Senior Issues and Advocacy

How to Advocate

Advocates for Senior Issues encourages advocacy supporting the needs of older adults, specifically those in Western Michigan.

  • Advocacy includes contact with local, state and federal legislators and officials by letter, phone, fax, e-mail and face-to-face. Advocacy efforts may also include attending hearings and giving testimony.
  • Senior advocacy is non-partisan.

Advocates for Senior Issues is supported by the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan.  The Federal Older Americans Act requires Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) to undertake advocacy efforts on behalf of elders.

  • AAAs advocate for new programs for the elderly, more funds for existing programs, public policies that benefit the elderly, and assist older adults in advocating for themselves

Senior Issues

Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition

Advocates for Senior Issues’ former Elder Abuse strategy group contributed to the formation of the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition.

The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition is a large group of agencies representing non-profit, profit, and government organizations.  They are dedicated to the elimination of elder abuse in Kent County, Michigan and surrounding areas. The Coalition’s mission is, “Working together to identify, advocate, educate, and seek justice for vulnerable adult abuse in Kent County”.  They are comprised of individuals from the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, state and local law enforcement, Kent County Probate Court, Adult Protective Services, local ombudsman from Adult Well-Being Services, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Kent County Health Department, Life EMS, local hospitals, local financial institutions, elder law attorneys, Advocates for Senior Issues, Senior Neighbors, and the YWCA.

The Coalition meets monthly to discuss current elder and vulnerable adult abuse cases in Kent County.  They also provide seminars and trainings on elder abuse and financial exploitation.  To learn more about scheduling a presentation please contact

Resources For Hospital Observation

Impatient Vs. Observation: Understanding Medicare Rules for Hospitalization

Self Help Packet for Medicare "Observation Status" - Center for Medicare Advocacy

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