Senior Resources of West Michigan, the area agency on aging serving Muskegon county, administrator of the Senior Millage funds. They provide services and activities for adults 60 years of age and older. For more information call 211 or visit SeniorResourcesWmi.org
Senior Resources is an organization that was established over 40 years ago. The organization has grown and continues to provide services to older adults in Muskegon, Ottawa, and Oceana counties. Senior Resources is CARF accredited and continuously strives to improve to meet the changing needs of older adults and their caregivers. Senior Resources’ employees participate in ongoing trainings that prepare them in assisting older adults with identifying areas of need and assisting them with meeting their daily, safety, and medical goals.
Senior Resources assists older adults, and their caregivers, by providing case management and advocacy, as well as access to Medicare and Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP), MI Choice Waiver services, personal emergency response systems, homemaking services, personal care services, adult day care, home delivered meals, respite services, home chore services, caregiver support services, and assistance with managing medications. Senior Resources also coordinates with other community agencies as a link to a many other forms of services, assistance, and care.
Muskegon County voters passed a 0.50 senior millage in August of 2016. A Senior Activities Committee (SAC), made up of three county commissioners, two Muskegon County citizens over age 60, a county resident with grant writing experience, and three at-large county citizens ( including one from a rural area), was appointed by the board of commissioners in early 2017.
County commissioners named Senior Resources of West Michigan, the area agency on aging serving Muskegon county, administrator of the funds in July of 2017. As the administrator of the funds, Senior Resources’ staff works with all organizations receiving funding on accountability, ensuring the money is being spent as proposed, verifying units of service, and evaluating the services offered.
The Senior Activities Committee worked with Senior Resources to seek proposals for funding for services and activities for adults 60 years of age and older. The first major funding was approved by the full county board of commissioners in January of 2018.
SAC Chair Nancy McCarthy said the committee members were pleased to begin awarding money to numerous nonprofit organizations, with new and expanded programming expected to come after a gaps analysis was completed.
Janet Perreault, vice-chair of SAC, was pleased to see the services get out into the community. “For me, it was about making sure there aren’t wait lists for meals, and for keeping people in their homes and independent.”
Commissioners Susie Hughes and Ken Mahoney noted that many of the programs and services reach into the outlying areas of the county. Many of the programs are designed for areas such as Whitehall and Montague, Ravenna and surrounding townships. “When the senior millage was passed, we said we’d move it out into the community,” Mahoney said. “We’ve done a good job of reaching out.”
From October 2017 through September of 2018, there were more than 3,000 Muskegon County residents ages 60 and older who benefited from millage programming. In total, those 3,005 people received more than 64,000 units of service. Those services included congregate and home-delivered meals, transportation to medical appointments, emergency response buttons, homemaker services, senior center activities, dental assistance, in-home respite, medication management help, recreation programs, safety assessments, health education, home repairs, nutrition education, food from the farmers market, and more.
For more information call 211 or visit SeniorResourcesWmi.org