Join Us for a Community Night at Old Carolina Barbecue

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Save the Date for Senior Living Week 2015

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Counting Down to the 2014 Senior Living Week Expo

170082953Senior Living Week – Bringing together the people who provide senior living, housing and support services with seniors and their adult children!

The Senior Living Week Expo will take place on Friday, May 2nd from 8:30am – 3:00pm at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest (1275 S. Huron, Ypsilanti). This is an opportunity for you and your family members to interact with service professionals, to visit senior housing communities, and to participate in numerous activities, including relevant educational programming on home & personal services, health and wellness, social services, home design and remodeling, financial services, and legal services. Information and resources are available to help you, and your family, make informed decisions that fit your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

DSC_1172Workshops at the Senior Living Week Expo

☐ 9:30 – 10:30 AM – Moving Made Easy – Addressing the Dynamics of Moving and Downsizing

☐ 10:45 AM – 12:15 PM – Faces of Aging: An Older Adult Couple’s Journey of Health & Wellness

☐ 1:15 – 2:30 PM – Behaviors & Health Issues Associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters all events are offered free to the public. Whether you are an older adult looking to transition to a new living arrangement, have recently retired and are exploring options for the future, or are a caregiver caring for a spouse, a child, a parent, or a friend, you will not want to miss this important and FREE event.

The 2014 Senior Living Week Expo is made possible by these generous sponsors: Care Response Home Care; Evangelical Homes of Michigan; Glacier Hills Senior Living Community; United Methodist Retirement Communities; Brookhaven Manor Apartments; Hillside Terrace Retirement Community; Horizons Planning Corporation; Legacy Law Center; Linden Square Assisted Living Center; Sanctuary at St. Joseph’s Village; Silver Maples of Chelsea; UM Geriatrics Center; University of Michigan Health System; Home Instead Senior Care; Legacy Assisted Living Center; LifeChoices®; Gilbert Residence; Lurie Terrace Senior Apartments; and Towne Center Place.

For more information about the Expo, visit www.med.umich.edu/seniors; or call De Bora McIntosh at (734) 998-9338.

See You at the 2014 Senior Living Week Expo

Contributed by Paula Love, MA, Vice President, Brand Identity and Product Discovery, Evangelical Homes of Michigan

Evangelical Homes of Michigan welcomes the opportunity to share our continuum of care story with you. Please visit our booths at the 2014 Senior Living Week Expo on Friday, May 2 from 8:30am – 3:00pm.

We are also excited to bring you a new workshop topic: Faces of Aging: An Older Adult Couple’s Journey of Health & Wellness.

EHofMI Blog 1 photoOur Senior Vice President of Health Services & Solutions, Stephen H. Hopkins will take you on an uplifting journey of two people destined to be life-long soul mates. Told through a series of photographs that chronicle health challenges and wellness discovery at different stages of their lives. John and Linda face their health challenges in very different ways. Seen through the eyes and viewpoints of both John and Linda, together they confront the many trials and triumphs of aging. You’ll learn about the continuum of care and services available to them. Discover how you, like John and Linda, can confront aging challenges by maintaining your health through wellness at any age.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE EVENT SCHEDULE BELOW FOR MAY 2014 AND REGISTER FOR ONE TODAY!

  1. May 2nd, 10:45 a.m. Participate in our Faces of Aging Workshop at the Senior Living Week Expo
  2. May 3rd, 10 a.m. Attend our Open House in Saline at Brecon Village, 200 Brecon Drive

Call De Bora McIntosh at 734-998-9338 to register for a Senior Living Week event.

  1. May 14th, 2 p.m. Register for our Retirement Discovery Workshop at Weber’s Inn
  2. May 17th, 10 a.m. Register for our Retirement Discovery Workshop at Weber’s Inn

Call 734-295-9292 or email us at marketing@evangelicalhomes.org to register for an event.

Since 1879, Evangelical Homes of Michigan has continued to provide compassionate care and innovative solutions to older adults. We are a 134-year old, 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, faith-based organization that provides healthcare, senior housing and community services to 3200 older adults annually, employs nearly 1000 Michiganders, and has provided $11.5 million in charitable care over the past five years.

To learn more about Evangelical Homes of Michigan and our services, visit us online at ehmchoices.org.

 

Are You Ready?

ValDeskFlat-1_edited-2It’s time for Senior Living Week 2014 and this year there is more information and resources to offer our community than ever before! Thanks largely to the due diligence of the Housing Bureau for Seniors, this year’s offerings are a reflection of community feedback through the years about what our residents and families need. Care Response Home Care began participating in 2006 and can speak to the progressive event changes keeping pace with community needs. We are honored to be this year’s Event Sponsor, knowing there is something for everyone and admission is free!

Aging in Ann Arbor continues to make headlines. From the 2008 AARP ranking of the healthiest U.S. City for retirement, to the 2012 report released by the Milken Institute citing Ann Arbor among a number of cities for the community support of their aging population. Encouraging factors include public transportation, strong health care systems, wellness, and living arrangements. Also mentioned were financial well-being, employment, community engagement, multiple universities, education, and overall learning environment. It would appear the country is catching up with what we have always known!

Planning for retirement can be overwhelming, so gathering information from multiple sources is a great place to start. There are several considerations including financial, lifestyle preferences, and ultimately the health and well-being of you or your loved one. Using this ‘three legged stool’ approach, you begin to paint a unique picture for planning.

My experience helping clients and families determine their unique picture usually begins with lifestyle preferences which makes sense as we know where and how we want to live. Having a financial and healthcare overview is often not as clear but there are professionals who can help you navigate these sometimes complex pathways. As a certified Geriatric Care Manager, I have a duty and an obligation to those I serve to stay current with the new retirement frontier. The good news is we have many options here in Ann Arbor; the perhaps less than good news is there is an overwhelming amount of particulars to sift through to arrive at an informed decision!

Elder law attorneys, estate planning specialists, assisted living facilities, respite care, home medical equipment companies, organization and downsizing experts, and geriatric nursing services are a few of the resources available during Senior Living Week. If your preference is socializing and an array of activity choices, you may want to learn more about retirement communities and downsizing. If your preference is to safely age in place in your home, you may want to learn more about private duty care, home healthcare services, and home modification services available in Washtenaw County. If you are just beginning your quest and have limited time, you may want to attend the Expo and gather all pertinent information available. The Expo, Health Screenings, Workshops, and Open Houses really do offer something for everyone. There is a lot to see and do so take advantage of this annual opportunity. Planning for retirement and long term care can be challenging but you don’t have to navigate it alone.

Care Response Home Care has provided individualized private duty services and dementia care in and around Ann Arbor for more than 10 years. Owned and managed by Registered Nurses, we are proud to now offer certified Geriatric Care Management services. Our experienced nurses foster informed decision making by identifying risks and helping clients make smart home health care choices. We strive to respectfully and compassionately meet the needs of our clients and their families, by listening, planning, educating and delivering the highest standard of individualized care. Our goal is to offer dependable client-centered home care services, one client and one family at a time. We want to thank the Housing Bureau for Seniors once again for the opportunity to serve our community and look forward to this promising event. We look forward to seeing you there!

–Valerie Dockter

Senior Living Week 2014

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Where One Program Ends, Another Begins

Most of the time, our clients come to us and receive help from just one specific program. But sometimes, a clients’ housing needs are beyond the scope of what one program can handle. Thankfully, we are able offer multiple solutions to help older adults find and maintain appropriate and affordable housing.

What follows is an account of one client who received assistance this past year.

Post-Foreclosure Assistance – The story starts

The Housing Bureau for Seniors’ Post-Foreclosure Assistance Program sent Jim, a 70-year-old male, an outreach letter offering our services.

Jim’s home was foreclosed on and he knew he would need to vacate the property, but did not know when and did not have a plan as to where he would live. He had lived in his home for many years and always paid the mortgage on time.

What changed? Jim’s his wife died and he retired from his job to take care of his own serious health issues. As a result, his household income was drastically reduced. Now, Jim was faced with finding a way to live solely Social Security. He started using credit cards and before he knew it, his debt reached $50,000.

Although Jim had two adult children living nearby with their families, both were struggling financially and he could not ask them for help, or even admit that he was losing his home – the home in which they had grown up. He was overwhelmed and frightened about his financial and housing situation and could not bring himself to reach out for help immediately. He put the letter aside for possible future reference.

While going through his personal papers to organize for a move, he saw the letter from HBS and gave us a call. He scheduled an appointment for the next day to assess his situation and discuss possible options. The Post-Foreclosure Assistance Coordinator confirmed with the Sheriff that the foreclosure and sale of the home had already occurred. We advised Jim that the 6-month redemption period was ending and he would soon get a notice informing him of a court date for the eviction process to begin.

We worked with Jim to develop a budget to determine what housing options he could afford. Jim shared that he was paying over $900 per month through a credit counseling agency to settle his credit card debt. He was left with approximately $1500 per month for mortgage/rent, utilities, food, car expenses, health care, insurance and all of his other needs. One option we discussed with Jim was bankruptcy and provided him a list of attorneys so he could explore this option with an expert.

We also discussed housing options – senior subsidized housing (including expected waiting lists), low-income housing for all ages, market rate housing options, HomeShare, downsizing and the moving process. Jim decided that, because he had little time with which to work and did not know if his income situation might improve as a result of bankruptcy and discharge of some of his large debts, that he would apply for the Housing Bureau’s HomeShare program where the rent would be affordable even with his present income.

The Home Share coordinator did an assessment and began the process of checking backgrounds and looking for a good match. Meanwhile, Jim received his court notice. The Post-Foreclosure Assistance Coordinator accompanied him to court, discussing what he might expect from the court proceeding and what would be asked of him in terms of participation and negotiation with attorneys representing the mortgage holder. During the court hearing, an agreement was made to vacate the home within 30 days. The next day the client met with a possible HomeShare match and agreed to accept this living arrangement.

Jim expressed gratitude and relief that he did not have to go through this experience alone.

With the stress of dealing with the legal issues and court behind him, he was able to focus on downsizing and moving. He was able to talk to his family about his situation and the decisions he had made, enlisting their support in helping with his move. Within 2 weeks he was completely moved in to his new home.

As a result of counseling he had received from HBS, he had asked for “Cash for Keys” from his bank. Because Jim left his home in good condition and removed all of his possessions he received a check for $800 from his lender which paid for his move.

At the close of his case, Jim was settling into his new home and was feeling relief that this struggle was over, pride in his ability to handle the situation, and even optimism about regaining control over his finances and sticking to a plan to successfully and happily live within his means.

He is now focusing on spending as much time as possible with his grandchildren.

HomeShare – The story continues

Jim came to HomeShare as a referral from the Housing Bureau’s Post-Foreclosure Relocation Assistance Program. Jim had lived in the home with his wife home for over 30 years. Jim’s wife was the house bookkeeper and after her passing he found himself in a challenging situation with significant credit card debt costing $930 each month. Jim tried to keep afloat but was unable to. His home slipped into foreclosure and was sold at Sheriff’s sale leaving him little time to find new, appropriate and affordable housing with a damaged credit history and no rental history. Jim found himself having to make many big decisions, such as filing bankruptcy and where to move from his home with under 6 weeks to do so.

Jim applied for the HomeShare program and was approved for participation. We explored many referrals for Jim. After narrowing down the options based upon compatibility of what Jim was looking for, and what our homeowners were looking for, we referred Jim to Bob.

Bob is 61-year-old disabled veteran who lives alone in a modular home on the west side of Ann Arbor. Bob has participated in HomeShare previously. Bob was once again interested as a way to help increase his financial security and to obtain some household assistance with tasks he has trouble with. When Bob re-presented to the program he was anxious due to an increase in his lot rent and the high cost of utilities. Also, Bob has limited cooking skills and as a result, he would eat out often, or pick up prepared foods which is costly.

The HomeShare program introduced Jim and Bob and they had an immediate connection, both men served in the military and have a love of sports. After discussing the option of living together in detail and after several days of contemplation, both gentlemen decided to move forward with sharing Bob’s home. The HomeShare program helped to negotiate the details of the shared housing contract. Jim paid Bob $300 per month as a financial contribution including his portion of utilities. Jim was responsible for making home cooked meals at least 3 times per week. In addition Jim was also charged with helping with the weekly housekeeping.

The extra income helped Bob to keep afloat with increasing lot rent and utility costs. It improved his quality of life as he gained companionship, help with housekeeping, and home cooked meals which are important to him.

With this HomeShare situation, Jim was able to move into a safe and secure housing where he stayed for over 9 months. During this time, Jim was able to save money and he decided to move forward with bankruptcy – which he completed.

With his savings and a positive landlord reference from Bob, Jim was able to move into an independent apartment where he can continue to rebuild his life and maintain appropriate, and affordable housing. And, of course, spend more time with his grandchildren.