Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition

Advocates for Senior Issues’ former Elder Abuse strategy group contributed to the formation of the Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition.

The Kent County Elder Abuse Coalition is a large group of agencies representing non-profit, profit, and government organizations.  They are dedicated to the elimination of elder abuse in Kent County, Michigan and surrounding areas. The Coalition’s mission is, “Working together to identify, advocate, educate, and seek justice for vulnerable adult abuse in Kent County”.  They are comprised of individuals from the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office, state and local law enforcement, Kent County Probate Court, Adult Protective Services, local ombudsman from Adult Well-Being Services, Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, Kent County Health Department, Life EMS, local hospitals, local financial institutions, elder law attorneys, Advocates for Senior Issues, Senior Neighbors, and the YWCA.

The Coalition meets monthly to discuss current elder and vulnerable adult abuse cases in Kent County.  They also provide seminars and trainings on elder abuse and financial exploitation.  To learn more about scheduling a presentation please contact .

Elder Abuse Coalition website


Kent County Senior Millage – Approved!

Thank you to Kent County voters for passing the Kent County Senior Millage during the August 5, 2014 election.

The renewal and increase will help address the needs of our growing older adult population. Funds will allow additional seniors to receive services and will help attack growing waiting lists for services like meals, transportation and in-home care. For more information on the Kent County Senior Millage, visit


Increased Funding for Seniors, FY 2015

Congratulations Advocates! Michigan’s Seniors Remain a FY 15 Budget Priority!

On June 9, 2014 with a 5-0 vote the Michigan Department of Community Health (DCH) Budget Conference Committee tasked with determining FY 2015 funding levels released their conference report. SB 763 CR-1, which still requires passage by the full House and Senate contains great news for Michigan’s seniors. With grassroots advocacy from the Silver Key Coalition, support from Governor Rick Snyder and the leadership of Office of Services to the Aging Director Kari Sederburg, Michigan moves one massive step closer to becoming a no wait state for Michigan’s seniors!

The DCH Committee Report concurred with the budget recommendations of Governor Snyder which include a $5 million increase for Home and Community Based Services supported by the Office of Services to the Aging. These services include home-delivered meals, personal care, homemaking, respite, chore/minor home repair, care management, medication management and personal emergency response systems.

This increase will have major impacts on Michigan’s chronic waitlist issues which currently see nearly 4,500 seniors waiting for these key services that help them maintain their independence and enable aging-in-place instead of in more costly institutional alternatives.

Also seeing increased funding: a $5 million investment in PACE (Program for the All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly), a $1 million investment in elder abuse prevention, and a $9 million investment in the Mi-Choice Waiver program totaling $26 million when paired with matching federal funds.

Final approval is still needed by the full House and Senate and a vote is expected before the legislature adjourns for summer recess on June 12.

A special thank you goes out to all those who advocated for Michigan’s seniors. With final passage, please consider reaching out to your members of the legislature to thank them for their commitment to Michigan’s seniors.


Resources for Hospital Observation

Are you being admitted or observed?

How do you know if you are truly admitted to a hospital?

This sounds like a dumb question, but not knowing the answer can cost you a great deal of money if you are a Medicare recipient. A person can be admitted on an inpatient basis which is what is assumed by most of us – or a person can be admitted on an observation basis. The statuses look the same on the surface in that patients in both categories may stay for many days receiving medical and nursing care and tests and treatment.

A person’s hospital admission status is determined by the admitting physician. In many cases it will be observation, rather than inpatient, to get a sense of how the patient is doing and to protect the hospital against being financially penalized by Medicare for unnecessary admissions and readmissions. For example, if persons who were originally in the hospital under observation are readmitted to the hospital, they are not counted as readmissions. In recent years the number of patients many hospitals admit and retain under observation has more than doubled.

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