Michigan Health Department receives $25 million from CARES Act

Maria Castro, Rene Gonzalez

In this March 4, 2020, photo, nursing assistant Natasha Borges, right, helps Rene Gonzalez, left, dry his hands after washing them at Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc., in Miami. The new coronavirus is posing a special challenge for nursing homes and other facilities that provide care for the elderly. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has received $25 million in funding from the CARES Act, Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act.

The CARES Act gives supplemental funding to programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965.

Michigan will spend its money supporting residents ages 60 and over served by Older Americans Programs.

These programs offer a range of services from bathing and dressing, transportation to doctor’s offices, education on managing chronic illnesses and support for family caregivers.

Provided by a network of community-based organizations – such as Area Agencies on Aging, local community and senior centers, faith-based organizations, Commissions and Councils on Aging, and other nonprofit service providers – these programs help millions of older adults stay healthy and continue living independently.

Funding has been provided to states, territories, and tribes for subsequent allocation to local Area Agencies on Aging. Grant amounts are determined based on the population-based formulas defined in the Older Americans Act.

“The need for these services has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed locations where many people typically receive services making it difficult for families to assist loved ones who live alone,” said Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of Aging & Adult Services Agency within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “In addition, the adaptations necessary to provide these services in the current environment have increased costs to service providers. We are thankful these additional dollars are now available to serve older Michiganders.”

The aging network supported by these programs are delivering meals, ensuring safe transitions home following hospitalizations, and providing other essential services to older Michiganders during this challenging time.

The CARES Act funding coming to Michigan includes:

  • $633,406 to support State Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs in providing consumer advocacy services for residents of long-term care facilities. Restrictions on visitation have significantly increased demand for ombudsman services as families seek assistance in ensuring the well-being of their loved ones. Ombudsman programs will expand their virtual presence to residents and their families, and continue to promote the health, safety welfare, and rights of residents in the context of COVID-19. This funding will help with hiring additional staff and purchasing additional technology, associated hardware, and personal protective equipment for use once in-person visits resume. 
  • $15,201,736 for home-delivered meals for older adults. Meal providers can also expand “drive-through” or “grab-and-go” meals for older adults who typically would participate in meal programs at community centers and other locations that have been closed due to social distancing measures.
  • $6,334,057 for home and community-based services, which will help more older adults shelter in place to minimize exposure to COVID-19. These include personal care assistance, help with household chores and grocery shopping, transportation to essential services when necessary, and case management.
  • $3,099,016 to expand a range of services that help family and informal caregivers provide support to loved ones at home. These include counseling, respite care, training and connecting people to information.

For more information about these programs, contact your local area agency on aging. A list of area agencies on aging is available at www.Michigan.gov/AASA.

Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.  

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