Sixty Seconds Newsletter 
A Monthly Update from Senior Resources of West Michigan  
An Area Agency on Aging Serving Muskegon, Oceana & Ottawa Counties
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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.

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.
March 2017
Muskegon County  Senior Activities Committee members named
The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners recently named six citizens to the Senior Activities Committee. The committee will serve in an advisory capacity to the county board on issues relating to the senior millage that was passed in 2016.

Appointed were:
  • Greg Scott [Grant Writer Experience slot] (term through 12/31/17) 
  • Pat Shafer [Aged Over 60 slot] (term through 12/31/18) 
  • Judy Kell [Aged Over 60 slot] (term through 12/31/18) 
  • Sharon Ackerman [At-Large Rural Area slot] (term through 12/31/19) 
  • Janet Perreault [At-Large slot] (term through 12/31/17) 
  • Nancy McCarthy [At-Large slot] (term through 12/31/19)
Commissioners on the Senior Activities Committee are Ken Mahoney, Rillistine Wilkins, and Susie Hughes.

The committee is expected to meet soon to review committee responsibilities, select officers, draft guidelines for funding and review the draft Request for Quotes for grants administrator.

The Senior Activities Committee makes recommendations relative to the expenditure of funds collected through the senior millage. The Committee may also obtain citizen input regarding issues facing older persons; review program proposals and reports; recommend strategies and draft guidelines around common goals in providing services and activities for older persons throughout Muskegon County. 

New Oceana County staff member

Andrea Morrell Andrea Morrell, a lifelong Oceana County resident, is the new  supports coordinator for Oceana County. She helps find resources for Oceana County residents 60 and older in areas such as in-home care, respite, housing options, transportation and caregiver support services.

As supports coordinator, Andrea helps older adults find resources to keep them in their homes. "I'm assessing for services needed and offering community resources" to allow them to stay at home.

To qualify for Andrea's services, adults must be 60 or older, need help staying independent and have some safety concerns. She does home visits at least every six months, checking in with her participants in between those visits. They also call her with questions and concerns.

To find out more about Oceana County services, call this local Oceana County number: 231-559-0331.

Concern about potential OAA reductions
More military spending was a major theme in President Trump's address to Congress last week, but one detail not stated was the source of the funding - cuts in discretionary domestic programs, one of which is the Older Americans Act (OAA).  The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) is alerting advocates that the President's fiscal year 2018 budget could include 10% cuts in domestic programs.  Stay tuned...      
Obscured by the fire of repealing the Affordable Care Act, a more monumental reform plan in D.C. has gotten much less attention.  Eliminating the entitlement nature of Medicare and Medicaid is on the minds of many Republican leaders in Congress, and even some in the new Administration.  That would affect 130 million Americans - many of them elderly, poor and in poor health.  While President Trump campaigned on preserving Medicare and Medicaid (as well as Social Security), his new Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price has pushed for block granting Medicaid, and changing Medicare to giving seniors a voucher to buy private insurance. 
Agreeing with Secretary Price is the Republican leader of the U.S. House, Speaker Paul Ryan.  The Republican leader of the Senate - Majority Leader Mitch McConnell - also supports entitlement reforms.  It's important to remember that the future of entitlements rests with Congress - not the President.  In an NBC interview on Tuesday morning, Speaker Ryan said that the President agrees with him that Social Security and Medicare must be "rolled back" for younger Americans.  But the President's to-do list in his address did not include entitlement reforms, suggesting they won't appear in his proposed budget.
In Lansing last week, the House Health & Human Services Subcommittee took testimony on critical unmet needs affecting older Michiganians.  The Silver Key Coalition was on hand, supporting Governor Snyder's request for a $3.6 million increase for in-home services.  AAA staffers testified that seniors on waiting lists are five times more likely to enter a nursing home, and about the cost-effectiveness of the aging network, citing administrative costs of 5%.  Christine Vanlandingham of Region IV AAA shared one client's story: Terry of Watervliet, who has multiple disabilities due to MS, is living a quality life in her own home with only 10 hours of care supplementing help provided by her daughter and sister.  The annual cost is only $7,700, compared with over $70,000 for a nursing home.  
Also supporting the Silver Key Coalition was Melissa Seifert of AARP, who also testified for the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver, Healthy Michigan Plan, and the Governor's request for more staffing for Adult Protective Services.  Senior volunteer programs were also represented, with requests for a $1 million increase for three volunteer programs to provide 162,000 more hours of volunteer service across the state, and the restoration of $2 million for senior center staffing, cut from the state budget in 2005.  

*Published with permission of Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.

Senior Resources of West Michigan Inc