By Michigan Department OF Health and Human Services
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel today highlighted how the fiscal year 2023 budget signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer helps keep aging Michiganders in their homes and communities.
Hertel visited PACE Southeast Michigan’s new Detroit location, which is made possible with investments in the budget. The state’s spending plan includes funds to expand Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, commonly known as PACE programs.
“At MDHHS, we strengthen public health by strengthening our local communities,” Hertel said. “Supporting organizations like PACE that provide health care right in the community, social interaction and support with transportation and other needs is critical for both our aging adults and their family caregivers. That’s why Gov. Whitmer’s budget invests in older adults and the services that are needed for them to live healthy lives in the comfort of their homes.”
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Hertel participated in a roundtable discussion with other health leaders and toured the PACE Southeast Michigan new Detroit location at 17330 Greydale Ave.
“The expanded budget for PACE programs by the State of Michigan is a great step forward,” said Mary Naber, president and CEO of PACE Southeast Michigan. “These additional funds make it possible for PACE programs to serve more Michigan seniors so they have access to this unique, comprehensive, all-inclusive care model. It’s a better care option for most chronically ill, aging adults.”
Commitments to older adults in the budget include:
- PACE site expansions and fiscal relief, including $4.7 million to expand enrollment caps at the PACE sites in Wayne County, Traverse City and the Central Michigan region. PACE locations offer an array of services that help older adults connect to the care they need, age at home or be more independent, and socialize. In turn, the transportation and other services offered under one roof could help ease the responsibilities on caregivers.
- Appropriating federal American Rescue Plan funding to expand the public health workforce to address some of the ongoing shortages within the aging network.
- $400,000 in state general fund dollars for providing education on dementia care.
“This investment in PACE means that more individuals and their families will have access to the innovative PACE model of care, which allows seniors to live independently in their own homes while remaining cared for and monitored,” said Stephanie Winslow, executive director of the PACE Association of Michigan. “This proven model of care is a bipartisan, cost-effective solution to the nation’s senior care crisis. We are grateful for this administration’s effective leadership to support individuals and families as they seek unique alternatives to nursing home care.”
In addition to items specifically in the fiscal year 2023 budget, MDHHS is collaborating and working on more ways ensure older adults have access to quality, affordable health care and other age-friendly supports that help people age at home and in other settings:
State Rep. Stephanie A. Young, D-Detroit, also participated in the roundtable.
“Continued investment by the state will improve the quality of lives for our seniors,” she said. “I’m so grateful PACE Southeast Michigan’s new location is in my district. Allowing people to age in place in their own homes and community improves the quality life for older adults by keeping our seniors out of institutions and providing personal care that actually saves the state money in the long run.”
Michigan is one of AARP’s Age-Friendly States and Communities – a collection of towns, cities, counties and states that have committed to improving housing, transportation, outdoor spaces and access to services to make states more accessible for people of all ages. Michigan was the sixth of 10 states to join the Age-Friendly network in 2019. In 2022, MDHHS submitted Michigan’s Age-Friendly Action Plan to AARP.
During a roundtable discussion at the new PACE Southeast Michigan center, Hertel met with health leaders, aging adults and their caregivers. Topics include the needs of older adults and their caregivers – including the “sandwich generation” that is caring for children and aging parent at the same time; fiscal year 2023 budget investments; and services at the new location.
Shown above is MDHHS Director Elizbeth Hertel in a game of trivia with participants in the PACE Southeast Michigan program. (Photo courtesy of PACE Southeast Michigan.)