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January 22, 2022

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Believe in Michigan: Delivering for Older Michiganders

Michiganders celebrate why they believe in Michigan through video series leading up to Governor Whitmer’s State of the State address


LANSING, Mich. – Leading up to the Governor’s State of the State address, Gov. Whitmer’s team set out to hear from Michiganders across the state on why they believe in Michigan. We’ll share their thoughts each day leading up to the address in a video series.


“We have to do more to help older Michiganders access affordable healthcare, retire with dignity, and have attainable, affordable housing,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “I am committed to driving down the cost of prescription drugs, easing the tax burden on seniors, and expanding access to nursing homes and alternatives. We will build on our reputation as an ‘age-friendly’ state and continue putting seniors first.”


Frankie Jones



“I’ve been in Michigan ever since I was six years old, and I love Michigan,” said Frankie Jones, a retired resident from Ypsilanti. “I love the community because we are a close-knit community.


After sharing her story of loss, she noted she still has hope in her home state, “What gives me hope is that we’re still standing. We’re still thriving. There’s some good people in Michigan. We are going to continue to have hope and love, and there are people here that want the same thing that most of us want. And that’s like living a good life.”


Governor Whitmer’s Focus on Delivering for Older Michiganders

The Whitmer administration helped Michigan become the first “Age-Friendly State” in the Midwest to ensure the state is prepared for dramatic and imminent demographic changes and that communities can take steps to accommodate all ages.


In state budgets year after year, the governor consistently invested in programs supporting older Michiganders including increasing nursing home support payments; expanding services to age in place, senior home care, and access to senior centers; improving preventative services, transportation options, and meal delivery; and combatting elder abuse.


The governor signed an executive order creating the new Health and Aging Services Administration (HASA) within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to provide more coordinated services to Michigan’s growing aging population by combining the former MDHHS Aging and Adult Services Agency and Medical Services Administration under one umbrella within MDHHS. Michigan’s Medicaid Office is also part of the new HASA.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Whitmer made seniors a priority by protecting residents and staff in long-term care facilities. Executive Order (EO) 2020-191 maintained strong protocols in nursing homes to protect seniors. The governor signed another EO establishing the Nursing Home Workforce Stabilization Council to identify review, develop, and recommend policies, administrative actions, legislative changes, and other approaches to support high-quality nursing home care. In addition, Gov. Whitmer has:


  • Proposed an elimination of the pension tax to provide an $800 tax break to over 400,000 seniors with pensions in Michigan.
  • Supported distribution of nearly 1.6 million tests to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities
  • Oversaw the delivery of 1,279,594 meals to elderly adults in congregate care.