Author to Speak to Caregivers
“Caregivers: Who’s Caring For You” will be entertaining as Michigan author, Lynn Alexander, teaches caregivers how to take care of yourself, reduce stress and find strategies to get you through, even if you are in the “Sandwich Generation.”
The event will take place on Thursday, November 10, 2011 at the Grand Rapids Public Library’s Ryerson Auditorium, Level 3 (111 Library Street) from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Registration is encouraged at firstname.lastname@example.org (616) 456-5664
Click here for more information.
This event is sponsored by the Caregiver Resource Network, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan and the Grand Rapids Public Library.
Seeking Letters of Intent
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is seeking Letters of Intent to provide Long Term Care Ombudsman and Elder Abuse Prevention Education services funded under the Older Americans Act in Region 8.
Region 8 includes the nine counties of Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola. This Letter of Intent is for one year, Fiscal Year 2012. The funding awarded will be for October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012.
Click here for service definitions.
Funding levels available are:
- Long Term Care Ombudsman $80.902
- Elder Abuse Prevention Education $14,027
The Letter of Intent is Due Friday September 23, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. noon to the Area Agency on Aging of Western MI, 1279 Cedar NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or to email@example.com. Click here for the Letter of Intent.
Letters of Intent will be reviewed and appropriate agencies will be selected to continue in the proposal process.
Questions can be directed to Jackie O’Connor, AAAWM Assistant Director at 616.222.7002 or Jackie@aaawm.org.
Learn Safe Medical Transfers
Many caregivers also help their loved ones get out of the bathtub, get into chairs or walk throughout the home. On Thursday September 22, 2011, Easter Seals will teach the proper techniques to make medical transfers a safer and easier process. The training will take place from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Easter Seals (4065 Saladin Drive SE, Grand Rapids), lunch will be provided.
Registration is required and complimentary respite is available upon request. To qualify for this training, either the caregiver or the care recipient must be age 60 or older.
Email your name and the class title (Safe Medical Transfers) to firstname.lastname@example.org call the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616 ) 456-5664. Registration is not complete until you receive confirmation.
Hunger Action Week
Hunger Action Week, September 13-17 is part of a national campaign led by Feeding America to raise awareness and encourage action against hunger. AAAWM and the Senior Meals Program is encouraging individuals to check on senior neighbors, family and friends to make sure they have access to proper nutrition. For more information, including other events taking place during Hunger Action Week, and other ways to get involved, visit HunGRy? Local participants include: Feeding America West Michigan Food Bank, Kids' Food Basket, YMCA Farmers Market, United Church Outreach Ministries (UCOM), Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Senior Meals Program, Access of West Michigan and the Food & Nutrition Coalition (formerly the Kent County ENTF Food Subcommittee)
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Older Americans have a lot at stake as Congress launches its twelve member committee charged with developing a plan to reduce the federal deficit.
Michigan is the only state with two members on the special committee – Congressman Dave Camp (R-Midland), who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, and Congressman Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) who chairs the House Energy & Commerce Committee. This means that advocates in our state can have a bigger impact on the recommendations coming out of the committee.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact your U.S. Representative, along with Senators Stabenow and Levin, and urge that a balanced approach be used to reduce the federal deficit, meaning an approach that includes new revenues. Two bipartisan committees that have studied this issue both concluded that cuts alone cannot balance the federal budget without devastating programs that aid seniors, children, veterans or other vulnerable people - revenue increases must be part of the solution.
Congress’ website at www.congress.orgwill help in identifying your U.S. Representative and allow you to send messages directly to him/her, as well as Senators Stabenow and Levin. Or use the list below for contact information - messages can be sent through the websites.
U.S. Representatives from Michigan (Washington D.C. area code is 202):
- Justin Amash 225-3831 www.amash.house.gov
- Dan Benishek 225-4735 www.benishek.house.gov
- Dave Camp 225-3561 www.camp.house.gov
- Hansen Clarke 225-2261 www.hansenclarke.house.gov
- John Conyers 225-5126 www.conyers.house.gov
- John Dingell 225-4071 www.dingell.house.gov
- Bill Huizenga 225-4401 www.huizenga.house.gov
- Dale Kildee 225-3611 www.kildee.house.gov
- Sander Levin 225-4961 www.house.gov/levin
- Thaddeus McCotter 225-8171 www.mccotter.house.gov
- Candice Miller 225-2106 www.candicemiller.house.gov
- Gary Peters 225-5802 www.peters.house.gov
- Mike Rogers 225-4872 www.mikerogers.house.gov
- Fred Upton 225-3761 www.upton.house.gov
- Tim Walberg 225-6276 www.walberg.house.gov
U.S. Senators from Michigan:
Older Americans have a lot at stake as Congress launches its twelve member committee charged with developing a plan to reduce the federal deficit. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and other federal programs are a social safety net for the growing population of older Americans. They are frequently identified as ‘bankrupting’ the federal budget and being unsustainable in the long-term. However, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (www.cbpp.org), tax cuts are the primary reason the federal budget is now out-of-balance.
The committee is charged with developing a plan by November 23, 2011 to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 - $1.5 trillion. Everything is on the table for the committee to consider: tax increases; closing tax loopholes; cuts in entitlement programs including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; and cuts in discretionary programs like the Older Americans Act. More than half of the committee must approve the plan for it to proceed to the U.S. House and Senate for votes. The plan must be voted up-or-down with no amendments. Congress has until December 23, 2011 to approve the plan.
If the committee can’t agree on a plan, or the plan isn’t approved by Congress, automatic cuts will take place in 2013. Half of the cuts would come from defense & homeland security programs and the other half from discretionary programs. The cuts would not affect Social Security, Medicaid or a few other low-income programs. They would not cut Medicare benefits either, but they would cut payments to Medicare providers by up to 2%. This could affect access to physicians and other providers for people on Medicare. If the committee passes a plan that falls below the minimum $1.2 trillion, automatic cuts would be made to bring total savings to the $1.2 trillion level.
- The deficit should be addressed through shared sacrifice by those able to contribute. The budget should not be balanced on the backs of frail and low-income older Americans who are least able to afford cuts.
- The committee should follow the lead of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission, which embraced the principle of protecting the truly disadvantaged, providing a robust, affordable, fair and sustainable safety net.1
- Any changes to Social Security or Medicare should not hurt the disadvantaged. Even with these programs, over one-third (37%) of older Michiganians do not have enough income to cover the basics like housing, food and health care.2
- The Committee should reject proposals that undermine or weaken the current structure of Medicaid, which provides health care for low income individuals and families. Medicaid is the primary funding source for long term care including nursing homes and home and community-based services. Proposals to block grant Medicaid or freeze Medicaid spending should be rejected. There are other cost-saving approaches that should be pursued, however, such as reducing institutionalization by expanding home and community-based services. Baby Boomers are a demographic tidal wave, and will place significant financial demands on Medicaid if changes aren’t made in the way we provide long term care.
- The Committee should reject proposals to cut the Older Americans Act. Investments in meals-on-wheels, home care, caregiver supports and other services will help our aging population live independently in their own homes, stay out of nursing homes and off the Medicaid program.
1 National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. (December, 2010). The Moment of Truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Retrieved August 15, 2011 from National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform web site: www.FiscalCommission.gov.
2Jankowski, T.B. et. al. (July 20, 2011). Invisible Poverty: New Measure Unveils Financial Hardship in Michigan’s Older Adult Population (Working Paper Series, No. 3). Retrieved August 15, 2011 from Seniors Count web site: http://www.seniorscount.org.
Information provided by the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan
Technology Help for Caregivers
The next summer caregiver class will help individuals with their specific technology questions. Teenagers in the WSC Reverse Mentoring program will work one-on-one with caregivers to help with technology concerns. Class will be held Thursday August 25, 2011 from 10:00 until 11:30 at the Wyoming Senior Center (WSC), 2380 DeHoop Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509.
Registration is required. Email your name and title of class to email@example.com or call the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 456-5664.
Either the caregiver or the care recipient must be age 60 or older. Complimentary Respite is available upon request.
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Action is needed on elder abuse bills! Individuals are encouraged to contact legislators to get legislation passed this year.
Five years ago, a Governor-appointed Task Force of aging experts released a set of recommendations on addressing the growing, and mostly hidden, problem of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation. Since then, many bills have been introduced, but have died due to inaction by one or both houses. Similar bills have been introduced in 2011. We want legislators to get the job done this year to prevent abuse and get justice for victims.
What You Can Do:
Contact these Committee Chairs and ask them to take action on the elder abuse bills in their committees this fall:
- Sen. Judy Emmons (517) 373-3760 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sen. Rick Jones (517) 373-3447 email@example.com
- Rep. Ken Kurtz (866) 362-8812 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. John Walsh (517) 373-3920 email@example.com
There are more than 40 bills dealing with abuse, here are just a few examples:
- House Bill 4331 and Senate Bill 461 would prevent an abuser from inheriting his/her victim’s assets.
- House Bill 4327 and Senate Bill 454 would allow vulnerable adults to provide videotaped testimony similar to laws protecting children from having to face their abusers.
- House Bill 4345 and Senate Bill 468 would allow a third party to file a complaint with law enforcement regarding abuse, even though the abused person refuses to file a complaint.
- House Bill 4332 and Senate Bill 466 would require law enforcement to publicize a missing elder similar to the Amber Alerts used for missing children
- About 80,000 Michigan elders fall victim to some form of abuse each year.
- Last year, Adult Protective Services received 19,000 calls reporting abuse, up from 12,000 calls in 2000.
- 70% of abusers are ‘trusted ones,’ including spouses, children, grandchildren and friends. Victims come from all walks of life and income classes, as witnessed by Mickey Rooney’s testimony before the Congress.
- Michigan’s high rate of unemployment is fueling the financial exploitation of the elderly.
Summer Classes for Caregivers
Are you caring for an older adult or are you an older adult taking care of someone else? Attend one (or all) of the complimentary trainings in the Summer 2011 Caregiver Classes to help you become a better caregiver; you don’t have to walk the caregiver path alone.
The Caregiver Resource Network, is sponsoring three classes this summer to help family caregivers. Topics include organization, technology and medical transfers.
The first class is August 9, 2011 from 1:00 until 2:30. Experts from The Organizing Specialists will give you tips and tricks to get started and get organized.
Click Here for more information on any of the classes
It's a Senior Open House and You're Invited!
Ever wonder how your tax dollars help your neighbors? Want to learn about services for seniors in Kent County? The Kent County Senior Millage is hosting an Open House to give the community a chance to learn more about the 46 different services provided for older adults.
On Friday, July 22, 2011, 31 Senior Millage providers will be on hand to answer questions and explain their services in an open house format at the Wyoming Senior Center (WSC) located at 2380 DeHoop Ave SW, Wyoming. The event will run from 9:30 a.m.until 12:00 p.m.
The event will also include four separate twenty minute presentations by local experts on the following hot topics:
- 9:45 a.m.- Identity Theft: protecting yourself online and off
- 10:20 a.m.- Healthy Aging: learning to get active and be healthy
- 10:55 a.m.- Transportation: getting around without gassing up
- 11:30 a.m.- Equipment and Technology: taking seniors into the future
“Identity theft, transportation, technology and healthy aging are important topics to older adults,” says Anne Ellermets, Kent County Contract Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM), the organization that administers the Millage. “In addition to providing information on the topics, we will also have resources available because each topic is addressed by a Kent County Senior Millage service.”
The event includes refreshments and over 30 door prize drawings for gift cards, gift baskets and other items.
Individuals will also have an opportunity to visit tables for each organization, pick up information about the Kent County Senior Millage and ask questions.
“We want the community to be engaged and aware of the Kent County Senior Millage and the good work it does in our community,” says Jackie O’Connor, Assistant Director at Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. “We are incredibly grateful that Kent County residents have been supportive of the millage and of older adults and we want to continue to provide information so they can see how their support helps improve our community.”
The Kent County Senior Millage was adopted by voters in 1998 and renewed and increased in 2006. In 2010, 17,824 clients were served. In 2011, $6.4 million will provide 46 unique services for older adults.
Click here for more information or call (616) 456-5664.
Kent County Senior Millage Letters of Intent
AAAWM is accepting Letters of Intent for 2012 - 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 Friday, July 29, 2011.
There will be an informational meeting to answer any questions about the Letter of Intent on Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. in the AAAWM conference room B at 1279 Cedar NE, Grand Rapids, MI.
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. 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 12, 2011 if they are permitted to complete a full proposal. Proposals will be due September 6, 2011. Meetings with the KCMRC will be October 3, 4 or 5, 2011. Please save those dates to ensure your availability to give a short presentation to the KCMRC.
Click here to access the Letter of Intent.
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 2012 compared to the $6.4 million allocated in 2011.
Funding decisions are guided by current needs and community priorities. To learn more go to www.aaawm.org/providers/kent_county_senior_millage_providers or contact Jackie O’Connor at 616.222.7002 or at Jackie@aaawm.org