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
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National Area Agencies on Aging
 

 
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.
May 2017
May is Older Americans Month!
Each May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads our nation's celebration of Older Americans Month (OAM). ACL designed the 2017 OAM theme,  Age Out Loud, to give aging a new voice - one that reflects what today's older adults have to say.

This theme shines a light on many important trends. More than ever before, older Americans are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They're taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others. What it means to age has changed, and OAM 2017 is a perfect opportunity to recognize and celebrate what getting older looks like today.

Click here for some stories of older Americans who are aging well. We're sure you know many more people just like these, right here in our community!

Let's amplify the many voices of older Americans and raise awareness of vital aging issues across the country. Join us as we speak up and out loud for Older Americans Month!


Older Michiganians Day is May 17

Join us at the state capitol as we advocate for older adults on May 17, Older Michiganians Day.

Older Michiganian's Day (OMD) is an annual rally that takes place on the East Lawn of the Capitol Building in Lansing. This event brings together hundreds of seniors, aging service providers and senior advocates  with their legislators and key state officials.  

Interested individuals are invited to join this event to show their support for policies that support older adults. This free event provides the opportunity to speak with a unified voice to the Legislature expressing the concerns, challenges, and opportunities for older adults by the experts, older adults themselves and aging service providers.

Click here for more information. If you're interested in attending, contact Pam Curtis at pam@seniorresourceswmi.org. We'll try to arrange car pools, or even a bus if there's enough interest.

Congress agrees to final FY 2017 funding
Late Sunday night, leadership in the House and Senate announced that they had reached a bipartisan deal to fund the government through the remainder of FY 2017. The bipartisan spending bill averts the threat of a shutdown and rejects many cuts to FY 2017 funding that the Trump Administration requested last month . While Congress must still pass, and the President must sign, the proposal funding federal programs for the remaining five months of the current fiscal year, at this point, we expect lawmakers to meet the May 5 deadline imposed by last-week's short-term continuing resolution.

How Aging Programs Fared
Overall, most Older Americans Act (OAA) and other aging programs were level funded in the final bill, which is very good news in a challenging budget environment and in light of the drastic reductions in non-defense discretionary funding the Administration requested. Additionally, there are some modest but important increases included for Older Americans Act Title III Supportive Services ($2.5 million), Title III Home Delivered Meals ($1 million) and Congregate Meals ($2 million), and Title VI Native American nutrition programs ($50,000) and caregiver support ($25,000). The Elder Justice Initiative also received a $2 million increase, building on modest year-over-year increases for federal efforts to identify, prevent and prosecute elder abuse and exploitation.
 
Not all OAA programs were spared cuts, however, as lawmakers proposed cutting funding for the OAA Title V Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP), administered under the Department of Labor, by $34 million-or nearly 8 percent. This reduction comes on the heels of the Trump Administration's proposals to eliminate SCSEP in FY 2017 and 2018, and accepts the Senate's proposed cut to SCSEP outlined in their summer 2016 Labor-HHS funding bill.
 
Additionally, the final bill includes a $5 million-or 9.6 percent-cut to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIPs). This is the Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) in Michigan. Senate appropriators have targeted SHIP funding in the previous two budget cycles, and the Trump Administration requested nearly eliminating current-year SHIP funding. While the House proposed level-funding SHIP for FY 17, the compromise measure fails to completely spare SHIP programs from cuts in FY 2017, but the bill does avoid the Senate's more drastic proposed cuts.

Other Key Programs
 
The final funding package also rejects the new Administration's requests to significantly curtail funding for other critical aging programs. Lawmakers included level funding for Senior Corps programs (RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companion) and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Additionally, the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG), Community Services Block Grant (CSBG), and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) were spared any cuts to current-year funding.
 
Most other OAA and aging programs were also level funded, including Title III E Family Caregiver Support program, Title VII Long-Term Care Ombudsman program, and the Chronic Disease Self-Management and Falls Prevention programs funded through the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
 

Advocacy is Still Needed!
 
Lawmakers will now pivot to their FY 2018 budget and funding bills, which are already running behind. Aging advocates will face a very challenging budget environment in FY 2018 because the current bipartisan budget agreement that offered relief from more stringent overall budget caps expires at the end of September. Unless another compromise is reached to again raise budget caps, we face an off-the-bat reduction in overall federal funding for non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, which include OAA and other critical aging programs.

There is still much legislative work to be done before funding for FY 2018 is finalized, and stakeholders must continue to beat the advocacy drum about how important funding is for OAA and other aging programs. Stay tuned for more information and resources from n4a about FY 2018 funding.

*Thanks to the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) for this legislative update.

Senior Resources of West Michigan Inc