Sixty Seconds Newsletter 
A Monthly Update from Senior Resources of West Michigan  
An Area Agency on Aging Serving Muskegon, Oceana & Ottawa counties
In This Issue
Quick Links
National Area Agencies on Aging
 

 
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day. The Tri-County Protection Team urges you to wear purple in recognition of this important topic.

For more information, visit this website

Family Caregiver Classes Offered
Free caregiver classes are offered Fridays from 1-2:30 p.m. at Tanglewood Park. Respite is available - call 231-739-5858.

Classes will provide caregivers information on:
* managing demands of caregiving
* providing personal care
* home safety
* managing medications
* advance directives
* caring for someone on bed rest
* coping with dementia
* respite
* Alzheimer's Disease
* nutrition

For more information, call Virginia at 231-733-3531, or Robbi at 231-733-3567.

 



Speak up! Anytime day or night. Report abuse and neglect.
855-444-3911

Senior Resources' Elder Care Specialists are available to assist with Options for Long Term Care
Call: 231-733-3585
or Toll Free:  1-800-442-0054. In Oceana - 231-559-0331.
June 2017
Senior Advocates Coalition meets with federal aides June 12

The Senior Advocates Coalition (SAC) meets with federal aides from Rep. Huizenga, Sen. Peters and Sen. Stabenow on Monday, June 12, 1:30-3 p.m., at Tanglewood Park, 560 Seminole Road, Norton Shores.

Agenda items include the president's proposed 2018 budget, current status of the Affordable Health Care Act, and federal and state updates. Click here for the agenda.

The SAC won't meet again until September. We hope to see you Monday! 

Older Michiganians Day 

About 30 people from our region attended Older Michiganians Day on May 17 in Lansing. Shown above is part of a paper chain that represented the participants in Senior Resources-funded programs, with stories of the impacts that reduced funding would have on these individuals. Just two examples:

"A day without my nurse would mean my medications don't get set up" - Hattie, from Muskegon. 

"A day without Waiver services would mean I would not have a place to live" - James, from Grand Haven
Save the Date - Forum on Social Isolation!
"Recognizing and Addressing Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults," presented by the Tri-County Protection Team.

Each day, aging adults are faced with social and psychological challenges as a result of isolation and loneliness, leaving them more vulnerable to financial fraud, abuse, hoarding disorder, depression and even suicide. The Tri-County Protection Team, hosted by AgeWell Services, invites you to be part of an important forum featuring national speaker Dr. Arbore, the founder of the Institute on Aging located in San Francisco, California as well as several local experts on the topic. 

This important forum is for Social Workers, Nurses, Practitioners, Law Enforcement Officers and professionals working with and for the older population. 3 credit hours of Social Work CEUs, SCECHs and MCOLES are available.
When: Friday, August 25th from 8:00am-3:30pm
Where: Muskegon Community College
Cost: $30 with CEUs and $25 without

President's proposed budget shows cuts, elimination of some aging services
In Washington,  President Trump sent his first full budget outline for FY 2018 to Congress recently and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is very concerned about its effect on vital community supports.
 
The Trump budget proposes to eliminate a large number of major programs that help low-income  older adults meet their basic needs, find jobs to make ends meet, give back to their communities through volunteerism, get one-on-one help understanding their Medicare and other benefits, and live independently at home and in the community, avoiding more expensive nursing home care. Further, the budget cuts Medicaid by $600 billion over 10 years, a massive disinvestment in our nation's primary safety net health and long-term care program as noted by n4a CEO Sandy Markwood.

The Trump budget does preserve the Older Americans Act programs and services funded through the Administration on Aging which will enable local agencies to continue to offer in-home services, home-delivered and congregate meals, and other programs.  The level funding, however, will not allow local agencies to keep up with escalating demand.  Moreover, l ocal agencies and providers draw from a wide range of federal and state funding streams to create a patchwork of resources to help older consumers and their caregivers - funding streams that are in jeopardy under Trump's budget proposals. 

"For example, eliminating the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIPs) would create undue pressure on Older Americans Act (OAA) III B Supportive Services, with consumers desperate for Medicare help reaching out to their Area Agency on Aging (two-thirds of which currently receive SHIP funding to provide this important service) through AAA information and referral lines, only to find there are no longer any SHIP-trained counselors available to help," predicted  Markwood. (SHIP is the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program - MMAP - in Michigan.)

Several Key Federal Programs Supporting Older Adults and Caregivers Eliminated in Trump's FY 2018 Budget

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP; Administration on Community Living, HHS) provides one-on-one assistance and counseling to Medicare beneficiaries whose complex needs require more help than is provided by 1-800-Medicare or medicare.gov. SHIPs rely heavily on highly-trained volunteers and play a critical role in ensuring that older adults and people with disabilities make informed decisions about their Medicare coverage and navigate the complicated and shifting landscape of Medicare choices. SHIP counseling assistance can save individual Medicare beneficiaries hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars every year. In FY 2016, the SHIP program received $52.1 million. With 10,000 boomers becoming eligible for Medicare every day, SHIP funding should be increased to reflect the increasing number of clients and complexity of Medicare.

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP; DOL), which is Title V of the Older Americans Act and administered by the Department of Labor, would also be eliminated in the Trump budget. Losing this $434 million program - the only federal job training program focused on the unique needs of older workers -would immediately affect the approximately 70,000 age 55+ workers who receive skills training, job placement help, and subsidized community service jobs annually. Without SCSEP, these very low-income seniors would struggle to find the employment that they need to make ends meet. The tens of thousands of community agencies who host many SCSEP workers would also lose millions of hours of staff support, making it more difficult to achieve their missions to serve older adults, children and youth, and other members of their community.

Finally, the budget eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), an independent agency which runs the long-standing, popular Senior Corps programs, specifically Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP. Senior Corps is the only national program able to place large numbers of senior volunteers in high-quality volunteer positions, generating 96 million hours of service to communities. When older volunteers provide vital services in their communities, it also helps those volunteers remain engaged in society. Given the health benefits of volunteering, this is a win-win for older adults and the communities they serve.


*Reprinted with permission of the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.

Senior Resources of West Michigan Inc