Granholm Announces "Own Your Future" Campaign

Contact: T.J. Bucholz 517-241-2112

December 1, 2006

Michigan one of six states nationwide marketing importance of long-term care

LANSING -Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a joint federal-state initiative to increase the public awareness of the importance of planning ahead for future long-term care needs.  Michigan is one of six states nationwide participating in the Own Your Future Long-Term Care Awareness Campaign.

"Having a responsible long-term care plan before it is needed gives a family more control over its future and can prevent a great deal of emotional and financial hardship," Granholm said.  "Michigan's health care and long-term care systems will save millions of dollars if everyone starts to think about long-term care needs now."

The direct mail campaign - funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - is targeted to households with members between the ages of 45 to 65.  During the week of November 13, a letter from Governor Granholm discussing the importance of long-term care planning was sent to 1.5 million households in the targeted range, along with an insert of state resources currently available to citizens seeking long term care.

Citizens can receive the kit by calling 1-866-PLAN-LTC (1-866-752-6582), or by visiting www.aoa.gov/ownyourfuture.

Granholm also cited national figures that clearly indicate many Michigan citizens will require long-term care.  Of all persons over age 65, approximately 60 percent will need some type of long-term care, and approximately 40 percent will need nursing home care during their lives, Granholm said.

The competitive federal program also includes the states of Georgia, Massachusetts, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Texas.  Nine other states have participated in earlier phases of the program.

In addition to the federal long-term care kit, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), at the direction of Governor Granholm, has been developing a network of long-term care resources that will benefit those citizens seeking long-term care services.  The Michigan Long-Term Care Connection - the state's single point of entry system for providing long-term care support and services - is now becoming active in four pilot locations across the state.

Michael Head, Director of the State's Office of Long-Term Care Supports and Services, said younger people may also need long-term care because of an accident, heart attack, stroke, or other reason. 

"Of the 13 million Americans in need of long-term care today, nearly 40 percent of them are between the ages of 18 and 64," Head said.  "Here in Michigan, meeting the needs of Michigan's senior citizens and disabled citizens continues to be a priority, thanks to the governor's commitment to supporting our long-term care system." 

In June 2005, Governor Granholm accepted recommendations from her 21-member Medicaid Long-Term Care Task Force signing Executive Order 2005-14 to establish the Office of Long-Term Care Supports and Services.  That office has already begun to assist in the development and implementation of policy and strategies for the task force recommendations.

In 2004, MDCH, in full partnership with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, applied for and received a $5 million grant to strengthen and improve Michigan's long-term care criminal background check laws and to provide $1.5 million in additional abuse and neglect training to thousands of Michigan long-term care workers.

In 2005, Governor Granholm also announced a Jobs Today initiative to modernize 75 of Michigan's oldest nursing homes and replace them with homes that permit more privacy, dignity, and family-friendly designs.

In June 2006, Governor Granholm announced four groundbreaking awards worth nearly $3.5 million over two years for Long-Term Care Single Point of Entry (SPE) demonstration sites in Michigan. The establishment of long-term care SPEs was a key recommendation in the final report of the Medicaid Long-Term Care Task Force.

"We want everyone in Michigan - especially seniors - to be aware that long-term care planning options exist for them in many forms and at many levels," said Sharon L. Gire, Director of the Office of Services to the Aging.  "Only through continued collaboration will our citizens understand that critical resources exist today to help them.  We're fortunate to have a governor that is clearly recognizing the importance of a seamless and functional long-term care system to the people of Michigan so those that need assistance can Own Their Own Future."