Page 9 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - March 2018 - 25-03
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In Michigan, nearly 70 of 83 coun- ties have approved a Senior Millage to fund gaps in available services
for seniors. Calhoun County voters approved a Senior Millage in 1996, and it will be up for reauthorization in 2020.
Having local funds to help seniors live healthy, safe, and with as much independence as possible, is a great resource for making sure community programs are available to help adults, age 60 and over, solve problems.
Calhoun County Senior Services administers Senior Millage funds with the approval and guidance of a citizen-led allocation committee and the Board of Commissioners.
Calhoun County Senior Services is proud to review the work it funded in 2017. It administers funding, provides Medicare & Medicaid counseling, and organizes special events to promote health education and socialization of seniors. In 2017, almost 1,200 seniors received health care counseling, sav- ing money and gaining peace of mind about their health care insurance deci- sions. Overall in 2017, the Calhoun County Senior Millage assisted over 5,800 seniors with services that var- ied from senior transportation ser- vices through Community Action, to home-delivered meals through Senior Services of Southwest Michigan, to dental services to 289 seniors through Fountain Clinic and Grace Health. Some people received one-time servic- es while others received multiple ser- vices over time. In 2017, $2.8 million was spent helping people through 21 programs providing services through multi-year contracts with trusted, non- profit organizations in the community.
In 2017, recipients of services were evenly distributed by age, ranging from 60 to over 85. Seniors receiving Senior Millage funded services were 74% White, 17% African American, 1% Native American, and 1% Hispanic. 7% did not specify an ethnicity.
Because of Senior Millage in Calhoun County, seniors can access transportation, Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm within the county, for medi- cal appointments or other necessary trips. Community Action provided 29,779 rides to almost 700 seniors in 2017.
homebound, home-delivered meals
do not have a waiting list in Calhoun County, as in some communities. Calhoun County Senior Millage partners with CareWell Services Southwest and Senior Services of Southwest Michigan to provide this service. In 2017, over 90,600 meals were provided to 572 seniors. In addition, at 12 group meal sites, 479 seniors were provided over 38,200 meals and an opportunity to socialize. Health education and exercise oppor- tunities are added where possible to the group meal sites to help seniors be as healthy and active as possible.
In July 2017, Calhoun County Senior Services was pleased to be
part of the partnership that opened the Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center in Marshall. Heritage Commons recently welcomed its 100th member. Heritage Commons adds needed recreation, social support, and health promotion opportunities for seniors. It adds more geographic cov- erage to the work of the Forks Senior Center in Albion, and the community center at the Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek.
In 2017, Calhoun County Senior Services supported ten special events for seniors including the annual Senior Health & Information Fair and the Centenarian luncheon, a birthday party that recognizes all Calhoun County residents age 99 and over. Other important events included the Senior Health Partners Fun & Fitness Day at Binder Park Zoo, the Caregiver Retreat at First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, and the Battle Creek area Miles for Memories Community Stroll.
Senior Services is busy planning the ninth annual Calhoun County Senior Fair for Thursday, April 5 at the Marshall Middle School Gym from 10am-1:30pm. This free health and information fair is provided
for older adults in Calhoun County to learn about local businesses and public services specializing in aging. Seniors, caregivers and family mem- bers will be able to talk to over 80 venders.
Senior Millage is a valuable resource that helps Calhoun County residents who are 60 years and over solve life’s problems. To learn more about Calhoun County’s Senior Millage and available programs, call (269) 781-0846 or visit www.calhoun-
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Senior Times - March 2018 Update On Your
Helen Guzzo, Special to Senior Times
Page 9
A Mission of Presbyterian Villages of Michigan
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The Village of

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