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MDHHS receives $25 million from CARES Act

Posted at 1:35 PM, May 06, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said it will be using $25.3 million it received from the federal CARES Act to keep its aging adults healthy and living independently.

The MDHHS said the CARES Act provides supplemental funding for programs authorized by the Older Americans Act of 1965.

The MDHHS said the state will spend its money supporting residents aged 60 and older served by Older Americans Act programs.

The programs provide various services such as help with bathing and dressing, rides to doctors' offices, education on managing chronic illnesses and support for family caregivers.

“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 MDHHS said the 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 programs for aging adults, click here.

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