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Page 14Senior Times - September 2018Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017The MI Choice Waiver ProgramBy: Paulette Porter, Marketing/Outreach Coordinator, CareWell Services SWNursing homes used to be the only choice for older adults or disabled persons who needed help caring for themselves. Today you have options.One program run by CareWell Services Southwest, the local Area Agency on Aging, is the MI Choice Waiver Program. Through this program, eligible adults, 18 and over, who meet income and asset criteria can receive Medicaid-covered services like those provided bynursing homes, but can stay in their own home or another residential setting.You will work with a nurse or social worker to developa person-centered plan made especially for you or your loved one. Services that are available to you include:• Community living supports• Respite services• Adult day services• Home modifications• Non-medical transportation• Home Medical supplies and equipment• Personal Care• Chore services• Personal emergency response systems• Counseling• Home delivered meals• Training in a variety of independent living skills• Supports coordination• Community transition servicesCareWell Services Southwest is the local MI Choice Waiver agency, covering Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counties. To find out what services may be available to you, call CareWell Services at 1-800-626-6719. We’re here to help!www.region3b.orgLive Longer, Healthier Lives By Spending Time With Your Grandkids By: Liz Lawson Young, Marketing SpecialistSeptember brings several days to remember each year including Labor Day, the end of summer, and, don’t forget, Grandparents’ Day! For 40 years, the United States has been honoring grandparents in early September with National Grandparents’ Day.The goal of this day is to encourage grandparents and grandchildren to show love to each other, and for grandchildren to appreciate the wisdom and guidance that their grandparents can provide. What a great day! This Grandparents’ Day, I hope your grandchildren or the young ones in your life shower you with love, but I also hope you appreciate what spending time with those little people does for you.Did you know that spending regular time with your grand- children can improve yourhealth and extend your life? Last year, a study was released that showed that the life expectancy of grandparents who spend time regularly with their grandchildren was significantly increased. Also, a 2016 study showed that those who care for their grandchildren regularly may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disorders.So, this means that while my parents may have blamed my brother and me (mostly him) for the gray hair they developed during my childhood and adolescence, they can thank us for their continued youth now that they are spending time withtheir grandchildren regularly! This regular social interactionwith your grandchildren can sharpen your mind, keep you active, and lower the risk of depression for both you and them. Don’t have grandchildren? Don’t worry! The same studies show that you can receive these benefits when spending time with young ones you care about, even if they aren’t related to you.It is important to strikethe right balance in spending time with little ones, so as notto increase stress, which will have negative effects on your health. The same studies show that grandparents who spentone day a week caring for their grandchildren had a lower risk of cognitive disorders.If you’re not sure what activities to do with your grandchildren, here are some suggestions:• Go on a nature walk• Read together• Take them to the zoo ormuseum• Write letters to each other • Take them to get ice cream • Teach them your favoritehobby, such as baking, knitting,woodworking, etc• Take them on day trips to localhistoric sites• Play a card game• Show them pictures of youwhen you were younger • Share stories from yourchildhoodIf you don’t havegrandchildren or your familymembers aren’t local, thereare opportunities to build relationationship withchildren in your community through programs like Foster Grandparents, put on by Community Action Agency. This program, “provides an opportunity for low-income senior citizens to love, nurture, and educate at-risk and special needs children in school or childcare environments.” Foster Grandparents go into local schools and daycare programs and spend time with children, helping them read, develop language skills, or just spend time talking with them.For more information on the qualifications and requirements of the Foster Grandparent Program, contact the Community Action Agency of South Central Michigan at 1-877-422-2726.Studies cited:Burn, K F, et al. “Roleof Grandparenting in Postmenopausal Women’s Cognitive Health: Results from the Women’s Healthy Aging Project.” Advances in Pediatrics., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Oct. 2014, www.ncbi., Sonja, et al. “Caregiving within and beyond the family is associated with lower mortality for the caregiver: A prospective study.” Evolution & Human Behavior., Dec. 2016, S1090-5138(16)30072-1/fulltext.PROMOTINGHEALTH  INDEPENDENCE  CHOICE

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