The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan office is closed today because of inclement weather. We expect to be open on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. If you are out on the roads today, please stay safe.
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
A bill currently being considered in the Michigan House of Representatives, Senate Bill 636, would allow telephone service providers to discontinue traditional “land line” service in favor of investing in more modern technology, such as voice over internet protocol (VoIP) or wireless service. This bill would take effect in January 2017.
Many groups representing older adults are opposed to this bill because of the negative effect it would have on seniors who rely on their traditional landline service in cases of an emergency or when the power is out, when there is no cellular or wireless coverage, or to monitor their medical devices. Passing this bill could put the most vulnerable older adults at risk.
All seniors and advocates are asked to contact their state representative and ask them to vote “no” on SB 636.
Senior Dental Day
Senior Dental Day took place this year on December 13, 2013 at the Grand Rapids Community College Dental Clinic. Students, dental clinic staff, dentists and hygienists volunteered their time to serve 41 seniors at this event. The patients were selected based on need and each received a free dental cleaning, any necessary x-rays, screening examination and a referral if needed (they were also given a referral for any future dental care at little to no cost).
Those who attended were very thankful for the service. One senior commented, “I was very nervous to come this morning because last time I saw the dentist I was scolded. You all made me feel so welcomed and cared for, this day truly was a blessing.” Another senior said, “You have all been so kind and wonderful, I want to give you all hugs.” ( and she did!)
Senior Dental Day was made possible this year due to the Grand Rapids Community College Dental Clinic, volunteer dentists and hygienists and a generous donation from the Michigan Dental Association Foundation.
Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAging for photos from Senior Dental Day
Holiday Office Hours
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan office will be closed on December 24, December 25 and January 1, 2014 in observance of Christmas and New Year's Day. We wish you a safe and happy holidays!
Dementia Support Group for Caregivers
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is hosting a support group for individuals caring for someone with dementia. The support group meets the second Friday of the month from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.
For more information on support group, contact Julie at (616) 222-7064.
*please note this support group is only for the caregiver and not for the individual that has dementia. Respite is available by contacting the Alzheimer’s Association. *
Office Closing Early on December 13
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan office will close at 11:30 a.m. on Friday December 13, 2013 to allow AAAWM staff to enjoy our annual Christmas party. The office will resume normal office hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) on Monday, December 16, 2013.
Giving Tree Donation Deadline Extended
Donations to the AAAWM Giving Tree will now be accepted through December 6, 2013. Read the information below for more details on the AAAWM Giving Tree program.
Every year the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan partners with the community to provide a Christmas gift for individuals participating in our Care Management and MI Choice Medicaid Waiver programs. For many of the individuals with disabilities and older adults that we serve, this may be their only Christmas present. This year we are asking for donations of Meijer or Wal-Mart gift cards in either $20 or $25 amounts or monetary donations of any amount. Our Care Managers will distribute the gift cards to the individuals during the month of December. Cash donations will go towards the purchase of additional gift cards and all of the funds donated to the AAAWM Giving Tree will go directly to gifts for participants.
The deadline to donate is December 6, 2013. Checks should be made payable to AAAWM with “2013 Giving Tree” in the memo line. Check and gift cards can be mailed or dropped off to 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525 Attn: Giving Tree.
Thank you for your support and for helping make the holidays a little brighter for our program participants!
For more information on the Giving Tree Program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our office at (616) 456-5664.
Office Closed for Thanksgiving
Happy Thanksgiving from the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan! Our office will be closed November 28-29 for the holiday and will reopen on Monday December 2, 2013.
MI Choice Medicaid Waiver has Short Wait List
The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program provides in home services to older adults and certified disabled individuals who are at risk of nursing facility placement. MI Choice participants partner with a Care Management team (made up of a licensed Social Worker and a Registered Nurse) to develop a care plan centered on an individual’s needs.
Due to high demand, this program often has a long waiting list. The waiting list is currently very short and AAAWM staff has been able to process referrals within 30 days . Individuals who meet the qualifications listed below are encouraged to call to find out more.
• Certified disabled adult (18-64) or those 65 and over
• Medically eligible for nursing home placement
• Meet Medicaid income and asset requirements
• Need community-based services
Contact AAAWM Intake and Referral staff at (888) 456-5664 or (616) 456-5664
Scam Alert: Home Improvement Scams
Older adults, especially those in Kent County, are being advised to be careful when working with contractors for home improvements. The Grand Rapids Police Department has received a number of phone calls concernering contractors going door to door and convincing homeowners that they need work done that may not be necessary. The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition urges seniors to pay attention to the following before having any home improvement work done
- Always get references from a contractor before you agree to a project
- Don’t agree to work “on the spot”, ask for an estimate and take time to look it over before making any decision.
- Never put down more than 50%
- Be skeptical of those who go door to door to solicit home improvement business, while they may be a legitimate company, it’s always a much safer when you initiate the call yourself
- Get another estimate, most companies/contractors will offer a free estimate and have them go over the estimate with you if you have any questions.
If feel you have been a victim of a scam artist, contact your local police immediately.