Michigan launches new Web site for seniors

/ Source: The Associated Press

Michigan seniors can visit a new Web site to find information ranging from a guide to nursing homes to how to avoid scams.

State Attorney General Mike Cox on Monday announced the launch of http://www.seniorbrigade.com.

His office spent two years creating the site, which has the support of the AARP and the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.

"We want seniors to be empowered to defend themselves," Cox said during a news conference at the Tri-County Office on Aging.

Cox said the goal is to give seniors one place where they can learn more about health care, financial issues, consumer protection, veterans affairs and local events.

"There are 100 different Web sites that have information that helps seniors. But there's no one place where seniors can go for specifically consumer protection," said Mary Ablan, director of the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan.

The Web site's home page features a video message from Cox, a Republican who is planning to run for governor in 2010. People who use the site can increase the font size if they have trouble reading the text. Cox said Michigan's population of seniors is expected to double by 2030.

The project along with billboard advertising was paid for by Microsoft Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the Foundation for a Stronger Michigan, a nonprofit originally formed by Cox in 2003 to fund the PayKids initiative with corporate donations. Billboards were posted along highways to warn parents who owe child support that Cox's office was cracking down.

Billboards also will be used to get the word out about the senior Web site. Using private donations is helpful at a time of state government budget cuts, Cox said.