Senior citizens and their families are often surprised at the extensive resources for seniors available free or at low cost, thanks to tax support. Some of the following resources are agencies that offer services to seniors of all income levels and situations. Other resources listed below are commercial healthcare organizations that offer in-home and residential care options.


The Alzheimer’s Association serves Northern Lower Michigan with two regional offices in Traverse City and Alpena. The association offers many programs and services that benefit caregivers as well as people living with Alzheimer’s disease. A support group for caregivers can be found in each Northern Michigan county as well as care consultation, care management services, education and training, and lending libraries with books, videos and DVD’s. A helpline is available 24 hours a day at 800.272.3900 or call the offices in Traverse City office at 231.929.3804 or Alpena at 989.356.4087. View the Northern Michigan region website.


AAANM provides key public services as both an information clearinghouse and as a services provider assisting senior and disabled individuals to remain in/ or return to the community.

AAANM information specialists are a good place to start for an overview of programs and services available to older adults and their caregivers. Options Counselors are available for more in-depth assistance, identifying needs and navigating the system. In addition benefits counselors are also available by appointment to answer questions and troubleshoot problems with Medicare, Medicaid or prescription drug policies and claims. This information and counseling is the best deal around—free, unbiased and available to all.

The agency also provides some direct services to specific populations, such as job searches for low-income seniors and care management for the “frail elderly” who need multiple services to stay in their homes. Most direct services, however, are provided through local Councils and Commissions on Aging and private pay agencies.

This regional organization, with local headquarters in Traverse City, has overseen and distributed government funds to service providers throughout 10 counties in Northwest Lower Michigan since 1974.

AAANM Information Specialists are available in person at 1609 Park Drive, Traverse City, by phone 800.442.1713 or 231.947.8920, or by e-mail under the “Contact Us” feature at


This senior living community on the shore of Traverse City’s Boardman Lake is set amid the calm beauty of nature and is also conveniently located close to downtown and the Grand Traverse Bay. Movie theaters, stage performances, dining and shopping are all easily accessible. The small, intimate retirement community gives residents ultimate flexibility, by offering independent living and assisted living lifestyles in beautiful lakeside apartments. Operated by Christopher Place Senior Communities.


Each county in Northwest Lower Michigan has either a Council or a Commission on Aging that provides services directly to seniors. Subsidized by local millage funds and/or state and federal dollars, these agencies help eligible seniors with yard work, house cleaning, personal care, transportation, and much more. Some services may have waiting lists or limitations on the number of hours provided. Payment is usually required, typically on a sliding scale. Services and terms vary widely from county to county—important to remember for seniors who plan to relocate.


When life changes due to an illness, accident, or aging, it can be difficult to maintain one’s independence and personal care as before. Help with errands and transportation, doctor’s appointments, personal care, medication reminders, meal preparation, laundry, housekeeping and more can relieve much of the stress you and your loved one may be experiencing. Care provided by qualified, professional and loving home care agency is an ideal option and can bring back the joy in family life. Harbor Care’s 30+ year history allows them to accurately and quickly assess your personal situation and guide you to the right resources or care solutions. Offices in Petoskey and Traverse City.


The Long Term Care Ombudsman program is available for concerned individuals to investigate complaints, suggest remedies and assist with resident rights payments, issues, guardianship and nursing home placement. Call 866.485.9393.


Monarch Home Health Services was founded by an experienced team of healthcare professionals who wanted to go beyond the industry’s basic requirement and set higher standards of excellence, service, and professionalism. The staff at Monarch will work with clients and their families to custom design an assistance program to fit their needs. Nursing care visits can be combined with Home Health Aide visits for comprehensive care. Monarch home health employees are tested and certified either as CNA’s or Home Health Aides. Monarch also provides on-going training and education to all employees.


Munson Healthcare Home Health is the largest, most comprehensive home health provider in Northern Michigan. They’ve built their reputation for excellence by providing kind, attentive, and respectful in-home care for more than 50 years. Their home health services include home care, home medical equipment (HME), hospice, medical alert system, palliative care, private duty services, transportation, patient and family resources. Call 800.252.2065.


An experienced team, led by Dr. Robert Butryn and Dr. Amy Ranger, provides the latest in advanced eye care technology to cover all of your eye care needs— from state of the art LASIK and cataract surgery to a complete selection of stylish frames and lenses. NVEC is dedicated to providing personalized eye care to promote a healthy community.


Parkinson’s Network North, a non-profit organization serving Northern Michigan, provides support, education and community resources helpful to those living with the disease and their loved ones. Call Maxine Meach at 231.947.1946 or Hettie Molvang at 231.947.7389.


Many communities have senior centers that provide recreational and social activities, including some that are run by county aging commissions or councils. In Traverse City, the Senior Center is the hot spot for everything from pickleball to computer classes. The center brings in other services such as foot care and legal assistance, in addition to being a senior nutrition site for the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency.

To connect with your local Commission or Council on Aging, Area Agency on Aging, or the senior services available in your area, contact the AAANM 800.442.1713, or the nationwide ElderCare Locator service 800.677.1116.


Village at Bay Ridge is a luxurious, independent senior living community that is close to downtown Traverse City and has spacious one and two-bedroom apartments, as well as beautiful cottage-style homes with adjoining garages. The Village at Bay Ridge, specifically, is designed for residents who wish to maintain a carefree, independent lifestyle. The Village at Bay Ridge is part of the Bay Ridge continuum of care community. Bay Ridge also features an assisted living center, as well as a community that specializes in dementia care. This means that if at any point you need additional care, help is just minutes away.

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