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Long-term Care Advocate Dr. Marion Will Speak Friday

Livingston Daily

A nationally known long-term care advocate will speak Friday in Hartland Township about how Americans can brace themselves for the upcoming "geriatric tsunami."

"Everybody should go back to traditional family values," said Dr. Marion Somers, who has more than 40 years working in geriatrics. "People think the government is going to bail them out. That's not the reality. And then, it's too late. You have to do your planning while you're healthy."

Somers' experience with the elderly spans back to when she was a 9-year-old living in a five-story walk-up apartment in New York City.

"I saw so many people who had infirmities of a wide variety," she said. "Society didn't really know how to deal with them, and they weren't taken care of." 

Somers is the spokeswoman for 3in4 Need More Campaign, a public service of the 3in4 Association nonprofit. As a part of her duties, she's touring in her Greyhound bus, hitting 50 cities across the country to raise awareness of the importance of long-term care.

Somers has been sending out a S.O.S. to seniors across the country. The following tips on how to begin to plan for long-term care will be emphasized for Hartland Senior Center patrons at 10 a.m. Friday at the facility, 9525 E. M-59 Road, in Hartland Township:

  • S stands for "situation." People are getting older and living longer. If you don't need long-term care, your parent, spouse or other loved one might.
  • O is for "options." Long-term care takes on many forms, all of which can cost into the thousands. Consider your options now so you won't be shocked later.
  • S is for "solutions." Traditional insurance and Medicare will not cover most long-term care costs. Research alternatives.

Family planning is especially important, said Lisa Wendt of the Brighton-based LifeSecure Insurance, which is an event sponsor. Once families need to seek long-term care, they're often shocked by prices, she said.

Somers will also help deliver meals in the Brighton area Friday with the Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program. Somers said she looks forward to meeting recipients and educating them of long-term-care needs.

Saturday, Somers also will make an appearance at the Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program's fifth annual run/walk, which begins at 8 a.m. at Kensington Metropark in Milford. All proceeds from the event will directly benefit Meals on Wheels.

Donations of pet food will be accepted as part of the program's continued effort to help feed the pets of seniors.

Race registration is $30.

To register, visit www.livingstonmilesformeals.org.

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