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Local InterestBY HELEN GUZZO, LMSW,Manager, Calhoun County Senior ServicesCalhoun County Senior Millage helps seniors solve life problems.almost $2.6 million, which assisted over 6,400 seniors with 21 different pro- grams through contracts with 11 trusted, non-profit or government organizations. Senior Millage funded programs help se- niors live healthy and safe lives, with as much independence as possible. Senior Millage helps older adults, age 60 and over, solve problems and live healthy lives. Collaborating with other service providers to promote healthy aging, Se- nior Millage helps make Calhoun County a great place to live.assistanceCalhoun County Senior Servicesis proud of its 2018 accomplishments and looks forward to the progress made already in 2019. The County office administers contract funding, provides Medicare & Medicaid counseling, and organizes special events to promote health education and socialization for older adults.In 2018, recipients of services were evenly distributed by age, ranging from 60 to those over 85. Seniors receiving Senior Millage funded services were 77% White, 16% African American, 1% Native American, and 1% Hispanic. 5% did not specify a race or ethnicity. Ac- cording to 2017 Census numbers, 23% of Calhoun County residents, approxi- mately 31,227 people, are age 60 or over. Senior Millage funded services helped 21% of seniors living in the county.Senior Millage funds services such as Senior Transportation with Community Action, which helps seniors get to med- ical appointments, go grocery shopping, and attend social events. Community Action provided 29,403 rides to 642 seniors in 2018. Other services include home-delivered meals through Senior Services of Southwest Michigan, and dental services provided by the Fountain Clinic and Grace Health. The Dental Pro- gram helped 394 seniors with cleanings, restorations and/or dentures. Medicare does not cover dental services and many low-income seniors cannot afford needed dental care.For frail seniors who are homebound, home-delivered meals do not have a waiting list in Calhoun County, unlike many communities. Home-delivered meals, also known as Meals on Wheels, are provided in partnership with CareWell Services Southwest, the Area Agency on Aging, and Senior Services of Southwest Michigan. In 2018, nearly 94,000 meals were home-delivered to 678 seniors by a combination of volunteers and paid deliv- ery staff. These meals provide nutrition and a friendly visitor who can check the health of home-bound seniors. In addi- tion, 11 group meal sites are funded with Millage dollars, which in 2018 provided 408 seniors nearly 40,000 meals and an opportunity to socialize. Health education and exercise opportunities are added to the group meal sites when possible. These Senior Fitness & Fun Programs served 514 seniors 12,452 times in 2018.In partnership with other organiza- tions that serve older adults, SeniorThrough Medicare & Medicaid bene- fits counseling, over 1,069 seniors were helped to chose the best Part D Prescrip- tion plan and other health care insurance decisions, saving seniors over $2 million in fees and premiums. In Millage-funded programs, some people receive one time services:12 SCENE 4407 I ANNUAL REPORTIn 1996, Cal- houn County voters approved its Senior Millage to assess the needs of seniors and to fund gaps in available services. In 2018, Senior Millage raised• 58 seniors received hearing aids• 56 received minor home repair• 110 received glasses• 283 received legal advice and assis-Millage supports senior centers in Mar- shall and Albion. Once a week, smaller senior gathering places are supportedin Homer, Tekonsha, and Athens. InJuly 2018, Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center, the new senior center in Marshall, celebrated its first year of operations with 135 members. In Albion, Forks Senior Center in has over 350 active members.In 2018, Calhoun County Senior Ser- vices supported special events for seniors including the annual Senior Health Fair in Marshall, which featured 90 vendors and over 600 attendees, and the Centenarian luncheon, a birthday party that recognizes all Calhoun County residents, age 99 and over. Other important events included the Senior Day at the Ball Park, Senior Day at the Calhoun County Fair, the Caregiver Retreat at First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, and the Battle Creek area Homeless Health Fair & VA Stand Down. Sponsorship was also given to walks held by Miles for Memories, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Parkinson Founda- tion. Senior Millage funded mini-grants to the Albion-Marshall Connector, the Miles for Memories Great Brain health education exhibit, Albion Community Garden, Talons Out Veterans Honor Flights, and seniors ride free on Marshall Dial-A-Ride on Wednesdays.Senior Millage is a valuable resource, helping Calhoun County residents, 60 years and over, solve life’s problems. Calhoun County Senior Services ad- ministers Senior Millage funds with the approval and guidance of a citizen-led thirteen member Senior Millage Alloca- tion Committee with final approval of spending recommendations by the Cal- houn County Board of Commissioners. Senior Millage will be up for renewal by the voters of Calhoun County in 2020. To learn more about Calhoun County’s Senior Millage and available programs see the advertisement on the facing page, or call (269) 781-0846.Helen Guzzo, LMSW, is the Manager of Calhoun County Senior Services, which ad- ministers Senior Millage tax dollars. More information is available about Calhoun County Senior Services at www.calhoun-• 427 had Personal Emergency Re-sponse System (PERS)• 501 had help with home heatingOthers received multiple services over time in the meals program, the exercise programs or the senior transpor- tation programs. Half of Senior Millage programs are income-tested at 200% of poverty (less than $24,280 for a house- hold of one). Other services are available to any senior Calhoun County resident regardless of income.

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