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Home About Us News Latest News Tagged with: Funding

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Public Invited to Share the Love for Seniors

12/21/2010 2:45am

Subaru Donations Include Facebook Campaign Tied to More Funding

Three rural Meals on Wheels programs supported by Grand Rapids-based Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan have been awarded money from the Meals on Wheels Association of America and Subaru through their ‘Share the Love’ campaign.

St. Ann’s Lake County Senior Services, Ionia County Commission on Aging and Montcalm County Commission on Aging were all awarded grants under the Subaru essay contest. The second round includes getting the most “likes” through Facebook. The essays are posted at http://mowaablog.org. The top organization will win an additional $500 and those placing 2nd through 10th will receive an additional $250.   

“The funding from the Subaru, ‘Share the Love’ campaign will help serve seniors in rural counties who may not be able to provide meals for themselves,” says Staci Shell, Nutrition Program Coordinator at Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. “We are encouraging Facebook users to read the essays and ‘like’ the agencies so we can secure additional funding for seniors throughout West Michigan.”

Each agency plans to provide different meal related services with the funding they received from the Subaru ‘Share the Love’ contest. St. Ann’s Lake County Senior Services plans to provide a hot meal on Christmas Eve. Ionia County Commission on Aging will provide meals to seniors in the greatest need. Montcalm County Commission on Aging plans to purchase a GPS to help drivers locate home delivered meal clients easier in rural areas.

The “Share the Love” grant is tied to Subaru’s Share the Love Event.  The Share the Love Event will run from November 20, 2010 – January 3, 2011.  Subaru will donate $250 to the customer's choice of one of five charities for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased.

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, based in Grand Rapids, serves a nine county region and provides funding to various organizations to provide services, like in-home care, meals and home making services to help seniors stay in their own homes while they age.

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

8/18/2010 3:20pm

Funding for two critical senior programs is being deliberated right now in a joint House-Senate Conference Committee. The Legislature is expected to finish work on the 2011 budget this month, and we are asking everyone to make a last push to inform legislators how crucial this funding is.

 

What you can do:

Contact these members of the Conference Committee and thank them for their past support. Ask them to approve $196 million for MI Choice in 2011, and to STOP any further cuts to the Office of Services to the Aging. 

 

Background:

  • MI Choice Waiver is a Medicaid program that provides a variety of services in a person’s home that are similar to those provided in a nursing home, at a fraction of the cost. MI Choice is for the most financially needy clients.  The program has been proven to save the state millions of dollars annually, and keeps seniors where they want to be – at home. Unfortunately, any program not mandated, like MI Choice, is in jeopardy.
  • Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) funding also provides programs to help keep seniors living independently. The programs are very similar to MI Choice, but serve seniors who are not quite at poverty level. OSA funding has already been cut by $7 million this year – an 18% loss in one year.  The Governor’s budget recommendations for FY 2011 include more cuts in OSA services, totaling 26%.  The cuts would reduce in-home services, home-delivered meals, care management, volunteer programs, caregiver supports and others. Without these services and the ability to stay in their own homes, seniors spend down their assets and go on Medicaid to pay for a nursing home bed at a huge increase in cost to the state.
 

Committee Members:

Please call or email these conference committee members as soon as possible!

 

Talking points:

MI Choice:
  • MI Choice is cost-effective, costing $39/day compared with $160/day for nursing home care.
  • There are 7,000 people on the MI Choice waiting list statewide.  These individuals are in serious jeopardy for institutionalization, at a much greater cost to the state.
  • Thanks to MI Choice and other home care programs, nursing home expenditures dropped in Michigan for the first time in history from 2007-2009.
 
Office of Services to the Aging:
  • OSA services prevent seniors from going into nursing homes, spending down their assets, and then going on Medicaid.
  • Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million
  • There are 4,400 on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.

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Kent County Senior Millage Letter of Intent for Funding

7/1/2010 10:00am

The 2015 Kent County Senior Millage Letter of Intent will be available on July 1, 2014.  This form must be completed if an agency wants to apply for funding to provide services to older adults in Kent County. It is due to the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM) by 12:00 noon on Monday, July 28, 2014.

Once the Letters of Intent are submitted, the Kent County Millage Review Committee (KCMRC) will determine which agencies and services will continue to the next step in the funding process.

The Letter of Intent will be posted in the right column under "attached files.

A meeting to discuss the Letter of Intent will be on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. in the AAAWM conference rooms A&B . AAAWM is located at 3215 EagleCarest Drive NE, Grand Rapids 49525.

Questions can be submitted prior to the meeting to proposal@aaawm.org. 

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

6/16/2010 3:45pm

Ask legislators to fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010 and to support the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011.

We need your help! The Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152) has begun deliberations. The Committee members will decide on funding for two critical areas for seniors – MI Choice and Office of Services to the Aging. Please contact them to preserve funding for senior services.

 

Background: 

Support for the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011: The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program provides home care services to people in lieu of nursing home placement at less than a third of the cost. As a result of MI Choice and other home care programs such as those provided through the Office of Services to the Aging, nursing home expenditures declined last year for the second year in a row. Savings to the state in 2009 are estimated at $30-$40 million, and because of this proven savings, the Senate has recommended increasing the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver budget to $196 million for the 2011 budget year.

Fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010:  Within the past year, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) have been cut by $7 million – an 18% loss. The Senate is considering another cut of 8% for 2011, an aggregate cut of 26%. Totaling $2.3 million, the cuts would reduce in-home services, home-delivered meals, care management, volunteer programs, caregiver supports and other programs that help keep seniors living independently.  Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million! We are not asking for an increase, just no further cuts.

 

Following are the legislators on the Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152), including OSA and MI Choice.

Chair:  Senator Roger Kahn  

senrkahn@senate.michigan.gov  517-  373-1760

Sen John Pappageorge 

senjpappageorge@sentate.michigan.gov 517-373-7350

Sen Deb Cherry 

sendcherry@senate.mi.gov  517-373-1637

Rep Gary McDowell  

garymcdowell@house.mi.gov 517-373-2629

Rep George Cushingberry

georgecushingberry@house.mi.gov  517-373-2276

Rep Kevin Green

kevingreen@house.mi.gov 517-373-2277

It is always helpful to also contact your own legislators, as well as the Senate and House leadership:

Sen Mike Bishop, Majority Leader, senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-2417

Sen Mike Prusi, Minority Leader, senmprusi@senate.michigan.gov 517-373-7840

Rep Andy Dillon, Speaker of the House, andydillon@house.mi.gov 517-373-0857

Rep Kevin Elsenheimer, Minority Leader, kevinelsenheimer@house.mi.gov 517-373-0829

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

4/5/2010 11:00am

Vulnerable seniors have been victims of the state’s budget crisis.  Within the past year, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) have been cut by $7 million – an 18% loss. The Senate has approved its version of the budget and included the $2.3 million in OSA cuts.  Now the OSA budget is in the House of Representatives. Your advocacy is needed to convince Representatives that more OSA cuts are ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’

 

What You Can Do:

Contact the members of the House Subcommittee (below) that will make a recommendation to the full House about funding for the OSA budget. 

  • Gary McDowell, Chairman  (866) 737-4279 

          garymcdowell@house.mi.gov

  • Shanelle Jackson   (877) 474-2635 

          shanellejackson@house.mi.gov

  • Alma Wheeler Smith  (517) 373-1771 

         almasmith@house.mi.gov

  • John Espinoza   (888) 830-0835 

          johnespinoza@house.mi.gov

  • Vincent Gregory   (517) 373-1788 

          vincentgregory@house.mi.gov

  • Fred Miller    (877) 347-8031 

          fredmiller@house.mi.gov

  • Kevin Green    (866) 538-4677 

          kevingreen@house.mi.gov

  • Matt Lori    (877) 262-5959 

          mattlori@house.mi.gov

  • Hugh Crawford   (517) 373-0827

          hughcrawford@house.mi.gov

 

Additional Talking Points:

  • OSA services help vulnerable seniors stay in their own homes.  They prevent seniors from going into nursing homes, spending down their assets, and then going on Medicaid.
  • OSA services help seniors who are needy, some of whom are on waiting lists for the MI Choice waiver.
  • Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million
  • There are 4,400 on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.

 

Background:

The Governor’s budget recommendations for FY 2011 include more cuts in OSA services.  Totaling $2.3 million, the cuts would reduce in-home services, home-delivered meals, care management, volunteer programs, caregiver supports and other programs that help keep seniors living independently.  Without these services, caregivers get burned out and nursing home placement is frequently the result, with seniors spending down their assets and going on Medicaid to pay the $68,000 annual bill.   If these cuts go into effect, more than 2,000 older adults would be affected.

Home and community-based care has proven cost-effective and can save Medicaid money by preventing unnecessary nursing home placement.  Last year, $4 million in OSA services for the most at-risk clients saved Medicaid $140 million.

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

2/25/2010 9:53am

Programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA), including meals, home care, caregiver services and volunteer programs, funded at $40 million one year ago, have been slashed by $7 million (18%) within the last year.  Governor Granholm recently announced her recommendation of an  8% cut for next year. Your advocacy is needed to convince Legislators that more OSA cuts are ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’ 

What You Can Do:

Contact the members of the Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee, which makes recommendations to the full Senate about funding for the OSA budget.  

Members of the Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee:

Talking points:

  • OSA services help vulnerable seniors stay in their own homes.  They prevent seniors from going into nursing homes, spending down their assets, and then going on Medicaid.
  • OSA services help seniors who are needy, some of whom are on waiting lists for the MI Choice waiver.
  • Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million

Background:

Within the past year, OSA programs have been reduced by $7 million (an 18% loss).  The Governor’s FY 2011 budget includes cuts totaling $2.3 million. Without these services, caregivers get burned out and nursing home placement is frequently the result, with seniors spending down their assets and going on Medicaid to pay the $68,000 annual bill. If these are passed more than 2,000 older adults would be affected.

While the Governor makes a recommendation, the Legislature makes budget decisions. Home and community-based care has proven cost-effective and can save Medicaid money by preventing unnecessary nursing home placement.  Last year, $4 million in OSA services for the most at-risk clients saved Medicaid $140 million.

Email  Advocacy@aaawm.org  if you want to be added to the list to receive Senior Advocacy in Action Alerts via email.

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Snowbirds and the US Census

1/20/2010 3:00pm

Older adults who travel south for the winter months can fill out census forms when they return to Michigan. Submitting the document with a southern address could cost their home state millions in federal dollars.

“We are encouraging older adults to fill out their forms at home in Michigan,” says Tom Czerwinski, Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. “It is a situation that could be very costly for Michigan’s senior services; potentially reducing funding at a time when state dollars are decreasing and the older adult population is increasing.”

The census information is set to be distributed in February and March, when many snowbirds are already at their southern addresses. The form asks individuals to identify who is living at their address on April 1, 2010. Simply write “usual residence elsewhere” on the document and return it without completing the information. 

Those who live in Michigan for six months or more will have a form mailed to their Michigan address.  They can fill out that form when they return to their northern home.

Upcoming federal funding to state and local entities will be based on the 2010 census. If snowbirds are not counted it would costs the state millions in federal funding for senior services.

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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

11/18/2009 2:09pm

Programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA), including meals, home care, caregiver services and volunteer programs, funded at $40 million one year ago, have been slashed by $7 million (18%) within the past four months.  Governor Granholm is directing state offices to plan for another 20% cut for next year if new no new revenues are approved by the Legislature.    

What You Can Do:

Deliver a two-part message:

  1. disappointment about cuts that will hurt frail seniors, people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups.
  2. willingness to support new taxes, closing loopholes, etc. to help the vulnerable. 

Deliver this message to your own Representative and Senator. 

    For contact information, click here

Deliver this message to the two legislative leaders who decided to balance the budget with all cuts:

    Representative  Andy Dillon

        andydillon@house.mi.gov              (888) 737-3455

    Senator Mike Bishop           

        senmbishop@senate.michigan.gov   (877) 924-7467        

Additional Talking Points:

  • OSA cuts are denying services to 8,000 frail older adults. 
  • Helping seniors with home-based services is cost-effective and saves the state from spending more money on nursing homes.

Background:

To address the problem of falling revenues, Governor Granholm recommended a package of tax increases and loophole closings to protect state programs.  But leaders of the Democratic House and Republican Senate forged an agreement to achieve a balanced budget with all cuts and no new revenues.  The House is led by Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford) and the Senate Leader is Senator Mike Bishop (R-Rochester).  Despite their leaders’ agreement, both chambers had second thoughts and did approve some new revenues – but the new revenue sources were different from each other as were plans on how to use any new revenues.

The result was a state budget with devastating cuts to state programs, including those providing a safety net to vulnerable older Michiganians.  OSA cuts are only part of the story; there are numerous other cuts in prevention, dementia, mental health, and other services.  And optional Medicaid benefits for eyeglasses, hearing aids, adult dental care, etc. were eliminated.  In the meantime, Legislators are trumpeting their success in protecting the Michigan taxpayer by balancing the budget with no new taxes.  ‘No new tax’ groups are praising Legislators for their tough decisions to cut programs and live within our means.

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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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