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.
Annual Giving Tree Campaign Now Open
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 2, 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 Veterans Day
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan office will be closed on Monday, November 11, 2013 in observance of Veterans Day. Our office will resume normal business hours on Tuesday, November 12, 2013.
Caregiver Resource Network Family Caregiver Series:
The Caregiver Resource Network is hosting three events in November for family caregivers. All events will take place at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525).
Event Topics and Dates:
Relax, Indulge and be Pampered
Friday, November 8, 2013 – 12:00 PM to 2:30 PM
I’m too Young to have Alzheimer’s
Friday, November 15, 2013 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Starting the Conversation
Friday, November 22, 2013 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Click here for more information, including registration information.
Kent County Senior Millage Open House Recap
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Kent County Senior Millage Open House on Friday October 18, 2013. The event was a huge success, due to the Advocates for Senior Issues, Kent County Senior Millage Providers and many volunteers. Attendance for the event was estimated at around 300 people. View pictures from the event at our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAging).
Kent County Senior Millage Open House
On Friday, October 18, the Kent County Senior Millage Open House will take place at Kentwood Christian Church (5841 Kalamazoo Ave SE). Provided in collaboration with the Advocates for Senior Issues, the open house will allow guests to visit booths of all 31 Senior Millage providers to find out more information and ask questions.
The Advocates for Senior Issues is also opening their monthly meeting up to the general public, allowing guests to hear more information on the Millage as well as a presentation from Bob Fox, Michigan Senior Advocates Council.
The Advocates meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. and runs through 11:00 a.m. and the Kent County Senior Millage Open House will last from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The community is welcome to attend both or just stop by for one or the other. Light lunch and door prizes will be provided during the Millage Open House.
Click here to view and print the Open House flyer
A Matter of Balance Master Trainer Session
The MaineHealth Partnership for Healthy Aging will be hosting A Matter of Balance Master Trainer Session at AAAWM’s office (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525) November 6-7, 2013.
The Master Trainer Session teaches individuals to go back to their own communities prepared to recruit and train volunteers to lead A Matter of Balance classes, coordinate the program in their community and evaluate outcomes.
Click here for more information, or to find out about registration. Space is limited, so please call (207) 661-7120 to check for availability.
Kent County Senior Millage Flu Shots
The Kent County Senior Millage is again funding flu shots for Kent County Residents age 60 to 64. AngelCare Home Care will be providing shots at a number of locations throughout West Michigan, including multiple Senior Neighbors senior centers, starting on September 16. Click here to see locations, dates and times. For more information on the flu shot clinics, contact AngelCare Home Care (phone number listed below)
For more information on the Kent County Senior Millage flu shots, contact
- AngelCare at (616) 245-8899
- Catherine's Health Center at (616) 336-8000
AAAWM Using Reserves for Services
During this time of budget cuts from both the federal and state funding, AAAWM is using reserves to maintain current service levels.
“AAAWM has a history of being fiscally responsible and that has included reserves to help weather unforeseen expenses,” says Tom Czerwinski, AAAWM Executive Director. “Agency leadership and our Board of Directors
feel strongly that we are in the position to use some of these reserves to help offset cuts to the Older Americans Act programs.”
In 2013, $147,700 will be used.
Looking for Organizations and Volunteers!
Are you a good communicator? Do you have a passion for older adults? The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan needs you! Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is looking for volunteer leaders for two healthy aging programs throughout West Michigan. Each program is designed specifically for older adults and is fun and engaging with proven results. A Matter of Balance focuses on fall prevention while Healthy Eating targets nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes.
Trainings are complimentary and will be held in July and August. There are still spaces available, but they are filling up fast. If you have a passion for older adults, read more to find out if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you! If you represent a community-based group that works with older adults, read more to find out how you can offer these classes to the seniors you serve!
A Matter of Balance:
A Matter of Balance is designed to reduce a fear of falling and increase physical activity levels. Often when individuals are afraid that they will fall, they stop being active which actually puts them at a greater risk for falls because their muscles and joints are stiff and have become weak. Each Matter of Balance sessions includes eight classes. The two hour interactive class includes group discussion, problem solving, videos and gentle physical exercise.
Who Would Make a Good A Matter of Balance Coach?
A great A Matter of Balance coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. They also need to be able to lead low to moderate exercise (the exercises used are taught to coaches during training). Volunteers do not need to be healthcare professionals; in fact lay leaders are preferred for this program.
Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults (Healthy Eating) is a program for older adults who want to learn more about how nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes can lead to better health. Healthy Eating sessions include six classes. The classes last two and a half hours and are very hands-on. Seniors learn to improve or maintain their wellness, with focus on the USDA MyPlate food guide. Also included is how to read labels, grocery shop and cook together to prepare nutritious meals that focus on heart and bone health.
Who Would Make a Good Healthy Eating Coach?
A great Healthy Eating coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. A Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist is utilized as a resource to answer specific questions (as needed) so volunteers do not need to hold those credentials themselves.
Think this is the right volunteer opportunity for you? All interested individuals (and organizations) must register for participation in the complimentary trainings. The Matter of Balance training will take place July 29-30 and the Healthy Eating training will be August 13-14. Both will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)
How to Register:
If you think you, or your organization, would be a good fit for A Matter of Balance or Healthy Eating, contact Barbara Nelson-Jandernoa at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 222-7011 or email@example.com