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Home About Us News Latest News Tagged with: Men

Latest News

CARF Accreditation: Case Management

7/31/2018 11:30am

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan has been awarded a three-year accreditation from CARF International for Case Management. CARF International is a nonprofit accreditor of health and human services. Its goal is to ensure that persons served remain at the center of the service delivery process. This accreditation is official recognition that our organization is guided by internationally recognized service standards and best practices and reflects our organization's commitment to reducing risk, addressing health and safety concerns, respecting cultural and individual preferences, and providing the best possible quality of care to the people we serve. 

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Announcement: Public Hearing

5/8/2018 7:00pm

PUBLIC HEARING ANNOUNCEMENT

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is seeking comment on its Draft Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) for fiscal year 2019.

“The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan values the feedback of those who reside in our nine county service region. We encourage the public to attend this hearing and share ideas, comments and ask questions,” says Lacey Charboneau, AAAWM Advocacy Coordinator and Planner.

Interested parties are invited to review and comment on the proposed plan at a public hearing, which will be conducted at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s office on:

Monday, June 4, 2018 1:00 pm

AAAWM Office 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525-7005 AAAWM

Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664

As part of AAAWM’s Draft Annual Implementation Plan for fiscal year 2019, the agency will address healthy aging, access to dental care, person-centered planning, elder abuse prevention, creating innovative programs to reach older adults at all stages of aging, support for those caring for seniors, access to services for LGBT elders, and making our communities dementia friendly.

The Draft AIP will be available for review and/or download on the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan website (www.aaawm.org) on May 18, 2018. Written comments will be accepted through June 13, 2018 by 5:00 pm. Individuals can submit comments online at www.aaawm.org, through the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAging) by email (laceyc@aaawm.org) or by mailing their comments to 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan serves older adults, individuals with disabilities and caregivers in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Osceola counties. For more information on the plan, or other services to older adults, please contact the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 456-5664, visit www.aaawm.org, or find us on Facebook!

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LGBT and Aging Initiative Update

2/9/2018 2:00pm

Read the latest about the LGBT and Aging Initiative This initiative is funded by a two-year grant through the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. The objective of the grant is to improve care for LGBT older adults and to help reduce social isolation.To help achieve this, AAAWM is working to create a resource guide which includes organizations who have policies or written statements stating that they will not discriminate against LGBT older adults that they work with. Click here for more information. 

LGBT and Aging Inititiative Update

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FY 2018 Draft Plan Now Available

5/31/2017 11:16am

The FY 2018 Draft Plan is now available. Comments are welcome and will be accepted through June 13, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. through multiple channels (listed below).

The plan (click here to download the plan) includes goals and objectives defining how federal Older Americans Act and state Older Michiganian Act funds will be spent to support home and community-based services for older adults in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Montcalm, Mecosta, Newaygo and Osceola counties.

Seniors, family members caring for an older loved one, elected officials, advocates and other interested parties are invited to review and comment on the proposed plan by June 13, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Individuals may participate by:

  • Commenting on the website (www.aaawm.org)
  • Responding on AAAWM’s Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAging)
  • Sending a letter 3215 Eaglecrest Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

The Area Plan will be considered by the AAAWM Advisory Council at their meeting on June 5, 2017.  The AAAWM Executive Board will consider the recommendation(s) of the Advisory Council at their meeting on June 26, 2017, at which time they will make a recommendation regarding the Area Plan to the AAAWM Board of Directors.  The AAAWM Board will consider the recommendations of both bodies and any public comments on the Area Plan at their meeting on June 26, 2017. 

For additional information about the Plan, contact Lacey Charboneau at laceyc@aaawm.org or 616.222.7015.

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Johnson Center for Philanthropy Final Report

5/9/2017 1:43pm

The Older Americans Act requires every Agency on Aging to conduct a needs assessment every three years to ensure the provision of funding and services are meeting the needs of the target population. 

In the spring of 2016, the Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s Community Research Institute (CRI) at Grand Valley State University conducted a community needs assessment on behalf of AAAWM. The purpose of this assessment is to help the agency better plan and align program and services to alleviate poverty, promote well-being, and enhance self-sufficiency for older adults within their service areas. The results of the needs assessment are available to view in the final report. 

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Conquering the Kitchen Returns - Cooking Course for Male Caregivers

4/25/2017 3:48pm

Our cooking course for Male Caregivers "Conquering the Kitchen" returns with a 4-session course. May 1, 8, 15 & 22 from 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Meal time can be very stressful for family caregivers. Conquering the Kitchen 
can reduce that stress and help male caregivers become more comfortable in the kitchen, no matter their cooking skills. Classes are small to allow for interaction with the instructor and other classmates. 

You'll learn:

•    New cooking skills or brush up on old ones
•    How to plan a menu
•    Ways to make meal time less stressful
•    How to follow a recipe
•    Locate community resources

To register call (616) 222-7007 or email staci@aaawm.org. $10 is the suggested donation and complimentary respite services can be arranged at the time of registration.  

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Tips for Holiday Gatherings with Family Members with Dementia

11/29/2016 9:15am

For family members caring for someone with Dementia, the holidays can become an incredibly stressful time. Often caregivers feel pulled in many different directions and also have the difficult task of identifying what their loved one can and can’t handle during the busy holiday season.

“Many family caregivers have confided in me that the holidays can become stressful as many relatives may be in town or available to come see the person with dementia and don’t understand the added strain this puts on both the caregiver and the person with dementia,” says Julie Alicki, LMSW, Certified Advanced Dementia Practitioner and Alzheimer’s Support Group Leader at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. “For people with dementia, gatherings with a large crowd may be too overwhelming and changes in their daily routines may cause additional confusion and frustration. Often out-of-town family does not understand these realities as they may not be aware of the cognitive changes that have taken place since they last saw their family member.”

Alicki recommends that family members of those with dementia follow the six tips below to help make the holidays more enjoyable for both the person with dementia and their caregiver.

  1. Practice Patience and Understanding: Those providing care to someone with dementia often are very aware of what may agitate that person or trigger a negative response. Out of town family and friends who do not have the same interaction may not understand why an invitation to attend a gathering is turned down or why their family member with dementia doesn’t recognize them. Practicing patience and understanding with both the caregiver and the person with dementia can make a huge difference. “I tell people to trust that the family caregiver knows what the person with dementia can and can’t handle and don’t try to add guilt about not participating in an event or gathering,” says Alicki. “Also understand that when it comes to dementia a person can have moments of clarity mixed with moments of confusion and it may be frustrating to them as well.”
  2. Provide Alternatives: The activity or gathering you have planned may be too challenging for someone with dementia. If an invitation is turned down try providing alternatives. Some people with dementia may get agitated in large groups, so offer to meet with that person one-on-one or in a smaller setting. For some, a restaurant may involve too many distractions; perhaps a quieter environment would be best. Talk with the family caregiver to find out what would work for them and be flexible.
  3. Offer Respite: Caring for a loved one can be extremely rewarding and often overwhelming. Ask the family caregiver if you can provide them with a break while spending time with the person with dementia. For some caregivers this is the greatest gift you could give them for the holidays- some time off! If you are unable to provide them with a break, ask what they do need. Caregivers might be hesitant to ask for help, but may be able to identify an area where they could use help (i.e. doing laundry, cleaning the home or preparing a meal).
  4. Create Nametags: You may think this sounds silly as everyone in your family knows who people are, but for someone with dementia remembering names can be difficult and may make them anxious or frustrated when they realize they are unable to recall a name. Providing nametags is a simple way to help them feel a part of the festivities and remove that obstacle.
  5. Designate a Quiet Place: For many individuals with dementia, a loud gathering can be overwhelming and may cause agitation. If possible, provide a quiet room so they can take a break if they need some space away from all the commotion. Or, consider having them in the quiet room and have family members come in one at a time or in small groups to visit. Again, talk to the caregiver to see if this would be a beneficial alternative.
  6. Be Prepared for an Early Departure: If the person with dementia is having a difficult time at the gathering the caregiver may have to take him/her home earlier than expected. If gift giving is involved in your celebration you may want to do this earlier in the evening in the event that an early departure is necessary.

By making the changes above to your holiday plans you may be able to provide some relief and more enjoyment to your family member or friend with dementia and their caregiver.

For more information on caregiving, support groups, in-home care, and other senior related services, visit www.aaawm.org or call the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 456-5664.

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Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids Host Pep Rally to Raise Awareness and Funds

10/26/2016 4:30pm

Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids, a program of the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, hosted a pep rally on October 26th to educate attendees and raise funds for future efforts.

The Pep Rally was held at The Dominican Center at Marywood (2015 Fulton St. East, Grand Rapids, MI 49503).

Click here to donate to Dementia Friendly Grand Rapids, or visit the website at www.dementiafriendlygr.com.

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Public Comment Needed!

6/1/2016 12:30pm

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is seeking public comment on eight key areas that the agency will focus on over the next three years. As part of AAAWM’s Draft Multi-Year Implementation Plan for fiscal year 2017-2019, the agency will address healthy aging, access to dental care, person-centered planning, elder abuse prevention, creating innovative programs to reach older adults at all stages of aging, support  for those caring for seniors, access to services for LGBT elders, and making our communities dementia friendly.

These are big goals and AAAWM has outlined ways to meet these goals in the full plan (available here).For example, when it comes to elder abuse prevention, AAAWM will continue to work with the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition to provide education and trainings on elder abuse as well as provide input on current elder abuse cases. When it comes to addressing access to services for LGBT elders, AAAWM will continue to meet with agencies that serve LGBT seniors to inform them of available services, educate current providers about any specific needs that may relate to this community, and work to ensure all service partners are welcoming to all potential clients regardless of sexual orientation.

“We are asking the public for their comments and questions as they relate to these eight key areas identified as AAAWM’s goals for the next three years,” says Sandra Ghoston -Jones, AAAWM Contract Coordinator and Planner. “We value the feedback of those who live in our nine county region, and hope that people will send in their comments and questions on any of the topics identified in which  they have an interest.”

Written comments will be accepted through June 13, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. Individuals can submit comments below, through the agency’s Facebook page, by email (aiplan@aaawm.org) or by mailing their comment to 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

A public hearing will be also held on June 6, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the AAAWM office (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546). The hearing will include a brief overview and highlights from the Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYP) with the majority of time allotted for public comment.

To view a copy of the MYP, please click here.

Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan serves older adults, individuals with disabilities and caregivers in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Osceola counties.  For more information on the plan, or other services to older adult, please contact Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 456-5664.

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Annual Plan Available- Public Comment Wanted

5/5/2016 4:00pm

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) is seeking public comment on eight key areas that the agency will focus on over the next three years. As part of AAAWM’s Draft Multi-Year Implementation Plan for fiscal year 2017-2019, the agency will address healthy aging, access to dental care, person-centered planning, elder abuse prevention, creating innovative programs to reach older adults at all stages of aging, support  for those caring for seniors, access to services for LGBT elders, and making our communities dementia friendly.

These are big goals and AAAWM has outlined ways to meet these goals in the full plan (available here).For example, when it comes to elder abuse prevention, AAAWM will continue to work with the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition to provide education and trainings on elder abuse as well as provide input on current elder abuse cases. When it comes to addressing access to services for LGBT elders, AAAWM will continue to meet with agencies that serve LGBT seniors to inform them of available services, educate current providers about any specific needs that may relate to this community, and work to ensure all service partners are welcoming to all potential clients regardless of sexual orientation.

“We are asking the public for their comments and questions as they relate to these eight key areas identified as AAAWM’s goals for the next three years,” says Sandra Ghoston -Jones, AAAWM Contract Coordinator and Planner. “We value the feedback of those who live in our nine county region, and hope that people will send in their comments and questions on any of the topics identified in which  they have an interest.”

Written comments will be accepted through June 13, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. Individuals can submit comments below in the comments section, through the agency’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyOnAging) by email (aiplan@aaawm.org) or by mailing their comment to 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.

A public hearing will be also held on June 6, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. at the AAAWM office (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546). The hearing will include a brief overview and highlights from the Multi-Year Implementation Plan (MYP) with the majority of time allotted for public comment.

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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

aaainfo@aaawm.org

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