The Senior Alliance's Monthly Advocacy Update
March 24, 2022
Volume 3.3
Welcome to The Senior Alliance's advocacy newsletter, COLLOQUY!
This monthly e-mail is a look at issues, legislation and policies impacting aging.
Silver Key Coalition Announces FY 23 Budget Ask
The Silver Key Coalition has announced their budget ask for fiscal year 2023, which includes investments into Aging and Community Living Services (ACLS) Bureau services that enable older adult to remain living in their own homes.

The Silver Key Coalition is advocating for $7 million in additional funding for In-Home Services and $1 million in new funding for Home Delivered Meals to be included in the ACLS budget for FY 2023 Budget.

About 7,270 Michigan seniors are on waiting lists for Michigan's ACLS funded services. Older adults on waiting lists are 5x more likely to end up in nursing homes. This additional funding will address rising demand, allow for program growth, support direct care workers, and address the rising cost of providing services.

The Silver Key Coalition's goal is to make Michigan a "no wait state" for senior in home services. The Senior Alliance is a proud member of the Silver Key Coalition and will continue to advocate for this FY 23 budget allocation.
U.S. Senate passes FY 2022 Spending Bill
Early this month, the U.S. Senate passed a $1.5 trillion spending bill that will fund federal government agencies for the remainder of FY 2022. The bill is now headed to President Biden's desk. This spending bill will end the series of continuing resolutions that had been in place since October.

The bipartisan bill includes an increase in defense and nondefense spending compared to last fiscal year. The bill includes $1 billion to fund research and treatments for diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's. Details on Older Americans Act and other older adults funding are still to come. The Senior Alliance continues to track the FY 2022 budgeting process as it reaches conclusion.
Increase in Alzheimer's Research Funding Signed Into Law
A $289 million increase for Alzheimer's and dementia research funding at the National Institutes of Health (NH) for FY 2022 was signed into law. The bill also includes $25 million to fund and implement the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer's Act. This act, directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take the steps needed to acknowledge and address Alzheimer's as a widespread public health crisis.

This increase in funding is an addition to the FY 2022 spending bill that is headed to President Biden's desk in the coming days.

This increase in research funding is a huge win for the Alzheimer's Association and others in the aging community fighting the disease. This funding will continue to drive innovation, improve care, provide treatment, and aid in prevention of Alzheimer's and dementia.
Medicare Beneficiaries Can Receive At-Home COVID-19 Tests at No Cost
Medicare and Medicare Advantage beneficiaries can get up to 8 Food and Drug Administration-authorized over-the-counter COVID-19 tests per month at no cost starting early this spring.

Many details are uncertain at the moment, such as start date, the location for receiving these tests, and whether this will be an actual Medicare benefit or it's a separate program. The cost for these tests is covered by Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Older Michigander's Day Approaches
Join the Area Agencies on Aging Association, The Senior Alliance, AAA's from around the state, and legislators in a week of advocacy on important issues that impact Michigan's older and disabled adults.

Senior Action Week will be held May 9-13, 2022 with a livestream event on Older Michigander's Day, May 11 at 11am from Lansing. More information to come.

Each day of Senior Action Week will feature an issue focus:
Monday - Support and Strengthen the Direct Care Workforce
Tuesday - Rebalance Community-Based Long-Term Services and Supports
Wednesday - Expand Access to MI Choice
Thursday - Increase Access to Home and Community-Based Services
Friday - Bridge the Digital Divide for Older Adults
"Inside The Senior Alliance" Podcast
Our new podcast series, "Inside The Senior Alliance," provides to-the-point information about our programs and services. Just search for "The Senior Alliance" to find it on Spotify, Amazon, Apple, Stitcher, Google and other podcast platforms. Most episodes are less than 15 minutes long.

Our newest episode features Kayla Jakel of the Alzheimer's Associations and Arnie Beresh, who is living with early on-set dementia.

The first episode answers the question, "What is The Senior Alliance?" Other installments provide overviews of the MI Choice Waiver program, the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), our Supports Coordination function, our Information & Assistance service, Housing Coordination, the Long Term Care Ombudsman, the Michigan Senior Advocates Council, our Advisory Council, the Meals-on-Wheels Program, Direct Care Workers, Advocacy Overview, State Representative Laurie Pohutsky, the Friendly Reassurance program, and the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan.

Click the button below to listen via our website.
Advocacy Questions: Please contact Emma Olson, Advocacy & Planning Specialist, with any advocacy or public policy questions via e-mail at eolson@thesenioralliance.org.
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The Senior Alliance, Area Agency on Aging 1C
5454 Venoy Road, Wayne, MI 48184
800-815-1112