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.
Area Agencies on Aging Conference
The Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan is hosting its 26th annual conference Embracing Innovation on May 9-May 10 at the Kellog Center in East Lansing. Click here for more information.
Proposal Process Opens
Every three years an open proposal process takes place for Older Americans Act funding. During this time any incorporated entity has the opportunity to submit a proposal to provide one or more of the defined fundable services. If an agency is selected, their contract will remain in effect for three years, though funding amount may vary from year to year.
The proposal process will begin on April 8, 2013 with proposals due to the agency on May 13, 2013. Check back here for more information in April, such as proposal format.
For more information on the process, visit www.aaawm.org/providers/older_americans_act_providers
Volunteers Needed in Allegan
The Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is looking for volunteers in Allegan to help older adults navigate the Medicare and Medicaid system.
Volunteers must be patient and enjoy learning. They also need internet, phone and problem solving skills and a desire to work with older adults and individuals with disabilities.
“Our MMAP Counselors play an important role in helping people understand their coverage and walking them through complex situations,” says Karen Rozelle, Regional MMAP Coordinator. “Medicare and Medicaid can be confusing and individuals come to us to help sort out these problems so we need volunteers who like to problem solve and find the answers, but who can also communicate well with our clients.”
Volunteers are required to attend an orientation and 36 hours of training in April in Grand Rapids, but will be stationed at the Allegan County Resource Development Committee (ACRDC) at 323 Water Street.
“MMAP is a statewide organization with offices throughout Michigan,” says Rozelle. “Our Allegan volunteers have done a wonderful job of serving their community and we are looking for more dedicated individuals to take on this important role.”
For more information on this volunteer opportunity, contact Karen Rozelle at (616) 456-5664.
The Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is a non-profit organization that helps those 65 and older and those who are disabled with their Medicare and Medicaid concerns. MMAP relies on volunteers to provide education to help people make informed decisions about their health care coverage. MMAP is a state-wide program that is operated in West Michigan by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM), 1279 Cedar, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Offices are located throughout the nine county region served by AAAWM. Click here for more information on MMAP.