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Michigan Adults Strive to Stay Mentally Sharp as They Age

Nurse in retirement home helping old male patient with puzzle.
Studio Romantic - stock.adobe.co
Nurse in retirement home helping old male patient with puzzle.

AARP Michigan's Vital Voices survey results are in, and more than 700 Michigan adults 45 and older say they are most concerned with staying mentally sharp as they age.

Lisa Dedden Cooper, manager of advocacy for AARP Michigan, said the Vital Voices survey analyzed health security, financial security and community livability. Although concerns for things such as retirement and access to Social Security are common results, the survey also made new financial findings.

"Being able to afford groceries and other necessities actually was extremely highly rated," she said, adding that "93% of people said that was an important issue that something that was on their mind, that's we think an important issue."

AARP conducts the Vital Voices research every three years. Results for each state are released based on the timing of their survey. Michigan's came out this month.

Cooper said family caregivers are particularly interested in things such as the ability to age in place in their homes, and having access to alternatives to nursing-home care. Dedden Cooper said those issues will shape how they vote in the 2024 elections.

"Ninety percent of the survey respondents support having some sort of a tax credit for family caregivers to help offset the caregiving expenses that they are facing," she said.

AARP's legislative priorities include family caregiving issues at both the state and federal level. About 4 million Michigan residents are age 50 and older, representing 39% of the state's population. In November 2022, voters in this age demographic cast more than 60% of the total ballots in the state's general election.

Born and raised in Canada to an early Pakistani immigrant family, Farah Siddiqi was naturally drawn to the larger purpose of making connections and communicating for public reform. She moved to America in 2000 spending most of her time in California and Massachusetts. She has also had the opportunity to live abroad and travel to over 20 countries. She is a multilingual communicator with on-air experience as a reporter/anchor/producer for television, web and radio across multiple markets including USA, Canada, Dubai, and Hong Kong. She recently moved back to America with a unique International perspective and understanding. She finds herself making Nashville, Tennessee her new home, and hopes to continue her passion for philanthropy and making connections to help bridge misunderstandings specifically with issues related to race, ethnicity, interfaith and an overall sense of belonging,
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