Page 15 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - February 2019- 26-02
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Michigan can help!
Senior Times - February 2019
Page 15
Do you need help keeping up with your mortgage? Step Forward
Kinship Korner
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Sharon Dewey, Kinship Coordinator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
One of the biggest needs that many Kinship Caregivers mention is time off, a break, a respite from the many challenges that come with parenting the second time around. Grandparents tire more easily, and some are still working. This is just one, of many, sacrifices Grandparents make to care for fam- ily members. Here are some ways that Kinship Care families have found to meet that need.
Many communities have respite services available through the Community Mental Health Agency in their county. These are usually accessed through a referral from the community mental health provider, after an assessment that verifies the respite is needed. Often this will
be a specified number of hours per week or so many days per month. Another good source for respite is belonging to a support group. This will usually involve a quid pro quo approach. If funding is involved it has been traditionally the daily care rate. There are camps available that are free of charge or low cost that will provide a few much-needed days off.
The Family Enrichment Center strives to help Kinship Care givers find the resources needed to receive that break occasionally. We offer respite on the third Saturday of every month. From 9am to noon, there is childcare for parents. This
is available whether the training is attended. Through the Take-A-Break Child care center, occasionally, we can take a child for a few hours, as space is available. Please, remember we are here to help you; there is no charge for our services. Coming up in February are the following events.
All events take place at Westlake Presbyterian Church, 415 S. 28th St., Battle Creek:
Feb. 5 – Kinship Support Group
Feb. 14 – Support Group for Adoptive Families
Brown Bag Luncheon, Noon
Feb. 16 – Saturday Parent Training, 9am-Noon, Childcare available by reservation only. Call Teresa Thrash at (269) 660-0449.
Feb. 16 – Aunt Beezer’s Craft Event – 6-12 yr. old’s, 9am-Noon Reservations required. Call Teresa Thrash at (269) 660-0449.
By: Kitty Knoll, Senior Center Coordinator, Heritage Commons
taxes, and/or condo association fees. Hardest Hit Funds loans are forgivable at 20% each year, as long as the property remains the homeowner’s primary residence. Homeowners can apply online at or call 866-946-7432. Step Forward Michigan will work directly with the homeowner to evaluate their
Forks Senior Center Launching Phone Reassurance Program
By: Luann Sommers, Executive Director, Forks Senior Center
The Forks Senior Center (FSC) is excited to announce a new Phone Reassurance Program catering to the greater Albion area and eastern Calhoun County. This program will offer isolated older adults, aged
60 and up, a way to socialize, as well as an opportunity to remain independent as long as possible. Through this program, volunteers will call participants throughout
the week, Monday through Friday, to check on their well-being. By providing reassurance, FSC will be able to give isolated older adults the ability to, not only improve their safety, but also to form new connections. Information about community resources and services will also be available if needed.
My Medicare Matters—$2,580,340 Saved!
This program was established by the Michigan Housing Authority, MHA, to work directly with homeowners in Michigan to help them stay in their own homes.
Heritage Commons will be providing a lunch and learn program on Step Forward Michigan on Wednesday, February 13 from 12-1pm. Lunch is available to members, and the presentation is open to anyone. Please call ahead to reserve your spot. Phone (269) 558- 6150.
Do you have back taxes or condo association fees? Step Forward can help. The program provides up to $30,000 interest-free loan to assist with mortgage, property
Heritage Commons is located at 13444 Preston Drive just off of 15 Mile Road (south) just outside of Marshall.
loan application for the Loan Rescue Program. Step Forward is only available through 2019.
"We have been looking at the need for this program for some time and are pleased to finally be able
to make it happen. Through our collaboration with the Build Albion AmeriCorps VISTA program and the assistance of our AmeriCorps VISTA Anna Westfall, we are now ready to implement the program," said FCS director Luann Sommers.
If you or anyone you know is interested in participating in the program, or if you are interested in volunteering for the Phone Reassurance Program, please call (517) 629-3842 or email Anna Westfall at awestfall.albionvista@ for more information.
Although the senior center is
a membership organization, it
also provides many programs and services to non-members, such as Medicare counseling, access to a Veterans Service Officer, and Senior Health Partners' Fun and Fit classes. FSC also serves as a resource center for older adults or family members who are looking for assistance.
FSC is a nonprofit organization serving older adults, ages 60 and up, in eastern Calhoun County since 2005. The Forks Senior Center exists to improve and maintain the physical, mental, and social well- being of the area’s senior citizens. For additional information, contact FSC by phone at (517) 629-3842
or by e-mail at executivedirector@
By: Karen Courtney, MMAP Regional Coordinator, CareWell Services SW
WOW! That’s how much total money the Barry/Calhoun Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) team documented having saved its clients in the 2018 calendar year! The Calhoun County team documented savings of $2,341,060, while Barry County showed $239,274 in savings to clients.
eligible clients who were helped in applying for the Medicare Savings Program (where Medicaid now pays the client’s Medicare Part
Counselor is challenging. The training and certification process
is lengthy; mentoring, constant updates to training, and application of learning is required to maintain skills and knowledge. A minimum 60 hour annual commitment
is required. However, MMAP volunteers agree that helping beneficiaries understand and use their Medicare health benefit
is a very satisfying volunteer experience! If you like learning, are computer-savvy, and are interested in learning more about becoming
a MMAP volunteer, call 800-803- 7174. Training sessions begin late in March.
Of that savings, $1,947,000
was in prescription programs – clients switching from one Part D or Medicare Advantage plan into another to save on prescription costs. The rest of the savings was for clients who qualified for “Extra Help” and applied to save on prescription costs, or for income-
The team almost logged 2,000 hours working with clients, conducting 1854 in person face- to-face appointments, and a total
of 2323 contacts made connection via phone, email, or mail. Of the clients seen, 669 were under the age of 65 – MMAP helps persons who are under age 65, who might have Medicare due to disability.
B premium), and the rest was miscellaneous recovery of incorrect medical billing monies.
Becoming a volunteer MMAP

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