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Local InterestSenior Millage helps Calhoun County seniors solve life problems.BY HELEN GUZZO, MSW, Manager, Calhoun County Senior ServicesIn Michigan, at last count 70 out of 83 Michigan counties have approved a Senior Millage to fund gaps in available services to seniors. Calhoun County Senior Millage inBecause of Senior Millage in Calhoun County, seniors can access transportation, Monday-Friday from 8am-4pm within the county, for medical appointments or other necessary trips. Community Action provided 29,779 rides to almost 700 seniors in 2017.For frail seniors who are homebound, home-delivered meals does not have a waiting list in Calhoun County, as in some communities. Calhoun County Senior Millage partners with CareWell Services Southwest, the Area Agency on Aging organization for Calhoun County, and Senior Services of Southwest Michigan to provide both home- delivered meals and group meal sites. In 2017, over 90,600 meals were provided to 572 seniors. In addition, at 11 group meal sites, 479 seniors were provided over 38,200 meals and an opportunity to socialize. Health education and exercise opportunities are added where possible to the group meal sites through the Senior Fitness & Fun Program run by Senior Health Partners to help seniors be as healthy and active as possible. In 2017, 520 seniors spent 13,754 hours in supervised exercise through the Senior Fitness & Fun Program.In July 2017, Calhoun County Senior Services was pleased to be part of the partnership with CareWell Services SW, Oaklawn, and the City of Marshall that opened the Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center inMarshall. Heritage Commons now has over 130 members. Heritage Commons addsneededrecreation,socialsupport and health promotion opportunities for seniors in the Marshall area. It adds moregeographiccoveragetothework of the Forks Senior Center in Albion, and the community center at the Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek.In 2017, Calhoun County Senior Services supported ten special events for seniors including the annual Senior Health & Information Fair and the Centenarian luncheon, a birthday party that recognizes all Calhoun County residents, age 100 and over. Other important events included the Senior Health Partners Fun & Fitness Day at Binder Park Zoo, the Caregiver Retreat at First Congregational Church in Battle Creek, and the Battle Creek area Miles for Memories Community Stroll.Senior Millage is a valuable resource that helps Calhoun County residents who are 60 years and over solve life’s problems. 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, MSW, is the Manager of Calhoun County Senior Services, which administers Senior Millage tax dollars. More information is available about Calhoun County Senior Services at www. approved a1996, and will be up for reauthorization in 2020. Having local funds to help seniors live healthy, safe and with as much independence as possible is a great resource for making sure community programs are available to help seniors, age 60 and over, solve problems. Calhoun County Senior Services administers Senior Millage funds with the approval and guidance of a citizen-led Senior Millage Allocation Committee and the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners.Calhoun County Senior Services is proud to review the work it funded in 2017. The office administers funding, provides Medicare & Medicaid counseling, and organizes special events to promote health education and socialization for older adults. In 2017, almost 1,200 seniors received health care counseling, saving money and gaining peace of mind about their health care insurance decisions. Overall in 2017, the Calhoun County Senior Millage assisted over 5,800 seniors with services that varied from Senior Transportation services through Community Action, to home-delivered meals through Senior Services of Southwest Michigan, to Dental Services to 289 seniors through Fountain Clinic and Grace Health. Some people received one time services while others received multiple services over time. In 2017, $2.8 million was spent helping people through 21 programs providing services through multi-year contracts with eleven trusted, nonprofit or government organizations in the community.In 2017, recipients of services were evenly distributed by age, ranging from 60 to over 85. Seniors receiving Senior Millage funded services were 74% White, 17% African American, 1% Native American, and 1% Hispanic. 7% did not specify an ethnicity.2018 Senior Millage Allocation Committee – Front Row: Rod Auton; Tom Hunsdorfer; Art Kale; Willy (Dianne) Kalnins; Jill Booth; County Commissioner Gary Tompkins. Back Row: Willie Tabb; Richard Lindsey; County Commissioner Vic Power, Chairman; Jason Rapelje (Michelle Hill & Teresa Schell not pictured).ANNUAL REPORT CARD I SCENE 4307 23

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