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Latest News

November Family Caregiver Series

8/31/2012 1:00pm

The Caregiver Resource Network's Family Caregiver Series features 22 complimentary events throughout Kent County in November. The series includes holiday baking demonstrations, family portraits, financial and legal topics, stress relief and more. The series, presented by the Caregiver Resource Network, also gives family caregivers the opportunity to meet other individuals in similar circumstances and offer resources to help individuals along their caregiving journey.

To find out more details, including how to register for the events, visit the Caregiver Resource Network at www.caregiverresource.net

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Senior Millage 2013 Funding Process Continues

8/28/2012 2:54pm

Current service providers have received their continuation of funding forms. The forms are due to the AAAWM office by noon (12:00 p.m.) on Monday, September 10, 2012.  No exceptions.

Unfortunately the senior millage will have to take the largest cut ever sense the property values have started to decrease.  The Kent County Millage Review Committee (KCMRC) will have to decide where a 5.1% decrease in service must occur. That equates to $321,425 less in service dollars than was allocated in 2012. Not an easy decision to make sense the number of older adults grows daily (10,000 people a day turn 60 years old) across the country.

Despite the reduction in funding the KCMRC will consider two new proposals.  One is for home chore and the other is for weatherization.  These proposals could offer an option to existing service providers of the same service.

The KCMRC will meet for their intensive week of presentations and discussions October 8 -12, 2012. Funding decisions are guided by current needs and community priorities along with performance of current service providers. To learn more go to providers/kent_county_senior_millage_providers and look under Resources.

Questions about the Funding Process can be directed to your contract coordinator or Jackie O’Connor at 616.222.7002 or at Jackie@aaawm.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

8/28/2012 11:30am

Unless Congress reverses an 8.4% across-the-board cut approved last year, all discretionary federally-funded aging network programs will lose funding beginning January 2, 2013.  The official name for this cut is “sequestration,” and it was a provision of the Budget Control Act that was passed to address the growing federal budget deficit.

 

What You Can Do:

Contact your U.S. Representative and Michigan’s two U.S. Senators to express your concern about the impact of “Sequestration Cuts” on low-income seniors.  Find your U.S. Representative by going to www.house.gov and typing your zip code in the box at the top labeled “Find Your Representative.” You can also send a message directly through the website.  If you don’t have the Internet, call your local library for information.

 

Michigan’s U.S. Senators are

  • Senator Carl Levin  Phone (202) 224-6221                           Fax (202) 224-1388   www.levin.senate.gov                                                        
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow Phone (202) 224-4822                Fax (202) 228-0325  www.stabenow.senate.gov

NOTE:  Deliver messages by phone, fax or email.  Do not send a letter as mail addressed to federal officials is screened for toxins and can be delayed in the process.

 

Background:

Between $4-5 million in annual funding will be lost to Michigan just from the federal Older Americans Act, which provides congregate and home-delivered meals, in-home services, senior employment and other services.  Other discretionary federal programs would also be hit, including energy assistance, senior volunteer programs, and the Community Services Block Grant, which supports Community Action Agencies and helps low-income families.  A report released by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) states that the sequester would eliminate 17 million meals for needy seniors nationwide.  The sequester is taking place because a bipartisan committee failed to come up with an agreement on how to save $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

       

Talking Points:

  • When the sequester cuts take place, Michigan will lose $4-5 million in federal monies for home and community-based services for seniors through the Older Americans Act.
  • The cuts will deny 6,000+ seniors nutritional meals, including 2,500 frail homebound seniors getting meals-on-wheels.  Evidence shows that poor nutrition can lead to weight loss, health problems, falls, and increased difficulty with activities of daily liv

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Kent County Senior Millage Letter of Intent No Longer Accepted

8/7/2012 11:00am

Kent County Senior Millage Letters of Intent were due on July 30, 2012 for the 2013 funding process.  The Kent County Millage Review Committee is reviewing the documents and will notify those who have been selected to submit a full proposal. 

Letters of Intent for will not be accepted again until July 1, 2013 for the 2014 funding process.

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Kent County Senior Millage Letters of Intent

6/27/2012 3:50pm

AAAWM is accepting Letters of Intent for 2013 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 30, 2012. Clicke 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 17, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. in the AAAWM conference room A at 1279 Cedar NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Questions can be submitted prior to the meeting to proposal@aaawm.org.  Questions will not be answered outside this meeting, however, answers to any submitted questions will be shared.  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 10, 2012 if they are permitted to complete a full proposal.  Proposals will be due September 10, 2012.  Meetings with the KCMRC will be October 8, 9 or 10, 2012.  Please save those dates to ensure 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.

A 3 - 4% decrease in millage funding is expected for 2013 compared to the $6.4 million allocated in 2012.

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.

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Millage Funding Important Dates

6/12/2012 10:30am

The 2013 Kent County Senior Millage funding process will begin July 1, 2012.  Unfortunately another millage decrease is projected for 2013.  The amount will be released in July. 

 

Here are dates to remember for the 2013 Kent County Senior Millage (KCSM) funding process:

  • July 1, 2011 – Letter of Intent released.  Only new providers or current KCSM providers requesting new services should submit a Letter of Intent.-CLOSED
  • Monday July 30, 2012 @ 12:00 noon – Letters of Intent due.CLOSED
  • August 10, 2012 – Continuation Funding Forms released.  These are to be completed by every current service provider who wishes to request funds for 2013.  No exceptions.
  • August 10, 2012 – Proposal released for new services or new service providers.  Proposals will only be issued to agencies who have submitted a Letter of Intent and who have been approved by the KCMRC to proceed in the funding process.
  • September 10, 2012 @ 12:00 p.m. – Continuation Funding Forms and Proposals due.
  • October 8, 9, and 10, 2012 –Oral Presentations scheduled with the KCMRC.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jackie or your Contract Coordinator.  If you are considering submitting a Letter of Intent, I strongly urge you to discuss your idea with us prior to July 1, 2012

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Comments Needed for Annual Plan

5/24/2012 1:30pm

The Draft FY 2013 Area Implementation Plan (AIP) is ready for public comment.   The Plan describes how federal Older Americans Act and state funds will be spent to support community-based services for older adults in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola counties.  Older persons, service providers, elected officials, advocates, and other interested parties are invited to review and comment on the proposed Plan at a public hearing which will be conducted on:

Monday June 4, 2012
1:00 pm

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
1279 Cedar Street NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
616.456.5664

AAAWM will also accept written comments on the Draft FY 2013 AIP that are received by June 10, 2012.  Written comments may be sent to AAAWM at the above address, submitted at the hearing, or emailed to AAAWM at AIPlan@aaawm.org.

The hearing will include a brief overview and highlights of the FY 13 AIP, with the majority of the time allotted for public review and comment.   We encourage participants to come to the hearing with comments and questions.

Click here to access the Draf FY 2013 Area Implementation Plan

For additional information about the hearing, or provisions of the Plan, contact Sandra Ghoston-Jones at (616) 222-7012.  We look forward to hearing your comments on our proposed Plan to respond to the needs of older adults, adults with disabilities, and their family members residing in Region 8.

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Male Caregiver Cooking Class

5/24/2012 10:15am

A new class for male caregivers will start in Kent County in July. The class will help male caregivers brush up on their kitchen skills, or help them develop new ones.

Participants will also learn how to plan a menu, ways to make meal time less stressful and how to follow a recipe. Additional community resources will also be presented.

"What we have seen in recent male caregiver classes is that many men were not as involved in meal planning or cooking in the past. Now they are taking care of their spouses and trying to learn how to do all of these tasks and it can be overwhelming," says Staci Shell, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Contract Coordinator at AAAWM and instructor for the class. "Our hope is that by helping them conquer the kitchen, we will relieve some of their stress, make meal time a much smoother process and help them meet other male caregivers going through the same struggles."

Respite is available and the class lasts four weeks. A second session is planned in Kent County for September. The goal is to eventually offer more classes and expand into other counties.

For more information on the classes, including how to register, click here.

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

5/17/2012 3:30pm

Legislators will be making 2013 budget decisions soon. Please contact them regarding funding for senior programs Right now, there are home and community based programs for older adults that work and save the state and the taxpayers millions of dollars annually – but they are underfunded.

MI Choice: Long-term care at home that saves Medicaid dollars- Medicaid-funded nursing home beds cost taxpayers on average $172/day; MI Choice allows eligible people to remain at home with supports that cost on average $52/day.  There aren't enough MI Choice dollars to meet the needs of all who wish to join; 8,000 people still wait.

MI Choice Nursing Facility Transition Program (NFTI)- NFTI transitions Medicaid clients in nursing homes who want to leave but face barriers such as not having an accessible home, or needing services and supports to stay at home. Last year, over 1,600 people were transitioned; 3,000 people still wait. Proposed funding for 2013 will only fund the program for two months, yet according to Governor Snyder’s 2012 Executive Budget, NFTI has saved the state $65 million since 2008!

In-Home Services help people manage their own resources- Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) programs help older adults stay in their own homes through programs like Meals on Wheels, home and community based services, and volunteer programs.
Money for these programs has been cut 28% ($10 million) over the past few years while demand for these services has grown.

Contact these members of the Conference Committee (listed below) and urge them to fund:


$11 million to reduce the wait list for MI Choice
$23 million for the Nursing Facility Transition Program in the MI Choice budget—to meet the goal of 1,600 transitions in 2013.
$1.1 million to Office of Services to the Aging plus a 5% increase in each of the next three years. This will partially restore the $10 million in funding cuts over the past three years.

 

Conference Committee Members:

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Public Hearing Notice

5/14/2012 4:10pm

The AAAWM Public Hearing will be held on Monday, June 4, 2012 at  1:00 pm at the  Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (1279 Cedar Street NE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503). The purpose of the hearing is to listen to public comments regarding services for older adults in west Michigan.

 

Agenda

Welcome:  Robert Sundholm, AAAWM Advisory Council Chair

Draft Plan & Hearing Process:  Sandra Ghoston-Jones, Planner

Public Comments: Robert Sundholm

  The Chair will request each member of the public to

  • (1) introduce him or herself and
  • (2) comment as they choose.

 

  Speakers are encouraged to present their opinions concisely.

  Every person will be heard once before any person is invited to comment a second time.

 

Concluding Remarks:  Advisory Council Members

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Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
3215 Eaglecrest Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664 • Fax: 616-456-5692

aaainfo@aaawm.org

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