Where would you prefer to age? In a long-term care facility, or in the familiar surroundings of your own home?
If you are like 8 of 10 people, surveys show, you would prefer to age in place, in your own home and community.
That’s a key reason why AARP Michigan strongly endorses the Elder Persons Millage on the ballot in Ingham County in the Aug. 4 primary election.
The funds from the senior millage -- which would raise about $2.3 million each year for four years -- would pay for in-home services that help older adults 60 years and older live independently in their own homes.
These services can be life-changing for older adults and their families. Often, simply providing assistance with the activities of daily living – help with things like shopping, bathing, laundry and meals – can be the difference that allows someone to remain in their own home, rather than go to a nursing home. These services can also be the difference that allows an individual’s family caregiver to remain in the workforce, earning income and avoiding lost productivity for Michigan businesses.
Ingham County is home to 57,000 residents age 60 and older. Many lack the financial means to fully care for themselves. Nearly 200 older adults are now on waiting lists for in-home services. The senior millage would reduce these waiting lists that are expected to grow substantially as Michigan’s population ages in the coming years.
The millage also will support growth in the Meals on Wheels program, and respite programs for unpaid family caregivers, who are the first line of defense against older Michiganders being readmitted to hospitals or forced to move into nursing homes.
The funding will allow for services such as home repair, healthy living classes for adults with diabetes and other chronic conditions, and crisis services for low-income and isolated seniors.
The ballot proposal is a 0.30-mill levy, which would be $15 a year on a home worth $100,000 and assessed at $50,000 or $30 a year on a home worth $200,000 and assessed at $100,000. Ingham County is one of only 7 of Michigan’s 83 counties that do not have a dedicated millage for older adult programs. Many counties have a much higher millage.
The bipartisan County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to place the issue on the ballot.
No older adult in Ingham County should have to wait for essential services to maintain their quality of life and independence.
Please join AARP Michigan and vote YES on the Elder Persons Millage on the Aug. 4 ballot. Remember: Taking care of our older adults is everyone’s business.
State Volunteer President, AARP Michigan
State Director, AARP Michigan
This story is provided by AARP Michigan. Visit the AARP Michigan page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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