benefit to our community and for the dignity and independence of our seniors,” says Jackie O’Connor, Assistant Director at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, the agency that administers the KCSM.
Unfortunately, the increasing senior population and the decrease in revenue generated from the KCSM (due to reduced property tax values) and State and Federal funding has led to waiting lists for many essential programs like home delivered meals, in-home care and transportation.
On August 5, 2014 voters will be asked to renew and increase the KCSM which will cost the average homeowner an additional $13 a year (based on a $160,000 home) or $17 a year (based on a $200,000 home). This increase will help provide additional services to address the growing older adult population as well as the increased waiting lists.
To find out more information, including how to get involved, schedule a presentation to a local group, or details on the campaign, contact (616) 222-7032 or www.kentseniormillage.com.
Celebrating 40 Years
This year we are celebrating 40 years of serving the community. Ever wonder how it all started, who we serve or want to know where we are going? Take a few minutes to watch the videos below to find out more.
How it all Started: Laying the Groundwork
Who We Serve: Joyfully Serving
Where We're Going: Enriching Communities
Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones
On June 10, 2014, learn what you can do to protect yourself from elder abuse. Experts in the areas of elder abuse, caregiver stress, Medicare fraud and abuse, recent scams in West Michigan and other finacial ploys will tell you what you can do to help protect yourself and your loved ones.
The training will be held at the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center (600 Forest Hill Ave, Grand Rapids, MI 49546) from 11:30-3:00 p.m.
FY 2015 - 2016 Older Americans Act Adult Day Services Proposal
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is releasing a single service FY 2015 - 2016 Older Americans Act Adult Day Services Proposal.
Anyone interested in requesting funds to provide Adult Day Services in northeast Kent County must complete the proposal document which will be available online or from AAAWM at 3215 Eaglecrest Drive N.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Questions can be directed to Anne Ellermets at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for returning the proposal to the AAAWM office is 12:00 p.m., noon, on Monday, June 2, 2014.
A proposal workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. at AAAWM in Conference Room B.
Click here for proposal.
Area Agencies on Aging Association 27th Annual Conference
The Business of Aging - 27th Annual Conference
Area Agencies on Aging Association
May 15 & 16, 2014
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
MSU, East Lansing
Featuring: Community Health Director Jim Haveman, OSA Director Kari Sederburg, Senator Jason Allen, Integrated Care Organizations, Difficult Conversations, and more...
Click here for the complete program, online registration, sponsor opportunities, and continuing ed credits.
Elder Abuse Coalition Warns of New Scam
Phony DTE workers are going door to door promising energy assistance funding if the homeowner would just provide some personal information including social security numbers. DTE is not sending employees into the community offering such assistance. To read more, please refer to the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition website at - http://www.protectkentseniors.org/recent-scams#s10
Governor Snyder's FY 2015 Budget Recommendations
Governor Snyder announced his FY15 executive budget recommendations today and he is proposing funding to make Michigan a “No Wait State” for aging services!
The governor has recommended significant increases in general fund dollars for aging-related programs, including in-home services, home delivered meals, the MI Choice Waiver program and PACE expansion. In addition, he has recommended funding for elder abuse prevention.
The governor’s proposed funding is broken out by program below*:
- Home delivered meals & In-home services - $5M
- Elder abuse prevention - $1M
- PACE expansion - $5.7M (transferred from other GF accounts)
- MI Choice - $9M
*Note: These dollar amounts reflect general fund, but not necessarily gross revenue.
More information can be found at www.michigan.gov/snyder.
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
SB 636 would allow for the discontinuation of traditional landline phone service after December 31, 2016. AAAWM is concerned that seniors who rely on their landline telephone to make phone calls in emergencies or when the power is out, to monitor their medical devices, or to provide services for individuals with low hearing will be hurt by this bill. The bill is expected to be voted on in the near future. Advocates are urged to contact their legislators in the House of Representatives and ask them to protect Michigan's vulnerable seniors by opposing SB 636.
Click here to read more information on SB 636.
Response to the Governor's State of the State
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan applauds Governor Snyder for his enthusiastic support for seniors and his recommendation to dedicate additional resources for in-home services. With more than 900 people waiting for home delivered meals and 3500 waiting for in-home services, the Governor's pledge to make Michigan a "No Wait State" for these services will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of Michigan seniors.