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Posted on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

New center at Glacier Hills is a great new choice for those needing rehabilitation

By Alan Caldwell


Michelle Mitchell with Glacier Hills

We warmly welcomed a returning guest on the radio show this past weekend. Michelle Mitchell is the life enrichment manager at Glacier Hills. Michelle spoke proudly of the new rehabilitation center now open at Glacier Hills.

The new center is an 80-bed facility focused on short-term rehab and care. It is a beautiful addition to the Glacier Hills campus situated in northeast Ann Arbor.

Michelle shared that the new building has many more private rooms than the prior facility did. Private rooms are frequently requested by patients. Having visited the facility ourselves, even the semi-private rooms seem almost private due to a clever layout.

Of course the center has a top-quality therapy gym. What is new and different is the available aquatic therapy. There is a pool fully equipped with the appropriate devices to enable safe and effective therapy.

Michelle's focus at Glacier Hills is life enrichment, or as Michelle said, "It's all about quality of life." The staff works to engage the patients and residents in activities meaningful to the specific individual.

We also learned about the memory care services at Glacier Hills. Eva's House is the separate residence for those with a dementia/Alzheimer's diagnosis. Michelle emphasized how the care continues to evolve, becoming more effective and beneficial to this group of residents.

Glacier Hills is now working with the Dementia Care Specialists program. They use the Allen Cognitive Scale to measure cognitive and physical abilities to determine where a person really functions. The new approach is very innovative and has shown a great deal of promise.

To hear this 13-minute discussion, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 1208 Michelle Mitchell.mp3">

To get in touch with Michelle or Glacier Hills, call 734-769-6410 or access the website


Jennifer Michalak with Milan Seniors for Healthy Living

Photos by Sheila Doeden

We were privileged to have Jennifer Michalak join the discussion next. Jennifer is the executive director of Milan Seniors for Healthy Living. This non-profit organization provides two important services, running the Milan senior activity center and providing transportation for elderly folks in the Milan area.

Jennifer explained how transportation services are critically important to allow people to remain independent living in their own homes. Milan borders Washtenaw and Monroe counties and has no public transportation services.

Milan Seniors for Healthy Living can pick seniors up and will take them up to 20 miles out of town — to doctors, the bank, wherever they need to get to. They can also connect people to Ann Arbor's TheRide (Ann Arbor Transportation Authority) public transportation services.

Regarding their senior activity center, Jennifer explained the important service all senior centers provide to their local area. The benefits include mental and physical stimulation, especially the social interaction that keeps folks engaged in life.

The Milan center has some seniors with them for 20 hours a week and others that come just on special occasions. There seems to always be lots of activities and certainly more than just bingo. There are physical fitness opportunities to stay in shape. There are direct health services as well with blood pressure checks, hearing checks, and flu shots.

We talked about the stereotypes of senior centers, with some 60- and 70-year-olds thinking they aren't old enough to go to a center, maybe fearing being labeled old and boring. As Jennifer made clear, her center is full of people active in life and anything but old and boring.

Jennifer also shared that when the elderly residents in Milan need assistance beyond Milan Seniors for Healthy Living, she encourages people to contact the Area Agency on Agency 1-B and Blueprint for Aging. These two organizations are terrific local resources offering a wealth of services.

To listen to this 13-minute talk, click the audio link:

Everything Elderly 1208 Jennifer Michalak.mp3">

To get in touch with Jennifer or Milan Seniors for Health Living, call 734-508-6229 or visit their website

Alan Caldwell and Sheila Doeden co-host Everything Elderly every Saturday morning at 8:30 on 1290 WLBY. In their day jobs, Alan and Sheila co-own and co-manage Senior Helpers, providing in-home care services, primarily to the elderly. Both can be contacted at, or at 734-927-3111.


Peter Eckstein

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

I have no reason to question the claim that the new Glacier Hills center is a great place for rehabilitation. GH has a very good reputation for quality. I do, however, question a headline on a news story that reads like an advertisement for a commercial service. Just because you are now a, shouldn't you retain some basic journalistic standards?

Alan Caldwell

Mon, Dec 10, 2012 : 7:29 p.m.

Thanks Peter very much for your comment. A few thoughts to address your valid concern. The writer (myself) is a unpaid Community Contributor for and my objective is to provide a community service. Glacier Hills is a non-profit organization, not really a traditional commercial service. Also, if I was a writing a restaurant review, I think I'd be allowed to state my recommendation in the headline ("Knights is a great choice for steaks"). Having spent considerable time at the new Glacier Hills center, and being very familiar with their staff, I am comfortable emphasizing it is a very good choice.