More than 1.4 million people over the age of 65 call Michigan home. That puts it in the top 10 of all states in the nation as far as senior population. The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) is dedicated to making sure all of those seniors live full, rich lives.
OSA’s stated vision is “to promote independence and enhance the dignity of Michigan's older adults and their families.” To that end, it offers a myriad of services for seniors.
-- Adult Day Care: Daytime care for “functionally impaired elderly persons.”
-- Assistance to the Hearing Impaired: Services and education/training for deaf seniors.
-- Assisted Transportation – Helping seniors who can no longer drive themselves get around to doctor appointments and daily errands.
-- Caregiver Education: Basic training for people who take care of seniors.
-- Chore Services: Helping seniors take care of their homes.
-- Congregate Meals: Serving meals in a group setting, such as at a senior or community center.
-- Disease Prevention/Health Promotion: Programs to teach seniors how to avoid developing chronic diseases, as well as how to manage existing conditions.
-- Foster Grandparent Program: Matching low-income seniors with children who need special attention. A tax-free stipend is included.
-- Home Delivered Meals: At least one nutritious meal per day delivered directly to the home.
-- Home Injury Control: Helping seniors make their homes safer by installing such things as grab bars, smoke alarms and enhanced lighting.
-- In-Home Respite Care: Providing companionship and someone to help with daily chores.
-- Long-Term Care Ombudsman – Advocating for residents of long-term care facilities.
-- Medication Management: Teaching seniors about possible drug interactions, which could be fatal without the proper knowledge.
-- Retired Senior Volunteer Program: Opportunities for seniors to volunteer in the community.
-- Senior Community Services Employment Program: Part-time work and training for low-income seniors.
Some Counties in Michigan offer a program called Assistive Devices and Technologies. It helps seniors learn how to acquire and use certain devices that can help them live better lives. This includes such items as electric wheelchairs, ramps and medication dispensers. But it also includes medical alert systems.
Most advocates for seniors agree that a medical alert system is a must for people living alone or with a spouse. You cannot out a price on the peace of mind that if a medical emergency does occur, help is just the press of the button away.
With the advance of technology, medical alert devices are no longer bound to the home by a telephone live. For active seniors, there are now devices with cellular and GPS technology built in so you can take it with you wherever you go.
All medical alert companies are national, so they operate in all 50 states, including Michigan. To compare the services each company offers, click on this helpful link.
Sadly, elder abuse is all too common in our society. OSA has an Elder Abuse Prevention program that provides education, outreach and referral services regarding abuse, neglect or exploitation of seniors. If necessary, OSA also provides legal services if a senior finds themselves in such an unspeakable situation.
If you want to report any kind of abuse, there is a number you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week -- 855-444-3911.
Each year OSA issues an annual report to update seniors on the advances they have made over the past year, and what they can look forward to in the year ahead. You can read the full report here.
The Michigan Office of Services to the Aging provides services and programs through 16 Area Agencies on Aging (AAA).
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Medical Alert Systems > Michigan Medical Alert Systems and Senior Resources in Michigan