(pictured: Thomas Kimble) As the holidays draw near, it’s a good time to reflect on what AARP Michigan accomplished in 2014 and what lies ahead for us in the New Year.
Let me first highlight a few of this year’s successes, achieved with much help from our volunteers and partners, who make the magic happen. AARP Michigan:
Played a prominent role in developing the governor’s message on aging.
Saw the Healthy Michigan program we championed in 2013 enroll more than 425,000 previously uninsured people in health care plans.
Helped win an additional $5 million in the state budget for in-home services and home-delivered meals for seniors.
Fought for Detroit city pensioners in the bankruptcy case in the courts and in the community.
Signed Highland Park into the AARP/World Health Organization age-friendly cities program.
Launched a new partnership with the state and veterans groups to help make our heroes more aware of the benefits available to them.
Partnered with the state on Reinventing Retirement events in eight cities, and with the U.S. Small Business Administration to hold starting-a-business workshops for older adults in four cities.
Helped over 70,000 people with their tax returns and hundreds update their driving skills.
In the coming year, we intend to build on many of these successes. Also, look for AARP to be intensely involved in three areas:
Health Security. A caregiving campaign will focus on helping the state’s 2.1 million caregivers get the help and resources they need through advocacy in the state capital, workshops in local communities and calling together a communion of stakeholders.
Financial Security. We will advocate for fair tax treatment of retirement income, fight against physical abuse and financial exploitation of elders, lead entrepreneurial and job-seeker events, and be a watchdog to ensure utilities are accessible and affordable.
Livable Communities. AARP intends to work with communities to make them friendlier for all ages. This will include workshops to help people live independently in their own homes, and local efforts to improve accessibility to streets, sidewalks and transportation.
AARP is about more than you might think. If you want to help, contact Careena Eggleston, volunteer coordinator, at 517-267-8900 or email@example.com.