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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National Area Agencies on Aging

Free "Being Mortal" film and discussion

Charted Healthcare Planning Coalition presents "Being Mortal," the PBS Frontline documentary, is being shown at three locations this month:
  • Oct. 20, 10 a.m., Tanglewood Park, 560 Seminole, Norton Shores, 231-739-5858
  • Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m., Four Pointes, 1051 S. Beacon Blvd., Grand Haven, 616-842-9210
  • Oct. 26, 1 p.m., Brookhaven Medical Care Facility, 1890 Apple Ave., Muskegon, 231-724-3500

Family Caregiver Classes Offered
Free caregiver classes are offered Fridays from 1-2:30 p.m. at Tanglewood Park, starting Oct. 7.

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
October 2016
Medicare open enrollment begins
October 15-December 7 is Medicare open enrollment. Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) counselors can help you. MMAP counselors are non-biased and will show all available plans; they can help enroll in the plan; and can help apply for extra help if someone qualifies. They are located in Muskegon, Ottawa and Oceana counties.

What can you do during open enrollment?
  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or vice versa
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn't offer drug coverage to a medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage, or vice versa
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
  • Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan 

For more information, contact MMAP and ask for a worksheet to be sent to your home. Once filled out and returned, MMAP will call to set up an appointment. No walk-ins will be seen, due to heavy traffic.


In Muskegon, call Senior Resources at 231-733-3572; in Grand Haven, call Four Pointes at 616-842-9210; in Holland, call Evergreen Commons at 616-396-7100; in oceana, call the Council on Aging at 231-873-4461.

News you can use from Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan
A government shutdown was averted when Congress passed a Continuing Resolution (CR) last week to keep federal programs and agencies in operation until Dec. 9. The aging network was watching closely, in hopes that Older Americans Act funding would not be interrupted, as happened in 2013. The CR passed the House of Representatives with a 342-85 vote, and cleared the Senate with a 72-26 vote. President Obama promptly signed the bill. Congress plans to return for a lame duck session after the election and will need to pass another budget for the rest of the 2017 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1, 2016 through Sept. 30, 2017.

While aid to Flint is not in the CR, a promise by Republican leaders to include it in a different bill satisfied enough Democrats to allow the CR to pass in both chambers. Nevertheless, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) voted against the CR, because it lacked speedy funding for Flint while helping other communities. Also voting no were Reps. Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids), John Conyers (D-Detroit), Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn), Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield), and Sander Levin (D-Royal Oak). Kildee personally negotiated a deal with House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to include $170 million in Flint aid in the House version of the Water Resources Development Act. Since the Senate has already agreed to a similar provision in its version of the bill, it appears likely that Congress will eventually bless the funding in the lame duck session after the election.

Michigan's aging veterans will enjoy new housing facilities if Rep. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) has his way. Pscholka wants to move a package of bills yet this year that would create a Michigan Veterans' Facility Authority and begin the process of planning new facilities across the state. Workgroup recommendations led to the introduction of House Bills 5919, 5920, 5921 and 5922. Phase one would rebuild the existing Grand Rapids veterans' facility and building a new facility in metro Detroit.  The homes would be certified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and subject to federal requirements. Attractive salary and benefit packages would create a positive work environment and reduce employee turnover. The state is required to submit an application to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by April 15, 2017 to obtain grant monies for 65% of the building costs. The workgroup also recommends building a supportive community around facilities, as well as helping veterans who want to age in their own homes to access the services they need.

The Tess Canja Innovation Award was unveiled recently by the Silver Key Coalition, a group of organizations advocating to make Michigan a "No-Wait State" for in-home services. The award's namesake is a lifelong advocate for older adults on both the state and national levels. The award will recognize aging network agencies who pioneer efficient ways of providing quality services to seniors. Applicants must be in-home service providers who receive monies originating from the Aging and Adult Services Agency (AASA), or other organizations that support AASA-funded services. Eligible services include Personal Care, Homemaking, Respite, Home-Delivered Meals, Chore/Minor Home Repair, Adult Day Care, Care Management, Personal Emergency Response System, and Medication Management.

Winners will be scored on creativity, replicability, quantified impact, cost-effectiveness and stewardship of public dollars. The first place winner will receive a $2,000 cash award, with three $500 awards for the next three highest-scoring applicants. The cash awards are made possible by the sponsorship of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. To obtain a copy of the application, visit the Silver Key Coalition's website at Questions about the award or application process should be sent to Applications must be sent to the same address by 5:00 pm, October 26, 2016 to be considered. The winners will be determined by a committee and announced in mid-November, 2016.

Tess Canja started her career in the aging network as the founding Executive Director of the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan (AAAAM). After retiring from AAAAM, Canja was recruited by AARP to serve in numerous leadership roles, including as national President.

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

Senior Resources of West Michigan Inc