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Senior millage money to boost meal, home services for county’s elderly

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A proposal to use senior millage dollars on home care services would help up to 120 elderly county residents maintain their independence with access to housekeeping, medication management and home-delivered meals.

The request for $329,280 was approved by the county’s Senior Activities Committee in January. The Muskegon County Board of Commissioners also gave preliminary approval to the request on Tuesday at the board’s human services committee meeting.

If approved by the full board on Tuesday, Feb. 13, Senior Resources of West Michigan and its partners would be allowed to boost its purchased services program for qualified county residents.

Senior Resources is tasked with administering care and activities funded by the county. The Senior Activities Committee – made up of several county commissioners and community health leaders – oversees the use of senior millage funds, pending county board approval.

At present, more than 390 people ages 60 and up receive in-home care in Muskegon County, along with support and assessment services. Those amenities are traditionally covered by federal and state grants. The average cost of a participating senior is $2,099 a year.

There’s also a lengthy wait list with 160 residents in line to receive care. The proposed funding would allow Senior Resources and its partners to assess and arrange in-home care for an additional 120 residents.

Out of those 120, 86 of them would be approved for snow removal and lawn care, which costs $900 per participant each year.

Services are provided by a number of third-party vendors. They include:

  • Adult day care
  • Light housekeeping
  • Meal preparation
  • Home-delivered meals
  • Medication management
  • Personal care, such as bathing and grooming assistance
  • Medical alert devices
  • Respite care
  • Snow removal and lawn care

On Tuesday, Commissioner Ken Mahoney said the allocation was a “perfect” use of senior millage funds. His comment came after county leaders floated $1.7 million from the senior millage fund to pay off¬†contractual services for Brookhaven Medical Facility.

The county-owned nursing home was ordered closed in November 2017 due to ongoing financial hardships. Several residents balked at the transfer, and called the decision a misuse of taxpayer funds.

County transfers $1.7M in senior millage money to broke Brookhaven

Brookhaven nursing home set to close in early February

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