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
Office Space Available
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has approximately 4,000 Square feet of office space available at 3215 Eaglecrest Dr. NE. Space is on the main floor with lots of windows. Close to expressway, shops, and restaurants. Contact Tom at 616-222-7001 for more information.
Kent County Senior Millage Letters of Intent
AAAWM is accepting Letters of Intent for 2014 Kent County Senior Millage funds. Letters of Intent are required for all new agencies, as well as for current millage funded agencies who wish to add a new service. The letter is due to AAAWM no later than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, July 29, 2013.Click here to access the Letter of Intent.
There will be an informational meeting to answer any questions about the Letter of Intent on Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in the AAAWM conference room C at 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. Questions can be submitted prior to the meeting to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions will not be answered outside this meeting, however, answers to any submitted questions will be shared on the website or to provided emails. Please do not ask AAAWM Contract Coordinators any direct questions, as they are unable to respond to individual inquiries
Letters of Intent will be reviewed by the Kent County Millage Review Committee (KCMRC).
Agencies will be notified by August 9, 2013 if they are permitted to complete a full proposal. Proposals will be due September 9, 2013. Meetings with the KCMRC will be October 7, 8, or 9, 2013. Please save those dates to insure your availability to give a short presentation to the KCMRC.
Continuation Funding Forms
Current service providers will receive continuation of funding forms in early August. You will also be meeting with the KCMRC on the above October dates.
The 2014 funding level is expected to remain unchanged from the $6.08 million allocated in 2013.
Funding decisions are guided by current needs and community priorities. To learn more go to providers/kent_county_senior_millage_providers and look under Resources.
Questions about Continuation Funding Forms can be directed to your contract coordinator or Jackie O’Connor at 616.222.7002 or at Jackie@aaawm.org.
Senior of the Year Awarded to James White
Please join us in congratulating Commissioner James White on receiving the Senior Citizen of the Year award from the Office of Services to the Aging. Commissioner White, an AAAWM Board Member and longtime community leader, has been volunteering his time and talents throughout West Michigan for over 40 years. He was honored at Older Michiganians Day in Lansing on June 4, 2013. The event was attended by 800 older adult advocates, including 40 from our region. Congratulations Commissioner and thank you for your service to older adults and to the entire West Michigan community!
We Have Moved!
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has moved to our new office, 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. All phone numbers and staff emails will remain the same. Click on the map below to get directions to our new facility
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Area Plan Now Available
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is charged with developing an Area Plan on Aging for the next three years and is inviting the public to comment on the plan for fiscal years 2014-2016.
The plan includes goals, objectives and funding allocations for older adult services provided through state and federal funding. Coverage area includes Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola counties.
Public Hearing Schedule:
- Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mecosta County Senior Center (12954 80th Avenue, Mecosta, MI 49332)
- Monday June 3, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s new office (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)
The Area Plan will be considered by the AAAWM Advisory Council at their meeting following the Public Hearing. Recommendations made will be considered by the AAAWM Board of Directors at their meeting on June 24, 2013.
Older Americans Act Proposal Open
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is seeking proposals to provide contracted services funded under the Older Americans Act in Region 8. This is a separate funding stream that provides services to clients who may not be receiving services through the MI Choice Waiver or Care Management program.
This proposal process is for three years, Fiscal Years 2014- 2016. The funding awarded will be for the first year of the three year proposal, Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014).
- Letter for Mailed Proposals
- Proposal General Information
- OAA Proposal
- Service Design and Description (attachment II D)
- Service Budget (attachment II E)
- Disease Prevention/Health Promotion Description (attachment II F)
- Caregiver Support Services Description (attachment II G)
Any questions concerning the proposal process will be answered at the Proposal Workshop.
- April 24, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. - Proposal Workshop at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Conference Room, 1279 Cedar NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
- May 13, 2013 12:00 p.m. (noon) - Proposals due at the AAAWM office, 3215 Eaglecrest Dr NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525. No proposals accepted after this date.
Please note that our agency will be moving on Monday, May 6th through Wednesday, May 8th. It is not recommended to drop off proposals during this time.
FY 2014 State Budget
Funding increases are needed for programs to help older adults stay independent in their own home. The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program and the Office of Services to the Aging save the state money and meet the needs of a growing senior population. Action needs to be taken today to protect Michigan seniors!
What you can do:
PLEASE contact your legislators and ask them to support the Governor’s $18 million proposed funding increase in the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program, and a 5% increase in OSA funding. If your legislators already support this funding, be sure to say THANK YOU! A list of state Senators and Representatives for our 9 counties follows:
- The Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) has taken $10 million in funding cuts between 2009 and 2011 (27%). This at a time when more and more seniors are requiring services. The OSA provides programs such as Meals-on-Wheels, home-based and community services, and volunteer programs. These programs, funded by non-Medicaid funds, are also major contributors to keeping older adults in their own homes and out of expensive Medicaid funded nursing homes beds. The dollar savings to the state are very clear.
- Meals-on-Wheels, an OSA funded program, was cut by $3.3 million from 2009-2011. An additional $500,000 was cut from this vital program this year by the federal sequester! The value of a home delivered meal is obvious. Less apparent is the intangible benefit: a Meals-on-Wheels delivery person may be the only person an older adult sees all week. The value of that human interaction to the senior is immeasurable.
- The program saves the state money. MI Choice Medicaid Wavier program, which includes the Nursing Facility Transition program costs an average of $52/day compared to average nursing home costs of $172/day.
- The Nursing Facility Transition Program (NFT) has immediate savings. Because the program transitions individuals out of a more costly nursing facility, there is immediate savings to the state and taxpayers. Last year over 1,600 people transitioned state-wide saving Medicaid roughly $38 million.
Who to Contact:
Rick Snyder--Governor (517) 373-3400 Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov
- Winnie Brinks (517) 373-0822 email@example.com
- Jon Bumstead (517) 373-7317 JonBumstead@house.mi.gov
- Mike Callton (517) 373-0842 MikeCallton@house.mi.gov
- Brandon Dillon (517) 373-2668 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ray Franz (517) 373-0825 RayFranz@house.mi.gov
- Bob Genetski (517) 373-0836 BobGenetski@house.mi.gov
- Thomas Hooker (517) 373-2277 ThomasHooker@house.mi.gov
- Joel Johnson(517) 373-8962 email@example.com
- Peter MacGregor (517) 373-0218 PeterMacGregor@house.mi.gov
- Rick Outman(517) 373-0834 RickOutman@house.mi.gov
- Lisa Posthumus Lyons (517) 373-0846 LisaLyons@house.mi.gov
- Phil Potvin (517) 373-1747 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rob VerHeulen (517) 373-8900 RobVerHeulen@house.mi.gov
- Ken Yonker (517) 373-0840 KenYonker@house.mi.gov
- Darwin Booher--Senator (517) 373-1725 SenDBooher@senate.michigan.gov
- Judy Emmons--Senator (517) 373-3760 SenJEmmons@senate.michigan.gov
- Goeff Hansen--Senator (517) 373-1635 email@example.com
- Dave Hildenbrand--Senator (517) 373-1801 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mark Jansen--Senator (517) 373-0797 email@example.com
- Rick Jones--Senator (517) 373-3447 SenRJones@senate.michigan.gov
- Arlan Meekhof--Senator (517) 373-6920 firstname.lastname@example.org
MI Choice Accepting Clients
The MI-Choice Waiver (MI Choice) program is now accepting new clients as the waiting list will now allow individuals who qualify to receive an assessment within a few months.
MI-Choice helps individuals remain in the community who meet medical eligibility guidelines for nursing facility care. The program also offers help for those who have entered a nursing facility and need services in order to return to the community. Below are some of the eligibility requirements:
- Adults age 65 or older and certified disabled adults ages 18 to 64
- Gross income less than $2,130 per month (2013) from all sources. A spouse’s income is not counted.
- Medicaid eligible even with a spenddown or willing to become eligible.
- Participants must need one or more MI-Choice Waiver services such as personal care, homemaking, medication management, in home respite for caregivers, a personal emergency response system, etc.
Please contact AAAWM Intake department at 1-800-456-5664. We accept referrals Monday through Friday from 8 to 5.
From the Executive Director
Frail low-income older adults will receive fewer home delivered meals and other vital home care services due to implementation of the federal sequester. As of March 1, funding for Older Americans Act programs across the country was reduced approximately 5%. That means fewer services for struggling older adults who need services the most.
In this region, about $140,000 in service funding will be lost. Unfortunately, the funding reduction is impacting programs that have already taken hits. State funding for meals and home care programs was cut 28% over a recent three year period. State funding for home delivered meals is at virtually the same level as 1997. Obviously, costs have risen significantly during that time frame. And the older adult population has increased by more than 25%. Adding to the challenge of serving older adults is the reduction in senior millage funding due to declining property values.
Consequently, meals and other services have been cut. Waiting lists grow across the state and country. Older adults who have given so much to our communities go without help.
AAAWM staff hopes to offset the cuts for this year by using unallocated funding and reserves. However it will be impossible to continue that in future years if there are additional cuts. According to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Republicans and Democrats are so far apart on budget issues that the threat of more reductions is very real.
So if people tell you that not much has changed due to sequestration, share with them how older adults across the country are trying to get by with less. Also, contact your U.S. Senators and Congressman about the impact of sequestration. Older adults need your advocacy support.