by Cassie Lucas-Moore, Marketing & Outreach Coordinator
May is a time to honor Older Americans and their contributions and achievements to society. We also take this opportunity to look at trends affecting elders. The Administration for Community Living (ACL) asks Americans to participate in Aging Unbound, the theme for 2023, in a few different ways.
How to Age While Maintaining Choice, Health, and Independence
Embrace the opportunity to change. Find a new passion, go on an adventure, and push boundaries by not letting age define your limits. Invite creativity and purpose into your life by trying new activities in your community to bring in more growth, joy, and energy.
Explore the rewards of growing older. With age comes knowledge, which provides insight and confidence to understand and experience the world more deeply. Continue to grow that knowledge through reading, listening, taking classes, and creative activities.
Stay engaged in your community. Everyone benefits when everyone is connected and involved. Stay active by volunteering, working, mentoring, participating in social clubs, and taking part in activities at your local senior center or elsewhere in the community.
Form relationships. As an essential ingredient of well-being, relationships can enhance your quality of life by introducing new ideas and unique perspectives. Invest time with people to discover deeper connections with family, friends, and community members.
Visit your local Senior Center to pursue these ideas for activity. There are four centers across Barry and Calhoun counties: Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center in Marshall, Forks Senior Center in Albion, Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek or Barry County Commission on Aging in Hastings. While there are membership fees for these locations, scholarships are available. Also, some non-member classes are available for a fee.
Older Michiganian’s Day is May 17, 2023
On a local level, the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan (4AM) hosts Older Michiganians Day at the Capitol building in Lansing where senior advocates have an opportunity to meet with legislators to discuss topics of concern that affect Michigan’s aging population.
This year, the advocacy focus areas include: 1) increased support for family and informal caregivers to develop a Caregiver Resource Center; 2) Support and strengthen the direct care workforce by asking for wage increases; 3) Increase access to home and community-based services; 4) Support and strengthen the long-term care ombudsman program; 5) Expand access to MIChoice Waiver.
We encourage you to reach out to your state representatives and senators in Lansing to improve the opportunities for care by sending a letter with the noted platform topics.
Standardized letters to the legislators are available to pick up at CareWell Services Offices, located at 200 W. Michigan Ave, Ste 102 in Battle Creek or call us at (269) 966-2450 and we will mail or email them to you.
CareWell Services is the local Area Agency on Aging serving Barry and Calhoun counties. All of the noted items above affect the MI Choice Waiver, Care Management, Care Coaching and Transition Coordination services for participants in this area.
Call (269) 966-2450 with any questions about advocacy efforts or to gain access to services provided to older Michiganians in Barry and Calhoun counties.