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MDHSS invites input on new aging plan

Hastings one of 16 sites in state


The Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging and the Aging and Adult Services Agency are inviting the public to join an upcoming community conversation in Hastings to discuss the needs of older adult residents.

The forum will be Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Barry County Commission on Aging, 320 Woodlawn Ave., from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

“This is the first time in my 32 years that the state has come into Barry County to do a public input session of this type,” said Tammy Pennington, COA executive director said. “It's a wonderful thing.”

Every three years, the Aging and Adult Services Agency, which is part of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, develops a state plan and seeks input regarding the needs and gaps in programs and services. The feedback is used to ensure priorities are on track with its support of the health and well-being of Michigan’s older adult population.

The State Plan on Aging serves as a blueprint that outlines the coordination and advocacy activities undertaken to meet the needs of older adults, including integrating health and social services delivery systems. The goal is to complete the new state plan by July 1.

“Michigan is one of the most rapidly aging states in the country,” Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of Aging and Adult Services Agency, said. “By 2025, the number of Michiganders age 65 and over will outnumber those under the age of 18. As people are living longer, we must be strategic, collaborative and innovative in our work. That means we need the opportunity to hear from the public about the realities of aging in Michigan and hope to have great participation in these community conversations.”

Dona Wishart, chair of the Commission on Services to the Aging, said public input is vital. “Whether you are an older adult, a caregiver or someone working with older adults in a volunteer or professional capacity, we urge you to participate in these community conversations. Your feedback is imperative to ensuring the new state plan addresses the critical needs of older adults in our state.”

A total of 16 forums are planned around the state, including at the Eaton Area Senior Services Center, 804 S. Cochran Ave., Charlotte, Feb. 19 from noon to 1:30 p.m. The remaining forums are in Alpena, Baldwin, Brooklyn, Detroit, Flint, Kalkaska, Manistique, Midland, Norton Shores, Portage, Three Rivers, Troy and Wayne.

Anyone with interest or insight into the needs of older adults is invited to attend a local community conversation. Space is limited, and organizers require RSVPs for planning purposes. RSVPs can be made by calling Kelly Cooper, 517-284-0182, or emailing

The current state plan can be found on the Aging and Adult Services Agency website at

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