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KCASI Thanks the “Helpers”
KCASI Thanks the “Helpers”

Kalamazoo County Advocates for Senior Issues wants to recognize and sincerely thank all the “helpers” who in this time of Coronavirus are working to keep us fed, safe, and healthy…from the grocery store clerk to the postal service and sanitation workers to the doctors, nurses, and aides in our hospitals, to police and fire professionals.

We especially want to give a shout out to all the helpers who work in nursing homes, assisted living and adult foster care facilities or in private homes with elders and people with disabilities who rely on them to get through the day. These unsung heroes are critical to the quality of life and care of some of our most vulnerable citizens. They are often forgotten, but KCASI does not forget them, as we honor them now and with our advocacy to imporve their status through increased pay, training, and recognition.

As Mr. Rogers said, “Real strength has to do with helping others.”

Judy Sivak, President

2020 Advocacy Platform

Issues We’re Following

  • Medicare – The 2019 Medicare Trustee’s report states that Part A is projected to be depleted by 2026.  Since Medicare is financed by payroll taxes (36%), beneficiary premiums (15%) and general revenues (43%), it is linked to the deficit and is at risk of benefit reductions and/or increased beneficiary costs. 
  • Social Security – Projections put the social security program bankrupt by 2037, however, reasonable changes made early will put the program on sustainable footing without benefit reductions. 
  • Direct Care Professionals –Support policies that improve the recruitment/retention of direct care professionals through increased pay, training, and recognition in order to address the crisis of not enough workers to help elders and people with disabilities.
  •  Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse Prevention – Support legislation to increase penalties for elder/vulnerable adult abuse along with policies that provide better tools for professionals and the public to identify abuse and prosecute perpetrators, especially regarding financial exploitation.
  •  Kinship Caregiver Support – Grandparents and other relatives who are raising children need coordinated support at the state and local level, which House Bill 5443 and 5444 provide. 
  •  Affordable Housing – Support legislation, policies, and programs that increase the availability of affordable housing for older adults.  This includes advocating for a county-wide Home Sharing Program (matching owner with  renter who provides an agreed upon financial or chore/household assistance).

Other issues to monitor for possible action include:

  • Aging in Community Policies/Funding
  • Health & Safety (suicide prevention, healthy living opportunities)
  • Increasing Government Transparency