The Senior Solution
Volume 2 Issue 4                     July 2018
A View from the Bridge 

My retirement from the Detroit Area Agency on Aging was announced months ago and the final weeks are before me. It comes as a surprise to many that I have no immediate “retirement” plans. No major trips abroad. No Bucket List to tackle. And all decisions about fishing and golf will depend solely on optimal weather. For the first time in over 40 years, I can wake up in the mornings with a clean slate that only I can fill.

So maybe I do have a firm plan: To focus on my health and well-being.  

Already, a plant-based diet has made a difference. I’ve lost weight, I’m managing my diabetes better and my medications have been reduced. It took a long time to realize that food truly is medicine and I hope to inspire others.

In fact, I’ve started to imagine what it would be like to take advantage of the health and wellness programs supported by the Detroit Area Agency on Aging at our four Community Wellness Service Centers:

On one weekday, I could go from a morning water aerobics workout to a congregate meal at Northwest Activities Center. I could join a Walk with Ease class in the afternoon to ward off arthritis or I could head to another center for additional choices.

On another day, I might start with yoga or workout in the popular chair-based Enhance Fitness class at St. Patrick Senior Center where their made-from-scratch lunches are the best $2 bargain in town and the hustle classes make every day a party.

I’ve never spent much time in Hamtramck so I would exercise at People’s Community Services and then later explore the city - many of the ethnic restaurants there have vegan and vegetarian specialties. At SOC in Grosse Pointe, I might start a painting class, Tai Chi, or meditation. The bingo games before lunch attract a diverse group of people, followed by lunches prepared by a seasoned chef.

These are great choices for active adults – retired or not. Over forty different programs at four centers – and most are free. Consider visits to the centers to see for yourself. Maybe you’ll see me along the way!

Paul Bridgewater
President & CEO
Upcoming Events
August 9 & 16, 2018
Second Ebenezer Church
14601 Dequindre St
Detroit, MI 48212
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Learn new and updated information that assists in detecting, screening and reporting elder abuse. Sessions are led by Wayne County Sheriff Chaplains, Neighborhood Legal Services of Michigan and DAAA-1A elder abuse prevention staff.

To register, contact DAAA's Elder Abuse Coordinators at (313) 446-4444 ext. 5386.
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Erma Henderson Park
8800 E Jefferson Ave
Detroit, MI 48214
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Enjoy gift raffles, great conversation and live music!

To register, call (313) 224-1253 by July 20th. All attendees must check in at the registration table to receive meal, ice cream and gift raffle tickets.
Friday, August 17, 2018
Detroit Wayne County Port Authority
130 Atwater St
Detroit, MI 48226
7:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

It's Paul Bridgewater's last cruise serving as "Captain" before retirement. Tickets are available for $175 per person and sponsorship opportunities are available starting at $2,000! Proceeds benefit Holiday Meals on Wheels .
Friday, September 14, 2018
Sacred Heart Major Seminary
2701 Chicago Blvd
Detroit, MI 48206
9:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

This event is FREE to grandparents and other kinship relatives. To register, call (313) 446-4444 ext. 5213 by August 31st.
Friday, September 21, 2018
Palmer Park (near the splash water park)
1121 Merrill Plaisance St
Detroit, MI 48203

During September, local senior centers will be hosting events to raise awareness of senior issues, needs and the services available to seniors at their various locations.

The purpose of Strides for Seniors is to involve seniors and their supporters to participate in the walk and expo; promote wellness and independence; increase awareness of senior needs and resources to insure a quality life for all seniors; and raise much needed funds to continue providing critical services to the elderly.

Registration is $25 and includes an event t-shirt. To register, complete and return the registration form . Pre-register by August 27th to assure your t-shirt size will be available. 

Questions? Call (313) 833-7080.
Top Stories
Seniors Can Now Experience a Great Lunch at Northwest Activity Center

We're excited to announce the opening of a new congregate meal site at Northwest Activities Center. The site will be run by Neighborhood Service Organization five days a week by reservation only on a
first-come first-served basis. Individuals 60 years of age and older are invited. There are no set fees for meals but people are encouraged to make a small donation.

For more information on meal programs, call (313) 446-4444 and visit for a list of congregate meal sites throughout Metro-Detroit.
Success Story of Ms. Williams, Highland Park

TV news is filled with images of housing displacement caused by fires, floods and, most recently, the separation of parents and children at our borders. Yet the general public seldom sees the older adults in our community who fear separation from their homes because of fires, water leaks, and changing medical needs.  

Every day, DAAA touches the lives of individuals with either home-delivered meals, support coordination, or both. Here’s an example regarding 84-year-old Highland Park resident Ms. Williams:

  • Evacuated from 7th floor apartment because of a 4th-floor fire 
  • Carried down seven stories with her wheelchair by fire rescuers 
  • Temporarily placed in a hotel
  • Suffered a fall at the hotel, hospitalized, and placed in a rehab center
  • Feared she may never return to live safely in the apartment

The fears faded with a intervention by DAAA. Home care benefits increased and two needs were met: A smaller wheelchair to access the bathroom and a raised toilet seat -- donated by a local church and Paralyzed Veterans of America . Ms. Williams is back in her apartment – happy and more confident!

If you have medical equipment to donate, please contact the DAAA at (313) 446-4444 for a list of organizations that accept contributions. These same organizations help us meet the needs of the seniors we serve.

Submitted by Linda Stone, DAAA Support Coordinator
Transportation Help is a Call or Click Away

Myride2 is a service that helps seniors and adults with disabilities in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties find transportation options with one phone call or mouse click. Mobility Specialists will work with you and local transportation providers to find the best options for you.

Call toll-free at 855-myride2 (855-697-4332) or visit
It Starts With a Phone Call: Meeting People Where They Are

I’m one of 34 nurses and social workers at DAAA who make home visits to help qualified older adults manage their medical challenges and maintain their independence. It starts with a phone call, and I remember one vividly.

The call was to Ms. Alma (not her real name), who had lived in her home for 40+ years. A family member had recently died, and Ms. Alma, at 87, shared memories as she reminisced.  

Over some time of working with her, I learned that when Coleman Young was mayor, she started 13 block clubs, serving as the president of her club. She was the “Go-To” neighbor, always ready with information and referrals. Recently, when a large industrial dumpster was in a driveway for “way too long,” she got action from one of the local TV consumer reporters after her calls to the City of Detroit were not answered. Her activism continues!  

Ms. Alma lives alone, wheelchair bound, with a backyard dog. And after her help to so many over the years, I’m proud to be part of the team that can now assist her. For Ms. Alma, this includes the installation of a back porch ramp.

So I remember another phone conversation – the priceless joy in her voice when the ramp was completed. She thanked me, the builders and our Home Repair manager, adding, “Now I don’t have to sit at the window and wish I could get out of my home!”
When I saw the ramp, Ms. Alma’s grandson had retrieved a garden umbrella from the garage for protection from the sun. The grandson also takes care of her dog, and she loves watching it play in the backyard. 

A ramp. An umbrella. A dog. These are little things many take for granted – but too often missed by our elders. Yet when DAAA can connect older adults with resources, their lives are enriched. And so are ours. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call DAAA at (313) 446-4444.

Submitted by Karen Green, Support Coordinator, DAAA 
AARP & DAAA Team to Find Jobs for Older Applicants

About 60 older adults are currently enrolled in SCSEP (Senior Community Service Employment Program) – DAAA’s program to train and match enrollees with positions in the local workforce. Recently, AARP and DAAA teamed up for a Job and Career Fair, and this first-time event introduced SCSEP enrollees to 15 potential employers. The one-on-one meetings, first-impression interviews, and the potential for permanent jobs brought smiles to all! 

DAAA's SCSEP has placed 16 individuals in jobs over the past program year. For more information on the program, contact Lisa Jackson at (313) 446-4444 ext. 5849.

Submitted by RaShonda Dawson, SCSEP Coordinator, DAAA
Summer Safety: Where Are Your Meds?

Okay, so you think you don’t need reminders about staying safe in the sun. What about drug interactions and keeping some medications in cool places? Consider this:

  • Many seniors use medications daily. Some medications can cause side effects, like increased sensitivity to ultraviolet (UV) rays. 

  • Some medications are less effective if stored higher than room temperature (about 68 -78 degrees).  

  • Some commonly prescribed meds, especially for seniors, have specific storage instructions that caregivers should be aware of, including some inhaled medications, injectable drugs for diabetes, and eye drops. 

So what should you do?

  • Review your medications with a health practitioner or pharmacist to make sure yours will not be affected by higher temperatures – especially if you don’t have air-conditioning.

  • Store prescriptions properly. Those that are subjected to extremely hot or cold temperatures can lose their effectiveness prior to their printed expiration date. Avoid leaving medications (both prescription and over the counter) in the car, on a windowsill, in a garage or outside storage shed, or (if you’re traveling) inside checked baggage.

  • When choosing a storage method or location, keep in mind that many medications can also be affected by exposure to direct sunlight and humidity.

Remember to stay cool and hydrated! Here's a list of cooling centers should the summer heat reach extreme temperatures!
Did you know that you can get all of these services covered under Medicare Part B? Most of them are free.

Physical Exams

  • Welcome to Medicare Physical Exam *
  • Yearly "Wellness" Exam *
  • Cardiovascular (cholesterol, lipid & triglyceride levels) *
  • Breast Cancer Screening (Mammogram) *
  • Cervical and Vaginal Cancer Screening *

Colorectal Cancer Screenings

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test *
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy *
  • Screening Colonoscopy *+
  • Barium Enema (some costs apply)
  • Prostate Cancer Screening (some costs apply) +
  • Flu Shots *
  • Pneumococcal Shots *
  • Hepatitis B Shots (check with doctor) *
  • Bone Mass Measurement *
  • Diabetes Screening *
  • Glaucoma Tests (co-pays)
  • Tobacco Use Cessation Counseling *+
  • HIV Screening (co-pays)
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening *
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy Services *

* With original Medicare, you pay nothing for these services if your health care provider accepts assignment.
+ Please visit for more complete information.
Join us for Holiday Meals on Wheels Labor Day at Valley Services, 1980 Bagley Ave, Detroit, MI 48216.

Cold Pack: Friday, August 31, 2018 8 a.m.
Hot Pack: Monday, September 3, 2018 6 a.m.
Delivery: Monday, September 3, 2018 8 a.m.

To sign-up, call (313) 446-4444 ext. 5605, email or complete this form !

Interested in other volunteer opportunities? We're always looking for volunteers to help older adults struggling with balance, falls and chronic conditions including arthritis and diabetes. Contact Crisshara Allen at (313) 446-4444 ext. 5325 for more information.
Please join us in welcoming new DAAA staff!
Ro'Vida Brooks - MI Health Link
Tiera DeFoe - Information & Assistance
Ami Gueye - Finance
Lynn Hairston - Long-Term Care Services
We are so happy to have you all on our team!
Join Our Team!

Our goal is to create aging friendly neighborhoods and ensure that no senior is left alone or hungry. Simply put, our mission is to promote healthy aging and enhance the quality of life for older adults. We are looking for champions who are passionate about advancing our mission.      

Please forward your resume to  or fax it to (313) 446-4453.
We'd love to hear from you!

Contact us with comments, suggestions or announcements for future e-newsletters.
Phone: (313) 446-4444 Fax: (313) 446-4445