Family Caregiver Series Starts November 1
The Caregiver Resource Network's November Family Caregiver Series starts November 1st and lasts all month long. The series, consisting of 22 events, is targeted to family caregivers and includes a wide variety of topics and event types.
Some are more educational, including authors and local experts; while other events are more interactive such as family portraits or baking demonstrations. All events are complimentary and open to the public.
Event times range throughout the day with locations throughout Kent County.
For more information, including a complete list of all the events, visit www.caregiverresource.net.
The Caregiver Resource Network is a collaboration of over 100 West Michigan organizations dedicated to helping family and professional caregivers.
Tax Preparation Options for 2012
Senior Neighbors will no longer be offering assistance with taxes. However, they have compiled a list of resources older adults can contact for help with tax preparation. Senior Neighbors’ outreach workers will help seniors problem solve tax issues through appropriate referrals, like they do with many other concerns. To contact Senior Neighbors, call (616) 459-6019 or visit www.seniorneighbors.org
H&R Block is willing to go to senior housing sites and senior centers and provide tax services like Senior Neighbors has done for the past several years. They are willing to assist the seniors using the same suggested donation schedule Senior Neighbors used last year. The contact person at H&R Block is Carl Underhill. He has been volunteering with Senior Neighbors the last couple of years helping with its tax program, so he is familiar with how the program has operated. Carl can be reached at 616-669-2081 or at email@example.com
AARP will continue to operate their senior tax program at the Baxter Community Center. They have the capacity to help many seniors with their tax forms at the Baxter Center and can be reached during tax season at 616-456-8593. Phil Quist is the contact at Baxter. For more information, visit http://www.aarp.org/money/taxes/ .
The Kent County Tax Credit Coalition operates over 20 sites to assist people with tax forms. For more information, call 211 or check this link: http://www.hwmuw.org/media/KCTCC_Coupon_English_2011.pdf
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
Thank you for advocating
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.
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
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 email@example.com
Sen. John Moolenaar firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Vince Gregory email@example.com
Rep. Chuck Moss firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Matt Lori email@example.com
Rep. Rashida Tlaib firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.