Take Part in Senior Action Week
It is important to recognize older adults for their contributions, but also for their powerful voices. Michigan’s older adults account for nearly one-quarter of Michigan’s population. Not only do older adults have vast knowledge and experience, but they also vote! For over 20 years, seniors have traveled to Lansing from across the state to advocate and celebrate older adults in an annual event called “Older Michiganian’s Day” (OMD). OMD is an opportunity for senior advocates and allies to share their positions with legislators and spur positive change for older adult legislation.
Historically, this rally happens in-person on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Lansing, however, of course, with safety precautions in place due to coronavirus, this event has been adapted for 2022 as Senior Action Week! In the past, over 1000 seniors would gather at the capitol, supported by Michigan Area Agencies on Aging. Taking this key advocacy push to a virtual and more localized platform will hopefully allow more people to get involved than ever before!
Rather than a dedicated day, Older Michiganian’s Day has transitioned to a week of advocacy to best inform legislators on senior issues. Older adults and their allies are invited to attend any of the virtual events throughout the week from May 9th to May 13th with a unified voice to the Michigan Legislature expressing concerns, challenges, and opportunities for older adults.
With this week-long event, older adults are the experts, embracing the growing senior population and advocating for policies and budget decisions that allow seniors to age with independence, dignity, and choice.
Save the date! A special Older Michiganian’s Day event will take place this year on Wednesday, May 11 at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan (3215 Eaglecrest Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI). Join the Area Agency on Aging for Senior Rally Day from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm to commemorate the original OMD and give our community a greater voice! Lunch will be provided as we live-stream the message from the capitol. There will also be a number of resource booths for attendees to visit on-site. We hope you join us for a unique opportunity to gather together. Further details to come, you can check www.aaawm.org soon for more event information.
This year, senior advocates will focus on a different topic each day of the week May 9th through May 13th as follows; Support and Strengthen the Direct Care Workforce (Monday), Rebalance Community-based Long-term Services and Supports (Tuesday), Expand Access to MI Choice (Wednesday), Increase Access to Home and Community-based Services (Thursday), and Bridge the Digital Divide for Older Adults (Friday).
How can you get involved? Join us in Grand Rapids for Senior Rally Day! You can also visit the state Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan website: www.4ami.org or join the Special Livestream event on Wednesday, May 11 at 11:00 am. We would appreciate your support and your voice to encourage lawmakers to consider this year’s advocacy areas.
If you’d like to learn more about Senior Advocacy efforts in your region you can contact Sheri Harris, Advocacy Coordinator at SheriH@aawm.org or call (616) 222-7015.