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A Statement from Executive Director, Jackie O'Connor

Update March 24:

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer issued a "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. What does this mean for us here at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan?

Our commitment to supporting the older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers in our community is stronger than ever. We want to be sure that seniors and adults with disabilities are looked after and cared for during this uncertain time. Our Information and Assistance Department remains open for those seeking resources at (616) 456-5664. The Heart of West Michigan United Way's 2-1-1 hotline is another fantastic community resource. Additionally, vital services such as transportation, home-delivered meals, and in-home personal care will continue to serve those in need.

You can learn more about the critical services that are remaining open at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus

A statement from Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s Executive Director, Jackie O’Connor:

The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan’s mission of providing quality care and services for older adults remains steadfast. In light of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our utmost priority is to protect the well-being of seniors and adults with disabilities, family caregivers, volunteers, and our AAAWM staff by following the advice of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). With their recommendations in mind, we have implemented the following measures to emphasize health and safety while still providing the vital services that so many of our clients rely on.

Our office will continue to operate; however, it will be closed to the public with an emphasis on remote-work for many of our employees. Our Information and Assistance Department remains an essential senior resource for our region, therefore we will continue to take calls and provide information at (616) 456-5664. The Medicaid/Medicare Assistance Program will continue to take phone calls as well at (800) 803-7174, but in-person counseling sessions have been suspended at this time.

Like most agencies, we rely on our outstanding network of partners and Care Management team to provide the in-home services that are so important to seniors and adults with disabilities. At this time, we will be working closely with our Older Americans Act and Kent County Senior Millage network of partners to be sure that the safety and well-being is the primary focus for participants who are receiving care and community supports.

In following the current recommendations of the CDC and in an effort to exercise abundant caution the following programs have been canceled for the time being and we will reevaluate extending this closure as time goes on.

  • Healthy Aging Classes
  • Family Caregiver University
  • Alzheimer’s Support Groups

We will continue to adhere to recommendations from the CDC and MDHHS to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will provide updates on our programming and services as they arise; visit https://www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus for coronavirus resources. Furthermore, we encourage you to check in with your elderly family, friends, and neighbors during this time--we all must look out for one another and practice kindness.