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Summer Classes for Caregivers

7/29/2011 11:00am

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

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It's a Senior Open House and You're Invited!

7/12/2011 2:30pm

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.

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Kent County Senior Millage Letters of Intent

6/28/2011 8:45am

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 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 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

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Thank you for advocating

6/27/2011 3:40pm

Funding for meals-on-wheels and other Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) services were restored in the final version of the FY 2012 budget of the Department of Community Health (DCH) sent to Governor Snyder for his signature.  An avalanche of emails, phone calls, letters and face-to-face visits by aging advocates convinced legislators and administration officials to restore the OSA cuts proposed earlier this year.  One OSA cut  remained, however - $120,000 in funding for Tribal Elder programs.) A last minute appeal for increased funding for the successful nursing facility transition program resulted in a $26 million increase in the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver line-item, which had been slated to get flat funding from the Governor, House and Senate. Thank you to everyone who voiced their concerns, and to all the legislators who listened.

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Important Dates for Millage Providers

6/6/2011 2:20pm

The Kent County Millage Review Committee (KCMRC) met last week.  They received information on how well services were provided in 2010, how things are going in 2011 and made plans for 2012.

The 2012 Millage funding process will begin July 1, 2011.  The projected millage revenue is 2.1% lower for 2012 than it was for 2011. 

Here are some dates to remember for the 2012 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.

July 29, 2011 – Letters of Intent due

August 5, 2011 – Continuation Funding Forms released.  These are to be completed by every current service provider who wishes to request funds for 2012.  No exceptions.

August 12, 2011 – 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 6, 2011 @ 12:00 p.m. – Continuation Funding Forms and Proposals due.

October 3, 4, and 5, 2011 –Oral Presentations scheduled with the KCMRC.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me 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, 2011

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Thank you for your advocacy!

6/2/2011 4:07pm

The “Thrill of Victory” is how Mary Ablan, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Area Agencies on Aging, described it. In a significant turnaround, funding for home delivered meals and other home care programs in the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) FY’12 Budget were restored to current levels.

So why were these programs spared deep cuts while a long list of other state programs were reduced, including K-12 education, universities, community colleges, welfare payments, corrections, mental health, public health, and revenue sharing?

According to Mary Ablan, an avalanche of emails, phone calls, letters and face-to-face visits by aging advocates convinced state legislators and administration officials to restore OSA cuts that at one point were in the 15% to 18% range and some volunteers programs were slated for elimination. It clearly was one of the most impressive advocacy campaigns in aging network history.

Our thanks to those advocates who took the time and made the extra effort to contact a state elected official. Your deep commitment and dedication to programs that help older adults remain independent truly made a difference!

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Public Hearing

5/18/2011 4:13pm

AAAWM Public Hearing, Monday June 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (1279 Cedar Street NE Grand Rapids, Michigan).

The purpose of the hearing is to listen to public comments regarding services for older adults in west Michigan. Click here to read a copy of the FY 2012 Draft Plan

*** 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

    • introduce him or herself and
    • 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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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

5/6/2011 12:00am

House reduces senior services funding. Now is the time to contact state Legislators and encourage them to protect seniors services.

This week on the floor, the full House restored cuts to the Office of Services to the Aging for meals & community services, and eliminated all funding for the three senior volunteer programs.  These were the same cuts that came out of the House DCH Subcommittee.  Here are the specific cuts:

  • $1, 581,700 (18%) – senior meals
  • $1,835,000 (15%)  – community services
  • $627,300 (100%) – RSVP
  • $2,233,600 (100%) – Foster Grandparents
  • $1,604,400 (100%) – Senior Companions

Due to procedural maneuvers there was no roll call vote on the OSA cuts. 

This is very disappointing – however, here is what you can do now:

Send messages to the following, who are likely members of the conference committee, asking that OSA cuts in aging programs be restored.

Sen. Roger Kahn senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov 

   (866) 305-2132

Sen. John Moolenaar senjmoolenaar@senate.michigan.gov 

    (517) 373-7946

Sen. Vince Gregory  senvgregory@senate.michigan.gov   

   (517) 373-7888

Rep. Chuck Moss  chuckmoss@house.mi.gov  

   (877) 707-6677

Rep. Matt Lori   mattlori@house.mi.gov   

   (877) 262-5959

Rep. Rashida Tlaib  rashidatlaib@house.mi.gov    

    (877) 852-4212

Here are more talking points you can use:

  • OSA services prevent seniors from going on Medicaid.
  • OSA services are extremely cost-effective.  The average annual cost of OSA services (meals-on-wheels and home care) was $1,000 in FY 2010.  In contrast, a nursing home cost an average of $68,000.
  • There are over 6,000 seniors on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.

Background:

Will the cuts ever end???  From 2009 – 2011, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) were cut by $10 million (28%), and even more cuts are proposed for next year!

The Governor recommended another $2.2 million in OSA cuts, coming from meals ($800,000), community services ($1 million) and volunteer programs ($400,000).     

The Senate has approved an OSA budget with no cuts in senior meals, keeping the cuts in community services, and increasing the cuts in volunteer programs to $670,000.  The House has approved a very different version that increased cuts in senior meals ($1.6 million) and community services ($1.8 million), and totally eliminated funding for three senior volunteer programs – RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions ($4.4 million total). 

The next step is a joint House-Senate Conference Committee that will work out the differences.  

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

4/28/2011 9:30am

Advocacy needed today!

Our advocacy is having an impact. Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee voted to restore almost $8 million in cuts to senior meals, community services and volunteer programs in the OSA budget.  Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) recruited three other GOP colleagues to muster enough winning votes to pass an amendment introduced by Rep. Joan Bauer (D-Lansing).

The full House is taking up the Community Health budget bill today.  Amendments can be introduced at this point as well and we need to make sure that the cuts are not put back in!

Please send short emails right away to the key legislators below and urge them to maintain funding for OSA/aging services in the Community Health budget bill.  

 

Here are a few more talking points you could add to your message:

  • OSA services prevent seniors from going on Medicaid. 
  • OSA services are extremely cost-effective.  The average annual cost of OSA services (meals-on-wheels and home care) was $1,000 in FY 2010.  In contrast, a nursing home cost an average of $68,000.
  • There are over 6,000 seniors on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.

Send messages now!

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

4/19/2011 3:15pm

More cuts proposed for state funded senior services!  We need your help to prevent reductions in meals, community services and volunteer programs.

The Governor is recommending another $2.2 million in state cuts, coming from meals ($800,000), community services ($1 million) and volunteer programs ($400,000).     

Last week, a Senate Subcommittee issued its recommendations, and it agreed with the $1 million cut to community services, increased the cuts to volunteer programs to $700,000, but restored the $800,000 cut in senior meals.  A House Subcommittee also issued its recommendations, and it significantly increased the OSA cuts to $8 million.  The House would cut nutrition by $1.6 million, community services by $1.8 million, and would totally eliminate all state funding for senior volunteer programs - $4.5 million. 

The Subcommittees are just the beginning – the next step takes place in the full Appropriations Committees in the House and Senate.  Legislators need to hear loud and strong from seniors, caregivers, providers and other advocates how these cuts will hurt frail older Michiganians, and will increase the use of costly nursing homes. 

 

What You Can Do:

Contact the Chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees (listed below) and express your concern about the devastating cuts to the Office of Services to the Aging in the Department of Community Health budget bills.  Also contact Governor Rick Snyder to express your opposition to the OSA cuts.

 

Talking points:

  • OSA services prevent seniors from going on Medicaid.
  • OSA services are extremely cost-effective. 
  • The average annual cost of OSA services (meals-on-wheels and home care) was $1,000 in FY 2010.  In contrast, a nursing home cost an average of $68,000.
  • There are over 6,000 seniors on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.

 

BACKGROUND:

From 2009 – 2011, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) were cut by $10 million (28%), and even more cuts are proposed for next year!

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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

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