Benzie County Council on Aging and Home Health Care to Combine into New Organization

The senior population is growing in Benzie County, making up almost one-quarter of the people living there.

Now, two nonprofit organizations that serve the needs of older adults are joining forces.

The Benzie County Council on Aging and Benzie Home Health Care are going to become one organization — a move they hope will save money while offering more resources to seniors.

23% of the people who call Benzie County home are over 65 years old.

A whole lot of people with a unique set of needs.

The Council on Aging and Benzie Home Health Care both service that population.

Now they’ll be doing it together to make sure everyone is taken care of.

“When a client calls in, it might be for a minor project. It might be needing help with doing a Medicaid application or it might be needing foot clinic or it might be needing a home-delivered meal,” said Council on Aging Director Douglas Durand.

The council’s signature program is Meals on Wheels, which helps homebound seniors get hot food.

Home Health Care workers provide medical care, without the person having to go anywhere.

Finding help will be easy.

“They’ll have one place to go for this menu of programs and services that are all aimed at them,” said Northsky Nonprofit Network Consultant Tim Ervin. Northsky is helping the two organizations with the legalities of merging.

Both organizations expect this move to save money, and it will all go right back into the senior community.

And no one will lose their job.

“We’re beginning stages of looking at the combined budget and stuff. There’s been a couple of identified sources. One would be insurance because there’d be savings there,” Durand said.

The new organization wants to be up and running by October 1.

They don’t know what the new name will be yet, but are excited the combination will offer more streamlined services.

“We’ll see the future. We have a grand vision for a new building.”

Once the merger is complete, the new organization will operate out of the current Council on Aging building. 

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