Raymond J. Wojtowicz Wayne County Treasurer

Winter 2009
Vol. 22 No. 4
How to Avoid Property Tax Foreclosure
Your property taxes can be paid in one of
three ways; online, in person or you can
mail your payment. Payment for delinquent taxes can be paid by personal check,
(current delinquent tax year only), certified funds, cash in-person, or on-line by an
electronic debit from your checking or savings account. If you pay online, our site is
authorized to accept MasterCard or Visa.
Taxpayers using this service will incur a
service charge of 2.49% of the total taxes
paid. The fee is paid to the service
provider, not the Wayne County Treasurer.
If your mortgage company pays your taxes
out of an escrow account, be sure to check
and make sure that they are making timely payments. Ultimately YOU are responsible for timely payments, not your mortgage
company.
Raymond J. Wojtowicz
Wayne County Treasurer
Wayne County - and Detroit - leads the
nation in home foreclosures. There are
many reasons for this troubling distinction, and the decline of the auto industry which has resulted in the loss of thousands
of jobs - is certainly a major contributor to
the decline of the local economy.
But the loss of jobs related to a once-thriving industry is still only part of the problem. Another equally serious part of the
problem is personal responsibility. If you
own a home, then you should know that
property taxes need to be paid on that
home. If you are unable to pay those taxes,
or if you believe you will be late, then I
encourage you to contact the Wayne
County Treasurer's Office for assistance
with your problem. We're here to help.
Our office has no interest in taking your
property. The Treasurer's strong preference is that Wayne County residents keep
their homes and not lose them to property
tax foreclosure, and our office is doing
whatever it can to make this a reality.
But to do this we need your help. If you're
in trouble, we need to hear from you, and
we need to hear from you soon. You can
contact us one of several ways:
The Office of the Wayne County Treasurer
Taxpayer Assistance Department
400 Monroe, Suite 530
Detroit, MI 48226
(313) 224-6105
Index
News & Notes..........................4
Free Personal Health Program...5
Payment Assistance Programs.6
Diabetes...................................9
Social Security Insight............10
Medicare Fraud.......................11
Enhanced Driver's License.....12
When am I late?
Officially, if you did not pay your 2007
property taxes by March 1, 2008, then
those property taxes are now recorded as
How to Avoid Foreclosure
delinquent and a $15 collection fee was
added on Oct. 1, 2008, to each delinquent
Always pay your taxes on time, if you can
parcel that is listed under your name.
Property taxes are always due in July and Also, it is now the responsibility of the
December of each year.
Wayne County Treasurer's Office to collect
Current taxes are payable to your local the delinquent taxes and interest immeditreasurer's office located in the municipal- ately kicks in at 1% per month. There is
ity where your property is located. You also a 4% administration fee.
need to contact your local treasurer's When am I REALLY late?
office for further information on current Unpaid property taxes become delinquent
property tax billing dates.
on March 1st of each year and are forIf you can't pay them on time, there are different ways to pay your taxes.
See Foreclosure, page 7
Website:
www.waynecounty.com/treasurer
Nursing Home Transition Program
The Michigan Department of
Community Health is offering a
program to assist people in transitioning from nursing homes to
community environments. To
qualify, a person must currently
reside in a nursing facility; be
financially
eligible
for
Medicaid; and want to leave the
facility to return to a community
environment.
When someone wants to enroll
in the program, a comprehensive assessment is completed by the service needs are evaluated
a registered nurse and a social and possible housing options are
worker. During the assessment, discussed. This process assists
people in evaluating whether or
not they want to transition from
the facility. If a person decides
to go ahead with the transition,
there are many services that can
assist with the process. Based on
the individual's needs, available
services may include but are not
limited to: Coordination and
Support, Housing assistance,
Furniture for participant's home,
Home modifications, Groceries,
Moving
expenses,
Utility
deposits/hook-up
fees,
and
See Nursing, page 7
Page 2
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
Page 3
Thoughts From the Corner Office
wanting to
make the
While most of us dread trip
out.
"walking in a winter wonder- All of these
land" after putting on our facts
are
parkas, long-johns, scarves, alarmingly
hats, and mittens, there are important
some who get out and enjoy for adults
the winter season by taking as
they
on sports such as: skiing, reach 50 years and over
snowboarding, and maybe because our bodies begin to
just a good-ole snowball fight! change in terms of bone denYet, for most people, staying sity. Another health report
warm in the house and lifting written by Minneapolis medup a cozy cup of hot chocolate ical reporter, Dennis Duoda,
for a sip is about the closest states, "both men and women
form of exercise that takes lose up to 1 percent of bone
place during the winter mass each year after age 50"
months. This is so because (May, 2008). So, what can we
not only are most winter do to stay healthy as the winsports quite costly, but many ter season sets in?
of them are somewhat danAccording to AARP, "staying
gerous.
"Health News" active in the winter helps you
reported in a January 2008 ward off the flu and common
article entitled, Exercise cold. It can also help you
Equipment:
Preventing avoid winter weight gain.
Winter Sports' Injuries, that And for those who get the
"each year an estimated winter blues, physical activity
100,000 to 140,000 skiers and is a super stress reliever and
snowboarders require emer- mood lifter" (2008). Getting
gency
room
treatment." yourself moving once every
Furthermore, while the gym day for 10 to 20 minutes can
is a great way to get exercise make a huge difference in
during the chilly season, it is your health and mental wellusually quiet costly, and the being. You can even use
whole process of getting household objects, such as
geared up to travel to the gym soup cans, and practice repeton a freezing cold Michigan itive sets of arm curls while
day detours many from even watching the television. I
even talked to a woman who
said that she loves to walk, so
during the harsh winter
months she would turn on her
television or radio and walk
laps around her basement at
a steady pace for 30 minutes.
Another gentleman, in a
wheelchair, told me that he
Warming Up To Winter
stays in shape during the winter by strength training with
light weights and hand
cycling.
Whatever the case may be,
it is important that we "actively age." The International
Council on Aging explains
that, "active aging means living life as fully as possible.
How well we age has much
more to do with how well we
function, and a lot less to do
with the years. And we will
function better when we take
a walk…and sing and dance."
Therefore, I encourage everyone to stay healthy during this
winter season: take up some
new "active" hobbies and get
your heart rate up a bit. And,
when you do go out and take
on the cold, be sure to dress
for the occasion by: wearing
layers to keep in the heat,
protecting your head and ears
because you lose most of your
heat through your head, and
covering your hands and feet
as
much
as
possible
(AARP.org).
If you are interested in
finding more information on
this topic and find a place to
get together with others over
the winter months to stay
active, contact your local
Senior Center, or contact us
here at TSA, and we can
direct you to a Senior Center.
Finally, if you or someone you
know may be without warm
clothing, meals, or in need of
some "friendly reassurance,"
please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website for
more
information
at
www.TheSeniorAlliance.org.
The Senior Alliance
Board of Directors
Allen Park..............................Freda Ditto
Belleville........................Jennifer DeLano
Brownstown Twp........Maxine Schofield
Canton Twp.......................Michael Ager
Dearborn.......................Anthony Woods
Dearborn Hts..............Kimberly Constan
Ecorse................................Phyllis Cook
Flat Rock..................Joan Pawlakiewicz
Garden City........................Pat McKarge
Gibraltar .................................Gil Talbert
Grosse Ile Twp................Alan Anderson
Huron Twp......................Pam Carpenter
Inkster.....................Denise Champagne
Lincoln Park...................Marilyn Willson
Livonia....................................Gay Ware
Melvindale.......................Ryan Massolia
Northville.........................Sherry Necelis
Northville Twp ......Richard Henningsen
Plymouth.......................Bobbie Pummill
Plymouth Twp .................Ann DeGhetto
Redford Twp..........................John Pedit
River Rouge......................Olive Roberts
Riverview...................Doug Drysdale
Rockwood.........................Janet Dallwig
Romulus..........................Carole Elder
Southgate........................Norma Hendin
Sumpter Twp................Denise Droullard
Taylor ............................Marsha Dotson
Trenton............................Carol Garrison
Van Buren Twp..................Linda Combs
Wayne ................Nancy Wojewski-Noel
Westland.....................Barbara Marcum
Woodhaven....................Amy Thomas
www.healthfinder.gov is a federal
website which has launched an updated version to provide information for
people who wish to stay healthy. The
site features links to over 6,000 government and nonprofit health information resources on hundreds of health
topics. Additionally, a tool called
MyHealthFinder provides personal ized recommendations for clinical preventive services specific to the user's age and gender.
Wyandotte.........................................
www.EconomicRecovery.gov is a resource for individuals to find help to
keep their homes, find jobs and protect their savings by the U.S.
Department of Commerce.
This publication is supported in part by funds provided by the Michigan Office of Services to the
Aging and the Older American Act of 1965, as
amended. No one shall be excluded in any funded
service or activity because of race, age, sex,
national origin or disability in compliance with Title
VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Best
Sites
Wayne County......................Jerry Higgs
Advisory Council..........Tom Jankowski
Corporate Committee ........Marguerite Linteau
Advisory Council Officers
Tom Jankowski, Chairperson
Jacqueline Bousha, Secretary
Page 4
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
News & Notes
Comedy for a Cause
On Tuesday, February 10, 2009, The Senior
Alliance will be teaming up with Joey's
Comedy Club, 36071 Plymouth Road,
Livonia, for a night of entertainment, great
food, and spirits in which 80% of the proceeds from every ticket sold will be donated
back to TSA. Tickets are $20 each. In addition, your "Comedy for a Cause" ticket will
give you 25% off of your meal at Kickers All
American Grill (the restaurant located below
Joey's Comedy Club) or a discount off pizza
during the show that evening. Reservations
will be required if you plan on having dinner,
so let the operator know you are supporting
The Senior Alliance and the "Comedy for a
Cause" by calling (734) 261-0555. Info or to
order tickets: Call Linda DeVore (734) 7272017 or email [email protected]
TSA Holiday Meals
The Senior Alliance provides a festive hot
meal to homebound elders on Easter day.
The deadline to request a meal for Easter is
March 14, 2009. To become a volunteer to
deliver meals, request a meal or additional
information, call the TSA Programs
Department at (734) 727-2063.
Free Meal Every Month
Come join in fellowship with other local area
seniors for a free hot lunch on the last
Saturday of the month at the Downriver
Christian Church, 1518 Fort Street, Lincoln
Park, MI 48146. Lunch will be served
between 12pm to 2pm. For additional information or to volunteer at the lunch, please
call (734) 752-8989.
al equipment. For general information, call
the FCC at (888) 225-5322; TTY: (888) 8355322 or visit their DTV website at
www.dtv.gov.
Secretary of State Pilot Program
Select Secretary of State offices will have a
pilot program that will offer customers who
are deaf and hard of hearing the option to
use sign language when conducting busiDigital TV - February 17, 2009
ness with the department. The program
The transition to television digital broadcast- uses a monitor with a built-in camera and
ing will occur on February 17, 2009. To help audio system to connect the customer and
defray the cost of converter boxes, each U.S. branch office clerk to a sign language interhousehold can request up to two coupons, preter at a special communication relay cenworth $40 each, to be used toward the pur- ter. A customer-service specialist at the
chase of these boxes. This coupon program branch office directs interested customers to
is being administered by the National a clerk and video relay monitor. The cusTelecommunications
and
Information tomer signs as the interpreter on screen
Administration. For more information on the voices the comments, which the clerk hears
coupon program visit www.dtv2009.gov or through a headset. The clerk's responses
call (888) DTV-2009 (888-388-2009). If you are picked up by a microphone, and the
subscribe to a paid television service such interpreter translates the speech into signs
as cable or satellite TV, you may not need a for the customer. There is no cost to the cusconverter box, and the TVs connected to tomer. This service is available at the Livonia
your paid service will continue to receive Area SUPER!Center, 17176 Farmington
local broadcast programming.
However, Road and the Detroit New Center
consumers are advised to check with your SUPER!Center, Cadillac Place, 3046 W.
provider to see if you will need any addition- Grand Blvd.
A Few 2008 Tax Tips
Ø Call your local Senior Center to confirm if free tax preparation is being
done at their location. Schedule an
appointment to have your taxes
done for free.
Ø If you missed the October Stimulus deadline, it is still possible to get yours when your 2008 taxes are done.
Ø Up to 20% of your RENT is considered property taxes paid
by the renter and can be used to get a possible Property Tax
Credit from the State. Maximum is $1,200. If you missed this
credit it can be done for up to the last four previous years.
Ø Taxpayers with low-income may find they are eligible for a
heating credit. This credit expires each year so it is important to do it at tax time. Call your heating utility company to
find out the amount you paid for heat only each year and
bring that information with you when you have your taxes
prepared.
Ø If you pay property taxes and are not able to itemize on the
Federal return because the Standard Deduction works better,
you may find that for the 2008 tax year you are eligible to
add $500 of those taxes to your Standard Deduction ($1,000
if married filing joint). This is done without itemizing and
helps to reduce your taxable income.
Volunteer Counselors Needed
The Senior Alliance needs your help! We are looking for
individuals to serve as health benefits counselors with our
Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP). This program is a free, unbiased service which assists Medicare
beneficiaries who have problems or questions about
Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Supplemental Insurance,
Long Term Care Insurance and related issues.
Counselors are trained, certified and supported. MMAP
counseling services are provided to callers over the phone,
or can be performed at specific sites, such as community
centers, senior centers, hospitals, churches, etc.
If you are a person who likes to solve puzzles, enjoys
meeting and working with people, and someone who faces
obstacles with determination and good humor, then you
may be the person we need!
For more information about our next training and becoming a MMAP Volunteer Counselor, please contact Bettie
Hughes
at
(734)
727-2025
or
via
email
to
[email protected]
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
MEDICARE
Matters!
Do you take
the
blood
thinner
Coumadin®?
If so, you are
among thousands
of
Americans
who
take
this valuable
medication
to prevent blood clots to the
heart, brain and other sites in
the body. Coumadin®, also
known by its generic name
Warfarin, works by keeping the
liver from making clotting factors. When there's not enough
clotting factors circulating in
the bloodstream, the blood is
less likely to remain "thick"
enough to clot. By reducing the
number of clotting factors blood thinners keep clots from
forming.
Page 5
Mammograms - Medicare Has You Covered
under the skin, which you are
more likely to show bruises. Or
it may mean you're likely to
bleed more after you cut yourself on a sharp object. In some
cases, it can be quite serious or
life-threatening. Doctors try to
keep the blood of their
Coumadin® patients just thin
enough to prevent clots, without
making it too thin, by monitoring the level of clotting factors
in the bloodstream. That's why
you are asked by your physician,
to have periodic blood tests to
check the levels of those clotting
factors.
Understanding Drug
Interactions
Many drugs interact with
Coumadin® and may make the
Coumadin® effect stronger, and
the blood thinner, leading to an
increased risk of bleeding complications. For example, antiSide Effects You Need
convulsants (drugs that prevent
to Be Aware Of
seizures) and some kinds of
antibiotics may work this way.
Like all drugs, Coumadin® has On the other hand, foods that
risks and complications. One have a high amount of Vitamin
risk is that too high a dose may K, work just the opposite. They
make the blood too thin and can block the effects of Coumadin®
cause
easy
bleeding. on the clotting factors, the blood
Sometimes this bleeding is just remains "thick," and you are not
protected from blood clots.
Foods rich in Vitamin K
include; lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and spinach. It is important that you tell EVERY doctor
who treats you that you are taking Coumadin®.
As a Patient You need to be
Involved in Your Care
Other advice for those on
Coumadin®:
• Take the medication as prescribed by your doctor at
the same time each day
• Never skip a dose or take a
double dose
• If you miss a dose, take it
as soon as you remember
• Go for blood tests as
ordered by your doctor
Seek Immediate Medical Care
if the Following Occurs
Call your doctor right away, or
go to the nearest hospital
emergency room, if you have
any of the following:
• Red, pink or cola-colored
urine
• Vomit that is bright red or
looks like coffee grounds
• Bowel movements that are
red or look like tar
• An injury to your head
• Severe pain, such as
headache or stomach pain
• Coughing up blood
• A cut or nosebleed that will
not stop bleeding within 10
minutes
Finally, all patients on
Coumadin® need a special
medical alert bracelet or
necklace. This is a form of
identification you wear that
alerts emergency medical
workers
you
are
on
Coumadin®. You can get more
information from the nonprofit Medic Alert Foundation by
calling 888-633-4298, or by
browsing
the
website,
www.medicalert.org.
About the Author
Jim Mitchiner, MD, MPH, serves as
Medical
Director
at
MPRO,
Michigan's Quality Improvement
Organization.
MPRO assists
Medicare beneficiaries with quality
of care complaints and discharge
appeals.
MPRO further assists
Michigan Medicare providers with
quality improvement initiatives to
improve the quality and safety of
healthcare.
In addition, Dr.
Mitchiner is a practicing emergency
room physician. To find out more
about MPRO, visit, www.mpro.org.
Free Personal Health Program Comes to Wayne County
The National Kidney Foundation of
Michigan (NFKM) and other community
partners are offering free workshops to
help Wayne County residents better manage long-term health problems.
The
Personal Action Toward Health (PATH)
Workshops meet once a week for six weeks
to offer a variety of techniques for improving health and well being.
The program is suited for both the newly
diagnosed as well as those seeking more
aggressive management. The PATH program has been proven in studies to reduce
symptoms and physician visits as well as
increase self-management abilities and
communication with doctors. Food and
refreshments will be served at the workshop. Class sizes are limited. For additional information, contact Laurie
The PATH program was developed at Gustafson at the National Kidney
Stanford University and is designed to pro- Foundation of Michigan at (800) 482-1455,
vide knowledge and skills to adults with or via email [email protected]
chronic health conditions such as arthritis, Information is also available online at
heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, www.nkfm.org. PATH classes will be held
emphysema, asthma, bronchitis and at the following locations in 2009.
depression.
Carpenter Place
Classes will be run by professional leaders 3400 Carpenter Rd.
and trained lay people who hold informal, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
small group discussions and provide easy- Contact: Tracy LaFever Byrd
to-understand
course
materials. (734)973-8791
Instructors explain ways to reduce pain Dates: Fridays 1:00-3:30pm
and stress, cope with fatigue, use medica- January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13
tions wisely, and benefit from exercise.
Participants also learn about self-help McCauley Commons
devices that can enhance daily activities 11500 Shoemaker
and are given an opportunity to ask ques- Detroit, MI 48213
tions about their health concerns.
Contact: Michael Anderson
(313) 849-3920 Ext. 262
Dates: Tuesdays 10:00-12:30
January 13, 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17
International Gospel Center
375 Salliotte
Ecorse, MI 48229
Contact: Tanya Ball
(313) 389-2700
Dates: Saturdays 10:00-12:30
Classes begin in February
ACCESS
8625 Joseph Campeau
Hamtramck, MI 48211
Contact: Nesrine Akil
(313) 216-2248
Dates: Thursdays 9:00-11:30am and 11:302pm
January 8, 15, 22, 29 February 5, 12
Allen Park Community Center
15800 White Street
Allen Park, MI 48101
Contact: Jennifer Hughes
(313) 928-0771
Dates: Thursdays 12:30 PM-3:00 PM
February 5, 12, 19, 26, March 5, 12
See Health, page 8
S ENIORITY NEWS
Page 6
Winter 2009
Payment Assistance Programs
Having trouble managing your bills? DTE Energy, along with government and private agencies, offers programs that help keep you
warm in the winter. It is important to contact DTE Energy before
your energy service is subject to shut off. If you are eligible for
financial assistance, contact a social service agency prior to entering into a payment agreement because many agencies will not provide assistance if shut off is avoided. Notify DTE Energy of your
efforts to obtain payment assistance.
State Emergency Relief Program (SER): This program is available
year-round to assist low-income households that have a shut-off
notice. For more information, contact the nearest Department of
Human Services (DHS) office or call the Home Heating Hotline at
(800) 292-5650.
Earned Income Credit: This credit is available based on income
level and number of qualifying child dependents. To apply for the
Case Management: DTE Energy has a team of specialists available credit, you must file a federal income tax return with Schedule
to help low-income customers reduce their unpaid balances by pro- EIC. You can receive part of the credit in your paycheck by comviding a personal payment plan, agency referrals and follow-up. To pleting a W5 form with your employer for Advanced EIC or apply
enroll, call (800) 545-8046. You must meet the following require- for the credit at tax time. Please contact the Internal Revenue
ments:
Service (IRS) to apply.
• An unpaid balance greater than $750
• No illegal usage
Medical Emergencies: Shut off of an account due to non-payment
• Household income at or below 200 percent of federal income eli- may be postponed up to 21 days due to a medical emergency.
gibility guidelines
Written proof from a doctor or notice from a public health or social
services agency stating that service shut off will aggravate an existShut Off Protection Plan: This plan is available to all residential ing medical emergency must be provided. For more information,
customers regardless of income, and provides year-round protec- call (800) 477-4747.
tion from shut off. Enrollment requires monthly budget plan that
spreads out your future bills in 12 equal monthly payments, plus Double-Notice Protection Plan: Let DTE Energy send a duplicate
equal monthly payments on your remaining balance. Please con- shut-off notice to a consenting friend, relative or agency. Your destact DTE Energy customer service at (800) 477-4747 for further ignate is not responsible for paying the overdue bill; the duplicate
details.
notice simply alerts them to take some action on your behalf. This
plan is helpful when an unexpected event, such as an extended
Credit Counseling: DET Energy works with GreenPath, a non-prof- vacation or a long hospital stay, may keep you from paying your bill
it consumer credit counseling service, which helps you develop a on time. Call (800) 477-4747.
budget to manage your money. For information, call (888) 235-1003.
Low-Income Weatherization: Assistance with home weatherization
Winter Protection Plan: The plan protects seniors and low-income may be available to those who meet the household income guidecustomers from service shut off due to non-payment between lines. Weatherization includes caulking, weather stripping and
November 1 and March 31. During this period, customers must pay insulation. Please contact United Way at 2-1-1.
a budget amount that consists of a portion of their estimated annual bill plus regular payments on any past-due bills. After March 31, Affordable Rental Housing: Customers looking for affordable
the required bill payment will increase to cover the winter bills rental housing may use the free Michigan Housing Locator at
and must be paid in full before the next heating season.
www.MIchiganHousingLocator.com.
To enroll, call DTE Energy between November 1 and March 31.
You must meet at least one of the following requirements:
Link-up/Lifeline: Link-Up and Lifeline make basic local tele• Age 62 or older
phone service more affordable for income-eligible individuals and
• Receive Department of Human Services case assistance
families in Michigan. Contact your local telephone company.
• Receive food stamps
• Receive Medicaid
Low-Income Home Interest Loans: For more information or to see
• Household income at or below 150 percent of the federal income if you qualify, contact the Michigan State Housing Development
eligibility guidelines listed on the chart below.
Authority (MSHDA) at www.michigan.gov/mshda and click on the
Home Improvement link, or call (517) 373-8017.
Home Heating Credit (HHC) E-Filing: Eligible customers may
receive funds from the State of Michigan Treasury Department to Source: DTE Energy
apply toward their heating bills. To qualify, you must meet the
Home Heating Credit income guidelines. If you need help filing,
call DTE at (866) 200-2386 between January 15 and September 20,
2009. Please have your household income, birthdates and Social
Energy Efficiency Tips
Security numbers for yourself and your dependents available
before calling.
There are things you can do this winter to save money and stay warm.
Number of
Household Members
Federal Household Household Income
Income Guidelines* Guidelines**
Home
Heating
Credit
1
2
3
$15,600
$21,000
$26,400
$11,440
$15,400
$19,360
$20,800
$28,000
$35,200
*Based on 150% of poverty level
**Based on 200% of poverty level
Call (866) 200-2386 for guideline information for larger households.
The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW): Customers who meet the
household income guidelines, are in shut-off status, and have
exhausted all federal and state-funded programs, may be eligible
for assistance. The program began October 15, 2008, for customers
who receive a shut-off notice. For assistance, contact one of the following THAW fund administrators:
• United Way: dial 2-1-1; cell phone users call (800) 552-1183
• THAW: (800) 866-8429
Following these energy tips can help lower your energy bills.
• Have your furnace inspected annually, ideally before the heating season
begins. A well-maintained heating system runs more efficiently.
• Lower your thermostat while no one is home, or while everyone is in bed.
Every degree you dial down could same 1% - 3% on your heating costs.
• Install a programmable thermostat that can automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
• You can reduce your home's heating and cooling costs by plugging air
leaks with caulking, sealing, or weather stripping.
• Replace furnace filters regularly.
• Replacing incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs will
get the same or better light output at a lower cost.
• Lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees.
• Wash and rinse your clothes in cold water instead of hot, to save on water
heating costs.
• Use MyEnergy Analyzer, a simple to use and easy to understand online
energy efficiency tool available at www.my.dteenergy.com to get customized energy savings tips and analyze your energy bills.
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
Senior News from Wayne
County
On
Saturday,
November 8, Wayne
County Commissioners,
students, and lawn
care professionals put
on their sweatshirts,
work gloves and smiles
to participate in the
"4th Annual Make A
Senior Smile Day."
Hundreds of dedicated
volunteers, young and old came out in the
rain and cold to rake leaves, pull weeds,
and generally spruce up the yards of
grateful senior homeowners.
During the seven-hour cleanup volunteers also distributed safety bags complete with flashlights, nightlights and
smoke alarms. Seniors were also served
a hot meal through the Wayne County
Meals on Wheels program. Available to all
Foreclosure
FROM PAGE 1
warded to the County Treasurer for collection. State law requires a 4% administration fee and 1% per month interest. For
example: Unpaid 2007 property taxes were
forwarded to the County Treasurer as
delinquent on March 1, 2008. On March 1,
2009, unpaid 2007 delinquent taxes will be
forfeited to the County Treasurer. State
law requires the addition of a $175 fee and
$26 in recording fees. Interest is increased
from 1% per month to 1.5% per month
retroactively to the date the taxes became
delinquent.
But seriously, when am I
REALLY, REALLY late?
If your 2007 property taxes still aren't paid
by March 1, 2010, then Circuit Court will
enter a judgment of foreclosure against
your property. The only way to retain ownership of your property at this point is to
pay all of your delinquent property taxes,
including fees and interest, by March 31,
2010. If you don't, title to your property
will be passed to the County Treasurer.
So what happens now?
During the months of September and
Make a Senior Smile Day
43 Wayne County communities, the houseto-house cleanup was facilitated through
the Detroit Area of Aging (DAAA) and The
Senior Alliance (TSA). The event was covered by Fox-2 news.
"Make a Senior Smile Day" was initiated by the Wayne County Commission and
myself to help older adults maintain their
independence and bring attention to the
Wayne County Chore Services program, a
program to assist older adults in need
with yard work (leaf raking, snow shoveling, and lawn mowing) that they no longer
can get done by themselves. The more
independence our seniors have, the better our community will be. This program
is such a benefit to so many people who
have difficulty doing daily chores. These
volunteers truly improve the quality of
life for these seniors."
More than a dozen high school volunteers eagerly cleaned three lots owned by
80-year-old Mr. and Mrs. Perryman of
Detroit. "It was great," said Mrs.
Perryman. "They raked and bagged at
least 20 bags of leaves. They even came
out the following Monday and picked
them up."
One hundred and two year old Mary
Fegnolia of Redford was also one of the
many seniors who received the Make a
Senior Smile Day services. "They did a
very nice job with my leaves" thanked the
centenarian, "and everyone was very
sweet to me."
The rainy Saturday morning ended in
many sunny moments all around. Every
participant seemed to gain a warm experience, eager to participate in the next
Make a Senior Smile Day service event.
For more information about the Wayne
County Chore Services program, contact
Lori Tooles-Carrington at The Senior
Alliance at (734) 727-2063.
October of every year, 2010, the Wayne
County Treasurer conducts a public auction of all tax foreclosed properties. If
delinquent 2007 property taxes have still
not been paid on your property it will be
listed as one of the properties available
for sale at this auction. Former owners
are allowed to register to bid on their
property, however they must follow the
same rules and regulations as every other
bidder. There will be no special privileges
or allowances granted to anyone simply
because they are the previous owners of a
property about to be auctioned.
are granted an
extension on the
time allowed to pay
your taxes, you will
also be required to
continue
paying
interest
charges
throughout
the
duration of the
extension.
Contact
Treasurer's Office
Raymond J. Wojtowicz
Wayne County Treasurer
If you are facing
foreclosure, trying
to hide and act like it will all somehow go
away is the worst thing you can do. What
Hardship Extension
you need to do is get some help, and quick.
Except for a verifiable legal challenge One thing you can do is contact the
proving that you do not owe the amount of Taxpayer Assistance Department at 313-224delinquent taxes the County says you owe, 6105. Taxpayer Assistance is an in-house
applying for a hardship extension is one division at the Treasurer's Office dedicatoption offered by our office allowing you ed solely to assisting taxpayers in any way
to hold onto your house while attempting they can.
to get caught up on your delinquent property taxes.
Once you have sought assistance, you may
find out that it's not as bad as you think.
IMPORTANT: If you believe you will need But if you decide to ignore the problem, it
to apply for an extension, which will grant will definitely not go away. We're here to
you additional time to pay, up to one year, help, so let us help you.
please keep in mind that this is only an
extension, NOT an exemption. Even if you
Options if you are
facing foreclosure
the nursing facility may be eligible for ongoing in-home
services based on separate
program eligibility. Some proFROM PAGE 1
grams that may provide ongoHousehold goods. Other items ing services are the MI Choice
required for a successful tran- Waiver, the Department of
sition from a facility to a com- Human Services Adult Home
munity based environment Help
program,
Care
may also be available.
Management
or
Case
People who transition out of Coordination or Support. The
Nursing
Page 7
registered nurse and social
worker will assist people in
accessing resources that may
help them after the transition.
To make a referral or for
more information, please call
The Senior Alliance (TSA) at
(734) 722-2830. TSA provides
service in western and southern Wayne County. Services
are
available
statewide;
please contact your local Area
Agency on Aging or Single
Point of Entry for referral
information.
Nursing Facility Transition
Services are also available
through the Centers for
Independent Living. To reach
the Disability Network Detroit
- Wayne County, please call
(313) 923-1655.
Please support the frail elderly by advertising in the Seniority News. Call Bill at 734-467-1900.
Page 8
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
Al Keats Day: Project Heat
Last December marked the 22st consecutive year the
Southeast Michigan Air Conditioning Contractors of America
performed free furnace safety inspections, cleanings, repairs,
along with two replacement furnaces and one heat exchanger to
needy seniors throughout our local communities.
Fifteen companies and a total of 41 volunteer employees contributed their time to complete 60 service calls in and around
our region. Over the past 22 years, it is estimated that the group
completed over 1,600 free service calls and installed approximately 62 free furnaces.
Thank you to all the volunteer mechanical contractor companies who participated in this outstanding community service
program this year: Slasor Heating & Cooling, Livonia; Day &
Night Heating & Cooling, Novi; Diversified Heating & Cooling,
Farmington Hills; Pritchard Inc, Livonia; A To Z Total Heating
& Cooling, Dearborn Heights; Liberty Total Comfort Systems,
Redford; A-1 Comfort Control, Farmington Hills; Dearborn
Heating & Cooling, Dearborn; Airtronic Heating & Cooling,
Redford; Flame Furnace Company, Warren; Family Heating &
Cooling, Garden City; Royal Oak Heating & Cooling, Royal Oak;
Squeaky Clean Ducts, Dearborn Heights; Mechanical Heating &
Cooling, Dearborn Heights; Curtis Air/Heat, Plymouth.
Recognition is also given to Williams Distributing for their
donation of two furnaces and Michigan Temperature Supply for
the donated heat exchanger. We have many safer and warmer
seniors in our area thanks to the efforts of all these individuals
and companies.
Health
Dates: Fridays 9:00-11:30am
March 6, 13, 20, 27, April 3, 17
FROM PAGE 5
Inkster Senior Services
2025 Middlebelt
Inkster, MI 48141
Contact: Denise Champagne
(313) 561-2383
Dates: Wednesdays 10:30am to 1:00pm
April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27
St. John Medical Center
22151 Moross, PB ste. 228
Detroit, MI 48236
Contact: Linda Hollern
(313) 343-6830
Dates: Mondays 1:00-3:30pm
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, April 6
Dearborn Senior Center
Ford Community & Performing Arts Center
15801 Michigan Ave.
Dearborn, MI 48126
Contact: Ruth Gagel
(313) 943-2034
Dates: Thursdays 9:30am-12:00pm
April 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21
Ford Senior Center
6750 Troy
Taylor, MI 48180
Contact: Lori Runkle
(313) 291-7740
Dates: Fridays 12:30 - 3:30pm
February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 6, 13
CHASS-Tomando Control de su Salud
5635 W. Fort
Detroit, MI 48209
Contact: Deliana Ilarazza
(313) 849-3920
The National Kidney Foundation of
Michigan and community partners also
offer the Enhanced Fitness Program which
is a free, year-long exercise class to be held
throughout the state. A certified fitness
instructor will lead classes two times a
week to provide social stimulation as well
as physical benefits to participants. The
program is geared toward improving fitness and well-being of primarily older
adults, although all adults are welcome.
Call Kristie Lewis of the NKFM at (800)
482-1455 for additional information or to
register.
Winter 2009
S ENIORITY NEWS
Page 9
Make a Senior Smile Day
Wayne County funded the "5th Annual Make a
Senior Smile Day" which turned out to be quite
a success. Approximately 150 volunteers set
out to manicure the yards of dozens of senior
citizens homes last Fall. Pictured back from L
to R: Deanna Spiteri, Celeste Marciniak, Dave
Ziulkowski, Commissioner Cavanagh, Linda
DeVore, TSA Program Manager; Amanda Pier,
TSA Program Specialist; & Bob Ross. Front L
to R: Mckenzie Spiteri, Lori Tooles Carrington,
TSA Program Specialist.
Diabetes: A Deadly Disease in Disguise
Stefanie P. Worth White
American Diabetes Association
Diabetes is one of those conditions you've probably heard
of but perhaps don't know much
about. You may know people
who have the disease, but
maybe they don't appear to be
suffering. Or perhaps their ailments - to you - seem to be
attributable to other ills, the
natural course of aging, or simple misfortune.
The truth that many people
fail to realize is that diabetes is
deadly. Yet, diabetes is the
biggest public health crisis of
the 21st century and it continues to grow to epidemic proportions. The death rate for diabetes has continued to grow
since 1987, while the death
rates due to heart disease,
stroke and cancer have
declined. It is the leading
cause of kidney disease, blindness, and amputation, yet onefourth of people who have it are
unaware.
"These statistics confirm
what we already know: diabetes is one of this country's
most prolific and deadly diseases," said Debbie O'Leary,
Senior Executive Director of
the
American
Diabetes
A s s o c i a t i o n ' s
Michigan/Northwest
Ohio
office. "Diabetes touches all of
us in some way, which is why
we must continue to work
together to find a cure for diabetes and to improve the lives
of the nearly 24 million
Americans affected by diabetes
- nearly 800,000 of whom live in
Michigan."
Diabetes and its symptoms
six months, which measures
how well they are managing
their diabetes over time. It is
important to keep their eAG
less than 154 mg/dl or A1C
less than 7 percent.
• B is for Blood Pressure:
People with diabetes should
have a target blood pressure
of less than 130/80 mmHg.
High blood pressure makes
the heart work too hard and
can cause damage to the kidneys and eyes. Check at
every doctor visit.
• C is for cholesterol: LDL
(bad) cholesterol should be
below 100 mg/dl; HDL
(healthy) cholesterol should
be above 40 mg/dl for men
and 50 mg/dl for women;
triglycerides should be below
150 mg/dl. Bad cholesterol,
or LDL, builds up and clogs
arteries, leading to heart
attacks and strokes. Check at
least once a year.
quences of diabetes and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds
research to prevent, cure and
manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and
credible information; and gives
voice to those denied their
rights because of diabetes.
Founded in 1940, our mission is
to prevent and cure diabetes
and to improve the lives of all
people affected by diabetes.
For more information, please
call your local American
Diabetes Association office at 1888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383)
or visit www.diabetes.org.
Diabetes is a disease in
which the body fails to make or
properly use insulin, the hormone required to help it use
glucose (sugar) from carbohydrates in food. Glucose is the
basic source of energy for the
body's cells. When glucose
builds up in the bloodstream, it
can cause damage to other
parts of the body, such as the
heart, kidneys, nerves, and
If you have one or more of the
eyes. Diabetes often goes undifollowing diabetes symptoms, visit
agnosed because many of its
your doctor to get screened:
symptoms seem so harmless, or
•
Frequent urination
do not show up until the late
•
Excessive thirst
stages of the disease.
•
Extreme hunger
Certain populations, such as
•
Unusual weight loss
Latinos, Asian Americans,
The American Diabetes
•
Increased fatigue
African Americans, Pacific Association is leading the fight
•
Irritability
Islanders
and
Native against the deadly conse•
Blurry vision
Americans, have an increased
risk for developing diabetes.
Other risk factors include being
overweight, living a sedentary
lifestyle, having a family history of the disease, being over the
age of 45 and having a baby
weighing nine pounds or more
at birth, or having had gestational diabetes.
Remembering the "ABCs of
diabetes" can help prevent or
delay the onset of diabetes
complications:
• A is for A1C: Most people
with diabetes should get an
estimated Average Glucose
(eAG) or an A1C test every
Page 10
Social Security
Insight
There's
never been a
better time
than
the
present to
plan for your
retirement.
Why's that?
Because
Social Security's Retirement
Estimator has just been rated
the best online service in government! You can find it online
at www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
Every quarter, the University
of Michigan conducts the
American
Customer
Satisfaction Index for Federal
websites. In their most recent
study, the index showed that
Social Security's new online
Retirement Estimator ranked
as the best in government.
The
online
Retirement
Estimator is a convenient,
secure and quick financial
planning tool that lets workers
calculate how much they might
expect to receive in Social
Security benefits when they
retire. The attractive new feature of this calculator is that it
eliminates the need to manually key in years of earnings information. It's so easy to use.
Several other Social Security
online services, including our
online retirement application,
also are rated among the government's top performers and
equal to the highest caliber pri-
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
Retirement Estimator Named
Best Online Service in Government
vate sector sites, such as
Amazon and Google. But for the
new Retirement Estimator to be
rated best in government just
two months after it was
launched is a testament to how
easy and useful it is.
The
new
Retirement
Estimator is available at
www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator and gives the public the
opportunity to run accurate,
personalized scenarios for
Social Security retirement benefits in a user-friendly way.
You also can create "what if"
scenarios. For example, you
can change "stop work" dates or
expected future earnings to create and compare different
retirement options that may be
in your future.
So experience it now by visiting
Social
Security's
Retirement
Estimator
at
www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator.
Medicare Part B Open Season
If you are eligible for
Medicare Part B medical insurance, but you didn't sign up for
it when you first became eligible for Medicare, you will have
another opportunity to apply.
Open season for Medicare Part
B runs from January 1 until
March 31, 2009. Better to act
early than late - if you miss the
deadline, you will have to wait
until 2010 to apply.
Your Long Term Care Questions Answered!
Are you looking for answers to questions about long-term
care (LTC) services or options? Are you a caregiver looking
for support services or are you interested in planning for the
future?
Specialized long-term care information and assistance is
currently available in the 34 communities of southern and
western Wayne County. This service is sponsored by the
Detroit Wayne County Long-Term Care Connection
(DWCLTCC) in partnership with The Senior Alliance.
Anyone living in the service area can reach an information
specialist at (866) 642-4582 8:30am to 5:00pm, Monday
through Friday. We specialize in providing information that
is targeted for each caller's LTC needs. Contact us today!
Medicare Part B covers some
medical expenses not covered
by Medicare Part A (hospital
insurance), such as doctors'
fees, outpatient hospital visits,
and other medical services and
supplies.
When you first become eligible for hospital insurance (Part
A), you have an initial enrollment period of seven-months in
which to sign up for medical
insurance (Part B). After that,
you have to pay a higher premium - unless the reason you
declined Part B was because
you were covered through an
employer's group health plan or
a group health plan based on a
spouse's employment.
You are given another opportunity to enroll in Part B during
the general enrollment period,
from January 1 to March 31 of
each year. But each 12-month
period that you are eligible for
Medicare Part B and do not sign
up, the amount of your monthly
premium increases by 10 percent.
Medicare is made up of four
parts:
• Hospital insurance (Part A)
that helps pay for inpatient
care in a hospital or skilled
nursing facility (following a
hospital stay), some home
health care and hospice
care;
• Medical insurance (Part B)
that helps pay for doctors'
services and many other
medical services and supplies that are not covered
by hospital insurance;
• Medicare Advantage (Part C)
plans are available in many
areas. People with
Medicare Parts A and B can
choose to receive all of
their health care services
through one of these
provider organizations
under Part C; and
• Prescription drug coverage
(Part D) that helps pay for
prescription medications.
Remember the Medicare Part
B open season runs from
January 1 to March 31.
S ENIORITY NEWS
Winter 2009
Page 11
Medicare Fraud
Most Medicare payment
errors are simple mistakes and
are not the result of physicians,
providers, or suppliers trying to
take advantage of the Medicare
system. If you have a question
or concern regarding a
Medicare claim submitted on
your behalf, you should discuss
it directly with your physician,
provider, or supplier that provided the service.
The vast majority of physicians, providers, and suppliers
who
serve
people
with
Medicare are committed to providing high quality care to their
patients and to billing the program only for the payments they
have earned.
However, there are a few
individuals who are intent on
abusing
or
defrauding
Medicare, cheating the program
(and in some cases the people
with Medicare who are liable
for co-payments) out of millions
of dollars annually. Medicare
fraud takes a lot of money every
year from the Medicare program. People with Medicare pay
for it with higher premiums.
This section of the website is
dedicated to helping you to help
Medicare to avoid making inappropriate payments to fraudulent entities.
Medicare is taking strong
action to combat fraud and
abuse of the system in key
areas. Our goal is to make sure
Medicare only does business
with physicians, providers, and
suppliers who will provide people with Medicare with high
quality services.
The effort to prevent and
detect fraud is a cooperative
one that involves:
• The Centers for Medicare &
Medicaid Services (CMS)
• People with Medicare
• Providers of Medicare services including physicians,
providers, and suppliers
• State and Federal Agencies
such as, the Department of
Health and Human Services
Office of the Inspector
General, the Federal
Bureau of Investigation
(FBI), and the Department
of Justice.
that were never provided or
received.
Some examples of Medicare
fraud include:
• Billling Medicare or another insurer for services or
items you never got.
• Billing Medicare for services or equipment which are
different from what you got.
• Use of another person's
Medicare card to get medical care, supplies, or equipment.
• Billing Medicare for home
medical equipment after it
has been returned.
Detection Tips
You should be suspicious if
the provider tells you that:
• The test is free; he only
needs your Medicare number for his records. NOTE:
For clinical laboratory tests,
there is no co-payment and
a provider may in good faith
state that the test is free,
since there is not cost to the
person with Medicare.
• Medicare wants you to have
the item or service.
• They know how to get
Medicare to pay for it.
• The more tests they provide
the cheaper they are.
• The equipment or service is
free; it won't cost you anything.
Be suspicious of providers
that:
• Charge co-payments on clinical laboratory tests, and on
Medicare covered preventive services such as PAP
smears, prostate specific
antigen (PSA) tests, or flu
and pneumonia shots.
• Routinely waive co-payments on any services, other
than those previously mentioned, without checking
your ability to pay.
• Advertise "free" consultations to People with
Medicare.
• Claim they represent
Medicare.
• Use pressure or scare tactics to sell you high priced
medical services or diagnostic tests.
Detection and Prevention
• Bill Medicare for services
you did not receive.
What is Fraud?
• Use telemarketing and doorto-door selling as marketing
Medicare fraud is purposely
tools.
billing Medicare for services
Prevention Tips
To help prevent Medicare
fraud, you should report suspected instances of fraud.
Whenever you receive a payment notice from Medicare,
review it for errors. The payment notice shows what
Medicare was billed for, what
Medicare paid and what you
owe. Make sure Medicare was
not billed for health care services or medical supplies and
equipment you did not receive.
The following is a list of tips
to prevent fraud:
• Don't ever give out your
Medicare Health Insurance
Claim Number (on your
Medicare card) except to
your physician or other
Medicare provider.
• Don't allow anyone, except
appropriate medical profes sionals, to review your medical records or recommend
services.
• Don't contact your physician
to request a service that you
do not need.
• Do be careful in accepting
Medicare services that are
represented as being free.
• Do be cautious when you
are offered free testing or
screening in exchange for
your Medicare card number.
• Do be cautious of any
provider who maintains
they have been endorsed by
the Federal government or
by Medicare.
• Do avoid a provider of
health care items or services who tells you that the
item or service is not usually covered, but they know
how to bill Medicare to get
it paid.
link in finding Medicare fraud.
You know better than anyone
what healthcare services you
have received. Review your
Medicare Summary Notice
when you receive it, and make
sure you understand all of the
items listed.
If you don't remember a procedure that is listed, you should
first call your physician,
provider, or supplier that is listed on the Medicare Summary
Notice. Many times a simple
mistake has been made and can
be corrected by your physician,
provider, or supplier's office
when you call.
If your physician, provider, or
supplier's office does not help
you with the questions or concerns about items listed on your
Medicare Summary Notice and
you still suspect Medicare fraud
or if you cannot call them, you
should call or write the
Medicare company that paid
the claim. The name, address,
and telephone number are on
the Medicare Summary Notice
(MSN) you receive, which shows
what Medicare paid.
Before
contacting
the
Medicare claims processing
company, carefully review the
facts as you know them and as
shown on the Medicare
Summary Notice. Write down:
• The provider's name and
any identifying number you
may have.
• The item or service you are
questioning.
• The date on which the item
or service was supposedly
furnished.
• The amount approved and
paid by Medicare.
• The date of the Medicare
Summary Notice.
• The name and Medicare
number of the person who
supposedly received the
item or service.
• The reason you believe
Medicare should not have
paid.
• Any other information you
may have showing that the
claim for the item or service
should not have been paid
by Medicare.
It is in your best interest and
that of all citizens to report suspected fraud. Health care
fraud,
whether
against
Medicare or private insurers,
increases everyone's health
care costs, much the same as
shoplifting increases the costs
of the food we eat and the
clothes we wear. If we are to
maintain and sustain our current health care system, we
must work together to reduce
If you plan to write rather
costs.
than call, clearly state at the
beginning of your letter that you
How to Report
are filing a fraud complaint.
This will help to ensure that
You, as the Medicare beneficiary, are the most important
See Fraud, page 12
S ENIORITY NEWS
Page 12
Fraud
FROM PAGE 11
Fax: 1-800-223-8164 (no more
than 10 pages)
Email: [email protected]
your complaint is forwarded to
the fraud unit.
Mail: Office of the Inspector
General
Office of Inspector General HHS TIPS Hotline
Hotline
P.O. Box 23489
To further assist you, the Washington, DC 20026
Office of the Inspector General
maintains a hotline, which
If you are attempting to
offers a confidential means for report specific information
reporting vital information. The proving Medicare fraud, please
Hotline can be contacted:
provide as much identifying
information as possible regardPhone: 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800ing your concern. Such infor447-8477)
mation should include subject's
Winter 2009
name, address and phone number etc. Details regarding the
allegation should include the
basics of who, what, when,
where, why, and how.
You can also call the
Medicare/Medicaid Assistance
Program at The Senior Alliance
at (800) 803-7174 to discuss the
situation with a program counselor and receive assistance
with filing a report.
• You report your suspicion
• Your suspicion is referred
to the Inspector General's
office for review
• The fraud you report isn't
already being investigated
• Your report leads directly to
the recovery of at least $100
of Medicare money
• You aren't related to people
who work for certain
Federal agencies.
If the suspicious activity turns out
to be fraud, you may be eligible
for a reward of up to $1,000.
To be eligible for a reward,
all of the following conditions
must be met:
For more information about
this reward program, call
1-800-MEDICARE
(1-800-633-4227).
Enhanced Driver's License Plan
Agreement signing clears way for Spring '09 availability
Michigan motorists will have
the option next year of applying for an enhanced driver's
license that also meets tougher
federal document requirements at America's borders.
Secretary of State Land and
U.S. Department of Homeland
Security officials met last
October in Detroit to sign a
memorandum of agreement
and a business plan that pave
the
way
for
Michigan's
enhanced license program.
"This is a victory for
Michigan families and job
providers," Land said.
"It
offers motorists an affordable,
single-document option that
meets their driving and border
crossing needs.
Equally
important, it allows commerce
between Michigan and Canada
to continue uninterrupted. I
applaud the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security for
being an outstanding partner
and the Detroit Regional
Chamber for its leadership.
With their support and the
efforts of all others involved,
we're balancing customer and
economic needs with our
shared goal of a safer
America."
In June 2005, Land proposed
the creation of a driver's
license that also could be used
in lieu of a passport, making it
easier for residents of border
states to meet federal Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative
(WHTI) requirements for entry
into the United States through
land and sea ports of entry.
State legislation authorizing • Applicants to provide docuenhanced license or ID card
Land's department to pursue
mentation
demonstrating
be guilty of a felony punishthe enhanced driver's license
their U.S. citizenship, full
able by up to five years in
plan with federal officials was
legal name, Social Security
prison.
passed in February 2008.
number and other informaVisit www.Michigan.gov/sos
Under WHTI, all travelers tion.
for more information about
including U.S. citizens - will • That a person making a false Secretary of State services and
need to produce a passport or
certification or statement requirements.
approved secure document to
when applying for an
enter the country by land or
sea as of June 1, 2009. This
agreement is a move toward
making Michigan's enhanced
license an approved secure
document that denotes identity
and citizenship. Because passports cost in the neighborhood
of $100 and take weeks to
receive, Land was concerned
that providing no alternative
would discourage people from
crossing the Michigan-Canada
border for business and
tourism.
Michigan's enhanced licenses and state-issued enhanced
ID cards will be voluntary and
available only to Michigan residents who also are U.S. citizens. While the actual cost has
yet to be determined, the law
limits it to not more than $50.
Michigan will continue offering its standard driver's
license as well.
Enhanced licenses will be
available at all Secretary of
State SUPER!Centers and
other select branch offices
beginning Spring 2009. The
law requires:
• Security measures to protect
against unauthorized disclosure of personal information.
Winter 2009
S ENIORITY NEWS
Page 13
S ENIORITY NEWS
Page 14
The Senior Alliance (TSA) is a nonprofit agency designated as the Area
Agency on Aging (AAA) for western
and southern Wayne County.
Funding for agency services are provided primarily by the Michigan
Office of Services to the Aging (OSA)
and the Michigan Department of
Community Health. While many
programs have different qualification requirements, the information
primarily addresses the needs of
persons age 60 and older.
The agency is governed by a Board,
with representatives from each of
the communities in the service area.
The Board receives advice on senior
issues from an Advisory Council and
Corporate Committee.
Eldercare Locator
To search for information or assistance for older adults in other areas
of the state or nation can be initiated
by contacting the Area Agency on
Aging that serves that region.
Information about AAA services
nationwide can be obtained by calling the toll-free Eldercare Locator at
1-800-677-1116. Website: www.eldercare.gov.
The Senior Alliance
Service Network
The Senior Alliance Service
Network includes programs and
services offered directly by agency
staff and service providers who are
contracted by The Senior Alliance.
These in-home and communitybased services are provided to assist
older adults maintain their independence and provide support to
caregivers. Contact the Information
& Programs Department at TSA for
additional information about
Network services and other community programs.
Giving Opportunities
to The Senior Alliance
Each and every gift made to The Senior
Alliance - Area Agency on Aging 1-C
helps support seniors in need by providing meals to homebound seniors,
offering care management to families
and outreach to seniors and caregivers
who are coping with the myriad of
questions involving care. We rely on
individual contributions to help fund our
programs and services. We appreciate your
interest in becoming a part of our family and
thank you in advance for your generosity. Your gift
is tax-deductible as allowable by law. There are a number of ways you can help:
• Gifts of Cash
• Bequests through a will, trust or annuity (The Friends Society)
• General Contributions
• Event support and sponsorship
• Tribute gifts made in memory or honor of a loved one or friend
• Gifts of stocks, securities and mutual funds
• Workplace giving campaigns
• Gifts of life insurance and IRAs
For additional information, please contact the TSA Program Manager at
734) 722-2830.
Winter 2009
Services are provided by The Senior
Alliance, noted with (TSA), unless
otherwise listed.
Heights, Garden City, Huron Twp.,
Inkster, Livonia, Northville,
Northville Twp., Plymouth,
Plymouth Twp., Redford Twp.,
Adult Day Services
Romulus, Sumpter Twp., Van Buren
Adult Day Services provides a day- Twp., Wayne, Westland.
time program of social and rehabil- The Information Center (734)
itative and/or maintenance servic- 282-7171 for the following commues to functionally impaired elderly nities:
persons.
Allen Park, Brownstown Twp.,
• Revival Outreach
Ecorse, Flat Rock, Gibraltar,
Adult Day Services
Grosse Ile Twp., Lincoln Park,
Northville (734) 927-6605
Melvindale,
River
Rouge,
• Oakwood Hospital
Riverview, Rockwood, Southgate,
Adult Day Health Center
Taylor, Trenton, Woodhaven,
Dearborn (313) 436-2440
Wyandotte.
• Wayne County Senior
Citizens Services
Case Coordination
Adult Day Centers
& Support
Westland (734) 727-7378
The Case Coordination & Support
Wyandotte (734) 285-6437
program assesses the eligibility of
• Woodhaven Retirement
seniors for in-home services such
Community
as Personal Care, Homemaker,
Livonia (734) 261-9000
and Respite Care. (TSA)
Caregiver Support
Caregiver information and assistance, support groups, individual
counseling, and/or education &
training services. Program details
vary among these providers. Call
each to determine the scope of
programs offered.
•Adult Well-Being Services
(313) 924-7860
• The Information Center
(734) 282-7171
• Wayne County Senior Citizens Services
(734) 727-7378
• Wayne Metropolitan Community
Action Agency
(734) 246-2280"
• Neighborhood Legal Services
of Michigan
Elder Law & Advocacy Center
(313) 937-8291
Chore Referral
Seniors looking for home maintenance assistance will be given the
names of independent workers
who have been asked to charge
reasonable fees. Homeowners
make their own arrangements for
the work and payment for service.
(TSA)
Chore Services
The Wayne County Cares Chore
program provides snow removal,
leaf raking, and lawn mowing.
(TSA)
Congregate Meals
Seniors can get a hot lunch on
weekdays at any of 41 community
lunch sites. The meals provide at
least
one-third
of
the
Recommended Dietary Allowance
Care Management
(RDA). Reservations must be
Care Management is designed to made.
provide support and link services Wayne County Office
to older adults with complex needs of Nutrition Services
who are at risk of nursing home (734) 727-7388 or (800) 851-1454
placement. It includes an in-home
assessment by a registered nurse Elder Abuse Services
and social worker, followed by The service includes the provision
arrangements for service delivery.
of public education, outreach, and
The Senior Alliance (734) 722- referral with respect to the preven2830 or (800) 815-1112 for the fol- tion of abuse, neglect, and
lowing communities: Belleville, exploitation of older individuals.
Canton Twp., Dearborn, Dearborn
Winter 2009
S ENIORITY NEWS
Neighborhood Legal
Services Michigan
Elder Law & Advocacy Center
(313) 937-8291
Homemaker service includes
assistance with tasks such as laundry, ironing, meal preparation,
shopping for necessities, and light
housekeeping (dusting, vacuumGatekeeper Program
ing, mopping floors, cleaning bathThe Gatekeeper program is room and kitchen, and making
designed to assist frail, isolated beds). Personal Care is designed
and vulnerable older adults who to assist clients with tasks such as
have little contact with others and bathing, dressing, grooming, toiletwho may go unnoticed when they ing, transferring, eating, and
need attention. The program ambulation. (TSA)
involves the public in recognizing
the signs that someone may need Information & Assistance
help. (TSA)
Information is given to individuals
pertaining to in-home services,
Friendly Reassurance
senior housing alternatives, and
This program (also called Tele- other TSA and community services
Care) provides for regular tele- for older adults and their care phone contacts with homebound givers. Assistance is provided to
older adults to assure their well- help understand and find appropribeing and safety along with social ate human service providers that
interaction.
can best meet their needs. (TSA)
Wayne County Senior Citizens
Services (734) 727-7373
Kinship Caregiver
Service Area: Belleville, Canton Assistance
Twp., Garden City, Inkster, Information and support services
Plymouth, Plymouth Twp., to grandparents and/or relative
Romulus, Sumpter Twp., Van Buren caregivers age 60 and over who
Twp., Westland.
are legally responsible for children
Many other communities operate 18 years of age or younger.
their own Tele-Care programs.
Adult Well-Being Services
(313) 924-7860
Health Screening
Neighborhood Legal Services
This service will provide seniors of Michigan
with a series of health tests at sev- Elder Law & Advocacy Center
eral community sites in the region. (313) 937-8291
The tests are designed to identify
present or potential health prob- Legal Assistance
lems.
Provision of legal advice, represen• ACCESS (313) 842-7010
tation and counseling on issues
• The Medical Team
such as guardianship, power of
(800) 382-5940
attorney, age discrimination, entitlements, etc. to older adults. No
Hearing Impaired
fee-generating or criminal cases
Services
are handled.
This service provides information Neighborhood Legal
on hearing loss, coping tips, Services Michigan
speech reading lessons, and sign Elder Law & Advocacy Center
language classes for people expe- (313) 937-8291
riencing any level of hearing loss.
Deaf, Hearing and Impaired Long Term Care
Services Voice: (248) 473-1888
Ombudsman
TDD: (248) 473-1875
Assistance to residents of longterm care (LTC) facilities to resolve
Home Delivered Meals
complaints; information about
Homebound seniors can receive a rights and rules; and referrals to
hot meal delivered to them on community resources. Assistance
weekdays. The meals provide to prospective LTC residents and
one-third of the Recommended their families regarding placement,
Daily Allowance (RDA). Liquid financing, and options.
meals are also available.
Citizens for Better Care
Wayne County Office of
(800) 833-9548 or (313) 832-6387
Nutrition Services
(734) 727-7357 or (800) 851-1454
Medicare/Medicaid
Assistance Program
Homemaker & Personal (MMAP)
Care Services
Trained volunteers provide
free
education and personalized assistance to Medicare beneficiaries to
understand health coverage
options and resolve issues involving the Medicare and Medicaid
programs. (TSA) (800) 803-7174
MI Choice
Waiver Program
Page 15
tion), and basic care (assistance
with activities of daily living, routine
exercise regimen, and supervision
of adherence to medication). (TSA)
Senior Alliance
Holiday Meals
This program provides hot festive
meals to homebound seniors on
MI Choice Waiver is a home and Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter,
community-based program for eligi- and Labor Day. SAHM is supportble adults who met financial and ed primarily through private donamedical requirements. Each partici- tions. Meals are delivered by volpant can obtain basic Medicaid- unteers. (TSA)
covered services and must receive
one or more MI Choice Waiver serv- Senior Center Staffing
ices ongoing. Current individual The Senior Alliance provides funds
income limit is $2,022 per month for staff positions at senior centers,
and countable assets of $2,000 or such as senior center director, proless. MI Choice services are funded gram coordinator, or specialist.
by the Michigan Department of Contact TSA for information about
Community Health. (TSA)
centers that are supported by
agency funds.
Michigan Older American
Community Service
Employment Program
This program offers useful subsidized part-time training opportunities for low-income persons age 55
and over. Participants are placed at
different community sites and
work/train an average of 20 hours a
week. (TSA)
Outreach
This program is designed to identify
and assist isolated older persons in
the greatest social and economic
need, access agency services.
(TSA)
Refugee Support Project
Transportation
Transportation services allow older
persons to access community
services, health care providers,
and shopping. Most communities
have some form of public transportation for seniors and the disabled available. Services are limited to residents of their community.
• City of Flat Rock Recreation Department
(734) 370-1450
• Inkster Senior Services
(313) 561-2650
• City of Lincoln Park
(313) 386-3103
• Northville Parks & Recreation
(248) 349-4140
A project designed to assist older
adult refugees to gain access to Vision Services
TSA services and community pro- Provision of specialized vision
grams. (TSA)
service for visually impaired persons including help in learning to
Respite Care
function independently.
This program provides relief to Greater Detroit Agency for the
caregivers at home. The service Blind and Visually Impaired
includes attendant care (assistance (313) 272-3900
with toileting, eating, and ambula-