On August 7 when you visit the polls to vote, the Midland County Senior Millage will be on your ballot. The Senior Millage supports programs that are essential to the well being of older adults in our community and assures seniors will continue to receive vital services such as Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Memory Support, Adult Day Services, Counseling, Support Groups, Education, Home Care, Handyman Services, Activity & Dining Centers, Care Coordination, Prescription & Medicare Assistance and Volunteer Opportunities.
We’re Your Advocates
Throughout life, we all need a helping hand here and there. As you get older, Senior Services is here to do just that. We can help arrange things like getting a ramp built on your home, making sure the heat stays on in the winter or providing a nutritious meal. We do whatever we can to help you live in your own home longer. Sometimes that means installing a grab bar in the bathroom and sometimes it means offering enriching activities that keep you socially connected. Your health and well-being is our mission.
Emmy Bork connected with Senior Services many years ago by coming to our Activity & Dining Centers. When she started getting chemotherapy, we provided personalized assistance, unique to her needs. As she recovers, she hasn’t been able to shop for groceries so she’s unable to prepare her own meals. The Senior Millage has helped us deliver Meals on Wheels right to her doorstep. The millage has also supported our Home Care to provide housekeeping services and our Handyman Team to make her bathroom safer. This helps Emmy focus on getting better, making her health a priority. Emmy says, “Senior Services got me a very nice shower chair and put up a grab bar in the bathroom. I really like my Meals on Wheels—such a variety of foods. I’ve been thinking of tapering off but I don’t have a lot of energy for shopping yet. I have someone to come and clean twice a month and that is wonderful. Senior Services has been great! They do so much for our seniors. People from surrounding counties have told me that they are planning to move to Midland when they retire!”
People Need People
When you spend time around others, it creates feelings of happiness and belonging and makes life more meaningful. It also keeps you healthier. Using any of our services provides an opportunity to interact with others. From Transportation to Counseling and from Lunchtime Learners to Volunteering—the Senior Millage helps people stay socially active and connected. Not only does it support our Activity & Dining Centers, but it also makes it possible for us to provide Seasons Adult Day Health Services, a socially engaging environment for those living with a chronic disease or memory changes.
Virginia Wackerle’s husband attended Seasons. She says, “My husband went to Seasons before he passed away. Denny, the maintenance person, took him on a tour early on and when he saw that there were no beds there, he knew that I was coming to get him at the end of the day. After that, he looked forward to coming twice a week.” Virginia now attends Sanford Activity & Dining Center. “The Sanford Center has really been a blessing to me. I tried to get my husband to come and play cards for a long time. Only three weeks after he passed, I made myself go and now I go there every week! My first time there one of the men said, ‘We have room at our table’ and he introduced me all around. They played a little differently than I was used to but I thought, ‘I can change!’ It got me out of the house and makes me feel that life goes on. I have met a lot of nice people there. Everyone you meet has a story and you can always find something in common.”
Our Volunteers Save Lives!
The things we do to help others, big or small, could eventually save a life. Everything we do at Senior Services is designed to keep people healthy and their lives meaningful and, in some way, preserve the lives of those we touch. Our volunteers help carry out this mission and save lives along the way! One such volunteer is Handyman Howie Schaeding. Recently, Howie installed carbon monoxide detectors that saved two people from serious carbon monoxide poisoning. He also makes home visits with the Midland Fire Department to assess an older adult’s home and modifies the house with things like smoke alarms, grab bars and non-slip surfaces. In addition, Howie is a Meals on Wheels volunteer who confirms everyone is okay as he drops off their meal.
Value to Taxpayers
The Senior Millage is used to help keep older adults self reliant for as long as possible. In the long run, taxpayers pay much less for the Senior Millage than what they would spend to support nursing home placement through Medicaid. Keeping people at home, longer, is a cost savings for everyone.
Population in Need
Some 26% of Midland County’s population is over 60, an addition of 3,500 older adults over the last four years. The fastest growing segment is those over 80, the group often needing more extensive services.
Millage Used Wisely
Even with a steady increase in the number of seniors, Senior Services only levies what is truly needed to maintain services. This year’s ballot for a renewal of 0.9 mill will allow us to continue to cover the cost of services to the growing senior population.
Don’t Forget to Vote August 7!