Local, State and National Organizations

Helpful resources for the aging with direct access to organization websites.

General Resources on Aging

Elder Law of Michigan

Free help to solve problems that arise in retirement or after the age of 60. Elder Law explains options, offers unbiased and helpful information, links people to desperately needed money for food, medical and long term care, and provides the encouragement to take action to live better.

Michigan Area Agency on Aging – Region 7

Serving the counties of Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Huron, Isablella, Midland, Saginaw, Sanilac, Tuscola

Michigan Area Agency on Aging – Region 8

Serving the counties of Allegan, Ionia, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo, Osecola

Michigan Area Agency on Aging – Region 10

Serving the counties of Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, Wexford

Michigan Area Agency on Aging – Region 14

Serving the counties of Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa

Michigan Area Agency on Aging Region 1B

Serving the counties of Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St Clair, and Washtenaw

Indian Area Agency on Aging  Region 2

Conditions of Aging

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Information about COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

Information about CHF (Congestive Heart Failure)

Arthritis Foundation

Information and support for Arthritis

Osteoporosis Foundation

Information and support for Osteoporosis

American Diabetes Association

Information and support for Diabetes

Parkinson’s Action Network

Information, research and support for Parkinson’s disease patients and families

National Stroke Association

Information about stroke

Dementia Care Information

National Institute on Aging (ADEAR)

Current, comprehensive Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) information and resources from the National Institute on Aging (NIA)

Alzheimer’s Association

Alzheimer disease information

Alzheimer’s Care Group

Alzheimer’s support group

Lewy Body Disease Association

Lewy Body dementia support and information

Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation

Research and information

Assisted Living Resources

Michigan Assisted Living Association

Information about Assisted Living

Government Oversight

State of Michigan, Department of Human Services

General information about Homes for the Aged and Adult Foster Care

Michigan Department of Human Services – License Review

Check the latest reports for any licensed home for the aged or adult foster care home in Michigan

Financial Help

US Veteran’s Administration

Information on Veteran’s Benefits

Michigan Association of County Veterans Counselors

Assists veterans and their families in obtaining any and all county, state and federal benefits to which they are entitled.

Life Care Funding Group

Life settlement options

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do you require a lease?

Independent Senior Living:
Yes. there is a lease for the first 12 months. After that, the lease is on a month-to-month basis.

Assisted Living Care:
We have a written residency agreement, but you rent your assisted living apartment on a month-to-month basis. We do require a 30-day move-out notice if you choose to leave. If you are moving due to medical care need, the move-out notice is waived.

Specialized Dementia Care:
Just like any other assisted living resident, we have a written residency agreement, but you rent your assisted living apartment on a month-to-month basis. We do require a 30-day move-out notice if you choose to leave.

Do you allow pets?
Pets are welcome if the resident is able to care for it without assistance. There are certain restrictions on size and type. We do require an extra security deposit and a copy of your pet’s current vaccination certificate. For more details, feel free to contact the administrator of the assisted living home of your choice.
How many Assisted Living staff members are on duty and how do you screen them?

We adjust the number of staff on duty based on the needs of the residents. We also schedule our staff to the peaks and valleys of the day – more staff when resident needs are greater, fewer staff when needs are lighter.

Trained staff members have interviewed personnel—staff as well as regular volunteers— and personal as well as professional references have been thoroughly checked. We also verify licenses and certifications of persons who carry those credentials, such as RN, LPN or CNA, etc. Finally, each staff member is required to pass a criminal history background check, which includes a fingerprint screening and national criminal registry check.

I have heard about continuum of care communities but don't know what they are. Can you tell me about them?

A continuum of care community simply means that a variety of housing and service options exist in the same building, on the same campus, or nearby. Often, the continuum includes independent living cottages, congregate apartments (apartments with services such as meals, social activities, transportation and housekeeping available as a package or as optional “fee for service” amenities), assisted living, dementia or Alzheimer’s specialty care and skilled nursing care, such as a nursing home.

Several of our communities share a campus with both Independent and Assisting Living housing options. If at any time a resident needs to move between these housing options we will waive your required 30-day move out notice and residents are given priority status on the waiting lists for our “sister” communities.

What happens if I need assistance in the middle of the night?

Independent Living Community:
Each of our residences have emergency call systems installed in the main living area and bathroom to ensure you can summon assistance if it is needed. You never have to feel alone or helpless.

Assisted Living Community:
Emergency call systems are installed in the main living area and in the bathroom of each assisted living apartment to allow residents to summon assistance when they need it. Our caring staff is always here to help.

Specialized Dementia Care:
Each apartment is installed with emergency call systems in the main living area and bathroom to allow residents to summon assistance if and when it is needed. We know that many of our residents who have dementia don’t remember to use the emergency call system so our staff is constantly moving throughout the hallways at night to respond to nighttime needs.

What happens if I activate the emergency pull cord in the middle of the night?

All Community Protocol:
We have set up a three-tier approach to addressing off-hours emergencies. First, the on-site emergency contact person is alerted. After that, the backup staff member is called, followed by a call to 911.

Specialized Dementia Care:
Our staff responds to all emergency cord signals. We know that residents with dementia are often not able to relate pulling the cord to calling a staff person. When we respond to dementia signals, we just shut off the signal and check on your loved one and their surrounding area to be sure everything is okay. From there, we follow protocol based on how your loved one is doing.

What happens in the case of an emergency in the building?

Independent Living Communities and Assisted Living Centers:

We routinely conduct fire and tornado drills with our residents. These drills are conducted at different times of the day and night to be sure that everyone gets proper practice. Once a year, we invite the fire department to monitor our practice drills. This ensures the residents feel confident that during any emergency, or in the event that the building need to be evacuated, they what to do to be safe.

In addition to the practice drills, we conduct monthly inspections of all fire safety equipment as well as routine fire safety inspections throughout the building. Finally, we are inspected annually by local, state, or federal regulators. 

Specialized Dementia Care:
We understand that our residents with dementia have greater needs, and we do not expect them to retain information from monthly drills. To remedy this, and address those additional needs, our staff is extra vigilant with dementia patients. We make sure they know where dementia residents are, and we ensure to prepare for what degree of assistance will be needed if we do have a building emergency.

Dad never did any of the housekeeping. What services do you provide?

Independent Senior Living:
Yes, for an additional fee. Your father can schedule an appointment with our housekeeping staff to clean your apartment weekly, bi-weekly, or on any schedule he desires.

Assisted Living:
To ensure our residents are comfortable in their environment, beds are made daily by staff. Each apartment is vacuumed and dusted, linens are changed and the bathroom is thoroughly cleaned each week. Personal laundry is done once a week. Towels are changed twice a week. If additional support is needed, we'll pick that up in the Personal Needs Assessment and incorporate those services into the your father's plan of service.

Specialized Dementia Care:
Our housekeepers are trained to communicate with residents who have dementia – they understand that the resident may become anxious when their room is cleaned or things are moved. We try to put things back exactly as they were. For some residents, it works best if their apartment is cleaned while they are at lunch, taking a bath or involved in an activity outside their room. Because we recognize each resident as an individual, we know that sometimes we have to take several passes to get a room clean—taking care to clean the most needy areas first—and getting to the less critical areas at a later time.

I have so many questions. Do you have additional information I can review?

This is a big decision and your concerns are completely normal. We are happy to answer any questions that you many have about our communities and the services that are available there. Feel free to contact the Community Manager or Administrator at the community of your choice who would be happy to answer your questions and talk to you about your concerns. We also encourage you to check out our Helpful Resources section for additional help.

May I join my mother for meals?

Residents are encouraged to invite family and friends to join them for a meal or a snack at any time for a nominal fee in all of our communities and facilities.

My mother has always been the hostess - she loves entertaining family and friends. Can you offer her the ability to continue to do that?
Residents are encouraged to invite family and friends to join them for a meal or a snack at any time for a nominal fee. We also have a private dining room, which may be reserved for special occasions. Our staff can handle all the preparation and service details, which will allow your mother to enjoy the event with her guests, without the work or the worry!
My dad prides his independence, but needs to be monitored. Will you be respectful of his privacy?

Assisted Living Care:
We want residents to be as independent as possible, while still assisting them with anything they may need help with. We will use mealtime, medication administration, delivery of mail/newspaper and reminders for activities as non-intrusive opportunities to monitor his well-being and offer assistance as needed.

Specialized Dementia Care:
Absolutely—even though a person has lost memory function, they still deserve as much respect and privacy as anyone else. To assure his well being, it may be important for your dad to be checked several times throughout the day—and the night. Staff will exercise great care to assure your dad feels his privacy is respected and he may not even realize how often we are checking in!

When someone has dementia they often feel out of control. They can’t make sense of the day and are often frustrated. We are very careful to help residents be in control of the aspects of their day that they are able to manage—and we try to be as nonintrusive as possible when we have to check in and assist.

How can I be sure my parent or loved one gets all the care they need?

Assisted Living:
We will conduct a Personal Needs Assessment before your loved one moves in, to determine exactly what support services they require. This assessment will be reviewed with you, your loved one and other family members as well as their physician. From this assessment we develop a service plan that is unique to your loved one's needs. This plan serves as a guide so our staff knows exactly what support your loved one needs—and how we can best meet those needs.


This assessment will be updated 30 days after your loved one moves in, to allow us to confirm the accuracy of the initial assessment and to give them time to adjust to a new home. From that point on, this assessment is updated quarterly or upon any significant change in physical or mental status.

 

Specialized Dementia Care:
We will do a Personal Needs Assessment before your parent moves in to determine exactly what support services they require in regards to their dementia and otherwise. This assessment will be reviewed with you, your parent and other family members as well as their physician. From this assessment we develop a service plan that is unique to your parent's needs and severity of dementia. This plan serves as a guide so our staff knows exactly what support your parent needs—and how we can best meet those needs.

This assessment will be updated 30 days after your parent moves in, to allow us to confirm the accuracy of the initial assessment and to give them time to adjust to a new home. From that point on, this assessment is updated quarterly, at a minimum. In the case of any change in your parent's mental status, we will conduct another personal needs assessment to ensure we continue to meet their needs.

My father has become very inactive. What do you have that will get him up and going again?

Assisted Living:
We have a wide variety of activities available to all residents. He may be interested in our Men’s Group or our daily exercise program. We will encourage him to attend activities that interest him and who knows—he may just take up a new hobby or two.

Each assisted living home develops their own activities calendar based on the interests of the residents; to view it online select the assisted living home of your choice and select the “Events” link.

 

Specialized Dementia Care:
We offer a wide variety of activities. He may be interested in our Men’s Group, coffee group, regularly organized games, or our daily exercise program. Our staff is trained to work with dementia residents, and will encourage him to attend activities that interest him. Each assisted living home with specialized dementia care maintains their own activities calendar based on the interests of the residents; to view it online select the assisted living home of your choice and select the “Social Activities” link.

I’m concerned my parents are not getting enough nutrition because my mother eats like a bird and my father sleeps late and misses breakfast. How can you ensure they eat enough to stay healthy?

Assisted Living:
A hot breakfast, made to order, is served from 7-9:30 a.m. Cold breakfast items are available from 6-11am. Snacks are available throughout the day. Our meals are not only tasty, but also nutritious.

The Heritage Classic Menu is always available in addition to the chef’s daily specials. They are created to ensure that our residents meet all nutritional needs. In addition, we will weigh your parents monthly to ensure that they are maintaining a healthy weight.

Meals are a very social time for our residents. You may find that your parents are eating more when they are surrounded by friends instead of dining alone.

 

Specialized Dementia Care:
You just described two of the most common mealtime challenges that people with dementia face. Many times they are just not able to stay focused to eat a whole meal, or the plate of food is too confusing so they just walk away. For others, they become very sensitive to textures and temperatures of food. Our staff is very practiced in the “try, try, try again” approach to helping our residents eat. We limit distractions during meals, provide additional staff support for those residents who lose their focus, offer “finger-friendly” food for those who may need to wander and truly just keep trying. It can be very challenging to satisfy the nutritional needs of persons with dementia, but our culinary and resident support staff make meals and snacks a priority.

Will a resident have to move out of their apartment if they need additional care?

Independent Living Communities:
Not at all! There are a number of home health care agencies we often recommend that already support services to other residents of our independent senior living communities. If you wish, we can give you the names of these agencies; then you can contract with the agency of your choice.

Assisted Living Center and Specialized Dementia Care:
No. If a resident’s care and service needs change due to a terminal illness, hospice services may be brought into the assisted living home to assist with the care needs. These services do not take the place of the care and services provided by the living center’s staff, but offer a supplement to help meet the end-of-life needs.

In addition to personal care, pain and comfort medications, counseling and chaplain services are available through a variety of hospice care agencies. It is our pleasure to work with a number of these agencies to assure the best end-of-life care possible to our resident and their family members.

Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance plans pay for hospice care. As with any third-party payment source there are rules and conditions that must be met to qualify for payment.

Aren't specialized care facilities expensive?

The cost of residing in an assisted living home may seem like a lot of money at first glance. However, when you consider the services provided for the fee and compare that to the cost of other living options, the true value of assisted living is easy to see.

Some assisted living homes charge a “one-size-fits-all” fee; you pay the same amount regardless of the services you need or receive. A person who needs very minimal support service pays the same as a person who receives a high level of service. Heritage Senior Communities offers a different payment option, where you only pay for the services you actually use each month.

The starting point for our fee structure is based on the apartment style selected and includes basic services such as housekeeping, laundry, cable television, assistance with basic daily care, participation in all social activities (on-site and off-site) and medication administration.

An additional fee is added based on additional services needed. This way, you are only paying for the services you need and want. The level of care needed is determined by the Personal Needs Assessment which is reviewed at least quarterly and when there is a significant event in the resident’s life—an acute medical condition, hospital stay, or ending therapy services.

If you are a veteran, or the spouse or dependant of a veteran, you may qualify for certain financial supports through the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Life Settlements offer a unique opportunity to supplement your resources through the sale of a life insurance policy that may no longer be needed.

Does Medicare cover the cost of the monthly fee?

Assisted Living:
Medicare does not cover the cost of assisted living care.

 

Specialized Dementia Care: 
Medicare does not cover the cost of dementia care.

What about health care insurance? Is there any help available to pay for it?

Assisted Living & Specialized Dementia Care:
Health care insurance does not cover assisted living, but many long-term care insurance policies do and some plans can be purchased into your 80s.

If you are a veteran, or the spouse or dependent of a veteran, you may qualify for certain financial supports through the Veterans Benefits Administration at 800-827-1000.

Life Settlements offer a unique opportunity to supplement your resources through the sale of a life insurance policy that may no longer be needed.

In some cases, the MI Choice Waiver Program may be available if a person meets certain level of care, income and asset eligibility requirements.

Is this type of care tax deductible?

Assisted Living & Specialized Dementia Care:
Under IRS guidelines, the entire cost of assisted living may be deductible. Refer to IRS Form 502 for more information and be sure to check with your accountant, financial planner or attorney.

How do I know if my parent or loved one needs specialized care?

Assisted Living:
There are many indications that show your mother may need assisted living:

Is she keeping up with the responsibilities of living on her own, including housekeeping duties and home repairs? Is she still able to shop for, store, and cook food correctly? Does she take her medication on time and in the right dosage? Is she keeping a regular bathing schedule? Does she still socialize with friends? Does she use home appliances safely, including operation of the stove? If the answer is no to any of these questions, it might be time to consider assisted living for your mom.

If you need additional help in making this determination, feel free to contact the administrator of the assisted living home of your choice.


Specialized Dementia Care:
When someone with dementia begins to have difficulty navigating through their day, is at risk of wandering away from their home or living center, or begins to feel left out or ostracized by their neighbors it is likely time to consider dementia specialty care. Our communities are designed to reduce confusing environmental stimuli.

Our staff is able to help you evaluate your specific situation and aid you in making the right choice for her. For more details, feel free to contact the administrator of the assisted living home of your choice.