Michigan Pushes For No-Wait In-Home Senior Care
Governor Rick Snyder supports increased funding to decrease wait times for seniors who need in-home health care services.
"LANSING, MI -- Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday reiterated his call to make Michigan a no-wait state for in-home senior services, urging lawmakers to approve an additional investment of up to $20 million next year.
Snyder was set to unveil his special message on aging to the Legislature during a visit to the Older Persons' Commission in Rochester.
[']The simple truth is that Michigan has work to do to prepare for its growing older adult population,['] Snyder said in a written copy, noting that 1 in 4 Michigan residents will be at least 60 years old by 2030. [']The time is now for all of us to work together to make Michigan a place where our residents live well and age well.[']
Snyder focused on four key goals to improve the quality of life for seniors -- living healthy lifestyles, staying active and engaged, achieving financial security during retirement and retaining independence -- and urged greater collaboration between state agencies tasked with service delivery.
Specific proposals include:
• Meals on Wheels: The governor's 2015 budget proposal calls for roughly $5 million in funding to eliminate a waiting list for seniors who qualify for meal delivery and other in-home support services. There are an estimated 1,000 seniors on the waiting list for food services and another 3,500 waiting for other in-home services delivered by the Area Agencies on Aging. House and Senate budgets include the funding, and lawmakers are expected to finalize work later this month.
• Other in-home services: The governor's budget also calls for a $9 million investment to eliminate the waiting list for the MIChoice Waiver Program, which provides in-home services to some nursing home eligible seniors, and a $5.7 million transfer in nursing home funding to the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, which currently operates in Genesee, Saginaw and Ingham counties.
• Elder abuse prevention: The governor's proposed budget calls for an additional $1 million investment to prevent elder abuse. The funds would aid in reporting, training and developing a restitution initiative for seniors subject to physical or financial abuse. The House and Senate both included the funding in budget bills that should be completed later this month.
• One-stop senior website: Snyder announced plans for a new senior website that would serve as a [']single portal['] for all aging resources in the state. The site would help [']older adults and their families to get connected to Michigan's aging- related programs and services.['] It is set to go live in early 2015.
• Nursing home performance: Snyder said that Michigan nursing homes are showing signs of improved quality for 40,000-plus residents but directed the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Community Health and the Office of Services to the Aging to develop new quality measures and performance incentives. Snyder compared the initiative to a voluntary agricultural program to reduce pollutionwhere [']industry can choose to proactively participate, outcomes are improved and we all win.[']"