How many people do you know that are struggling to stay in their own homes because they need some help with things like preparing meals, getting bathed and dressed, keeping the house clean, or managing medications? There are two programs, one called the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver and the other called Office of Services to the Aging, that are funded by the state of Michigan and provide assistance with these and other activities.
These programs are scheduled to receive the same amount of money this year as they did last year, which means they will only be able to help the same number of people. We know that there are MORE people who need services like this, so we are asking the Michigan legislature to provide more money for them. If you agree that there are many seniors that don’t get any help right now but really need meals and services in their homes, please contact your state Representative and Senator and ask them to increase funding for the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver and for the Office of Services to the Aging. The more people the legislators hear from, the greater the likelihood that they will grant our request. Every phone call, letter, email, or visit from someone supporting these programs will help.
To find out who your legislators are and how to contact them, click here: who_to_contact
Celebrating 40 Years
This year we are celebrating 40 years of serving the community. Ever wonder how it all started, who we serve or want to know where we are going? Take a few minutes to watch the videos below to find out more.
How it all Started: Laying the Groundwork
Who We Serve: Joyfully Serving
Where We're Going: Enriching Communities
Area Agencies on Aging Association 27th Annual Conference
The Business of Aging - 27th Annual Conference
Area Agencies on Aging Association
May 15 & 16, 2014
Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
MSU, East Lansing
Featuring: Community Health Director Jim Haveman, OSA Director Kari Sederburg, Senator Jason Allen, Integrated Care Organizations, Difficult Conversations, and more...
Click here for the complete program, online registration, sponsor opportunities, and continuing ed credits.
Looking for Organizations and Volunteers!
Are you a good communicator? Do you have a passion for older adults? The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan needs you! Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is looking for volunteer leaders for two healthy aging programs throughout West Michigan. Each program is designed specifically for older adults and is fun and engaging with proven results. A Matter of Balance focuses on fall prevention while Healthy Eating targets nutrition, physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes.
Trainings are complimentary and will be held in July and August. There are still spaces available, but they are filling up fast. If you have a passion for older adults, read more to find out if this is the right volunteer opportunity for you! If you represent a community-based group that works with older adults, read more to find out how you can offer these classes to the seniors you serve!
A Matter of Balance:
A Matter of Balance is designed to reduce a fear of falling and increase physical activity levels. Often when individuals are afraid that they will fall, they stop being active which actually puts them at a greater risk for falls because their muscles and joints are stiff and have become weak. Each Matter of Balance sessions includes eight classes. The two hour interactive class includes group discussion, problem solving, videos and gentle physical exercise.
Who Would Make a Good A Matter of Balance Coach?
A great A Matter of Balance coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. They also need to be able to lead low to moderate exercise (the exercises used are taught to coaches during training). Volunteers do not need to be healthcare professionals; in fact lay leaders are preferred for this program.
Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults (Healthy Eating) is a program for older adults who want to learn more about how nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle changes can lead to better health. Healthy Eating sessions include six classes. The classes last two and a half hours and are very hands-on. Seniors learn to improve or maintain their wellness, with focus on the USDA MyPlate food guide. Also included is how to read labels, grocery shop and cook together to prepare nutritious meals that focus on heart and bone health.
Who Would Make a Good Healthy Eating Coach?
A great Healthy Eating coach must have good communication and interpersonal skills, enthusiasm, dependability and a willingness to lead a small group of older adults. A Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist is utilized as a resource to answer specific questions (as needed) so volunteers do not need to hold those credentials themselves.
Think this is the right volunteer opportunity for you? All interested individuals (and organizations) must register for participation in the complimentary trainings. The Matter of Balance training will take place July 29-30 and the Healthy Eating training will be August 13-14. Both will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525)
How to Register:
If you think you, or your organization, would be a good fit for A Matter of Balance or Healthy Eating, contact Barbara Nelson-Jandernoa at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 222-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Area Agencies on Aging Conference
The Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan is hosting its 26th annual conference Embracing Innovation on May 9-May 10 at the Kellog Center in East Lansing. Click here for more information.
Healthy Aging Video Now Available
Healthy Aging classes are a fun way to get fit and meet new friends. Designed specifically for older adults, classes are available throughout West Michigan. Watch the video below to see classes in action, and then find a class in your area!
Harold Mast Appointed by Governor to Chair Commission
Harold Mast, Kentwood resident and current Kent County Commissioner, was recently appointed by Governor Snyder as Chair of the Commission on Services to the Aging.
“Harold Mast is an outstanding choice to serve as chair of the commission,” said Kari Sederburg, director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging. “We are thankful for his willingness to serve and look forward to working closely with him to provide resources and support to older adults throughout Michigan.”
Mast will lead the 15-member board as they advise the governor and legislature on the coordination and administration of the state’s older adult programs as well as changes to federal and state programs related to aging.
Commission members are appointed by the Governor and serve three year terms (that will expire in 2015). Governor Snyder recently appointed four members and re-appointed a fifth member. All selections are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.
Mast has experience working with older adults in West Michigan. He was a member of the Board of Directors at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan for over ten years where he served as treasurer. He is also a Board Member of the Alliance for Health of West Michigan. He currently is owner and president of Harold Mast Consulting LLC where he works with the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority on affordable housing projects. Previously, he served as the executive director for Genesis Non-profit Housing Corp. and held various leadership potions at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.
Other appointees include Michael Bartus (Bloomfield Hills), Donna Murray-Brown (Detroit), Renee Parnell (Niles), Patricia Rencher (Detroit) and Donald Newport (Greenbush).
Resolve to a Healthy New You!
January is often a time to jumpstart fitness goals or make resolutions for a healthy new you and while nutrition is a key component in building a healthier lifestyle, it’s often neglected or overlooked. Yet, proper nutrition can be critical in preventing the development and progression of life-long diseases such as diabetes. Coupled with exercise, healthy eating habits can also reduce the occurrence of heart disease and osteoporosis.
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) wants to help older adults reach their healthy lifestyle goals through a new program called Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults (Healthy Eating).
If you want to learn about healthy lifestyle choices using a hands-on approach, then this is the class for you! Sessions include cooking demonstrations, group outings to a grocery store and restaurant, and a group physical activity segment. The group outings help participants learn how to incorporate the healthy choices into everyday life activities. “The class is fun and interactive and not the typical classroom setting. Participants have the support and encouragement of each other,“ said Barbara Nelson-Jandernoa, Contract Coordinator at AAAWM.
Registered Dietitian Staci Shell says older adults may not understand how their nutrition needs change as they have aged or possibly developed chronic conditions. “The goal is to teach people how to fit healthy eating into their lifestyle and how to make those healthy food choices in the grocery store, out to eat or wherever you are. It’s not following the latest diet, but learning how to incorporate smart nutrition choices into everyday life.”
The program, provided in partnership with Spectrum Health Healthier Communities, can accommodate up to twelve adults age 60 and over. The first session will be held Wednesday from March 7 through April 11 from 1:00 until 3:30 at Spectrum Health Healthier Communities (665 Seward, Grand Rapids, MI 49504). Instruction will take place in a classroom, kitchen, grocery store and restaurant.
Healthy Eating sessions are held weekly for six weeks. The March class will be taught by Nelson-Jandernoa and Shell. A session is also planned for Ionia County in the spring and AAAWM hopes to expand the program throughout West Michigan in 2012.
Healthy Eating is a National Council on Aging model program. It was developed in Massachusetts with funding from the John A. Hartford Foundation in 2005. Upon completion of the program, 80% of participants changed their diet or behavior to make healthier food choices or include physical activity in their daily routine.
Healthy Eating is one of seven healthy aging programs offered throughout West Michigan by the AAAWM. Other classes address fall prevention, physical activity, chronic conditions and arthritis. For more information on healthy aging programs or other resources for seniors, visit www.aaawm.org/healthy_aging
To sign up for the class, call 616.267.2626 or toll free at 877.495.2626, option 4.
A Matter of Balance Coach Training
A Free Matter of Balance Coach Training will take place on April 18 and 19th from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan 1279 Cedar NE, Grand Rapids, MI
Area Agency on Agency is offering this free training for providers who may want to offer this program to their older adults.
Each provider should have two coaches trained, as sessions are taught in pairs. We will also need a commitment from your agency to hold two trainings within a 12 month period of time.
For more information, view "A Matter of Balance Coach Training April 2011" file to the left.
If you are interested in attending the free training or would like more information, please contact Barbara Nelson at 616.222.7011 or email Barb@aaawm.org by March 31, 2011. The training is limited to 16 participants, so you may want to register early.