Lansing, MI - As part of Older Michiganians Day on Wednesday, May 17, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Behavioral and Physical Health and Aging Services Administration awarded Dr. Arnold Beresh of West Bloomfield the Older Adult of the Year award.
“The selection committee reviewed a record number of nominees this year for the Older Adult of the Year award,” said Farah Hanley, MDHHS senior chief deputy director for health. “Older adults across our state are making a positive and important difference in their communities through their active engagement and volunteer work. We are grateful for Dr. Beresh’s dementia-related volunteerism and advocacy, which has informed and inspired the medical field and community, curtailed stigma and provided hope after a dementia diagnosis.”
Beresh has volunteered for the Alzheimer’s Association for the past 20 years. When a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment with early onset dementia ended his career in 2015, he redoubled his volunteer efforts and became a state and national dementia advocate and educator. He serves on the board of directors of the National Council of Dementia Minds and is a member of A Brotherhood of Dementia Minds, Doctors with Dementia and Michigan Dementia Coalition.
His contributions include reviewing drug trials and research and presenting to future physicians and other health care professionals. His volunteer service continues to positively impact persons living with dementia, health care professionals, researchers, families, care partners and policymakers.
The Older Adult of the Year award, formerly the Senior Citizen of the Year award, has been presented since 1974. The award recognizes an older adult whose community has been enhanced through their active engagement, volunteerism and acts of service.
Nominations are received from a variety of agencies across the state, including Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and places of worship. The award is presented annually at Older Michiganians Day and is sponsored by Consumers Energy.
Older Michiganians Day is organized by the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan, a statewide association that advocates on behalf of Michigan’s older adults. This year approximately 400 people traveled to the State Capitol to show their support for the needs of older adults across Michigan.