A Phone Call Away
It can be overwhelming to navigate the number of resources that exist for older adults and caregivers. At the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (AAAWM), we work to streamline this process and lead you through your journey. It starts with a phone call to (616) 456-5664, where our Information and Assistance team can help you learn about and understand the resources to fit your needs. We do this because there is no “one-size-fits-all” for aging, and we know that many older adults want to stay living independently for as long as possible. Additionally, caregivers could take on some of this planning, and having one single source to contact and ask questions can be helpful as well.
So, what are some common themes to the questions our Information and Assistance team receives? They tend to fall into the three groups below, but of course, that doesn’t mean that any question is too big or small for our team to help with.
Most older adults want to stay living at home and engaged in their communities. When looking for resources to support this goal, our team is able to help. AAAWM’s in-house programs vary based on need and care level. Our Care Management program is for those who want to stay living at home, but are having a little trouble managing a few things around the house on their own. Support through this program could include light housework and personal care. A step further in support is the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program. The MI Choice program is designed for those who are at a nursing home level of care but wish to continue to live at home. It provides these supports in the individual’s own home for a sustained amount of time, such as personal care, home-delivered meals, transportation, and other services. And finally, if your loved one is in a facility and wishes to return to the community, our Community Transitions Services team may be able to help with this transition, aiding in housing, acquiring the necessary equipment, furniture, and more. If you or your loved one is interested in one of these programs, the process begins with a phone call to our Information and Assistance team who can help with an assessment to determine qualifications and which of these programs would be the best fit.
Connections to Community Resources
Anyone is welcome to call in to ask questions! Whether you are an older adult looking for support to help you remain in your home, a caregiver who recognizes that your loved one could use some help, a caregiver that is nearing burnout, or a concerned neighbor, we have resources to help. A one-time question is common for our Information and Assistance team. Perhaps you are looking for food resources. Our specialists would be able to direct you to a local food pantry, congregate meal site, or home-delivered meal program in your area depending on what you are looking for. Or maybe your mom has a doctor’s appointment, but you are unable to take her, our team would be able to provide the contact information for a transportation service in the nine counties that we serve. We strive to be the source for seniors and connect individuals to a wide variety of community resources. These services are provided through our outstanding network of Older Americans Act and Kent County Senior Millage partners made up of over 60 partner agencies committed to helping older adults age in place. These partners provide supports that enable older adults to stay living at home, such as home-delivered or congregate meals, safe transportation options, in-home care, adaptive equipment, and many other region-wide services. Our I&A team would be happy to connect callers to the resources in their area that best meet their needs.
In addition to the programs and resources mentioned above, the Information and Assistance team is able to connect caregivers and older adults to educational opportunities. For example, Medicare and Medicaid are confusing to navigate, the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program has counselors who will help answer those questions. If you are a caregiver, our Family Caregiver University classes could be a good fit. Classes designed specifically for caregivers are offered monthly on a variety of topics to support the caregiver on their journey. The Dementia Friends program is designed to help you understand how to better communicate and support those with dementia. If you’re looking to stay active from home, Healthy Aging offers evidence-based classes designed for older adults to help with strength, balance, and fall prevention. The Information & Assistance team can help identify and connect you to these classes and services.
Ultimately the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is here to help and this assistance is available in many different forms throughout our nine-county region (Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Osceola). We encourage you to call (616) 456-5664 to get started.
About the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan helps older adults and individuals with disabilities remain independent and provides support and education to caregivers in Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, and Osceola counties. You can visit www.aaawm.org to learn about our programs and services and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AreaAgencyonAging