ROCHESTER – Living a healthy lifestyle, staying active and engaged, achieving financial security and maintaining independence are critical for a high quality of life as we age, Gov. Rick Snyder said today when delivering his Special Message to the Legislature on Aging.
The governor presented his special message during a visit to the Older Persons’ Commission in Rochester.
The state’s older adult population is growing rapidly. By 2030 nearly one in four Michigan residents will be age 60 and older. Residents are also living longer. The fastest growing segment of Michigan’s population is age 85 and older.
“We want Michigan to be a state where we live well and age well,” Snyder said. “Ensuring that more older adults have the opportunity to be healthy, independent and productive individuals in ‘age-friendly’ communities that support their needs will be critical as the state plans for the future. The simple truth is Michigan has more work to do to prepare for its aging population. It’s time to reinvent the way we think about aging in a positive way.”
To ensure older adults have the opportunity to maintain their independence and choice as they age, the governor reaffirmed his strong commitment to home- and community-based services for older adults through Michigan’s long-term care system. He also reinforced the importance of making Michigan a “no wait state” by properly funding these services to end service waiting lists.
“Michigan has a long history of providing quality services that help older adults maintain their independence and live in the setting of their choice as they age,” said Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, director Kari Sederburg. “Thanks to strong leadership from the governor, Michigan will be able to fully fund senior services, eliminate waiting lists and provide our seniors the help they need.”
To make Michigan’s long-term care system more responsive, the governor announced the formation of a new partnership between OSA, the Department of Community Health, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that will make the state system more efficient and coordinated.
He also announced that the state will develop an aging website that will be a one-stop-shop for all aging-related information and provide older adults easier access to the numerous programs and services that are available to them. It will launch in early 2015.
The dashboard and the entire message on aging are available at www.michigan.gov/snyder.