by Julie Randolph, Care Coordinator
Senior Services receives many calls during the winter months requesting assistance clearing snow and ice from driveways, ramps, walkways, and porches. Senior Services does not provide this type of service. Essential home maintenance of clearing snow and ice for safe entrance and exit is the responsibility of the homeowner. Senior Services Home Care staff and Meals on Wheels volunteers depend on homeowners to provide clear and safe paths for delivering meals and other services to the older adults.
Many local landscaping companies offer snow removal during the winter months. Consider asking your church for a list of parishioners or youth groups who are available for you to hire or provide volunteer assistance. Local colleges may have community volunteer programs or students interested in part time employment during the winter academic semester. Also, consider working as a team with neighbors to negotiate a snow removal service at a discount price due to many properties in the same area needing assistance. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and encourage you to be proactive and creative in your effort to stay safe.
Care Coordinators also receive many calls for financial assistance to pay heating expenses. Contact Consumer’s Energy now to learn more about the Winter Protection and Budget Plan options. Talk with your propane provider today to discuss a winter budget plan. If you do run into difficulties paying your heating bills, here are a few options for assistance:
- Consumers Energy CARE Program is a two year affordable payment plan that helps you stay on top of your energy bills. A portion of your monthly bill will be paid by the program. Past due balances will be gradually forgiven as a reward for on time payments. 877-448-9433 or 1-800-477-5050
- TrueNorth emPower Heat and Energy Assistance Program may help you with heat/energy bills and energy conservation initiatives. 231-355-5880
- Department of Health and Human Services, State Emergency Relief Assistance assists qualified households that have a heat or electric emergency, including a past due notice, shut-off notice or a need for deliverable fuel. 989-835-7040 or 1-844-464-3447
- Michigan 2-1-1 offers a free, confidential service that connects you with the best local community organization to serve your specific needs.
- Salvation Army provides families with assistance and emergency needs, such as food, clothing, transportation, shelter, home heating and medicine 989-496-2787
- Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency offers a Deliverable Fuel Assistance program and a Heat and Utility Assistance program. 989-832-7377
- Local Churches
These programs are in place to assure safety and warmth for older adults of Midland County. Please reach out to Senior Services if additional help is needed by calling 989-633-3700.