Readers' Voice

Urge your elected officials to protect vital services to seniors

  June 24, 2020 has been designated Senior Action Day in Michigan.  Sponsored by the Area Agencies on Aging Association and Michigan's sixteen Area Agencies on Aging, Senior Action Day is a call to advocate for maintaining a strong aging network in the midst of the pandemic and state budget crisis.

    "It is more important than ever that Michigan seniors have continued access to effective in-home and community-based services to remain independent in their homes, said Area Agencies on Aging Association President Laura Sutter.  Senior Action Day is an opportunity for seniors and advocates to speak to the Governor and Legislators with one voice about the needs of older adults and people with disabilities."       
    
    "We are urging the Governor and Legislature to maintain essential aging network services and to provide direct care workers with a premium pay increase to recognize their essential contribution to the health and safety of Michigan seniors, said David LaLumia, Executive Director of the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.  Part of our strategy to re-engage the economy and transition beyond lockdowns must include adequate protections and care for vulnerable populations."     
    
    While persons 60 and older are 24% of the total Michigan population, they make up 34% of the MDHHS reported COVID-19 cases.  Most tragically, persons 60 plus represent 84% of the pandemic deaths reported.  Michigan seniors remain at high risk of infection and death and are facing a much longer period of social isolation, difficulty in securing food and access to in-home and community-based care than the rest of the population.

    "A key role of Area Agencies on Aging is to advocate on behalf of older adults and to facilitate opportunities for them to self-advocate," said Lynn Kellogg, CEO Region IV Area Agency on Aging. "No voice is stronger than the voice of people impacted by issues. Senior Action Day is a chance for older adults to help policy makers understand how the issues impact their everyday lives."
 
    We are asking all Michigan's area seniors, their family members, caregivers, and those that want to take action for our older adults to write letters, emails, or make phone calls to their local elected officials. To find sample letters and contact info for your local elected official visit https://areaagencyonaging.org/advocacy.
 
    Thank you for your help. For more information or questions email Christine Vanlandingham atcvanlandingham@areaagencyonaging.org, or call 269-983-0177.
 

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