Senior Care Sees Boost in Funding

This week Governor Snyder made a move to help Michigan Seniors; $20 million from the state’s budget will go towards senior care. Five million of that is slated for services like meals on wheels programs across the state.

Douglas Durand, Executive Director of the Benzie Co. Council on Aging said, “The recent 5 million and funds for meals on wheels is a nice change of pace… They’ve increased and not decreased us.”

Today, senior care groups in Northern Michigan met to talk about changes headed their way.

They say while a boost to funding helps — they aren’t holding their breath.

Lisa Robitshek is the Manager of  Senior Nutrition at Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Meals on Wheels. She said, “It’s very exciting for everyone in the aging provider network to see it. Any money always helps.. Its is important to know we have a long way to go. Its a small step.”

But the bump in funding also means some changes, and more requirements. Meals on wheels must now follow nutrition guidelines for seniors.

It’s great that it means seniors will eat healthier, but means more work of people behind those meals.

Darcia Brewer, a dietician for the Area Agency on Aging says it will make meal preparation more detailed. They will  have to calculate nutrition on a computer program, making it harder to factor in donated food ahead of time.

“Its gonna be a big project. Its a lot of work to enter recipes and analyze them and create menus…so we can’t add local products into the menu as easily,” Brewer said.

“If everyone from federal to state level makes nutrition as large a priority, then the seniors in our state will be in good shape,” said Robitshek.

And the funding also means the 4500 older adults on waiting lists for services will finally get the help they need.