Benzie County Organizations Merge to Create Non-Profit for Local Seniors

Two agencies in Benzie County have joined forces to better serve local seniors.

Now, the new Benzie Senior Resources non-profit is in full operation.

Seniors make up about a third of Benzie County’s population, so the new non-profit hopes to be a one-stop destination to serve all their needs in the county.

“We’re an aging society. It’s the fastest growing population,” explains Douglas Durand, Benzie Senior Resources Director.

Benzie Senior Resources just launched as a new non-profit.

The Benzie County Council on Aging and Benzie Home Health care are now working together.

“We started looking back in November of last year on how we could collaborate more, because our services do not overlap. They compliment each other,” Durand says.

No one lost their job in the merger.

The combined agency now has a $1.6 million budget and offers 25 programs.

“Personal care, medication set up, home-delivered meals that people would know as Meals on Wheels, lawn chore program, soon snow plow removal,” Durand lists.

Its home is the former Council on Aging building.

They’ve even hired a full-time registered nurse.

Betty Milliron has worked with the Council on Aging, and she thinks the new organization will ultimately benefit the seniors.

“It is good,” Betty says. “Rather than have two small separate ones, have a bigger one that can work together and just help people.”

Half the budget comes from the county senior millage, while the other half comes from community support, and organizers are confident that will grow over time.

“Benzie County will become a senior-friendly community that people will want to retire to,” Durand says. “And those who live here will get the needed care that they need to remain in their homes with dignity.”

Once Benzie Senior Resources gets a new logo and signs, they’ll start planning an open house for the public.

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