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The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone, or by mail.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

It’s also in the Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

The 2020 Census is more than a population count. It’s an opportunity to shape the future of your community.

Learn more at https://2020census.gov/en.html.

Other Census 2020 resources and contacts include https://www.michigan.gov/census2020/, https://becountedmi2020.com/ or the Tri-County Office on Aging Census Education Coordinator, Donna Hobart, who can be reached at 517 887-1470 or hobartd@tcoa.org.

Request for Information: Caregiver Advisory Councils

ACL leads the implementation of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act. Both laws established advisory councils that reflect the diversity of the 43+ million caregivers in America. The councils also include members from federal agencies involved in caregiver issues. As they prepare reports and strategies to support caregivers, the councils would like your input. Please consider sharing your experiences, challenges, successes, and ideas. https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/USACL/bulletins/2785425

Support Funding for Aging Programs

While Congress continues to negotiate a final budget agreement for Fiscal Year 2018, which began in October, TCOA is working with the National Area Agencies on Aging Association (n4a) to highlight the importance of Older Americans Act funding for the programs and services TCOA provides. While advocating for increased funding for these supportive services, it is important to also highlight the continued need for the Medicaid Medicare Assistance Program (MMAP, known nationally as the State Health Insurance Program or SHIP) which is at continued risk of being cut from the budget entirely.

Please see the current Advocacy Alert from n4a for additional information and steps for contacting the region’s federal lawmakers (Senators Peters and Stabenow and Congressmen Bishop, Moolenaar, and Walberg). If you need assistance, feel free to contact Community Relations and Grants Manager Tammy Lemmer at 517-887-1382.  Thank you for your advocacy and assistance on behalf of older adults.

Advocacy Alert link: https://www.n4a.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=846

The MI Choice waiver program (Project Choices) is currently beginning a renewal process and now is your chance to have a say in any changes that may be made.  You have a chance to make sure your preferences are considered.

From what we understand, Michigan is considering going to a total managed care system, for example administered by private insurance companies, which could possibly mean changes to how your services are delivered.  This is your opportunity to learn about the potential changes and have meaningful input in the direction of the program.

We at Tri-County Office on Aging are strongly encouraging you to attend at least one or all of the meetings listed in the attached document.  The first meeting on September 28 is just next week and we hope you will consider attending.  If you need transportation to this meeting or have questions, please contact your Care Manager, or call 517-887-1440 and ask for your Care Manager.

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to participate, there is a phone in option (please see attached letter Stakeholder Meeting MDHHS Letter L 17-30). Comments and feedback are also being collected via email at MDHHS-MiChoice@Michigan.gov.

Thank you for your assistance in helping to determine the future of the MI Choice Waiver Program.

Act Now to Save ACA: Call Your Senators

 

A surprise new effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is gaining traction this week in the Senate. Sources on the Hill suggest that it’s only a few votes shy from being able to pass—but this version only offers tiny tweaks to legislation that has been called unaffordable, cruel and dangerous. It was then, and it still is.

The vote is expected as early as Monday. We’re asking you to once again make your voice heard on health, wellness and equity. Click here to share our Facebook post so we can reach every voter in every state.

The Graham-Cassidy proposal is just as bad as previous versions of ACA repeal– it would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, gut Medicaid funding, weaken current protections for people with pre-existing conditions and make coverage unaffordable for many.  At a time when millions of Americans are responding to the aftermath of hurricanes and extreme weather it is foolish and shortsighted to slash essential funding for an agency responsible for disaster preparedness and emergency response. This proposal is unworkable and unfair.

Over the summer, all of us worked together, made calls and stopped earlier attempts to repeal ACA.
To everyone who spoke out before—thank you. Today, we’re asking you to take action again. Here’s how:

  • Call the Senate Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. Tell your senators to vote NO on any vote or motion that would move ACA repeal forward, and that you support a bipartisan approach to addressing healthcare. Scroll down to see our updated talking points. (After you’ve called, send us a tweet or comment on our Facebook post and let us know how the conversation went.)
  • Not in a priority state? Click here to share our Facebook post so that we can reach every voter in every state—don’t forget to tag your friends in priority states to ask them to call.

 

Priority legislators
If you live or work in any of the following states, or have friends and colleagues in these areas, it’s even more important to make a call today. You can also use our links to find and tag your friends in priority states and ask them to make a call.

Alaska (find and tag your Facebook friends in Alaska)

  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski: (202) 224-6665

Arizona (find and tag your Facebook friends in Arizona)

  • Sen. Jeff Flake: (202) 224-4521
  • Sen. John McCain: (202) 224-2235

Maine (find and tag your Facebook friends in Maine)

  • Sen. Susan Collins: (202) 224-2523

Ohio (find and tag your Facebook friends in Ohio)

  • Sen. Rob Portman: (202) 224-3353

West Virginia (find and tag your Facebook friends in West Viginia)

  • Sen. Shelley Moore Capito: (202) 224-6472

 

Talking points for your calls
This latest proposal is just as bad as previous versions of ACA repeal—it would eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, gut Medicaid funding, and weaken current protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Urge your senators to vote NO on the latest effort to repeal ACA. Tell them their no vote will :

  • Protect our care: Repealing the ACA would leave millions of Americans without access to quality, affordable insurance. It’s not fair to leave the people who are more vulnerable—elderly, poor and rural Americans—to pay huge increases while the wealthy get breaks to save money at their expense.
  • Protect public health. The ACA does more than increase healthcare coverage—it also contributes directly to state and local public health departments and community-based health and safety initiatives, like CDC funding, vaccines, and other critical programs to address and prevent infectious disease and other outbreaks. Without these funds, our nation will be less prepared to tackle illnesses and diseases. As a result, there will be more premature deaths, more preventable disease, and higher healthcare costs.
  • Protect prevention. Part of the ACA, the landmark Prevention and Public Health Fund invests in proven strategies to prevent chronic and infectious diseases. Eliminating this funding stream would lead to an increase in preventable disease and death, and would put the security of our nation at risk.

View on the Public Health Institute site.

 

More Ways to Take Action

 

Medicare Card Messaging Guidelines

July 2017

Talking About the New Medicare Cards

Personal identity theft affects a large and growing number of seniors. People age 65 or older are increasingly the victims of this type of crime. This is why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is readying a fraud prevention initiative that removes Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards. Our aim is to help combat identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars.
Starting April 2018, CMS will begin mailing new Medicare cards that include a new Medicare Number.  The mailings will be staggered throughout the year, with completion expected by April 2019. The messaging guidelines here are intended to help business partners, providers, advocates, stakeholders and other interested parties develop accurate public-­‐facing materials around the new Medicare card and new Medicare Number (1).

Read more by clicking here: New-Medicare-Card-Messaging-Guidelines-July-2017

 

 

Caregiver Action Network is proud to be the organization that sets the theme for November’s National Family Caregivers Month each year. The theme for National Family Caregivers Month November 2016 is “Take Care to Give Care”.

The first rule of taking care of others: take care of yourself first. Caregiving can be a rewarding experience, but it is also physically and emotionally demanding. The stress of dealing with caregiving responsibilities leads to a higher risk of health issues among the Nation’s 90 million family caregivers. So as a family caregiver, remember to pay attention to your own physical and mental wellness, and get proper rest and nutrition. Only by taking care of yourself can you be strong enough to take care of your loved one. You really do need to “take care to give care!”

  • Caregiving can be a stressful job. Most family caregivers say they feel stressed providing care for a loved one. With all of their caregiving responsibilities – from managing medications to arranging doctor appointments to planning meals – caregivers too often put themselves last.
  • The stress of caregiving impacts your own health. One out of five caregivers admit they have sacrificed their own physical health while caring for a loved one. Due to stress, family caregivers have a disproportionate number of health and emotional problems. They are twice as likely to suffer depression and are at increased risk for many other chronic conditions.
  • Proper nutrition helps promote good health. Ensuring that you are getting proper nutrition is key to help maintain your strength, energy and stamina, as well as strengthening your immune system. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the most powerful things you can do to take care of yourself and keep a positive attitude overall.
  • Ensuring good nutrition for your loved one helps make care easier. As many as half of all older adults are at risk for malnutrition. Good nutrition can help maintain muscle health, support recovery, and reduce risk for re-hospitalization – which may help make your care of a loved one easier.
  • Remember: “Rest. Recharge. Respite.” People think of respite as a luxury, but considering caregivers’ higher risk for health issues from chronic stress, those risks can be a lot costlier than some time away to recharge. The chance to take a breather, the opportunity to re-energize, is vital in order for you to be as good a caregiver tomorrow as you were today.

 

During National Family Caregivers Month,

we remind family caregivers that to be strong enough to care for your loved one, you must

Take Care to Give Care!

© Caregiver Action Network • www.CaregiverAction.org • 202.454.3970

 

An analysis of The AP-NORC Center’s fourth annual Long-Term Care Poll looks at how Hispanics age 40 and older feel about aging and their preferences for receiving and providing care.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research is conducting a series of studies to explore expectations and preparation for, and attitudes towards, long-term care among Americans age 40 and older. These studies have included deeper analysis of the experiences of Hispanics, an important and growing demographic group.

The results of the survey indicate that, like older Americans overall, most Hispanics age 40 and older wish to receive ongoing living assistance in their own home, and they would prefer for a loved one needing care to move in with them as well, so they could provide care in their own home rather than in the home of the loved one. The survey also reveals that many older Hispanics expect to provide care to an aging family member or friend in the next five years, though few feel prepared to do so. They express moderate levels of concern about a variety of issues that could arise with aging, including losing their memory or other mental abilities, losing their independence and having to rely on others, and leaving debts to their family.

The U.S. Census estimates that the Hispanic population will more than double by the year 2060, and Hispanics age 65 and older are expected to make up 21 percent of Americans in that age group. The portion of the country’s overall population age 65 and older is expected to spike in the coming years, and, with a majority of these seniors expected to need help with daily activities like cooking, bathing, or remembering to take medicine, the study of attitudes on this specific issue among this specific group becomes all the more critical.

The 2016 study, funded by The SCAN Foundation, includes interviews completed with a nationally representative sample of 1,698 Americans age 40 and older, including oversamples of 400 Hispanics and 526 residents of California.

Three Things You Should Know
From The AP-NORC Center’s 2016 Long-Term Care Poll
Among Hispanics age 40 and older:

  1. Just a third of those who expect to provide ongoing living assistance to a loved one are confident in their ability to do so
  2. 74 percent would prefer to receive care for themselves in their own home, but just 26 would prefer for their loved ones to stay home to receive care.
  3. About 4 in 10 worry about deteriorating mental abilities, losing independence, and leaving debts to family as they age.

Read more at www.longtermcarepoll.org.

Also, Univision further explores the results.

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