It’s hard to believe my first year serving as your State Senator has come and gone. I’m so grateful to represent you and our community here in Lansing. Since taking office, my team has worked hard to fight for the things we’ve heard are important to you — investing in our state’s infrastructure to fix our roads and ensure we have clean drinking water, funding our public schools, and ensuring seniors and families have the resources they need to age in place and thrive in our communities. Every letter, email and call to our office has helped me to better represent you and I hope to continue hearing from you as we enter the new year. Keep them coming!
Last spring, we hosted several Senior Listening Tours around the district
and heard the concerns of many residents. Some common topics included addressing fraud and abuse targeting seniors, aging in place through access to home healthcare, and accessible housing and transportation. In response, we’ve put together this publication to ensure you have easy access to local and state resources. You can find even more detailed information in our Services for Seniors booklet, which can be found at your local public library. Alternatively, reach out to our office and we can mail you a copy.
Toll-free: (855) DIST013 or (855) 347-8013
Now that winter has begun and the days are finally getting longer, it’s important to be knowledgeable about what you can do keep yourself warm during the colder months.
Hypothermia is an issue that affects people of all ages, but older adults are much more susceptible because they lose body heat faster. A body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney issues, liver damage or worse.
Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. Try to stay away from cold places and pay attention to how cold it is where you are. You can take steps to lower your chances of getting hypothermia by knowing the signs.
Symptoms of hypothermia include:
• Uncontrollable shivering • Disorientation
• Memory loss
• Slurred speech
• Apparent exhaustion
Michigan Department of Health and Human Service’s Aging & Adult Services Agency
Phone: (517) 241-4100
Access to affordable and dependable health care is an issue for people of all ages but, fortunately for older adults, Medicare is an available option.
You may be automatically enrolled in Medicare when you turn 65 — if you meet certain conditions. If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you can enroll online in just a few minutes. Simply fill out a Medicare application through the Social Security website at SSA.gov/Benefits/Medicare.
Medicare is the federal government program that provides health care coverage (health insurance) if you are 65+, under 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time, or under 65 and with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).
Medicare offers multiple options for insurance coverage — including planning for hospital stays, medical costs or prescription drugs. In addition, Medicare Advantage through private insurance is available to those who need, or want, additional health care coverage options.
Although the open enrollment period for 2020 has passed, please visit Medicare.gov or call (800) 633-4227 or more information on how you can qualify for coverage after the enrollment period.
Area Agency on Aging 1-B ………………………………………………(800) 852-7795
AARP of Michigan ………………………………………………………… (866) 227-7448
Counsel and Advocacy Law Line ………………………………….. (888) 783-8190
Attorney-staff ed telephone advice, brief service, and referrals for seniors (60+) and low-income people
Medicare Resources……………………………………………………… (800) 633-4227
Adult Protective Services………………………………………………..(855) 444-391
24-hour crisis intervention for vulnerable adults
Attorney General Consumer Protection …………………………(877) 765-8388
Report consumer complaints (e.g., scams, identity theft)
Attorney General Financial Crimes …………………………….. (517) 335-7560
Report if someone is taking money or assets from a vulnerable adult not in a licensed residential care facility
Attorney General Health Care Fraud………………………………(800) 242-2873
Report financial or physical abuse, or neglect of residents, in licensed residential care facilities
Attorney General Public Administration ……………………….(517) 335-7627
Concerns about a Public Administrator’s handling of estate assets of individuals who die without a will or known heirs
Department of Insurance & Financial Services ……………….(877) 999-6442
Investigate consumer complaints against insurance, banking, credit union, mortgage and other financial products
LARA Bureau of Community & Health Services …………….. (800) 882-6006
Report abuse or neglect related to quality-of-care concerns in licensed nursing homes
LARA Board of Professional Licensing …………………………..(517) 241-0199
Report complaints and allegations against licensed care professionals (doctors, dentists, nurses, etc.)
Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman ……………………. (866) 485-9393
Concerns about your rights, care, or services in a nursing home, home for aged or adult foster care
Every 10 years, the U.S. government is constitutionally required to count the people living in our country. It doesn’t matter if you’re a natural-born citizen, a Green Card holder or an immigrant — every person living in our country matters.
The 2020 Census questionnaire will contain a short set of questions asking about the people living in your household. It’s critical that you fill out these forms and return them.
Be Counted: U.S. CENSUS 2020 You should make sure you respond to the 2020
Census questionnaire because the results of it:
BY APRIL 1, 2020, every home in Michigan should receive a census questionnaire. Thanks to upgrades in technology, you will be able to return your answers via MAIL, PHONE or ONLINE.
Earn extra income while helping your community
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. These temporary positions include Census takers, Census field supervisors, recruiting assistants, clerks and office operations supervisors.
Interested? Learn more and apply online at Recruitment.2020Census.gov. How to avoid scams
Between March 12 and 20, most households will receive a postcard invitation to respond online to the 2020 census. Those who don’t answer will then receive the traditional paper form in the mail. If you don’t respond, the bureau will send a census taker to knock on that door to collect the household’s data.
Real census employees won’t ask for your full Social Security number, for money or donations, or for bank or credit card numbers.
Check to make sure that the person has a valid identification badge with his or her photograph, a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you still suspect fraud, call the Census Bureau at (800) 923-8282 to speak to a representative.
Meals on Wheels
Senior citizens are a vital part of our community. After a lifetime of hard
work, many continue to give back to our communities, and serve as the backbone of our neighborhoods, while others need our help. Seniors live on fixed incomes and struggle to pay for nutritious food due to expensive prescription drug costs, rising utility rates, increased rent, and more.
Meals on Wheels can help.
This program helps senior citizens eat nutritious meals by providing five per week to homebound, older adults. They also offer liquid nutrition for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.
To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:
• 60 years or older;
• Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
• Unable to cook for him/ herself;
• Have no one willing to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
• Able to feed him/herself.
For more information about Meals on Wheels call or visit:
Oakland Meals on Wheels | (248) 689-0001
3179 Livernois Road, #100, Troy, MI 48083
Preventing Elder Abuse
More than 73,000 older adults in Michigan are victims of elder abuse — both physical and mental — as well as neglect and exploitation. The symptoms and treatment of elder abuse are complex and demand a concerted effort to tackle this often unrecognized, and unreported, social problem.
As an elected official, this also includes enacting legislation to stop elder abuse. A bipartisan bill package was recently introduced that would protect elderly and vulnerable adults from physical and financial abuse. These bills would increase penalties for assaulting elderly people; make it a crime to use or obtain an elderly person’s money or property through fraud or coercion; and make it a felony to restrain an elderly person through violence, fraud or deceit.
Reporting Elder Abuse
If you suspect elder or vulnerable adult abuse, please report it. The attorney general’s office has created a hotline and a website for Michigan residents to send in anonymous tips to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ Adult Protective Services Division.
SEE IT DOCUMENT IT REPORT IT Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
Adult Protective Services Division
(800) 24-ABUSE (800-242-2873) | Michigan.gov/ElderAbuse
On Oct. 1, 2020, the federally mandated REAL ID law will go into full effect and, if you travel by air, this law will impact you. If you haven’t been paying attention to this issue, it’s time to get informed.
REAL ID is the post-9/11 federal requirement setting higher security standards for identification. Once in effect, standard state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will not be enough when boarding flights within the U.S. or entering certain federal facilities, such as military bases or nuclear power plants.
Some people already have a REAL ID document, such as a valid U.S. passport, a DHS Trusted Traveler Card or an enhanced driver’s license. A full list of acceptable REAL ID documents is available online at TSA.gov.
Snowbirds reminded to
Residents heading south for the winter are reminded to renew their driver’s licenses and license plates before leaving Michigan.
You can renew plates for individually owned or leased
cars, pickup trucks, vans and motorcycles up to six months before they expire. Renew early online at ExpressSOS.com or at a Secretary of State office, even if you have not yet received your renewal information in the mail. License plate tabs will arrive by mail within two weeks. Driver’s licenses (for drivers age 21 and older) and state ID cards may be renewed up to a year early.
Motorists have the option of obtaining a REAL ID-compliant license or state ID card at no extra cost when renewing. Certain paperwork and a visit to a branch is required, so drivers are encouraged to check Michigan.gov/REALID or call the Department of State Information Center at (888) SOS-MICH (767-6424) for more details.
Visiting a branch office? Consider scheduling an appointment. Appointments are reserved online at Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments and help ensure that visits are 30 minutes or less.
To make a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state ID card, visit a Secretary of State Office and bring the following documents with you:
• Your driver’s license or state ID card;
• Your certified birth certificate, with a raised seal or stamp issued by a governmental agency;
• Your valid, unexpired U.S. passport OR an approved citizenship or legal presence document (faxes and photocopies won’t be accepted); and,
• If your name differs from what is on your birth certificate, bring certified documents for every time your name has changed, such as marriage licenses or court orders.
There’s no additional fee to turn a license or state ID card into a standard REAL ID if it’s done during your normal renewal time. Otherwise, a duplicate card fee will be charged.
REAL ID goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/RealID.
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