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Posted on Sun, Apr 4, 2010 : 8:05 a.m.

Everything Elderly - Heartland Health Care Centers, Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs

By Alan Caldwell

Senior Helpers hosts a weekly half-hour radio program, Everything Elderly. It’s informative entertainment that’s all about seniors. The show is on 1290 am WLBY, every Saturday morning at 8:30. On this weekend’s show, we featured the Heartland Health Care Centers, and the Washtenaw County Department of Veterans Affairs.


Susan Juchartz from Heartland Health Care Centers

Photo by Sheila Doeden

Our first guest was Susan Juchartz, a Registered Nurse and Certified Case Manager with Heartland Health Care Centers. She works in rehabilitation centers, and helps families understand their insurance coverage.

Highlights of the discussion include:

  • Susan has 15 years working in case management, and she enjoys her job immensely.
  • Rehabilitation centers have really evolved to offer a lot of services, facilities today are not “your grandma and grandpa’s nursing home”.
  • There are now Medicare Advantage insured products with no co-pays and no deductibles - local HMOs and PPOs have these available.
  • Susan is very adept at working with the various insurance companies, advocating for her patients.
  • She works with each family to fully explain insurance coverage - what’s paid for and what’s not.

    If you would like to contact Heartland or talk with Susan Juchartz, please call 734-975-2601. You may also visit their website To listen to the full 12-minute discussion, click on this link to the audio file Everything Elderly 0403 Susan Juchartz.mp3.

    Our next guests were Mark Lindke and Michael Smith, representing the Washtenaw County Veterans Affairs Department. The talk focused on the benefits available to veterans, particularly seniors.

    Thumbnail image for Mark-Lindke-from-the-Department-of-Veterans-Affairs

    Mark Lindke from the Department of Veterans Affairs


    Michael Smith from the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Photo by Sheila Doeden

    Highlights include:

  • The department is a local county office, funded by county revenues.
  • They have a staff of five, all certified county veteran service officers, all with at least ten years experience.
  • The team provides case management services, they are advocates for the veterans of Washtenaw County.
  • Many World War II Veterans believe that “I did what my country asked me to do, nobody owes me anything” - but they earned their benefits, and should use them.
  • There are non-service connected disability pensions available, such as “Aid and Attendance”.
  • Michael shared a great story about helping a veteran that had been denied benefits three times. He appealed the case and was able to secure a $157,000 retroactive payment, as well as a significant annual disability pension.
  • The services of the department are free -- they want to help, they are there to help! If you would like to contact Mark Lindke and Michael Smith, you may contact the Department of Veterans Affairs at 734-973-4540. To listen to the full 13-minute discussion, click on this link to the audio file Everything Elderly 0403 Washtenaw Veterans Affairs.mp3.

    Alan Caldwell is the owner of Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. He can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.