2018-06-24 / Insight

Senior citizen services renewal on ballot

BY JEFF HOGAN
810-452-2640 • jhogan @mihomepaper.com


Nancy McCorville and Nancy Sinka, both of Lapeer, enjoyed a game of bingo Thursday afternoon at the Lapeer Senior Activities Center in the Lapeer County Annex Building in downtown Lapeer. 
Photo by Jeff Hogan Nancy McCorville and Nancy Sinka, both of Lapeer, enjoyed a game of bingo Thursday afternoon at the Lapeer Senior Activities Center in the Lapeer County Annex Building in downtown Lapeer. Photo by Jeff Hogan LAPEER TWP. — Lapeer County voters on August 7 will be asked to renew .25 mills for senior citizen services for four years, beginning in 2019. The renewal millage will be for .25 mills (25 cents for each $1,000 of taxable value) and generate more than $700,000 annually for key senior programs in Lapeer County.

The current millage was renewed in 2014.

Paul Walker, director of the Lapeer County Senior Program under the auspices of the Lapeer County Health Dept., said all programs and services offered to senior citizens aged 60 and over are designed to keep people in their own homes as long as possible and maintain their independent lifestyle.

Owing to an aging society as well as people living longer, Walker said demand for Senior Program services is up and they continue to see an increase in the number of clients. In Lapeer County, said Walker, there are an estimated 17,000 residents who are 60 and over “and growing.”

Services include delivery of meals six days a week, personal care, respite among others.

The millage accounts for approximately 60 percent of the Senior Program budget, while 37 percent comes from state and federal grants and the remaining 3 percent is provided by donations from clients who use their services and programs.

The Senior Program is staffed by 30 employees. There are 17 personal care aides who go into the homes of senior citizens to provide light homekeeping services as well as personal care that can include help with bathing and getting dressed. In addition, said Walker, there are four people who deliver meals six days a week, including one hot and one cold meal per day or as arranged. On average, the drivers deliver 155 meals per day prepared in the kitchen at the Lapeer County Jail. In 2017, Walker said 90,000 meals were delivered to Lapeer County senior citizens last year.

The Senior Program also has two nurses on staff, one social worker, one nutrition coordinator, one activity coordinator and one account clerk.

Additionally there are two senior centers at:

• Lapeer Senior Center located at 287 W. Nepessing St. Lapeer (810-245-6896);

• Imlay City Senior Center located at 395 East Third Street Imlay City (810-724-6030).

“The vast majority of what we do is unknown and under-appreciated. We want people to know we’re here and offer a lot of helpful services. We provide a vital service to the community,” Walker said.

To learn more about services and programs available to Lapeer County senior citizens, call 810-245-5866.

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