A local community organization called, GATE (Greater Awareness Through Education) brought together a panel in Farmington Hills, MI on October 21, 2018 to discuss aging in America.
The panel consisted of Doctor Sabiha Omar MD (Psychiatrist), Shaista Kazmi (Founder of Apna Ghar), Marsha Koet (Senior Services Supervisor, Farmington Hills), and Urmila Agarwal (Social Worker).
All of the panelists discussed programs and aid available to the elderly in the metro Detroit region. In addition, panelists shared specific ways on how programs and aid have improved and declined in the community.
One of the questions asked for response was, ‘How does social-economic status play out on the type of care one receives?’
Shaista Kazmi, The Founder of Apna Ghar responded with how affording proper care can be a problem.
“Social-economic status plays a major role! An average home care charges anywhere between $12 to $13,000 a month! I know this from using the senior care agencies from my mother-in-law,” Kazmi stated.
“When I started my company I wanted it to have affordable pricing. Also, make it easier for families to take care of a loved one. However, the way the system is made up you have to have money in order to receive the care you want. Also, even if you’re well-off you go through funds like water.”
Kazmi also remarked how individuals tend to suffer that are from a lower socio-economic class. Although they can qualify for Medicaid it often becomes problematic due to financial requirements.
Other panelists agreed that although care is available, it’s hard attaining Medicaid and other governmental funds that can be provided.
The discussion followed with the topic of mental health awareness.
A healthy support system advocates positivity from both the elderly individual needing the care and the family suffering. Therapy can help both become more comfortable in their environment.
Koet, Agarwal and Omar agreed that the family’s go through tremendous stress especially if it deals with a loved one. They made sure to address that therapy is okay and one should take it if needed. Also, local support groups with others going through the same life stressors are available.
Part of the program consisted of each panelist dividing the crowd into groups. Then, they would facilitate separate conversations to answer any questions in a more comfortable setting.
Overall the panel shared thoughts and ideas about ways that the community can help aid the elderly. It included; personal stories, discussion of therapy groups in the area, and most importantly how positive the future.