Page 17 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - July 2018 - 25-07
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A Look Back at: Heritage Commons 2018
Is Your Sock Sliding Off?
By: Mary Peterson, Program Coordinator, CareWell Services SW
There is a saying that goes,
By: Cathleen Knoll, Senior Center Manager Heritage Commons
Nursing 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 by nursing homes, but can stay in their own home or another residential setting.
You will work with a nurse
or social worker to develop
a 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
• Personal Care
• Chore services
• Personal emergency response
• Counseling
• Home delivered meals • Training in a variety of
independent living skills
• Supports coordination
• Community transition services
CareWell 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!
Senior Times - July 2018
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According to the National Council on Aging, there is evidence that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic diseases and experience improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and financial well-being.
There are many ways that senior centers fill areas that were once filled by work. As people retire, many social connections are lost and new ones are slow
to form if you are alone at home. Family and friends fragment
and sometimes drift apart. Senior centers fill a vital role in maintaining connection to the community and forming new social conduits.
As most of you know, it
had been a long held dream to develop and open a senior center in the Marshall area. Heritage Commons was a long time in its development and it opened last July. Now a year old, Heritage Commons plays a fundamental role in many members’ lives.
In their own words, here are some testimonials. “It was such a blessing I found this place, it has helped a lot, and lunches
are great,” states Betty Cary.
Vi Halder shared, “An active social life is very important to seniors and the Center is a great place to interact with others.” New member, Cecilia Kernan said, “I’ve had to relocate to
Battle Creek and live with my daughter this past year. We found out about the senior center and signed up. It has been a blessing for me to have a place to go and to come to during the week. I’ve met nice people and enjoyed attending the various programs. Another member, Dawn Ernst states, “Retirement is a difficult transition and I believe the Center provides an avenue for
a way to be connected with others.”
Heritage Commons has truly become a focal point for older adults looking for aging services and programs. The range of programs encompasses seasonal offerings, foot clinics, Medicare/ Medicaid Assistance Program, health and wellness programs, lunch and learns, congregate lunches, three exercise programs, yoga, crafts, and cards. There are a variety of regular and seasonal events to choose from in every month’s schedule.
Heritage Commons is a joint venture between CareWell Services, Calhoun County Senior Services, Oaklawn Hospital, and the City of Marshall. All four partners had agreed to support and fund a senior center at the Preston Drive location. A series of meetings resulted in several advisory groups who assisted in formulating the main structure for the senior center. Last years’ advisory group has converted into a Steering Committee to
oversee the operation of the senior center and advise the partners. They meet once a month for updates and to develop operating guidelines. The Center has a new members’ Advisory Council, which is a conduit where members can voice their suggestions, comments and ideas with the Steering Committee.
Heritage Commons has
grown from an idea to a four
day a week (and Tuesday evenings) senior center. Currently, membership is at
130. The Center boasts many loyal volunteers devoting over 300 hours per month. Today, as Heritage Commons nears its first anniversary, it is the members’ affinity and passion that will guide us as we continue to grow. “We need to work together to ensure that Heritage Commons remains a gathering place for engaging, enriching older adults in our community,” notes Kitty Knoll, Senior Center Manager. Heritage Commons invites the community to its anniversary celebration on Thursday, July
26 from 2:30-4pm. We will
offer a variety of ice cream and toppings. In addition, we will be opening a Recreation Department “time capsule” from 1995. Heritage Commons is located
at 13444 Preston Drive off of
15 Mile Road just outside of Marshall. We hope to see you at the anniversary celebration.
“I walk around like everything is fine, but deep down, inside my shoes my sock is sliding off.” Does this sound like you? Can you relate? Are you feeling uncertainty, fatigue, depression, desperation, agitation, or sleep- ing too little or too much? Do you feel trapped or unbearable pain (emotional pain or phys- ical pain)? Have you thought
of taking your life? Do not feel ashamed. Do not feel guilty.
If these are a few warning
signs that you or someone
you know has experienced,
do not suffer alone, there is help. Suicide does not discrim- inate! The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is here to help, call 1-899-273 TALK (8255). Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress, not a harmless bid for attention, and should not be ignored.
The toll of caregiving is stressful and exhausting. Your health as a caregiver must come first. Stress, fatigue,
and the everyday challenges of being a caregiver can cause and attribute to many other chronic conditions. There are medica- tions available that may help. Seeking help or reaching out to a family member or friend is a sign of strength!
Where can you go for more information on suicide preven- tion? Visit the National Institute of Mental Health website at and search “suicide” or call 1-866-615- NIMH (6464). Local Help: call the Crisis Team at Summit Pointe, 1-800-632-5449 or visit: http://www.summitpointe. org/suicide. A team of trained mental health professionals is available to talk with you. Or, call 911.
The MI Choice Waiver Program
By: Paulette Porter, Marketing/Outreach Coordinator, CareWell Services SW

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