Over $12 Million in Funding Set to Positively Impact Older Adults through the 2021 Kent County Senior Millage
The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is pleased to announce the Kent County Senior Millage (KCSM) partners for 2021 with funded services amounting to $12,181,407. The KCSM has helped fund vital services for older adults in Kent County since 1999 with the goal of enabling them to stay in their homes and communities as they age.
The 2021 funding will support a variety of services throughout Kent County with special attention to priority services; which includes meal delivery, transportation, in-home services, adult day, and outreach and assistance. For 2021 there are 34 agency partnerships and 56 unique services funded with an additional 26 purchase of service agreements in place, all coming together to provide resources for older adults in need. Services such as these, and the variety of others in place for 2021, not only give older adults the ability to remain independent, but they also come alongside to support the care that families and friends are providing to their loved ones during this crisis and beyond.
The KCSM Review Committee, comprised of community members and County Commissioners, came together in early October to review proposals and hear presentations from the agencies that requested funding. Recommendations for the KCSM were made and they were then approved by the Kent County Board of Commissioners on November 19, 2020. Of the process, Director of Contract Services, Anne Ellermets, remarked, “When determining funding each year, we want to make sure, first and foremost, that older adults have the resources to age with dignity and independence in their own homes. This means supporting services that come together in an effective way and eliminating gaps in care. We also strive to ensure millage services come alongside the older adult’s caregiver as these supports provide much-needed relief. Finally, we look to include services that allow older adults to stay engaged in their communities as they age. This three-fold approach provides a comprehensive support system for Kent County seniors.”
To be eligible to participate in a KCSM funded program, individuals must be a Kent County resident and 60 years of age or older. Donations are accepted and, in some cases, depending on income requirements, co-payments may be required.
Kent County residents approved a renewal and increase to the millage in August 2014 and it is currently an 8-year millage cycle. The Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan is contracted through Kent County to administer the millage, ensuring that it directly supports services that help older adults remain independent.