Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Caring for the elderly falls on Michigan's communities


Local communities may need to shoulder more of the responsibility of paying for senior services as Michigan baby boomers hit 65.

• PART ONE: How aging boomers will transform Michigan

The pressure will grow exponentially in the coming years, fueled not by the sheer numbers of aging baby boomers, but by the economy in which they wrapped up their working years, said Joan Jackson Johnson, head of community services for the City of Lansing.

"With the employment in the state and what's happened to retirement plans and the stock market, you've got seniors who thought they were set for life but now are wondering, 'Am I going to lose my house? Can I eat?' " she said.

In 63 of Michigan's 83 counties, dwindling federal and state dollars have been supplemented with countywide senior-dedicated millages.

The taxes bring in millions of dollars that help senior citizens stay in their homes and access health care and legal help.

The cost is about $50 for the owner of a $200,000 home.

The exception? A swath of counties in southeast Michigan -- Wayne, Oakland and Macomb among them -- that don't have such countywide fundng.

Read more: Caring for the elderly falls on Michigan's communities | freep.com | Detroit Free Press http://www.freep.com/article/20101004/NEWS06/10040321/1318/Caring-for-the-elderly-falls-on-Mich.s-communities#ixzz11UNsFlbW

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