Office Closed for New Year's Day
Our office will be closed on January 1, 2015 in observance of New Year's Day. We will be open regular business hours on Friday, January 2, 2015. We wish you all a safe and happy holiday and a wonderful start to 2015!
Senior Dental Day
On Friday December 12, 2014, AAAWM held the fourth annual Senior Dental Day. This year we served 42 older adults through referrals from AAAWM, Senior Neighbors, UMCH-United Methodist Community House, Salvation Army, and HHS Health Options.
The event was held in the newly remodeled Grand Rapids Community College Dental Clinic.
This event would not have been possible without the 100 students, local dentist, hygienists, teachers and dental assistants who volunteered their time to provide much needed dental care to these older adults. Funding was also made possible by a generous grant from the Delta Dental Foundation. Visit our Facebook page to see photos from the event.
Agency Holiday Hours
Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan will be closed on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day to allow our employees to spend time with their families. We wish you all a very happy holiday season and look forward to continue serving our communities older adults in 2015.
What to Look for when Home for the Holidays
The holidays are often spent with family members, some who don’t see each other the rest of the year. This may be the best time to observe how an older loved one is doing and determine if help is needed in the home.
“Just because a parent or grandparent is of a certain age does not mean they will need help. Often parents or grandparents will not come out and ask for help directly, but there may be indicators that they could use some assistance at home,” says Julie Alicki, Community Living Program Consultant at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. “The holidays can be a good time to observe older family members at home, or in your home, to see if there are any concerns about their safety living alone. In-home care is often a viable option to help individuals stay independent in their own home.”
Alicki recommends looking for the following signs that a loved one may need help at home:
- Observe for changes to their appearance or home. Are their clothes clean? Do they seem or appear not to be bathing? Do they struggle with keeping their home clean?
- Take an inventory of medications. Are there more pills in a bottle than should be based on the prescriptions fill date and dosage information? Also look for old or outdated medication.
- What is in the refrigerator? Do they have a lot of old or spoiled food?
- Examine their car and their driving. Are there new dings or dents on the car that would indicate recent accidents? When riding with them do you witness slower reaction times, or other safety issues on the road?
- How are their finances? Do you see late notices/past due or shut off letters or warnings lying around?
- Watch how they walk and get up and down. Do you see them struggling with balance or is going up and down stairs or getting up from a chair difficult for them?
These signs don’t automatically mean someone needs help in the home, but can be good indicators to begin conversations about in-home care options.
“Most older adults want to stay in their own homes as they age and there are a number of choices for them to do so,” says Alicki. “In home care is not just for those who can afford to pay out of pocket, there are programs to help individuals with low incomes stay in their homes too.”
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan helps older adults and individuals with disabilities live in their homes with independence and dignity. For more information, visit the In-Home Care section on our site, or contact us at (616) 456-5664 or (888) 456-5664.
Annual Giving Tree Update
Thank you to everyone who donated to the AAAWM Giving Tree this year. Due to your generosity we were able to provide gift cards to 190 of our in-home care clients. As you may know, many of these individuals would not receive anything for the holidays without our Giving Tree program. Thank you for including our clients in your holiday donations.
Office Closed December 19, 2014
The AAAWM office is closed today (December 19, 2014) due to a heating issue. We appologize for any inconvenience and plan to be open regular hours on Monday. Please note we will also be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Office Closing Early December 12
Our office will close at 11:30 a.m. Friday December 12, 2014 for our annual staff Christmas luncheon. We will resume normal business hours on Monday December 15, 2014.
Annual Giving Tree
Donations are now being accepted for the AAAWM Annual Giving Tree which benefits some of our neediest clients throughout a nine county region.Those interesed in donating can either purchase $20-$25 gift cards to Meijer or Walmart or provide a financial donation which will go to the purchase of additional gift cards.
Donations will be accepted at our office (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525) through December 10.
If writing a check, please make payable to "AAAWM" and designate 2014 Giving Tree in the memo line. Donations can be mailed or dropped off to our office.
Michigan's Lame Duck Session
The Michigan Senate and House of Representatives are planning to finish up their respective legislative sessions before December 18. This will conclude the 2014 legislative year, and will be the last session before the newly elected legislators take office. In past years this “lame duck” period has been a time in which legislation can come up unexpectedly and be voted on very quickly, so it’s important for advocates to be paying close attention.
The Advisory Council of the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is watching three issues which would impact seniors – transportation, catastrophic auto insurance, and independent advanced practice nurses. A transportation solution is currently being negotiated by leaders of both chambers and the Governor, and will hopefully provide adequate and sustainable funding for roads across the state. Catastrophic care auto insurance is less likely to arise yet this year, but would negatively impact seniors and others if the unlimited lifetime benefit for medical and personal care following an auto accident were taken away. A senate bill that would create a designation for independent advanced practice nurses is in the House of Representatives, and would potentially impact the way medical care is delivered in Michigan. This bill could very well come up in the House and be passed very quickly.
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan will publicize an Advocacy Alert in the case that one of these issues requires immediate attention and advocacy. In the meantime, please click here for this month’s Advocacy Update for more details on these legislative issues, watch for news from the lame duck sessions