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MDHHS seeks input from senior citizens for new state plan

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has started “Community Conversations” with older Michigan residents. The goal is to get input regarding the needs of seniors to identify gaps in already-existing programs and services.

Scott Wamsley, the Director of Aging, Community Living and Support with MDHHS said, “In the rural areas of the state, you often hear about the distance between where individuals live and what that means for service delivery.”

Wamsley added that the community conversations will help the state develop its next three-year plan for aging services in Michigan.

Through the information gathered, a draft plan will be drafted and will go before the state’s Commission on Services to the Aging for approval before being submitted to the Federal Administration for Community Living by July 1 for implementation during fiscal years 2023-2026.

State units on aging are tasked under the Older Americans Act with developing and administering a multi-year State Plan on Aging that provides goals and objectives related to assisting older residents, their families and caregivers in their states. The plan serves as a blueprint outlining coordination and advocacy activities to meet the needs of older adults and for building capacity for long-term care efforts in the state.

Wamsley said the “Community Conversations” will be held at various locations across the state and in four separate online forums through February 14.

For a current list of community conversation locations, dates, and times, or to access the survey, go to the Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration webpage.

Space is limited and organizers require RSVPs for planning purposes. You can RSVP to the locations listed online or by calling Tammy Lemmer at 517-230-9707.