Moving or relocating based on healthcare needs and cost savings is nothing new, especially as we grow older and wiser. Many locales not only afford us with a lower cost of living but also better scenery and higher quality of care. This is a critical consideration when purchasing and maintaining an in-home or mobile medical alert system, as the expenses can quickly chip away at our hard-earned retirement savings account or 401(k).
Ultimately, states vary widely in what they can offer seniors, and Michigan is no different.
At present, the percentage of the U.S. population who call themselves Michiganders is 15.44 percent. This ranks the state as number 18 across the entire United States, and only four percentage points behind Florida, which has the highest percentage of seniors at 19.04 percent. That said, the overall over-65 crowd is expected to balloon to 24 percent, with healthcare service providers anticipating increasing strain on an already-taxed Medicare and Medicaid system.
While Michigan does not offer medical alert devices, many organizations like the VA still do, regardless of borders. Michigan does, however, offer unique adult daycare programs that could be of some use if the older adult would like worry-free monitoring and socialization.
Emergency response times in Michigan vary drastically based on the time of year as well as location, given Michigan’s harsh winters. Overall, however, when patients were finally admitted to a hospital, wait times ranged in value from 20 minutes all the way up to 47 minutes, with transfer times adding an additional two to three hours.
Another key consideration, especially for the accident-prone or the older adult wary of taking a spill, is the 85 minutes it took for most patients with a broken bone to receive pain medication or similar relief. Talk about adding insult to injury (no pun intended!).
Michigan has consistently ranked smack-dab in the middle for healthcare access (#19), healthcare quality (#30) and public health (#35), as scored and reviewed by U.S. News. However, Michigan received much higher approval ratings by the same news agency when it came to older adult dental visits (#14), wellness check-ups (#17) and health insurance enrollment (#11).
Michigan comes in above the national average when one considers that health spending per capita is just over $8,000 per year. Medicare and Medicaid are also accepted at most large emergency care locations and clinics, with the state boasting a great many universities with top-tier programs for research-based treatments.
While Michigan is a middling (again, no pun intended) state when it comes to senior-based health care and emergency medical alert response systems, older adults do have the support of state legislators. More specifically, there are laws that place seniors in clear, well-defined Medicare beneficiary tiers based on income and assets. There are also low-income benefits that one can qualify for, known as ALMB, QMB, SLMB and MMAP, based on certain factors.
Additional support outside of medical alert systems also includes food assistance programs, nursing facilities that protect you and yours against abuse, respite care assistance, care management and in-home support for those who wish to age in place.
Michigan may not be Florida when it comes to scenery or Nebraska when it comes to cost of living, but if you have family in the area and a great network, then the medical assistance and care already on offer in the state is well above average. The overall cost of living and medical response times both vary greatly based on geography, but can be circumvented by leaving detailed instructions with you in-home medical alert system network or on your medical alert bracelet. Care is affordable for many, with most services rating at or slightly above national averages.