Page 16 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2018 - 25-07
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Page 16 Senior Times - July 2018
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450
200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017
Kinship Korner
Aging with Independence
By: Stacy Wines, Associate Director, Planning & Community Programs
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Sharon Dewey, Kinship Coordinator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
Michigan requires kinship foster homes to meet all standard require- ments for foster home licensure. Caseworkers will conduct criminal background checks and Central Registry clearance for all adults living in the home. The home
will be inspected for safety and adequate size. Available transpor- tation and financial concerns will be addressed. Once the home is licensed the caseworker will make periodic telephone calls and visits to provide support. She will make referrals for any services that may be needed. She will also work with the family to set up visitations between the children and the par- ents and other siblings.
A service plan will be developed between all parties to set out a per- manency goal for the child which will include a concurrent plan to return the child home and to prepare a secondary plan in case return is not possible. The Plan will include actions the parties involved must take to reach the primary goal.
The Family Enrichment Center will help provide support to families to meet those goals through:
• Kinship Support Group – July 3
– Westlake Presbyterian Church,
415 28th St, Battle Creek
• Brown bag Luncheon – PARC - Adoptive Parents – July 12 –
Westlake Presbyterian Church
• Saturday Parenting Series – July 21 – 9am-Noon – Molly Burr,
Enlightening People to Effects of Trauma Westlake Presbyterian Church
• Saturday Respite Care – July 21 – 9am-Noon – Art Craft for 6 - 12 year olds, Westlake Presbyterian Church
• John Ball Park Zoo Tickets – Anytime
• Barn Theater – Beauty and the Beast – Call Tammy Skidmore for details (269) 601-8510
• Kidz- N- Stuff Museum – July 27 – Albion – Call Sharon Dewey at (269) 274-4077 to RSVP
Independence Day, also referred to as the Fourth of July, is recognized by the United States as a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Most of us already know those details about Independence Day; not
as many know how important independence is as you age.
At CareWell Services, we value independence so much it is in our mission: Promoting health, independence, and choice. Independence is something that is coveted by seniors and their loved ones. While we celebrate Independence Day with family and friends, it’s a good time to consider what things we can do to assist our aging loved ones in continuing their independence as they age.
Social Engagement plays a significant role in independence. To age successfully, it is helpful for older adults to maintain
their social engagement. This may be in their community, among family or friends, or within their church family. Sometimes, you may have to bring the community to your aging loved one. I remember
as my mom battled cancer, the weaker her body became, the less she was able to maintain social engagement outside of the home. At that point, more people came to visit her at her home. Other than going to the doctor, Mom was pretty much homebound
at this point. While she had
less socialization due to lack
of mobility and transportation, those who visited her did help her maintain social engagement.
I often hear folks say how they wish they could find activities for their loved ones to have more social interaction. I quickly suggest their local senior center is a great place
to interact with others. Card games, crafts, dancing, exercise, gardening, billiards, educational lunch and learns, book clubs,
and volunteering are just a handful of activities offered at senior centers. Calhoun County is fortunate to have the Kool Family Community Center
in Battle Creek, Forks Senior Center in Albion, and Heritage Commons in Marshall. Barry County aging adults can find a variety of activities and programs at the Barry County Commission on Aging.
While it’s important to have tough conversations with aging loved ones before it’s too late, many well-meaning relatives overreact to initial warning signs and limit independence more than is required. Before you
take over Dad’s financial life or move Aunt Sue into a nursing home, make sure you understand the severity of the situation and react accordingly. Even though they may not be in a position to do everything on their own, it
is important to make sure they have as much independence as
possible to keep them happy and healthy as long as possible.
My mom enjoyed doing
the laundry (a trait I did NOT inherit). While she no longer
had the strength to lift the
basket of clothes and get the laundry loaded into the washer or dryer, she could still fold the clothes. I would take the basket to her fresh out of the dryer and she folded them. I carried the cleaned clothes into her room and she put them away neatly
in her dresser drawers or hung up items in her closest. It is important to make an effort to engage your aging loved one in their favorite activities to help them maintain independence. This may require you looking differently at how to approach the activities. Whether it’s going for a stroll, planting flowers, or paying bills, be creative in how you approach them to assist your loved one in doing tasks they enjoy.
It is a difficult balance to help your loved one maintain their independence as they age while keeping them healthy and safe. You may be asking yourself what can be done to help preserve their independence. Call Us! We’re here to help at (269) 441-0973 or 1-800-626-6719. CareWell Services has trained resource specialists to assist you in working through the maze
of aging while maintaining independence for your loved one.

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