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Age Your Way- January 2023: What is an Area Agency on Aging?
Introducing our new Age Your Way Video Series! We're excited to bring you a short video each month that covers services and supports to help you age with independence and dignity. This month's video covers this question "What is the Area Agency on Aging and how can it help?". Give the video a watch above to hear from Liz Barnett, our Outreach Specialist, and a special guest.
Learn More About Services
Recently, we have worked to encompass our nine-county region and its healthy aging classes into a cohesive and consistent branding through a new name: “Engaging Wellness”. This includes evidence-based classes designed for older adults with a focus on community. The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin had us on this month to discuss this exciting new direction! You can give the interview a listen or read our latest article below.
Listen to the WGVU Interview
Learn More About Engaging Wellness

Caregiver Support to Prevent Abuse 

Elder abuse is an underreported issue with about 1 in 10 Americans 60+ years old experiencing elder abuse or mistreatment yet only 1 in 24 cases are reported to authorities. Elder abuse is often categorized into a few different types: physical, emotional, sexual, financial exploitation, and neglect ( Abuse can happen to anyone, by anyone.

A perpetrator of elder abuse is often thought of as being a stranger, but research has found that in almost 60% of cases, the abuser is a family member with two-thirds being an adult child or spouse. Abuse and neglect can occur with or without intention and one risk factor is caregiver burnout. Caregiving for a loved one can be stressful and with there being about 40 million informal family caregivers, majority of which do not receive any respite care, this can lead to abuse and neglect.

It’s essential to seek help early and prevent abuse from happening. There are caregiver support groups, adult day centers, and in-home respite options to give caregivers a break, personal care assistance, and more available. Call the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at 616-456-5664 to learn more and get connected.

If you are concerned that you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, mistreatment, or neglect, report it to Adult Protective Services at 1-855-444-3911. If your loved one is in a long term care facility, the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program strives to improve the quality of care in these facilities and a report can be made at 616-245-9451. For more information on elder abuse and warning signs visit

Sources: National Council on Aging ( and  

Save the Date: Upcoming Events

Engaging Wellness Classes
In-person and Zoom classes have returned!
Visit the website here!

Upcoming Dementia Friends Sessions
Thursday, February 16, 2023 | 10:30 am - 12:00 pm In-Person*
Learn more and register!

Advocates for Senior Issues
Friday, February 17, 2023 | 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Salvation Army Kroc Center
Visit the website here!

Virtual Family Caregiver Support Group
Tuesdays | 10:00 - 11:00 am via Zoom
See the flyer here!

18th Annual Art & Science of Aging Conference
Fashion a New Image of Aging
Friday, February 24, 2023 | 8:15 am - 3:00 pm
In-Person & Streaming
See the flyer here!

Copyright © Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
3215 Eaglecrest NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-456-5664

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Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan · 3215 Eaglecrest Dr. NE · Grand Rapids, Mi 49525 · USA

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