A recent Detroit Free Press article explores how “Caring for the elderly falls on Michigan’s communities.” As the baby boom generation begins to reach retirement age, “Michigan’s 2.7 million baby boomers” are the ones “who might one day be seeking public services - things like health care, in-home meals, transportation and help with errands,” senior centers, and other services, according to the article’s author, Robin Erb.
However, federal and state dollars for senior services are “dwindling” and many older Michigan residents are concerned by how the bad economy will impact their ability to support themselves (and sometimes their aging parents) after they stop working, according to the article. “Local communities may need to shoulder more of the responsibility of paying for senior services as Michigan baby boomers hit 65,” the article reports.
Many counties, municipalities, and townships have passed and renewed senior-dedicated millages over the years - with strong support from voters. “In its analysis, the Center for Michigan reviewed 623 ballot proposals on a wide range of issues. Voters passed every single request for senior citizens,” the article reports. 63 of the 83 counties in Michigan have passed countywide senior-dedicated millages. That leaves 20 counties in Michigan where “senior centers and social service agencies rely on dwindling state and federal money, unpredictable funding from the general fund or local governments, private donations, grants and even bake sales,” the article states.
Despite reluctance from some counties to put the issue on the ballet (for a number of reasons the article touches on), the trend across most of Michigan is that voters are supporting senior-dedicated millages.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info.