Kalamazoo MI – The Veenstra Team, your Kalamazoo Senior Citizen Real Estate Specialists wanted to give all you history buffs a quick overview of the government agencies that do or have helped Senior Citizens. Although numerous state departments have programs aimed at assisting seniors, statutorily-created agencies or councils on aging have existed since 1955 to study the problems seniors face and to make recommendations to the governor and to the legislature for improved senior services.
The Legislative Advisory Council on Problems of the Aging was created by 1955 PA 200. The council studied the needs and problems of seniors in such areas as employment, health, education, recreation, housing, and institutional care. One result of this work was the establishment of the Michigan Commission on Aging, which was created by 1960 PA 11 as an independent state agency. Following the adoption of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963, however, the Commission on Aging was transferred to the Department of Social Services by 1965 PA 380. Basically, its work involved advocacy for seniors and annual recommendations to the governor for improved state programs for senior citizens.
The Commission on Aging was abolished by 1973 PA 106, which, in its place, created the Office of Services to the Aging, as an independent two-year agency within the Office of the Governor with the responsibility of planning, coordinating, and promoting services for senior citizens. The office developed the Michigan Comprehensive Plan on Aging and designated 13 planning and service areas, as well as area agencies on aging. 1975 PA 146 created the Office of Services to the Aging within the Department of Management and Budget and the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging to advise the governor and legislature. The enactment of 1980 PA 210 granted full autonomy to the Office of Services to the Aging within the Department of Management and Budget, and Executive Order No. 1997-5 moved the office to the Michigan Department of Community Health.
In 1981, the Older Michiganians Act, 1981 PA 180, became law. The act made advocacy and administering state and federal programs serving seniors the primary responsibilities of the Commission on Services to the Aging, the Office of Services to the Aging, and area agencies on aging designated by the commission.
The Commission on Services to the Aging consists of 15 members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. In addition to advocacy for senior citizens, the commissions responsibilities include reviewing and approving grants administered by the Office of Services to the Aging; designating planning and service areas and area agencies on aging within each planning and service area; and participating in the preparation and approval of the state plan and budget required by the federal Older Americans Act of 1965.
The governmental body in Michigan that plans, coordinates, and administers senior services is the Office of Services to the Aging, which is primarily responsible for advocating on behalf of seniors within all levels of government and with private and public agencies. It works to enhance the lives of senior citizens by administering and funding numerous state programs. Further information about the office and its functions for the elderly can be obtained directly by contacting the Office of Services to the Aging at (517) 373-8230 or through the agencys website at MISeniors.net.
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