CALHOUN COUNTY LOOKS AHEAD FOR SERVING ITS SENIOR RESIDENTS
The Senior Millage is a valued resource in Calhoun County that supports 13 different organizations and 17 unique programs among them. The three most important and most requested services are Meals (home-delivered and community congregate), county-wide senior transportation (non-medical and social), and dental services (from basic hygiene to dental appliances). The County purposely works through local agencies to develop their capacity to meet needs rather than duplicate service infrastructures. For 2017 through 2019 the County recently contracted for continuing services with Community Action for Home Heating Assistance; Legal Services of SouthCentralMI for Legal Assistance; Senior Health Partners for Senior Fitness & Fun (wellness activity); Guardian Finance for Guardianship and Money Management assistance; and the Fountain Clinic for expanded Dental Services. Contracts for all other services are on a different renewal schedule.
The Calhoun County Office of Senior Services, through a citizen advisory committee (Senior Millage Allocation Committee), provides priority and funding recommendations to the Board of Commissioners. Popular special events again in 2017 include: Calhoun County Senior Fair at Marshall Middle School on April 6, with hundreds of seniors expected to attend; Centenarian lunch in May honoring older adults age 99+ at Schuler’s Restaurant; and Senior Day at the County Fair on August 16 draws in hundreds for a luncheon, activities and entertainment. This Office co-sponsors, and has information displays, and grants funds for many other events and services throughout the county, such as the Oaklawn Hospitality Classic/health fair; Miles for Memories Alzheimer’s project; local food bank services; special community transportation grants; Talons Out Honor Flights; Senior Day Baseball festivals, and Veterans Stand Down. And each year, October 15 through December 7, is the important enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries to review and make changes to their health plans.
A long sought popular initiative is planting the foundation for an older adult services center in the Marshall region. The partnership of the County, Oaklawn Hospital, City of Marshall and Care Well Services Southwest (aka Rgn 3B Area Agency on Aging) is meeting with local citizens and community groups from the surrounding region to form a management and leadership structure. Similar to the Forks Senior Center in Albion, Senior Services expects this center to become an important outreach and educational resource in the center of Calhoun County. Look to spring 2017 for its opening, outreach and activity.
This Office works to support safety, dignity and independence. But the real watch word is ‘inter-dependence.’ We are not meant to do it all alone. For questions or presentation about any Senior Millage funded services, call the Office of Senior Services at 269-781-0846.