ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Tuesday, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) visited the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba to discuss aging with residents.
According to AARP, Michiganders 50 and older make up 39% of the state’s population. Statistics are even higher in the Upper Peninsula, with 48% of Delta County residents being aged 50 or older.
AARP State Director Paula Diane Cunningham, along with other AARP Michigan representatives, spoke with some of those residents about the concerns they have as they get older, what services AARP provides, and what additional resources they would like to have in the U.P.
“Michigan’s one of the fastest-aging states in the nation,” said Cunningham. “What does that mean for our infrastructure? does that mean for our healthcare system? We want to make certain that people can age with dignity and with respect and they have the resources and social benefits that they need as they age.”
Cunningham says services AARP offers many don’t know about include free tax aid, driver’s safety classes, caregiving classes, and fraud prevention resources. She says it is important for those 50 and older to know about the opportunities available to them, as they are a large and active part of Michigan.
“Older adults are the ones who vote,” Cunningham said. “In this last election, 60% of all the votes cast were cast by people who were 50 and older. It’s important for us to listen, and to hear, and to let people know what’s available to them and how we’re fighting on behalf of them and their families.”
For more information on services available through AARP, click here.