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Services for the Elderly in Michigan

Services for the Elderly in Michigan

Sample Answer 

Services for the Elderly in Michigan

According to the Census.gov (2019) report, Michigan is one of the averagely populated states in the Midwestern areas of the U.S., with a population of approximately 9.987 million people, with the elderly (65 years and above) accounting for 17.2% of this figure. With an aging population, Michigan’s administration has rolled out multiple social support programs to improve the health, socio-economic status, and well-being of people aged 65 years and above. This report will specifically describe the key services in Michigan that support seniors, the effectiveness of these programs, the existing gaps, how to improve the current services, and what new services should be added.

Services that Support People in Later Adulthood

Over the years, Michigan has actively rolled out a series of social services for its aging population, especially those above 60 years. For example, based on the report prepared by the Michigan Legislature (2019), the government is offering tax credits (home heating credit, tax deferments, renters’ tax credit, homestead property tax credit, and financial hardship property tax exemptions) and Finance Services (such as direct deposit of income tax refunds, direct deposit of social security payments, senior discount programs, and additional savings). Besides, the government is providing a range of Healthcare Services to improve the health status of this population, including PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), Respite Care, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Health and Nutrition Services, Medicaid Assistance Program, Medicaid Program, and Medicare Savings Programs. There are also volunteer programs (such as the foster grandparent program, a senior companion program, and retired and senior volunteer program), emergency preparedness programs, and so on.

The Effectiveness of the Services

Admittedly, the services offered by the state of Michigan to the elderly have been effective, especially in terms of improving the living standards, health status, social welfare, and life expectancy of the residents. For example, the Medicaid program has ensured that only about 6.5% of people above 65 years are without health insurance (Census.gov, 2019). Also, because of the active and effective healthcare services, Michigan has a life expectancy of between 74.46 years (lowly ranked Wayne County) and 82.7 years (highly ranked Keweenaw County). These values fall within the national average of 78.6 years (Daalder, 2018).

Also, Michigan has a relatively lower poverty rate of approximately 8 percent for individuals aged 65 years and above – which is below the poverty line. This is primarily because the state is giving social security funds to a majority of these households. It is estimated that each family headed by a senior aged above 65 years received about $21,393 from the Social Security Fund in 2016.

Service Gaps

Even though Michigan is arguably among the leading states in the U.S. in terms of elderly care and welfare, there are specific gaps that must be addressed. For example, the tax credit program eligibility criteria are limiting, meaning that very few elders can qualify. Secondly, there are very few elderly nursing homes as well as assisted living facilities offering hospice care. Similarly, palliative care is not very intensive as there are shortages of healthcare workers trained to efficiently address the more complex medical issues, such as end-of-life life support services for seniors. Finally, the nutrition of older adults is not sufficiently addressed, with training and the creation of awareness not being as vibrant as they should be. Most importantly, the economic and employment programs rendered in Michigan seem not to reflect the earnings of the seniors. The region’s median income for a family headed by an individual aged 65 and above was estimated to be roughly $40,765 (Mack, 2019).

How to Improve the Existing Services

The government can improve the delivery of certain essential services to ensure that the elderly achieve higher socio-economic and health gains. For example, it should remove the $60,000 annual income tax credit exemption. This will ensure that more older adults are eligible to tax credits. Also, the government can hire more health and other social workers as well as build new hospice service facilities, such as elderly nursing homes, to improve service delivery. Most importantly, the administration can create more volunteer programs and intensify its campaigns through various media platforms (both digital, like social media and mainstream media), especially concerning the recommended nutrition for the elderly, disease diagnosis, and overall well-being. Lastly, more seniors should be given health insurance via the Medicaid program by increasing program funding.

Finally, there is a need to improve the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of chronic diseases among the elderly in Michigan. In 2007 alone, it was estimated that 56.7 percent of those aged 60 and older had hypertension, 62.4 percent had arthritis, and 25.0 percent were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (Michigan Department of Community Health, 2009). This means that there is more to be done in terms of improving the incidence rates of chronic diseases in the region.

Services that Should be Added

Even though Michigan is performing fairly well, several services need to be added. For example, there is a need to implement Consumer Protection services for the elderly (elder abuse, nursing facility legislation, and legal assistance), Housing services (such as living transportation programs, residential living, rental lease-breaking, and home repair), and Transportation Services (such as safe driving) that were proposed by the legislature. Specifically, the reason is that consumer protection will protect the elderly from being exploited by service providers, perhaps because of their vulnerability. More housing services, on the other hand, will guarantee that the elderly receive safe housing that is equipped with all the necessities, such as heating, running water, renewable energy, insulation, and so on. It is estimated that 82% of all older people aged 60 and above live in owner-occupied houses in the country, meaning that about 18% are either homeless, residing with their children, living in assisted living facilities, or living in rental houses (Mack, 2019). Because these people are nearing the end of their lives and are less economically productive, it is important that the government adds more housing units.

References

Census.gov. (2019). Quick Facts: Michigan. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/MI

Daalder, M. (2018). You can now see your county’s average life expectancy. Detroit Free Press. https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/09/10/county-life-expectancy/1257187002/

Mack, J. (2019). Michigan residents age 60 and older now almost quarter of state’s population. Michigan Live. https://www.mlive.com/news/2018/01/aging_michigan_senior_citizens.html

Michigan Department of Community Health. (2019). Critical health indicators: Senior health. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdch/Topic-_Senior_Health_279742_7.pdf

Michigan Legislature. (2019). Services for seniors: Laws & programs for senior adults. Retrieved from https://www.legislature.mi.gov/Publications/ServicesforSeniors.pdf.

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Question 


Services for the Elderly in Michigan

Write a paper that includes the following:

  • A description of the services in your local community that support individuals in later adulthood

    Services for the Elderly in Michigan

    Services for the Elderly in Michigan

  • An evaluation of the effectiveness of the services you identified
  • A description of service gaps you identified
  • An explanation of how to improve existing services
  • A description of services that should be added, and why

Support your Assignment with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

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