Senior services agency preps budget priorities for $26M in state and federal funds

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Metro | Published June 20, 2023

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OAKLAND/MACOMB COUNTIES — Since 1974, the Area Agency on Aging 1-B, based in Southfield, has aimed to assist older adults and people with disabilities, as well as providing support to family caregivers in Southeast Michigan.

Katie Wendel, the director of planning and advocacy for the AAA 1-B, facilitated an annual implementation plan hearing May 11. The virtual hearing served as a public forum allowing older adults and caregivers to learn more about the spending plan and speak directly with the agency about their questions.

“We have local control over how we spend those federal and state dollars. So while all Area Agencies on Aging receive similar funding, we have choices about what we prioritize in our community. And we’re proud of those local ties and how we’re able to utilize this funding to meet the needs that we see in our community,” Wendel said.

The comment period has closed for the 2024 fiscal plan, which will run from Oct. 1, 2023, to Sept. 30, 2024, and the spending plan is being finalized. Wendel said that every three years, the AAA 1-B does a larger, multiyear plan, and in the fall of the subsequent two years, they do plan updates. Currently, the AAA 1-B is in year two of their 2023 to 2025 multiyear plan.

For 2024, AAA 1-B’s fiscal plan has $26 million in federal and state funding outlined in the budget.

In the breakdown of AAA 1-B’s grant funds, over $12.5 million is allocated to their support services, such as care management, transportation, outreach, in-home injury control, homemaking, legal assistance, health screenings, counseling services and adult day services.

Under the “Nutrition/Ombudsman/Respite/Kinship” section of the budget, a little over $12 million is dedicated to nutrition education and providing home-delivered meals through programs like “Meals on Wheels.”

A detailed breakdown of the 2024 fiscal plan can be accessed at, by scrolling down and clicking “Public Hearing on FY 2024 Implementation Plan: May 11.”

The AAA 1-B still has grant funds left from the American Rescue Plan Act that must be obligated by Dec. 31, 2024. Wendel stated that some of AAA 1-B’s contracted service providers are purchasing equipment with those one-time funds.

Wendel said that the COVID-19 pandemic was especially difficult for older adults as they were thrust into isolation. However, a positive outcome that came from the pandemic was the increased awareness and conversations regarding the needs of older adults and caregivers.

“As part of my role, I work on our advocacy and talk with elected officials about the needs of older adults. And there’s really a heightened level of concern and interest among decision-makers about the needs of older adults,” Wendel stated.

The AAA 1-B serves Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

For more information on the services that the Area Agency on Aging 1-B provides, visit