Johnson Center for Philanthropy Final Report
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.
Press Release: 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 2018.
“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 5, 2017 at 1pm
3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525-700
Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664
As part of AAAWM’s Draft Annual Implementation Plan for fiscal year 2018, 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 on May 19, 2017.
Written comments will be accepted through June 13, 2017 by 5:00 pm. Individuals can submit comments online, through the agency’s Facebook page by email or by mailing their comments to 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525.
AAAWM Accepting Proposals for Adult Day Services in Kent County
Starting August 1, 2016, AAAWM is accepting Proposals for Adult Day Services in Kent County for 2017-2019 Older Americans Act funds. The proposal is due to AAAWM no later than 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. Click here to access the proposal. There will be an informational meeting to answer any questions about the proposal on Friday, August 12, 2016 at 8:30 a.m. in AAAWM Conference Room C at 3215 Eaglecrest Drive 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. For more information on the proposal, click here.
Kent County Senior Millage 2016 Service List Available
The new 2016 Kent County Senior Millage services directory is now online. This year, 48 unique services will be available for Kent County residents age 60 and over. New in 2016 is the Dementia Consult program being offered by the Alzheimer's Association. Click here for more information on the Kent County Senior Millage, including the full list of services.
AAAWM Accepting Hearing Services Proposals for 2016
AAAWM is accepting Proposals for Hearing Services for 2016 Kent County Senior Millage funds. There is $85,000 that is available for Hearing Services, specifically in three service categories (Adaptive Equipment, Hearing Aid Assistance, and Specialized Hearing Services.) Proposals are required for all new agencies, as well as for current millage funded agencies who wish to add a new service. The Proposal is due to AAAWM no later than 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. Click here to access the Proposal form or click here to access general infomration about the proposal..
There will be a Proposer Workshop to answer any questions about the Proposal on Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the AAAWM conference room A at 3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI. Questions can be submitted prior to the meeting to email@example.com. 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.
The Proposals will be reviewed by the Kent County Millage Review Committee (KCMRC) and the proposing organization will be required to give a short presentation to the KCMRC on January 8, 2016. If funded, services are expected to start February 1, 2016.
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
New Millage Services for 2015
Did you know that four new programs have been added to Kent County Senior Millage services for 2015? In addition to priority services such as home delivered meals, in-home care and transportation, the Millage will now also provide housing coordination, aging in place classes, RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) and Health Net Dental services. Click here for more information on all 50 unique services, including those new for 2015.
Senior Millage Equals Independence
Response to the Governor's State of the State
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan applauds Governor Snyder for his enthusiastic support for seniors and his recommendation to dedicate additional resources for in-home services. With more than 900 people waiting for home delivered meals and 3500 waiting for in-home services, the Governor's pledge to make Michigan a "No Wait State" for these services will make a big difference in the lives of thousands of Michigan seniors.
How Adult Day Services (ADS) Can Help Someone with Dementia
A dementia diagnosis doesn’t automatically mean packing your loved one’s bags and moving them into a nursing facility. Many older adults are being cared for at home and having dementia doesn’t have to change that decision. In fact, an Adult Day Services (ADS) program can help make this a reality while benefiting both the care recipient and the family caregiver.
What are Adult Day Services (ADS)?
ADS are offered at a location that is typically open during daytime hours and provides activities for older adults and those with developmental disabilities who are unable to be left alone without some type of supervision. Programs provide a structured environment that includes activities and social interaction. Some programs have music therapy, craft projects and social groups as well as offering a noon meal and transportation. They also provide a break for the caregiver with the confidence that their loved one is in good hands.
Benefits to the Caregiver
ADS programs offer numerous benefits for both the caregiver and care recipient. Providing care for someone can be very stressful. Often a family caregiver is also working and/or raising children while caring for an older adult. An ADS program is a safe environment for the senior and it allows both the caregiver and recipient to get a break from one another. The caregiver can use this time to simply relax, run errands or do something for themselves.
Many caregivers use an Adult Day Program while they are at work. Different programs even offer bathing services and/or other personal care options, which can be a benefit to both the caregiver and the care recipient.
“We had an elderly wife who was caring for her husband. She enjoyed the respite the adult day provided, but seriously began to think about placement in a nursing home because she could not get him to take a shower,” said Kendra Schumaker, Executive Director at SarahCare Adult Day Services. “Our staff offered to shower him while he was here during the day, but his wife was reluctant, thinking that he would not be agreeable. She agreed to let us give it a try, and when she came to pick him up she had tears of joy because he was clean and they would not have to fight about it at home.”
“Part of what adult day does is let people return to their previous life roles. In other words the wife can now be the wife and not the nursemaid, caregiver, etc. They can go home, have dinner, and she can be assured that her husband is not only clean, but he did not fall in the shower at home.”
Benefits to the Care Recipient
While at an Adult Day Program, the care recipient is able to enjoy a wide variety of structured activities that they may not be able to do while at home. Participants benefit from additional socialization and often form strong relationships with other participants and staff.
“We have an amazing staff that really bonds with our seniors,” says Teresa Schlump, Director at Side by Side Adult Day Services. “This helps the older adult feel more confident because coming to the center is like spending time with friends. It also makes it easier for the caregiver because it’s an enjoyable experience for their loved one.”
Sign Me Up! What do I do?
The best way to get started is to take time to visit an ADS program. Schedule a tour and talk with the Director or other staff. Some ADS programs even allow interested families to try the service out for a day (at little or no cost) to make sure it’s a good fit.
Because each location offers different activities and services, individuals need to contact the organization directly to find out about costs and qualifications. The Kent County Senior Millage may help offset the cost for families with lower incomes. For more information, including costs and how to qualify under the Kent County Senior Millage, contact one of the Adult Day Centers listed below.
Who to Contact:
- CareTree Adult Day Services (operated by Gerontology Network) (616) 464-3665
- Side by Side Adult Day Services (operated by Hope Network) (616) 235-2910
SarahCare Adult Day Services (616) 530-6700