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AARP to assess Flint water crisis impact on older adults

Paula D. Cunningham

AARP Michigan will lead a collaborative effort to assess and address the impact of the Flint water crisis on older adults.

Joining forces with AARP States and Community Engagement, AARP Foundation, the Valley Area Agency on Aging, the Council of Michigan Community Foundations and others, AARP Michigan will host two listening sessions in Flint on June 4 and June 5, followed by a survey of up to 800 city residents age 60 and older.

“While the efforts and attention in identifying and managing the effects of lead in Flint’s children is commendable, the impact on older adults needs more attention,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan. “Flint Mayor Karen Weaver has welcomed us in to focus on how older residents are affected.”

After listening to Flint citizens, and receiving the survey data and its analysis, AARP will pull together interested organizations that work directly with the older population to develop a plan to address specific issues that have been identified and are related to the lead exposure crisis.

“It’s important that we not only ask the right questions, but we also follow up and have a positive impact on the older population of Flint,” Cunningham said.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that homebound residents are having difficulty getting to purified water. Some older adults are having problems installing water filters and understanding directives about dealing with the crisis. The listening sessions and the survey also will assess the impact of the crisis on citizens who have medical issues.

The listening sessions will be Saturday, June 4, from 12 to 2 p.m. at Hasselbring Community Center, 1002 W. Home Avenue, Flint. The Sunday session will be 2 to 4 p.m. at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church, 3502 Lapeer Rd., Flint.

AARP Michigan will work with Public Policy Associates and EPIC/MRA to identify the needs of older adults resulting from the water crisis.




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