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A publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging

December 2018 VOL. 43 • NO.12

ENOA 4780 South 131st Street Omaha, NE 68137-1822

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID OMAHA NE PERMIT NO. 389

en oa. org

ing Serv

New Horizons old • er 74 adul ts since 19

ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Steamroller

Chip Davis founded Mannheim Steamroller – a fusion of rock and classical music – in 1974. The Omaha-based orchestra has sold more than 50 million units including 9,000,000 copies of Mannheim Steamroller Christmas. A University of Michigan grad and the father of three, Davis’ career has also featured touring with the Norman Luboff Choir, writing books and advertising jingles, helping to develop a record label – American Gramaphone – and creating a line of food products. Leo Adam Biga chronicles Davis’ life and times beginning on page 10.

Nonagenarian A United States Army veteran who served in the Korean War, Herb Brown, age 91, has delivered Meals on Wheels for ENOA since 2006. See page 3.

Inspiration Marcia Bredar has overcome polio and post polio syndrome to live a productive life as an Omaha attorney and a community volunteer. See page 18.

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Fremont Friendship Center

Millard board donates $500 to Lydia House

The Millard Senior Center at Montclair’s governing board recently donated $500 to the Lydia House. Governing board members include (front row, from left): Norma S. and Joanna M. Back row, from left: Marj V., Sharon P., Zella R., Barb L., Joanne M., and Carol D.

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he governing board of the Millard Senior Center at Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave., recently made a $500 donation to the Lydia House of Omaha. Located at 2809 N. 20th St., the Lydia House provides emergency services for single women and families needing assistance. These services include food, shelter, clothing, and other

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basic needs. Lydia House case managers also guide single women and families through opportunities for life change – the first steps toward preventing future homelessness. “The Millard Senior Center’s board appreciates the work being done with women in the community,” said the facility’s manager Tamara Womack. “The money collected for this donation has been received from people that buy discounted bread on a weekly basis. Our center is thankful for each person who has contributed.” For more information on the Lydia House, please call 402-422-1111. For more information about the Millard Senior Center, please see the December events listing on page 6.

New Horizons

December 2018

You’re invited to visit the Fremont Friendship Center, 1730 W. 16th St. (Christensen Field), for the following: • Dec. 1: Parks and Recreation Department’s craft show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Christensen Field’s main arena. Proceeds from the $1 admission and the baskets raffle will go to the senior center for 2019 entertainment expenses. • Dec. 5: Hints with Home Instead @ 10 a.m. followed by music with Wayne Miller @ 10:30 a.m. • Dec. 7: Trip to the Westside Christmas Pageant in Omaha. Leave the center @ 5:30 p.m. and return around 9 p.m. The $20 cost is for the bus ride and show ticket. • Dec. 11: Christmas cookie exchange @ 10:30 a.m. Please bring four dozen of the same kind of cookies. • Dec. 12: Presentation by Joe Garcia on the Fair Housing Act @ 10 a.m. followed by an ugly sweater contest. • Dec. 13: Blood sugar tests @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 19: Enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls from Nye Square followed by a toenail clinic @ 9:30 a.m. and music by The Links @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 21: Secret visitors @ 10 a.m. and bingo. The facility is closed on Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas. The center is open Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $4 contribution is suggested for the lunch. Reservations must be made by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations, call Laurie at 402-727-2815.

Enjoy ‘Golden Hits Christmas’ Dec. 21 at The Pella at Blackstone

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ou’re invited to enjoy all your favorite Christmas songs in one night as Aaron Shoemaker, Michael Lyon, and Logan Reising reprise their roles as Omaha’s Rat Pack for the holiday variety show, Golden Hits Christmas on Friday, Dec. 21. Show time is 8 p.m. at The Pella at Blackstone, 303 S. 41st St. The doors open at 7:30 p.m. Guest musicians – including Charlee Mae, Meghan Smalls, the Omaha Guitar Trio, the UnFourGettables from the Sarpy Serenaders, and Something Blu – will perform Christmas songs from artists ranging from Bing Crosby to the Eagles. Tickets, which are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the show, are available by calling 402-782-5521. For more information, log on the Internet to goldenhitschristmas.com.


Meals driver Brown going strong at 91

Herb delivers a hot meal to Durham-Booth Manor resident Theda Carter.

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ach year, the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging delivers more than 200,000 hot, nutritious, and delicious meals through the agency’s Meals on Wheels Program. An estimated 65 percent of those meals’ recipients in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties are age 75 and older. In most cases, the route drivers – some are volunteers, others are paid – are younger than the men and women who receive and enjoy the midday meals. Herb Brown, however, who has been a Meals on Wheels driver for ENOA since 2006, is age 91. Raised with his nine siblings on a 300-acre farm near St. Joseph, Mo., Brown is a United States Army veteran who served from 1952 to 1954 as a radio operator in Busan during the Korean War. After the war, he moved to Sedalia, Mo., but left the “Show Me State” in 1956 because jobs were too hard to find there. “My sister lived in Omaha (then), and she told me there was plenty of work here,” Brown said during a recent interview he gave a few minutes before beginning his midtown Omaha Meals on Wheels route. During the ensuing half century, there was “plenty of work” in Omaha, and Brown provided a lot of that labor. His resume included stints as a janitor at Sample-Hart Ford and at Brandeis, as a nurses’ aide on a surgical floor at the VA Medical Center, as a mail carrier for the United States Postal Service, and driving a bus for the Omaha Public Schools.

For 40 years, Brown worked two jobs, sleeping for only five hours between shifts.

During one 40-year stretch, Brown worked two jobs, sleeping only five hours between shifts. Herb, who has three children, and “too many grandchildren and greatgrandchildren to count,” became a Meals on Wheels driver for ENOA because he doesn’t like to sit around. “I was raised on a farm, and on a farm, you’re work is never done,” he said. At age 91, Herb has a sparkle in his eyes and a spring in his step as he delivers the meals five days a week. The secret to his longevity? “I’m still trying to figure that out,” he said, laughing.

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he initial stop on Herb’s route was at the Durham Booth Manor, 923 N. 38th St. On a recent Thursday morning, Theda Carter was the first resident to receive a meal from Brown. As Herb placed the tray of hot food on a table in front of her, Carter looked up at Brown and smiled. “I think he’s wonderful,” she said. Arlis Smidt, who coordinates ENOA’s Meals on Wheels program, agrees with Carter’s assessment of Brown. “All the meals recipients and drivers who know Herb, love him. We’re very lucky to have him on our team,” she said. To learn more about driver positions with ENOA’s Meals on Wheels program – both volunteer and paid – please call 402-444-6766.

December 2018

New Horizons New Horizons is the official publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. The paper is distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Washington, and Cass counties. Those living outside the 5-county region may subscribe for $5 annually. Address all correspondence to: Jeff Reinhardt, Editor, 4780 S. 131st Street, Omaha, NE 68137-1822. Phone 402-444-6654. FAX 402-444-3076. E-mail: jeff.reinhardt@nebraska.gov Advertisements appearing in New Horizons do not imply endorsement of the advertiser by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. However, complaints about advertisers will be reviewed and, if warranted, their advertising discontinued. Display and insert advertising rates available on request. Open rates are commissionable, with discounts for extended runs. Circulation is 20,000 through direct mail and freehand distribution.

Editor....................................................Jeff Reinhardt Ad Mgr................Mitch Laudenback, 402-444-4148 Contributing Writers......Nick Schinker, Leo Biga, & Lois Friedman ENOA Board of Governors: Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County, chairperson; Lisa Kramer, Washington County, vice-chairperson; Janet McCartney, Cass County, secretary; David Saalfeld, Dodge County, & Jim Warren, Sarpy County. The New Horizons and the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging provide services without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, or age.

New Horizons

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AARP offering driving course AARP is offering a new four-hour, research-based Smart Driver Course for older adults. By completing the course, participants will learn research-based driving safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of having an accident; understand the links between the driver, the vehicle, and the road environment, and how this awareness encourages safer driving; learn how aging, medications, alcohol, and health-related issues affect driving ability and ways to allow for these changes; increase confidence; know how to share the road safely with other drivers, and learn the newest safety and advance features in vehicles. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonAARP members. No tests or examinations are involved, course completion certificates are provided, and auto insurance discounts may apply. Here’s this month’s schedule: Wednesday, Dec. 5 @ 9 a.m. CHI Midlands Hospital 11111 S. 84th St. Call 888-333-7520 to register

Saturday, Dec. 8 @ 1 p.m. AARP Information Center Call 402-398-9568 to register

Notre Dame Housing/ Seven Oaks Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Notre Dame Housing/Seven Oaks Senior Center, 3439 State St. for the following: • Second, third, and fourth Friday: Community food pantry @ 11 a.m. • Second Tuesday: Get banking help as a representative from American National Bank visits @ 10 a.m. • Third Wednesday: Community food pantry from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Dec. 4: Program on Medicare assistance from 10 a.m. to noon. • Dec. 4: Program by the city Omaha’s Human Rights and Relations Department on What is Cultural Awareness? @ 1:30 p.m. • Dec. 11: Program on A Healthy Heart for Life by Angel’s Care Home Health @ 1:30 p.m. • Dec. 17: December birthday party featuring music by Joyce Torchia, sponsored by the Merrymakers, @ 1:30 p.m. The center will be closed on Dec. 25 for Christmas. Notre Dame Housing/Seven Oaks Senior Center is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $4 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by 11 a.m. the business day prior to the lunch you wish to enjoy. For meals reservations and more information, please call 402-451-4477, ext. 126.  

New Horizons

Older adults need to re-fire, re-wire, not retire

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he energy was palpable from the moment I walked into the conference center until I said good-bye four days later. No, it wasn’t a youth rally or a motivational training for a sales force. It was a gathering of older adults committed to making the Third Chapter their best chapter. This October I had the pleasure of attending the biannual Global Conference sponsored by Sage-ing International titled Elder Voices Transforming the World: Our Stories in Action. Some 240 older men and women gathered to hear inspirational speakers, participate in workshops, ritualize the reality of living fully, and share meaningful conversations with peers from all the across the U.S. and beyond. This conference is one manifestation of a movement that’s gathering energy nationally and globally. As baby boomers retire from their careers, many aren’t ready to sit back and let life go idly by. There’s a movement to recognize the older adult years as a time for significant growth and contribution. To be an older adult is a title of honor. The following description of an elder by Barry Barkin was shared at the conference: “An elder is a person who is still growing, still a learner with potential with promise for the future. An elder is still in pursuit of happiness, joy, and pleasure, which is her or his birthright. Moreover,

an elder is a person who deserves respect and honor. An elder’s work is to synthesize wisdom from long life experience, formulating this into a legacy for future generations.” Because our society is enamored with staying young, stereotypes of aging are

By Nancy Hemesath rampant and often unflattering. The older adults I met at this conference haven’t bought into ageism which dismisses older people (code for having little to offer). Instead they’re taking matters into their own hands. If the cultural perception of aging is to shift, it’s up to us older men and women to espouse a vibrant understanding of the value and meaning of our own lives. Body parts may wear out, but the mind and spirit are still in a growth pattern that leads to rich contributions to society. For all of the presenters, the theme was clear that life isn’t diminishing but getting ever richer. We have an obligation to share our gifts with younger generations and to create intergenerational solutions to the problems faced by our society. Instead of retiring, we need to re-fire and re-wire our passions and interests in order to pass on a more just and peaceful society to future generations. Living

Dora Bingel Senior Center

December 2018

this stage of life fully means finding our own purpose that motivates us to get out of bed each morning and make a difference wherever we are. Not all old people are elders. For some who simply drift into old age, diminishments are a self-fulfilling

Conscious Aging

You’re invited to visit the Dora Bingel Senior Center, 923 N. 38th St., this month for the following: • Dec. 3, 10, & 17: Al-Anon meeting @ 7 p.m. • Dec. 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, & 21: Ceramics class @ 9 a.m. • Dec. 5, 12, & 19: Tai Chi @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 5: Holy Communion served @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 5: Music by The Links sponsored by the Merrymakers @11:30 a.m. • Dec. 10: Book Club @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 19: Foot care clinic from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $10. • Dec. 19: Birthday party luncheon @ noon. Eat free if you have a December birthday. • Dec. 21: Hard of Hearing support group. The facility will be closed from Dec. 24 through Jan. 1. Lunch is served on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A $1 donation is suggested for the meals, other than $3 for Merrymakers. Round-trip transportation is available for $3. Meal reservations are required 24 hours in advance. Other activities offered at the facility include: Tuesday: Joy Club Devotions @ 10 a.m., matinee @ 12:30 p.m., and quilting @ 1 p.m. Wednesday: Devotions @ 10:30 a.m.; bingo @ 1 p.m., and Bible study at 1 p.m. Friday: Bingo @ 12:30 p.m. For more information, please call 402-898-5854.

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Dismiss the stereotypes of aging

prophesy. It’s a decision we can make to stem the tide of decline and see opportunity in the aging process. This is what it means to be a conscious older adult. We wake to the possibilities and pursue that which is ours to give. If you are intrigued by these concepts, I suggest you become a member of Sage-ing International, a free organization that offers educational opportunities (www.sage-ing.org). Or if you are a book reader and want some recommendations, email me, and I’ll send an annotated book list. Join the movement and become a conscious elder. (Hemesath is the owner of Encore Coaching which is dedicated to supporting people in the Third Chapter of life. Follow her blog at lifencorecoaching.com. She also provides personal coaching and book studies for those transitioning to retirement. She can be reached through email at nhemesath@cox.net).

Vols needed to take vets to the VAMC

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he Disabled American Veterans need volunteers to drive veterans one day a week to and from the VA Medical Center, 4101 Woolworth Ave. in Omaha. While the volunteer drivers don’t need to be veterans, they do need a valid driver’s license, and be able to pass a drug screening and a Department of Transportation physical given at the VA Medical Center. Drivers will be given a lunch voucher on the day they volunteer for the DAV. For more information, please contact Command Sergeant Major (retired) Lance Fouquet at 402-5051482 or online at sgmman1447@gmail.com.


ENOA is recruiting Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents

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en and women age 55 and older who want to earn a taxfree stipend while making an impact in their community are encouraged to join the Senior Companion Program and the Foster Grandparent Program. Sponsored locally by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, the SCP and FGP are national programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. Senior Companions help other older adults maintain their independence by visiting them at home to discuss the news, read mail, play cards, run errands, etc. Foster Grandparents serve as positive role models for children who need special attention with education, healthcare, and social development in schools, Head Start programs, and child development centers. SCP and FGP volunteers must meet income guidelines and complete an enrollment process that includes references and background checks. In exchange for volunteering 15 hours or more per week, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions receive a $2.65 an hour tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, an annual physical examination, supplemental accident insurance coverage, and other benefits including an annual recognition luncheon. The stipend does not interfere with rent, disability, Medicaid, or other benefits. For more information on the FGP and SCP, please call 402-444-6536.

NARFE The National Active and Retired Federal Employees’ Chapter 144 meets the first Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at the Amazing Pizza Machine, 13955 S Plz. For more information, please call 402-292-1156. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees’ Aksarben Chapter 1370 meets the second Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at the Amazing Pizza Machine, 13955 S Plz. For more information, please call 402-342-4351.

Flaherty Senior Consulting

RSVP

Flaherty Senior Consulting is offering a series of free Caregiver Solutions Groups designed to teach men and women caring for a loved one with dementia to deal with issues, obtain skills and knowledge, and engage in discussions about caregiving options. The sessions are held monthly from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For more information or to sign up, please contact Nancy Flaherty at flahertyconsulting@cox.net or 402-312-9324. Here’s the schedule:

RSVP is recruiting men and women age 55 and older for a variety of volunteer opportunities. For more information in Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties, please call 402-4446536, ext. 1024. In Dodge and Washington counties, please call 402-721-7780. • The VA Medical Center needs volunteers. • Partnership 4 Kids is looking for volunteers to mentor Pre-K through high school students. • Food Bank for the Heartland needs volunteers to help with the SNAP program. • The Fremont Low-Income Ministry. • The Blair and Fremont Car-Go Program needs volunteers to drive older adults to their appointments. • Care Corps Family Services is looking for volunteers. • Fremont’s Habitat for Humanity wants volunteers. • Fremont Health needs volunteers. • Nye Legacy Health & Rehabilitation is looking for volunteers to help with its bingo games Tuesdays @ 2 p.m. • Premier Estates of Fremont wants volunteers to assist its activity director.

• First Thursday of the month The Servite Center of Compassion nd 72 Street & Ames Circle

• Third Wednesday of the month St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church 93rd & Dodge streets

• Second Tuesday of the month St. Vincent de Paul Church 14330 Eagle Run Drive

• Fourth Saturday of the month Faith Westwood United Methodist Church 4814 Oaks Lane

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December 2018

New Horizons

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Millard Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Millard Senior Center at Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave., this month for the following: • Dec. 5: Bit of Bronze Bell Ringers @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 9: Attend A Christmas Carol at the Omaha Community Playhouse @ 2 p.m. The bus leaves the center @ 12:30 p.m. • Dec. 11: Blood pressure checks @ 9:30 a.m. • Dec. 12: Board meeting @ 9:45 a.m. • Dec. 18: Attorney John Massih will discuss legal issues @ 10:30 a.m. • Dec. 19: P.A.W.S. visit @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 21: Christmas party. Bring treats to share. Bring toiletries for the Lydia House instead of a gift exchange. Reservations are due Dec. 14. Space is limited. The center is closed on Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas and Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve. The center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch is served @ 11:30 a.m. A $4 donation is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal the participant wishes to enjoy. Other center activities include walking, card games, Tai Chi, dominoes, quilting, needlework, chair volleyball, and bingo. For reservations or more information, please call 402546-1270.

Fontenelle Tours

Omaha/Council Bluffs

712-366-9596

Quoted prices are per person, double occupancy. For more information about our tours, please call Ward or Kathy Kinney at Fontenelle Tours at the number listed above.

Motorcoach Black Hills “Ski for Light”. January 19 – 26, 2019. Our fifth annual trip to Deadwood, South Dakota. A very rewarding week-long event for blind and physically challenged persons to participate in skiing and/or other outdoor activities. If you know of someone who might want to participate, call us. Volunteers are also needed to provide various types of assistance at the event. Financial assistance also needed to make this event more affordable for participants. Motorcoach will pick up at various points across Nebraska. Laughlin (There are currently no Laughlin trips available out of Omaha. Check with us for updates on these very reasonably priced charter flights to Laughlin, Nevada. They typically sell out fast.) In Partnership with Collette Vacations We started working with Collette in 2009 when we were looking for a way to offer international trips to our travelers. We wanted to find a company that shared our core values of providing quality tours, well hosted at a reasonable price. We were not looking for a low-cost alternative. Our first personal experience was when we took about 24 people on the "Shades of Ireland" tour. It was an incredibly positive experience! Since then we have helped others to experience Collette Tours on: Historic Trains of California; New York City; Canada’s Atlantic Coast with Nova Scotia; Pilgrimage to Fatima & Lourdes; Austrian Delight - Oberammergau (coming up again in 2020); Pasadena Rose Parade; Islands of New England; Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park; Islands of New England; Reflections of Italy; Canadian Rockies by Train; Tropical Costa Rica; Alaska Discovery Land & Cruise and others. Please call if you have one of Collette’s many destinations on your bucket list. We can help make it happen! Watch New Horizons and our website www.fontenelletours.com for our trip schedule. 2019 trip plans in process. 2708 Franklin Ave. Council Bluffs, IA 51503

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New Horizons

Outlook Nebraska seeking financial help to continue providing programs, services for the visually impaired Severe vision loss affects 15,0000 metropolitan Omaha area residents. That’s triple the number of the community’s homeless individuals. Like most people living with a visual impairment, Kenny Blackman wasn’t born blind. He experienced the gradual loss of vision from diabetes; one of the leading causes – along with aging – for vision loss. Through his job at Outlook Nebraska, Kenny has retained his confidence and independence. He has also avoided the plight of many blind Americans: 70 percent are unemployed, and 30 percent live in poverty. One in four adult Americans is at high risk for serious visual impairment, a severe reduction in vision that cannot be corrected with standard glasses or contact lenses and reduces a person’s ability to function at certain or all tasks. What would vision loss mean to the quality of life for you, a family member, or a friend? Could you still enjoy recreational activities, hold a job, or navigate your way around the city? Outlook Nebraska provides free education and training for our visually-impaired community members and their families,

helping them navigate the challenges of vision loss and understand the resources available to them. Whether learning to use a computer to check email, enjoying a theater performance with audio description, or biking with a guide as their eyes, those living with visual impairment gain confidence and independence through Outlook Nebraska’s enrichment programs. Outlook Nebraska also provides meaningful employment that improves self-sufficiency for those with vision loss. It’s the only agency of its kind in a seven-state area that offers job opportunities through production of paper products and at its business support center, Outlook Business Solutions. Private insurers and Medicaid don’t cover the costs of services, tools, and technology that help those experiencing vision loss connect with their communities and enjoy life to the fullest. Outlook Nebraska relies on donor support to fund its enrichment, recreation, and adaptive technology training programs. Visit www.outlookne.org/donate to quickly and easily support those in our community living with vision loss.

Tips for purifying your home’s air quality By Annaliese Olson

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aking sure your home is safe for you and your family is important given the amount of time the average person spends at home. Purifying your home’s air quality is one way you can help relieve stress and create a sense of peace while also receiving natural benefits. Check out these 10 ways to purify your home naturally. • Indoor plants: Similar to going outside to get natural air and relieve stress, using houseplants incorporates those properties inside your home. Houseplants have many uses within a home but the most important is the ability for them to help naturally filter the air. Place houseplants in different areas of the home to get the maximum benefit of their air quality purification abilities. Some popular houseplants that purify the air include weeping fig and snake plant. • Beeswax candles: For those homeowners who enjoy dinner by candlelight, consider using a beeswax candle instead of paraffin candles. Beeswax is a natural compound that burns clean as opposed to paraffin candles that can release contaminants while burning. • Essential oils: Burning essential oils is a great way to purify the air as well as offer many health benefits to those within your home. Consider using high quality

December 2018

pure essential oils in order to receive the most benefit from their scents. Use a few different burners around the home for maximum benefit. • Activated charcoal: Also known as active carbon, activated charcoal air filters are a great way to naturally filter and purify the air quality within your home. These carbon air filters can be easily found in stores or online. The charcoal will absorb toxins in the air without releasing any odor. • Clean air filters: One of the easiest ways you can purify the air within your home is to regularly change the air filter within your heating and cooling system. Air filters should be changed on a regular basis for maximum benefit. Choose a HEPA filter in order to effectively clean the air of contaminants in your home. • Ceiling fans: During the mild seasons of summer and fall, consider using your ceiling fan in order to circulate the air within your home. Ceiling fans are a great way to cool down a home and can help make sure more air is being pulled through the ventilation system for cleaning. • Window treatments: Another great option to naturally filter the hot sunlight that enters your home is to purchase window treatments that will block the sunrays. Choosing blackout window shades or other light filtering options will help keep your home cool as well as reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home. • Salt lamps: Himalayan Pink Salt lamps are popular in their ability to pull toxins from the air. This natural ionic air purifier acts like a nightlight that is small enough to place anywhere without your home for maximum air filtering benefits. • Get rid of the source: Choose to use products in your home that are Low-VOC meaning they have less amount of toxic chemicals when painting or staining parts of your home. Consider textiles for your home that are labeled as low or no-VOC in order to reduce the amount of products within the home that emit toxic chemicals. • Use natural cleaners: The weekly use of cleaning products introduces many chemicals into a home. Consider using natural cleaning products like white vinegar or baking soda to fight grime. Other good options including hydrogen peroxide and club soda that will clean just as well without the residual effects of chemicals. Making every effort to help purify the air within your home is important to the health and wellbeing of your family. Consider all these ways you can naturally improve the air quality of your home as well as know you’re reducing the amount of chemical exposure for your family. Try any or all of these ways to purify your home naturally. (Olson is a gardening and animal care writer.)


Physical, occupational therapy, adaptive equipment available for persons who have a hand deficiency How many times a day does the average person use their hands? From hitting the snooze button in the morning to setting the alarm at night, hands rarely remain still, constantly moving through both simple and complex motions as part of daily living. Any kind of hands deficiency, caused by an injury, surgery, or neurological event such as a stroke, can significantly affect one’s daily function, said Kathy Ramaekers, an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist with Hillcrest Physical Therapy in Bellevue.  Ramaekers wishes more physicians would refer patients to physical or occupational therapy when patients first complain about pain and/or movement limitations with their hands.  “Most people just accept some pain or stiffness as a normal part of aging and wear and tear on the body,” she said. “But that isn’t necessarily true. In fact, there is a lot a hand therapist can do to alleviate pain and improve hand function.”  Each hand contains 27 major and minor bones that are wrapped together by ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, and arteries. All

work in concert to perform activities like tying a shoe, opening a jar, or putting together a model airplane, so when something limits one’s use of their hands, it can have a profound effect on his or her entire life. “As individuals age, learning to live without functioning hands is challenging physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially,” Ramaekers said. “A hand therapist works to get his or her patients back to as much normal function as possible. Hand function is key to independent living.”  Even though complaints may be localized to the hand, Ramaekers said all hand therapy treatments should be preceded by an assessment of the entire arm extremity – from the neck and shoulder area down through the arm and fingers.  “I’m looking at alignment, position, strength, flexibility, range of motion, and grip strength,” she said.  Ramaekers said such assessments would also identify inflammation, swelling, or other indications of medical conditions such as arthritis, which can be affecting the hand.    Once a cause of pain or loss of function is determined, a treatment plan

is formed. In addition to exercises and therapies such as massage or ultrasound, a hand therapist can suggest compensating strategies and adaptive equipment. Compensating strategies may include selecting shoes with Velcro or magnetic straps that don’t require knot tying, learning to do certain tasks with the other hand, or choosing shirts without buttons. Adaptive equipment prescribed may include an appliance that opens jars, handles that make gripping and pulling easier (such as seat belts), or specially designed silverware or writing tools.  Hand therapists will also work with individual clients to devise strategies that help them alleviate stress on the hands, such as carrying items with the arms and not the hands.    

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE Wills • Trusts • Probate

Ask A Lawyer: Q — I have had my Will and other estate planning documents prepared by my attorney. What’s next? A — Because an original Will is usually needed by the probate court, it makes sense to store it in a strategic location. We normally recommend a fireproof safe or lock box at the client’s home. If your executor has access, a safety deposit box in a bank might be the solution. Sometimes it may be wise to file your Will with the Probate Court, if there is concern about the Will not being given effect by family members. You’ve taken the trouble to protect your assets and loved ones by creating an estate plan. Don’t leave its discovery to chance. Ensure that your executor or trustee can easily and reliably find it when the time comes to put it into effect.

Have a question about estate planning? Give us a call! AARP Legal Service Network • No Charge For Initial Consultation

7602 Pacific Street, Ste 200 • (402) 391-2400 http://whitmorelaw.com

The New Horizons is brought to you each month by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.

Medicare open enrollment period runs through Friday, December 7 Medicare’s annual open enrollment period runs through Friday, Dec. 7. This is the time of year to review your Medicare Part D coverage or your Medicare Advantage coverage, and if needed, switch to a different plan for 2019. Even if you’re satisfied with your coverage you should review your options for next year to see if there’s a plan that will better meet your needs. Medicare beneficiaries could find a different plan that would cover their medications at a lower cost and/or with fewer restrictions. Last year, Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS) helped 1,852 people in eastern Nebraska review their coverage during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period. The people who reviewed their options with a VAS certified Medicare counselor in 2018 and switched to a less expensive plan averaged a $752 savings in their prescription drug costs for 2018. VAS will be scheduling appointments at various locations throughout the Omaha area to assist Medicare beneficiaries with Part D and Medicare Advantage plan reviews again this year. See the schedule below. Please remember the annual open enrollment period pertains to Part D and Advantage plans only. Medigap supplement policies aren’t subject to an annual open enrollment period. To schedule your appointment, please call VAS at 402444-6617. Monday, Dec. 3 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane College (Omaha) 4020 S. 147th St. #100 402-444-6617

Thursday, Dec. 6 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 402-444-6617

Tuesday, Dec. 4 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 402-444-6617

Periodically by appointment 16919 Audrey St. #140 402-444-6617

December 2018

New Horizons

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Alzheimer’s support groups

New study conducted at USC

The Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter offers several caregiver support groups and specialty support groups in Cass, Douglas, Washington, Dodge, and Sarpy counties. These support groups offer valuable space and educational opportunities for families impacted by Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia to engage and learn. For more information about any of the groups listed below, please call 800-272-3900. DODGE COUNTY

First Thursday @ 6:45 p.m. King of Kings Lutheran Church CORE Conference Room 11615 I St. Call Karen @ 402-584-9088 to arrange for adult day services.

• FREMONT Second Tuesday @ 5:30 p.m. The Heritage at Shalimar Gardens 749 E. 29th St. DOUGLAS COUNTY • OMAHA Second Thursday @ 10 a.m. Second Thursday @ 5:30 p.m. Country House Residences 5030 S. 155th St. Call Christina @ 402-980-4995 for free adult day services. Every other Monday @ 7 p.m. Brighton Gardens 9220 Western Ave. First & third Monday @ 1:30 p.m. New Cassel’s Franciscan Centre 900 N. 90th St. Call Melanie @ 402-393-2113 for free adult day services. Third Tuesday @ 5 p.m. Immanuel Fontenelle First floor classroom 6809 N 68th Plz.

Third Tuesday @ 6 p.m. Temple Israel 13111 Sterling Ridge Dr. SARPY COUNTY • BELLEVUE Third Monday @ 7 p.m. Bellevue Senior Center 109 W. 22nd Ave. First Wednesday @ 1 p.m. Eastern Nebraska Vets Home (Vets and non-vets welcome) 12505 S. 40th St. • PAPILLION Fourth Thursday @ 6 p.m. Hillcrest Grand Lodge 6021 Grand Lodge Ave. WASHINGTON COUNTY

Second Tuesday @ 6:45 p.m. For caregivers of individuals with an intellectual disabilty/dementia. Barbara Weitz Center 6001 Dodge St. (UNO campus)

• BLAIR Third Wednesday @ 6 p.m. Memorial Community Hospital Howard Conference Room 810 N. 22nd St.

The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging has been providing programs and services for older adults in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, Dodge, and Washington counties since 1974. REHAB, RENEW AND

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Rising costs of generic meds becoming more common

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new University of Southern California study reports sudden price spikes for some generic drugs — such as the recently reported increases of a decades-old generic heart medication and an antibiotic — are becoming more common. The study from the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics shows the portion of generic drugs that at least doubled in price year over year represents a small but growing share of the market: from 1 percent of all generic drugs in 2007 to 4.39 percent in 2013. “In most cases, this reflects an emerging strategy by generic manufacturers to identify and enter therapeutic areas with limited competition and raise prices substantially,” said Geoffrey Joyce, the study’s lead author. Joyce is also an associate professor at the USC School of Pharmacy and chair of the school’s pharmaceutical and health economics department. For consumers, this can mean soaring costs to purchase some drugs that are lifesavers, sparking public outrage and leading many to question whether the market — which has historically functioned well — is still working. The generic drug market, which comprises about 90 percent of the prescriptions filled nationwide, has historically produced drug prices that typically decrease over time and tend to be lower than other countries. The researchers measured annual price changes between 2007 and 2013 using data from Medicare Part D. They assessed both the distribution of annual price changes across all generic products as well as price changes for the top 20 generics with dramatic increases. Prices for most generic drugs declined over the years analyzed. Yet the fraction of drugs with prices that at least doubled grew by more than 400 percent: from just 1 percent in 2007 to over 4.39 percent in 2013. Of the 20 most widely used generic drugs that at least doubled in price between 2010 and 2011, three had price changes of over 500 percent, including one drug with a price increase of 2.573 percent. Characteristics of the drugs with large price increases were varied. In general, they are not commonly prescribed, they’re used to treat a mix of both chronic and acute conditions and were relatively low-cost generics before the price increase.  The authors assert that in a majority of cases, large price increases are due to a lack of competition within that class of drug rather than supply shortages. They found once prices increased, they persisted for the next three to five years, which points to issues in market competition rather than

supply shortages that would be resolved on a more compressed timeline. “Generic drugs are by definition homogenous products so there isn’t a lot of room in the industry for innovation or differentiation,” Joyce said. “Buying competitors or going into a therapeutic class with no competitors probably makes good business sense in terms of increasing profits, but it points to weaknesses in the market overall that should be corrected by policy or regulatory oversight.” The researchers also looked at how these price increases affected patient out-of-pocket spending. They found patients’ cost-sharing tended to be low and increased much more minimally than the price increases for the drug, even when the price hikes persisted for more than one year. For example, the most widely used drug experiencing a large price increase was a steroid used to treat inflammation. Though the price increased by over 350 percent between 2010 and 2011, patient out-of-pocket spending increased just 3 percent in 2011 and 23 percent over a three-year period. This doesn’t mean patients were unaffected by the price hikes. While copayments increased only modestly, the researchers noted insurers might respond to sustained price increases by raising premiums or excluding the drug from the formulary. Patients may also be affected if pharmacies decide to stop carrying some generic drugs if reimbursements don’t readily adjust to higher acquisition costs. Joyce and his colleagues pointed to a number of legislative and regulatory changes aimed at introducing more competition that should be considered by policymakers. The authors suggest the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should more rigorously analyze mergers and takeovers by drug companies, and what these mergers mean for specific classes of drugs rather than the market overall. Another approach would be to allow temporary importation from countries that follow drug safety standards comparable to the United States. This would be a shortterm policy only for off-patent drugs until a new generic had been approved. In addition, while the FTC oversees market competition issues, the researchers suggest the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could act to improve the generic market. The researchers pointed to signs of positive change in this regard. The FDA has initiated new rules that require prioritized review, including action within eight months for drugs used to treat conditions in which there are no more than three approved products. (USC provided this information.)

Vols sought for AARP’s Tax-Aide program Florence Home Healthcare specializes in rehabilitation to help you recover from an illness or injury so you can safely transition back home.

Call 402-827-6000 for more information!

OMAHASENIORCARE.ORG

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olunteers are needed for AARP’s TaxAide program which provides free taxpreparation services for low to moderate income older adults in the Omaha area. These volunteers – who don’t need to be AARP members – will receive materials from AARP and the IRS for reference and self-study, attend training

December 2018

sessions in December and January, and then prepare tax returns a few hours a week during the tax season alongside experienced volunteers. Men and women are also needed to serve as greeters and to provide administrative and technical support for AARP’s Tax-Aide program. More information is available at nebraskataxaide.org or by calling 402-398-9568. Callers will be asked for their name, telephone number, and email address. The information will be passed on to the local supervisor who will contact potential volunteers. 


Volunteers age 21, older needed to become long-term care ombudsmen

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he Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging is looking for men and women age 21 and older to join its Longterm Care Ombudsman Program which is co-sponsored by the Nebraska State Ombudsman Program. ENOA’s Long-term Care Ombudsmen volunteer in local long-term care facilities and assisted living communities to protect the residents’ rights, well-being, and quality of life. Long-term Care Ombudsmen must complete 20 hours of initial classroom training and 12 hours of additional training every two years. During the training, the volunteers learn about the residents’ rights, aging issues, Medicare, Medicaid, communication skills, how to investigate the residents’ complaints, the importance of confidentiality, and about the federal and state rules, regulations, and laws regarding Nebraska’s long-term care facilities and assisted living communities. Before being assigned to a long-term care facility or an assisted living community, new volunteers will make four visits to a site with an experienced Ombudsman Advocate to learn more about what the program entails. After a threemonth probationary period, the new volunteers are certified as Ombudsman Advocates. Certified Ombudsman Advocates will be assigned to a long-term care facility or an assisted living community where they’ll visit for two hours a week to meet with administrators, residents, and the residents’ family members to address concerns. For more information about ENOA’s Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, please call Beth Nodes at 402-4446536.

Electric vehicles are coming of age

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ybrid-electric cars have become more common on American roads since the Prius launched in the United States in 2001. Now fully electric vehicles (EVs) are coming of age thanks to innovations by Tesla, Nissan, BMW, General Motors, and others. It’s not uncommon today to see a zippy little Nissan Leaf or a stately Tesla Model X silently waiting for the light to turn green next to you at an intersection. Believe it or not, 21 different automakers now have some form of EV for sale in the U.S. And they have big plans – think SUVs – to raise the EV stakes over the next few years, beginning with a raft of new models slated for release in 2019. Perhaps the biggest new player on the EV scene is Audi. The German company’s new e-tron Quattro SUV can drive for roughly 250 miles between charges and features a styling equivalent to Audi’s gasoline cars. It will be unveiled later in the fall, and American consumers can expect to shell out $80,000 for a new Quattro SUV. A smaller model, the e-tron Sportback, will ride on the same platform – and get a similar range rating – but will sport a zippier ride and a lower price tag (around $50,000). On the cuter end of the spectrum, BMW will make an all-electric version of its iconic revamp of the Mini Cooper – the “Mini E” – in 2019. The car will get upwards of 200 miles per charge, and with a price tag around $36,000 will compete directly against the Tesla 3 for customers looking to spend on the lower end for an EV.

December 2018

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nother big emerging EV player is Volkswagen, which is hoping to clean up its reputation after the big emissions cheating scandal that cost the company $30 billion in fines and settlements. By slashing production costs, VW expects to make and sell some of the lowest cost EVs around, with four new models (two crossovers, a hatchback, and a sedan) available in 2019 in the vicinity of $35,000. Of course, Tesla is poised for a big year, having worked out some production issues on its new Model 3 line and settled its financial differences with the SEC (following separate $20 million penalties to both CEO Elon Musk and Tesla the corporate entity). Customers have had to wait upwards of six months to get a new Model 3 once they sign on the dotted line, but Tesla hopes to eliminate the lag time in 2019 and rocket ahead of its competitors in the electric car space.

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ow may be the best time ever to buy an EV, given the profusion of advanced and lower cost choices and the fact there’s still a federal tax credit of between $2,500 and $7,500 for doing so (depending on the size of the vehicle in question and its battery). Also, several states offer their own incentives to pile on the reasons to go electric now. That said, these incentives could expire or get cancelled depending on the political winds, so get them while you can. (EarthTalk®, which provided this information, is produced by Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss.)

New Horizons

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The man behind the Mannheim Steamroller machine By Leo Adam Biga

school. “I had all of that and then I went to the University of Michigan’s usic is a birthright for famous music school.”  Grammy Award-winning For his primary instrument, DaAmerican Gramophone vis chose bassoon though he’s best and Mannheim Steamroller founder known as a percussionist. It may Chip Davis.  surprise some this instrumental icon The Omaha transplant has built was a singer through his early 20s.  an international following with his “I sang in a boys choir when I music which has earned a half bilwas about 10 years old in Oregon lion dollars in retail sales over four after our family moved there.” decades. Millions more have come He was invited to sing with the from performing multimedia conVienna Boys Choir. cert dates across the United States The family moved from Oregon and the world. back to Ohio, where Davis was in An acknowledged entrepreneurial his dad’s high school choir. and branding whiz, Davis has leverAt the U. of Michigan, Davis aged his music’s appeal to partner sang in the glee club and played with the Walt Disney Company, drums in the marching band. He Chip Davis (far right) performing with Mannheim Steamroller. also joined select students performNBC, Universal Studios, NASA, and the National Parks System. branded line of non-music products, high school. ing with the Toledo Symphony In terms of fame and riches, only including food items that range Davis, his folks, plus an aunt Orchestra.  one other Nebraska musician can from a spray-on meat baste to a cin- and uncle, studied at the University His classical tradition focus was rival Davis – singer-composer Paul of Michigan’s prestigious music namon hot chocolate mix. so intense he missed the en vogue Williams, a Grammy and Oscar school. His father taught music, music scene of the 1960s. Award winner. But where Williams led choirs, and built instruments. his third-generation musi“I wasn’t sensitive to it at all. I is a solo act, Davis fronts a multiHis mother also taught music. Chip mean, I certainly knew who Dician from small town Ohio dimensional machine under the intended following suit as a teacher ana Ross and the Supremes were is credited with helping give Mannheim Steamroller name. and a classical music performer. birth to the New Age genre for his because they were right over in Davis maintains a large producReflecting on how much of his signature fusion of classical and Detroit. I had roommates not in tion-recording-distribution complex rock. Before that he was hard on own musical predisposition is inher- music that would go to concerts at in north Omaha. It covers five acres the path of becoming a symphony ited and how much is a result of en- the Fisher Theatre in Detroit. But it and four buildings, three of which vironment and exposure, Davis said, kind of slipped by me. I was so clasorchestra player. But then a funny are interconnected. He sponsors two thing happened on the way to his “I think there’s probably a combisically oriented that I didn’t really national touring bands performing nation of both. I grew up around it dream. He went from the world of notice what was going on.” Mannheim Steamroller’s popular Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart to the – third generation both sides of my While Davis’ friends listened to Christmas catalogue. The tours rival great American Songbook. From family. Music was flowing in my the latest hits from Motown and the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s veins from the time I was born. In a rock opera to writing advertisthe British Invasion rock bands, he traveling A Christmas Carol show. fact, my mother said when I was six stuck to classical.   ing jingles, then on to winning the Due to a bum arm following months old, I could hum the melody country music writer of the year “I listened to WJR (in Detroit) – neck surgery, Davis no longer tours, award, and finally to hitting upon to Silent Night, which is pretty crazy a big 100,000-watt AM radio station though he still makes surprise apat that age. So, I must be just full of – primarily because Karl Haas (later his synthesized Steamroller sound pearances. His touring musicians music.” of baroque meets easy listening. a National Public Radio fixture) travel via luxury buses, but the gruThe precocious only child started had a classical music program on It wasn’t the first time someone eling nightly schedule has become on piano at age 4 with his grandin his musical family made a deevery day and I would listen to that. too strenuous for him.   tour. Chip’s parents made their own mother as Chip’s first teacher. He I actually learned quite a lot from His private Hawker 900 XP jet break from classical to commercial. conducted in front of the family’s his explanations of different things, gets Chip wherever he needs to go His father, Louis, played saxophone console radio. At age 6, he comof composers, pieces, and the way quickly and in comfort. He keeps a posed a four-part chorale ode to his they’re constructed.” in the Glenn Miller touring band. vacation home in Florida. His mother, Betty, played trombone pet dog, Stormy, who died.  Music kept Davis so preoccuThis month, Davis will fly to “It broke my heart,” Davis said. in the NBC Symphony and in Phil pied, he was oblivious to the VietFlorida to conduct a 60-piece orIn addition to being immersed Spitalny’s All Girl Orchestra.  nam War and civil rights protests on chestra at Universal Orlando Resort in music and feeling compelled to The Davis family’s connections the U. of Michigan campus, which playing the music from The Grinch to American popular music run create it, he said, “I had some of the was a hotbed of student activism. Who Stole Christmas. The concerts best teachers you could ever have.” deep. His country doctor grandfa“I didn’t even notice that,” Chip are held in an outdoor bandshell he His accomplished father taught ther loved the John Philip Sousa recalled. calls “absolutely beautiful.” marches. The lead trombonist in the music theory-music history and was He didn’t participate in the Chip also creates and oversees a --Please turn to page 11. Sousa band taught Chip’s mother in Chip’s main teacher through high Contributing Writer

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Davis loves the freedom technology allows him to explore --Continued from page 10. counter-culture revolution in Ann Arbor, but the university gave him the foundation for his professional music career. “I still have a close connection with them (U. of Michigan),” he said. “When I was first there as a student the university opened a new music building. Now they’ve added a new wing and I’m fortunate enough to have my name on the Chip Davis Technology Studio. It’s full of computers and things we use for composing today.” He donated about a million dollars to create the tech suite, which serves as a project workshop, research laboratory, and multimedia gallery for courses in Sound Recording and Production, Interactive Media Design, Immersive Media, and Performance Systems. Because his family is from Ohio, Davis finds it ironic the University of Michigan became a legacy school. “A lot of family ended up there,” he said. Little did he know a youthful fascination with electronics would be revisited when his music career took off. “I had this ridiculous notion in high school I was going to go into electrical engineering – until I found out how much math it took. Then I was like, ‘Well, I’m pretty good at music, I guess maybe I’ll do that.’ I built electrical things, including an oscilloscope, from a Heath kit. For a senior science project, I used it to analyze music notes. For example, flute is almost all sign waves.” Davis could never have imagined how electronics would intersect with his music years later. “Right, exactly,” he said during a recent interview in his state-of-the-art recording studio where everything’s digitally programmed. A control board has grown nearly obsolete in the new digital age, he said. “We don’t even use it anymore. Everything’s done on Pro Tools. Everything’s in the computer as far as controlling levels and all that.” Ever the searcher, Davis loves the freedom technology affords him the opportunity to explore. “Something astounding you can do today you couldn’t a few years ago is sample different instruments. I have a new album coming out called Exotic Spaces. I wrote pieces about exotic spaces like the Taj Mahal. I had access to all these Indian instruments. I wrote with those instruments and I did it in the style of Indian music but with my Mannheim spin. “I wrote another piece about Egyptian pyramids and I found Egyptian instruments, including

There’s plenty of cinnamon hot chocolate mix available for the winter of 2018-19 at Davis’ north Omaha warehouse.

one called the nay, which is a flute that almost sounds like a bagpipe.” Perhaps Davis’ “farthest out” experiments have involved capturing natural sounds. “I’m a scuba diver. I’m way into that,” he said. “I have Navy grade hydrophones because I’m interested in capturing sound under the surface of the ocean. On one dive we recorded a whale singing. On this new album Exotic Spaces, I use the whale song as the basis for a song I wrote the accompaniment around. “I almost always write in the key of C because you don’t have sharps and flats and all that unless you want to add them. It’s an easy key signature to maneuver around in. Well, that darn whale was singing in the key of C. I had no idea beforehand. When I put down the whale song track in the mix, I discovered it was singing in the same key I write in.” Chip’s Ambience musical series records terrestrial sounds. “I’ve got microphones out in the woods on my farm. They’re 200 feet apart in a square and record the sounds of nature out there. The sound engineers here come out and run the gear for me. “I wanted to go further. I used to go to Canyon Ranch (Arizona) quite frequently as a chill-out place. Once, my crew and I home-based there and recorded desert sounds, which are entirely different from Great Plains sounds. Then we went to the west coast and got the sounds of waves.” Chip said integrating music with nature adds an ethereal depth of atmosphere and background listeners find soothing. “I write the music over it. I write the music around the sounds. The sounds take precedence. The amount of music content is maybe only a third out of an hour. It’s not music heavy, it’s nature heavy. We’re hardwired to recognize those sounds.” Davis sends film crews to capture images of nature that are married with the natural sounds and music. “People can play the DVDs in their home theater systems. Within three minutes, you are there. You close your eyes and you’re in the desert, you’re at the ocean. It seems to be real good chill out kind of stuff.”

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avis has applied this nature-music sonic approach to health and healing. His Ambience Medical company creates calming psychoacoustic tracks for use in medical settings. His Ambient Therapy combines speciallyrecorded sounds of nature with distinctive music content via a patented Ambient Therapy System. The system is used in post-op treatment rooms at the Mayo Clinic, for example. The Ambience series is available in four-channel DVDs. Chip’s work combining nature with music has intersected with his abiding passion for wildlife conservation. His interest in the natural world, he said, goes back to his childhood, when he “played all the time in the woods.” His Yellowstone: The Music of Nature project raised more than $3 million for conservation efforts between the concert tour and album. “I did True Wilderness for Glacier National Park. The head ranger at the time was from my dad’s high school choir. She had grown up in my hometown. I did Saving the Wildlife in conjunction with Lee Simmons as a fundraiser for the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo’s Species Survival program.” Davis recently gave $350,000 to fund an Eagle Mew for the Raptor Woodland Refuge at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. At his 150-acre farm nestled in the Ponca Hills north of Omaha, Davis keeps horses and two wolves. A buddy built Chip’s rustic-chic 10,000

December 2018

Davis donated nearly $1 million to the University of Michigan for its Chip Davis Technology Studio.

square foot Swiss Chalet-style home there.

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he expansive breadth of his musical life may not have blossomed had Davis not diverged from the classical path. Soon after graduating from college he got an opportunity that changed the course of his life and career when he signed to sing with the famed Norman Luboff Choir. “I met Norman when he came to do a workshop in Toledo. He took new singers on every year. I asked if I could audition, and at his invitation, I went to his New York apartment to audition. He hired me on the spot.” Singing tenor with Luboff, freed Davis to be more diverse in his own musical appreciation and experimentation. “Absolutely. It was the way Norman was. He wrote original compositions, but he was a fabulous arranger. I became very familiar with a lot of different styles that my classical upbringing kept a clamp on. It really opened a floodgate of, ‘Hey, let’s try this.’” When Davis came to Omaha for an early 1970s workshop, he was ripe for branching off in new directions. While here he met the late noted choral conductor Mel Olson (Master Singers), who informed him the Talk of the Town Dinner Theatre needed a musical director for a regional production of Hair. Davis had never seen the musical but was just curious enough about the opportunity to apply. He got the gig. “They needed somebody to rewrite the arrangements from the Broadway size down to where it could be played by a handful of players. I wasn’t familiar with any of that type of music. I had to learn it and then figure out how to rearrange it. So, I did.” The show was a smash hit. “We did six shows a week. It was supposed to run six weeks and it ran 26,” Davis said. Singer-actress Karla DeVito was in that production of Hair. Davis became good friends with DeVito, who later performed with national rock acts, on Broadway, and in feature films. She’s married to actor Robby Benson. Omaha began as a temporary stop for Davis, but he found his creative home and career-making work here. “It completely opened me up. I met the guys at Sound Recorders. They asked me to write jingles --Please turn to page 12.

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Control of music, record label have kept Chip in Omaha --Continued from page 11. for their ad agency clients. On my off days (he was teaching at the time) I started writing jingles. I found out I could make a really good living doing that.” Davis became music director at Sound Recorders, where he met Bill Fries, the creative director for the Omaha-based advertising agency Bozell & Jacobs. “Bill and I started on the C.W. McCall path and that took precedence over everything,” Chip said. Some Mannheim Steamroller fans are too young to remember, but Davis first made the big-time writing music to a series of Old Home Bread TV commercials penned by Fries. The folksy campaign was built around a fictional trucker named C.W. McCall, a truck stop, and a waitress named Mavis. While Fries was writing these sagas of C.W. McCall, Chip got involved writing the arrangements and songs. “The C.W. McCall thing picked up and really took off,” Davis said. “People knew the commercials.” The ads not only boosted the regional food company’s sales but caught the attention of media, advertising, and music executives, especially when the campaign won the ad world’s highest honor – the Clio. “Then we started writing a lot of original material,” Davis said. “I think we wrote 90 songs altogether.” Realizing they were onto something big, Davis, Fries, and Sound Recorders owner Don Sears formed American Gramophone to capitalize on these country and western musical tales, which they packaged and released as albums and singles. “When we made the first 45 (RPM record) we got it into all the jukeboxes. We had an ad campaign with a budget of $50. We turned it all into quarters. Everybody at the studio would grab a pocketful of quarters and go punch up the tune on jukeboxes at bars around town so people could hear it and know it existed.  “Later, we hired an independent promoter to go out and plug (the songs on the) radio. In a very short period of time we sold 350,000 units,” Davis recalled.  A subsequent single, Wolf Creek Pass, was a crossover hit – even making Casey Kasem’s nationally syndicated American Top 40 radio countdown show. The second McCall album, Black Bear Road, contained a song called Convoy featuring an elaborate CB (Citizens Band) radio narrative. To everyone’s surprise, the single turned into a bestseller. “On the album we had Convoy buried in the middle, as the seventh cut, because we thought it was too crazy. The DJs found it on their own. We didn’t push it at all,” Davis said. The success of Convoy led to commercial endorsement deals for CB radios and lawnmowers. It even led to a 1978 major motion picture, Convoy, that took the song as its title. The legendary but troubled Sam Peckinpah directed the movie for EMI Films. It starred A-listers Kris Kristofferson, Ali McGraw, Burt Young, and Ernest Borgnine.  Davis was approached to write the music for the film his song inspired. The studio asked Davis to record a sample track before committing to him for the project. “They wanted me to record it in L.A. and I said, ‘No, I want to record it in Omaha.’ We knew how to do all that stuff down at Sound Recorders.” The movie did well at the box office, due no doubt in part to its subject coinciding with the CB craze.

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After the film, Davis was tempted to try his luck as a freelance film scorer in L.A. but thought better of it. “It’s right when Mannheim Steamroller was about to start. I thought if I go out to L.A. I’m going to be up against these hot composers like James Horner and John Williams. I just decided that seems pretty competitive and out of my control. But I have a lot more control with my own record label and music back in Omaha, where I have a shot of maybe making something out of this.”

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he money Davis made off the McCall craze funded his 18th century classical rock endeavor. As Davis readied his first Steamroller album, Fresh Aire I, he had no idea how it would be received by the masses. The first inkling he was onto something came from music producer Jimmy Bowen and tele-

Davis as a member of the marching band at the University of Michigan. vision music composer Mike Post, whose engineer John Boyd went to work for Davis. “I played Mike a of couple tracks off of Fresh Aire I and he said, ‘That’s what you should be doing. This McCall thing is great, you’ll make a bunch of money on it, your ship’s coming in, but this unique blend of classical and rock is worth exploring.’” The first market inroad came when Sound Recorders owner Don Sears got placement for the first Fresh Aire I album in hi-fi stores, Davis said. “Then we started going to the Consumer Electronics Show, renting a booth, and passing out these albums as demo material,” Chip said. “I wanted to call it eclectic because it’s eclectic music. The retailers all thought I said ‘electric,’ ” Davis recalled. Even Davis wasn’t sure what he had. “I was so classical that when writing the first Fresh Aire album I thought I was writing rock ‘n’ roll. I had no idea it was still sounding like classical music to a lot of people.” Being an independent music creator and record producer may have been Chip’s greatest stroke of genius. “The really fortunate thing for me is that the industry guys I pitched it too did not take it. If they had taken it and if it didn’t work right away, I would have been dead in the water and never would have recovered. By distributing it ourselves, showing up with a trunk-full of records at Homer’s (Omaha record stores) and other places

December 2018

around town, we got a good jumpstart in Omaha. That taught me how to go on with it.” In addition, Davis said he had more passion for his new sound than they did in New York or Los Angeles because it was his creation and he had more control. He suddenly found himself operating both as a musician and a businessman. “The music part, I certainly was prepared for, but I had no business training at all. I was really flying by the seat of my pants trying to figure out how to run a company and how to promote, advertise, sell, do distribution, and all that.”

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hat explains the appeal of Davis’ music and it selling something like 50 million units to date? “Honestly, I don’t know,” he said. “It’s different and it has a sound of its own.” Mannheim Steamroller merchandising not only includes food lines but casual clothing, holiday books, and personal comfort items like lotions and candles. Davis calls it “connect-thedots marketing.” For him, it’s all part of the same creative urge. “It comes from the same place the music comes from. It’s just another way to do what I do and create. I mean, I love all of it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.” His family enjoyed the ride as Mannheim Steamroller gained momentum and found unexpected success. “When I first started touring with my own band, my parents went with me. My dad was part of the crew as the piano tuner. Mom went along, too. They went all over the place with us. They were really proud.” When Davis needed a harpsichord with a distinct sound, his father built him one. Travels for his music have brought Davis to Great Britain to record with the London Symphony Orchestra, to St. Petersburg, Russia to score the Goodwill Games, to the Czech Republic to record with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and to the namesake of his group’s name, Mannheim, as part of a nine-city tour in Germany. He’s recorded with notable guest artists such as Johnny Mathis and he produced an album with the late superstar John Denver. Denver went morel mushroom hunting on Davis’ farm. Chip’s wide-ranging interests have given him access to NASA space shuttle launches. He provided the technology to make hyper-accurate film-sound recordings of Discovery and Atlantis launches. He’s met several astronauts, including Buzz Aldrin, who in 1969, became the second man to walk on the moon. Mannheim Steamroller has performed at the Lighting of the National Christmas Tree ceremony during the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Trump administrations.  “I’m around a lot of cool people and get to see a lot of cool things,” he said. His celebrity isn’t something Chip dwells on. “You don’t think about fame when you’re concentrating on composing and producing music, building your own record label company, and planning for your future.” Davis is grateful his music resonates with so many people. “I couldn’t do this without my fans, obviously.” Chip’s also wise enough to know he’s often been in the right place at the right time. “I feel very fortunate I’ve had the retail breaks I’ve had. People gave me a shot with my 1984 Christmas album (the first of many Christmas recordings). With their help, we got it out there. I’m really fortunate to have run across these people and to be given those opportunities.” --Please turn to page 20.


Studies show new imaging device that can see signs of Alzheimer’s

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esults from two studies show a new, non-invasive imaging device can see signs of Alzheimer’s disease in a matter of seconds. The researchers show the small blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye are altered in patients with Alzheimer’s. Even patients who have a family history of Alzheimer’s but have no symptoms, show these telltale signs. And they showed they can distinguish between people with Alzheimer’s and those with only mild cognitive impairment. A new kind of precise and non-invasive imaging called optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) has assisted much of the recent research on the eye’s connection with Alzheimer’s. It enables physicians to see the smallest veins in the back of the eye, including the red blood cells moving through the retina.   Because the retina is connected to the brain by way of the optic nerve, researchers believe the deterioration in the retina and its blood vessels may mirror the changes going on in the blood vessels and structures in the brain, thereby offering a window into the disease process.  Diagnosing Alzheimer’s is a challenge. Some techniques can detect signs of the disease but are impractical for screening millions of people. Brain scans are expensive and spinal taps can be harmful. Instead, the disease is often diagnosed through memory tests or observing behavior changes. By the time these changes are noticed, the disease is advanced. Even though there’s no cure, early diagnosis is critical as future treatments are likely to be most effective when given early. Early diagnosis would also give patients and their families time to plan for the future.  The goal of this latest research is to find a quick, inexpensive way to detect Alzheimer’s at the earliest signs. 

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esearchers at Duke University used OCTA to compare the retinas of Alzheimer’s patients with those of people with mild cognitive impairment and healthy people. They found the Alzheimer’s group had a loss of small retinal blood vessels at the back of the eye and that a specific layer of the retina was thinner. Even people with mild cognitive impairment didn’t show these changes.  Ophthalmologist and lead author Sharon Fekrat, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, along with colleague Dilraj Grewal M.D., associate professor of Ophthalmology at Duke, and their research team expect their work will have a positive impact on patient’s lives.  “This project meets a huge unmet need,” Dr. Fekrat said. “It’s not possible for current techniques like a brain scan or lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to screen the number of patients with this disease. Almost everyone has a family member or extended family affected by Alzheimer’s. We need to detect the disease earlier and introduce treatments earlier.”  Because genes play a significant role in how Alzheimer’s disease begins and progresses, another team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center in Israel examined 400 people who had a family history of the disease but showed no symptoms themselves. They compared their retina and brain scans with those who have no family history of Alzheimer’s.   They found the inner layer of the retina is thinner in people with a family history. The brain scan showed the hippocampus, an area of the brain that’s first affected by the disease, had already begun to shrink. Both factors, a thinner inner retina layer and smaller hippocampus, were associated with scoring worse on a cognitive function test.  “A brain scan can detect Alzheimer’s when the disease is well beyond a treatable phase,” said lead researcher Ygal Rotenstreich M.D., an ophthalmologist at the Goldschleger Eye Institute at Sheba Medical Center. “We need treatment intervention sooner. These patients are at such high-risk.” 

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Widowed Persons Group of Omaha

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he Widowed Persons Group of Omaha hosts a luncheon the third Monday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at Jericho’s

Restaurant, 11732 W. Dodge Rd. For more information, please call 402-426-9690 or 402-493-0452.

December 2018

New Horizons

Page 13


Write to improve your memory By Beth N. Carvin

encourage the process. • Use prompts: When people sit down If you’re old enough to remember the to write for the first time, they often don’t John F. Kennedy assassination or the Cuban know where to begin. A prompt like “Who missile crisis, you’re probably realizing was your childhood best friend?” or “What your memory isn’t what it used to be. was the first pet you owned?” can provide Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control direction as well as get the memory juices has reported that one in eight Americans flowing. The same thing can be accomover age 60 complains of worsening memplished by using prompts like objects or ory loss. The problem may be related to photos. a medical condition, emotional problems, • Don’t worry about chronology: Recognitive impairment, or simply the indigcording your memories doesn’t always have nities of aging. to follow a chronological order. Sometimes One way to preserve and in some cases attempting to follow a timeline can prevent even enhance memory is to proactively you from writing about what you’re feeling revisit your past. A technique called remior affect what you’re inspired to share. It’s niscence therapy that’s widely used in apbetter to write about a memory or a moment plications ranging from mental health inter- in time as you think about it, even if it’s out ventions to memory care in nursing homes, of sequence with other memories. is one form. But simply committing your Maybe it’s your first car or your first kiss. life experiences to paper (virtual or otherFamily holidays or family problems. Write wise) can be helpful and even therapeutic. what you want, when you want, and break it That, at least, is what we hear from usup into pieces to avoid feeling overwhelmed ers of JamBios, a free online platform that by the size of the project. provides a chapter-style framework to write • Find your writing sweet spot: Some and save the stories of your life. In one people write better after their first cup of case, for example, a woman who suffered coffee. Others are more productive midday severe trauma as a child discovered that or at night. Start by recognizing what works using the platform to write about her memo- best for you. Ask yourself when your words ries was like a key that unlocked them. seem to flow best. Try different approaches Research also shows the health benefits until you find the one that clicks. of writing. Over a decade ago, the Ameri• Invite others to contribute: Several can Psychological Association published years ago, my family began reminiscing a study indicating that expressive writing via a group email. We wrote about an old reduces “intrusive and avoidant thoughts bar in Boston that my grandfather owned, about negative events and improves workwhich prompted an engrossing series of ing memory.” Researchers concluded these stories from my dad and uncles about the improvements help individuals cope more barmaids, the keys to the liquor cabinet, and effectively with stress, because they have some incidents involving local law enforcefreed up cognitive resources. ment that many of us had never heard. The More recently, in discussing the use more we wrote, the more everyone wanted of writing in education, neurologist Judy to share and chime in, and the more we Willis, MD noted writing can “enhance the learned. brain’s intake, processing, retaining, and This kind of collaboration, made easy by retrieving of information. It promotes the today’s online environment, helps unearth brain’s attentive focus, boosts long-term details you may not remember or may not memory, illuminates patterns, gives the have known. With or without memory loss, brain time for reflection, and when wellit enriches the experience of taking a trip guided, is a source of conceptual developdown memory lane. ment and stimulus of the brain’s highest Whether you or a loved one is facing cognition.” memory challenges, or you simply want to Whether you or someone you know is preserve the memories you have for your impacted by a memory deficit, or you’re children or grandchildren, filling in the simply looking for a way to tell your own memory gaps can be rewarding. With tostory for yourself and your family, here are day’s technology, it’s easy to get started and five simple strategies for preserving and remain consistent. There’s evidence it imsharing your memories in writing. proves health and well-being. And if noth• Choose a writing aid: There are ing else, it can be a great source of pleasure personal blogs, journaling applications, for you as well as your friends and family. memoir writing software, and reminisc(Carvin is CEO and co-founder of Jaming platforms like JamBios that offer preBios (www.jambios.com). a writing applidefined topics to help trigger memories andAM Page cation HorizonAD-2010:HorizonAD-08 2/4/10 8:00 1 for preserving memories).

Attorneys at Law William E. Seidler Jr.

www.seidler-seidler-law.com 10050 Regency Circle, Suite 525 Omaha, NE 68114-5705

402-397-3801

Delivering quality legal services since 1957.

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New Horizons

December 2018

Diabetes can affect your bones By Dr. Jeff Selman, MD

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iabetes is a serious, chronic disease affecting millions. However, what most people don’t know is diabetes can affect your bones by damaging their overall health, increasing the risk of fracture, etc. Additionally, diabetes can increase your risk of developing many bone or joint disorders. • Osteoporosis can develop due to diabetes. People with osteoporosis have weak bones that are prone to fractures, which are, as we have already mentioned, probable complications caused by type 1 diabetes. There’s bad and good news when it comes to this disorder. The bad news; rarely is it noticed before it gets to more advanced stages. The good news is that a simple, healthy lifestyle can be enough to treat it. Enough light exercise and a healthy diet with lots of vitamin D and calcium will be more than enough. Medications do exist, but the need for them only arises in more extreme cases. • Neuropathic arthropathy is more commonly known as Charcot joint. This is a disorder that occurs when a joint gets injured due to nerve damage, which is a common complication of diabetes. The disease usually affects the feet and can be noticed when the joints start feeling numb, warm, red, and swollen. The symptoms usually look worse than they are and can be treated easily through light exercises and with the

use of orthotic support as long as it’s discovered early. • Frozen shoulder usually affects one side of the back. The common symptoms are pain and a limited range of movement. The cause is unknown, but diabetes is one of the risk factors. If the problem is caught early with aggressive physical therapies, the shoulder can still function normally. • Diabetic hand syndrome. As the name implies, the syndrome is connected to diabetes because it most commonly occurs in people with the disease. The exact cause of the disorder is unknown. With diabetic hand syndrome, the skin on the hand becomes waxy and thickens which eventually causes limited finger movement. Unfortunately, the effects of diabetic hand syndrome sometimes cannot be cured, but with physical therapy and management of blood glucose levels, the progression can be slowed. Several other bone conditions commonly are caused by diabetes, but most of them come as a result of other changes in the body caused by diabetes. The main thing here is that diabetes can and does cause problems for your bones and joints, which is why it’s essential that you manage the disorder. What’s more, a healthier lifestyle is also vital if you want to keep your bones in good condition and less prone to fractures or certain loss of their strength. (Selma is with the Florida Orthopaedic Institute.)

Corrigan Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Corrigan Senior Center, 3819 X St., this month for the following: • Dec. 5: Toenail clinic from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Call 402731-7210 for an appointment. • Dec. 5: Christmas music on the big screen with Clay Aiken @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 5: Students from St. Peter and Paul Elementary School will perform their winter program @ 12:45 p.m. • Dec. 6: Blood pressure checks, nurse visit @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 10: Trivia @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 12: Christmas music on the big screen with Red Skeleton @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 13: Birthday party with music by Pam Kragt sponsored by the Merrymakers @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 19: Christmas music on the big screen with the Texas Tenors @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 20: Christmas party with Kim Eames @ 11 a.m. The center is closed on Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas. Other activities include bingo Monday and Thursday @ 1 p.m., ceramics classes Wednesdays @ 1 p.m., and chair exercises Tuesday and Thursday @ 10 a.m. The Corrigan Senior Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $4 contribution is normally suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations, please call 402-731-7210.


Reaping the benefits, facing the challenges modern technology provides in our daily lives By April Hauf

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echnology is for everyone, including older adults, and it’s becoming more ingrained into the lives of older men and women daily. Whether you’re living in a house, apartment, nursing home, or assisted living facility, technology is increasing. In many ways, it can improve your quality of life. It can help make older adults safer and help social workers protect their clients and dementia patients in various ways. “There are around 48 million individuals age 65 and older living in the United States. Of these, more than half own and use a desktop or laptop (computer), while a third prefer using a tablet (computer). Eight out of ten regularly use a smartphone,” said Leonard Davis in the University of Southern California’s publication, Designing Technology for the Aging Population. Some of the benefits of using technology or gaming can include increased mobility or physical activity, increased mental stimulation, and connecting or reconnecting people with loved ones. Technology can also provide health product benefits like smart pill boxes, fall detection, and health tracking applications. Advanced technology can also help people feel safe with security system monitoring, light detection, motion sensors, and personal emergency response systems. One of the ways technology is used to connect older adults with loved ones is by Skyping or Face Timing on their computers. Through Skyping and Face Time, loved ones can video chat with relatives or others who don’t live nearby and/or who aren’t able to visit. Seeing the joy and excitement first hand when people reconnect after many years is

Legal Aid of Nebraska operates a free telephone access line for Nebraskans age 60 and older. Information is offered to help the state’s older men and women with questions on topics like bankruptcy, homestead exemptions, collections, powers of attorney, Medicare, Medicaid, grandparent rights, and Section 8 housing. The telephone number for the Elder Access Line is 402-827-5656 in Omaha and 1-800-527-7249 statewide. This service is available to Nebraskans age 60 and older regardless of income, race, or ethnicity. For more information, log on the Internet to http://www.legalaidofnebraska.com/EAL.

Call 402-721-7780 to learn more heartwarming. Many older men and women may not have a way, besides telephone communication, to actually see their loved ones. Skyping or Face Timing allows them to connect, see, and feel closer to their family and friends. Some older adults may be fearful or face obstacles when using technology. There are tools and classes offered for older men and women to help them learn about new technologies. Metropolitan Community College offers a variety of non-credit computer courses for a small fee and there are often free computer courses offered at several of the Omaha public libraries. Check your local library to see what’s offered if you’re interested. It’s evident many older adults are already using technology in their lives. It’s a great opportunity for designers to start thinking about the older population when creating their new technologies or adapting existing systems. (Hauf is the director of social services for the Florence Home in Omaha.)

RSVP volunteers honored at luncheon

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hirteen volunteers who provided 500 or more hours of service during the last year, were among those honored on Nov. 7 at the RSVP’s annual recognition luncheon at Christensen Field in Fremont. A Corporation for National and Community Service Program, RSVP is sponsored locally by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. RSVP is the nation’s largest volunteer network for men and women age 55 and older. The volunteers and their service hours during the last year were: Rose Gude (1,087), Leroy Lidberg (960 hours), Mavis Lidberg (960 hours), Deb Bobbitt (697), Karen Moore (616), Joy Horn (608), Opal Miller (602), Gary Bobbitt (571), Bernie Buckley (547), Joseph Schack (535), William Lippincott (532), Darrel Boesiger (515), and Edith Satterfield (500). The festivities also included a meal, musical en-

Elder Access Line

Volunteer drivers are needed for ENOA’s transportation program in Fremont, Blair The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is recruiting volunteers age 55 and older to provide free transportation services for older adults in Fremont and Blair. “We’re especially interested in providing transportation services for military veterans,” said Pat Tanner, who coordinates the RSVP for the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Sponsored locally by ENOA, RSVP is a national program of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. RSVP staff members who serve in Dodge, Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties realize many older men and women live alone, are on fixed incomes, are no longer able to operate their own vehicle, and don’t have family members available to drive them to their various appointments.

In response, RSVP’s Car-Go Project offers free transportation for men and women age 55 and older in Blair and Fremont through volunteers age 55 and older who use their own vehicles. Free rides can be given to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, beauty parlors, barbershops, banks, and other personal business locations. Rides for persons who use wheelchairs (must be able to transfer themselves) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Car-Go Project – which isn’t available to nursing home residents – operates in Fremont and Blair Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on becoming a volunteer driver or to make a reservation (24 hours notice is required) for a ride, please call RSVP’s Fremont office at 402-7217780.

Camelot Friendship Center

Among the volunteers honored at the luncheon were (front row, from left): Gary and Deb Bobbitt, and back row, from left: Mavis Lidberg, Leroy Lidberg, Opal Miller, Karen Moore, and Joy Horn. tertainment by “Mr. Memories” Joe Taylor, and an address by keynote speaker Pat Hunsche from the Veterans Tribute Plaza in Blair. In 2003, Hunsche, an RSVP volunteer, began assisting area veterans whose military discharge papers are at the Washington County Courthouse by posting their names on the Veterans Wall at the Veterans Tribute Plaza. RSVP would like to thank table sponsors Fremont Care Inc. (dba as Nye Legacy), Miracle Ear, Ludvigsen Mortuary, Fremont Health, and American Broadband, as well as the City of Fremont for the use of Christensen Field.

December 2018

You’re invited to visit the Camelot Friendship Center inside the Camelot Community Center, 9270 Cady Ave., this month for the following: • Dec. 5 & 26: Westroads walk @ 10:15 a.m. • Dec. 6: Brain teasers @ 10:30 a.m. and indoor snowball toss @ 11:30 a.m. • Dec. 7: Council meeting @ 12:15 p.m. • Dec. 10: Indoor snowball toss and hot cocoa @ 10:30 a.m. • Dec. 11: Music by Woody Strohmyer sponsored by the Merrymakers @ 11:30 a.m. • Dec. 13: Book club @ 10:15 a.m. and line dancing @ noon. • Dec. 14: Durham Museum outing from noon to 3 p.m. • Dec. 21: Christmas party @ 5 p.m. • Dec. 28: Music by Diana sponsored by the Merrymakers @ 11:30 a.m. The Camelot Friendship Center will be closed Dec. 3 & 4 due to facility repairs and on Dec. 24 & 25 for Christmas. The center is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $4 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. Regular center activities include chair volleyball, Tai Chi, bingo, art classes, and card games. For meals reservations or more information, please call 402-444-3091.

New Horizons

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Green presents make great gifts

Open art studio Artists – who work in any medium – are encouraged to join an open art studio that meets Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m. at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S. 114th St. For more information, please call Claudine Myers at 402-496-4330.

THEOS meeting

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HEOS, a social organization for singles age 60 and older, meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at New Cassel, 900 N. 90th

St. Older men and women are encouraged to meet for a fun afternoon and to sign up for other activities throughout the month. For more information, please call Dorothy at 402-399-0759 or Mary at 402-393-3052.

Heartland Generations Center You’re invited to visit the Heartland Generations Center – 4318 Fort St. – for the following: • Dec. 3: Taste of Culture at Bangkok Kitchen. Leave the center @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 4, 7, & 14: Tai Chi @ 10:45 a.m. • Dec. 5 & 19: Manicures by Wanda @ 10 a.m. • Dec. 6: Holiday party from 3 to 5 p.m. • Dec. 7: Salvation Army presentation @ 1 p.m. • Dec. 8: Attend The Nutcracker at the Orpheum Theater @ 2 p.m. • Dec. 12: Krafts with Kina @ 10 a.m. Birthday celebration with music sponsored by the Merrymakers @ noon. • Dec. 13 & 27: Senior Education Group @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 14: Preschool Read and Feed @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 18: Natural healing meeting at Denny’s. Leave the center @ 10:45 a.m. • Dec. 20: Visit the Gingerbread house display at the Mormon Trail Visitors Center. Leave our center @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 21: Christmas party and gift exchange @ 11 a.m. • Dec. 28: Toast in the New Year @ noon. The center will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas and on Dec. 31 for New Year’s Eve. Play bingo on Wednesdays and Fridays @ 1 p.m. The Heartland Generations Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is normally served at noon. A $4 donation is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the lunch you wish to attend. Bus transportation is available within select neighborhoods for 50 cents each way. For meal reservations, please call 402-553-5300. 

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Florence AARP chapter

he Florence AARP chapter meets monthly at Mountview Presbyterian Church, 5308 Hartman Ave. The programs begin each month with a noon lunch followed by a speaker. For reservations, please call Gerry Goldsborough at 402-571-0971. Rides to the meeting are available by calling Ruth Kruse at 402-453-4825. The final 2018 program will be on Monday, Dec. 10 and feature Greg Owen and his holiday music.

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NH Club gains new members $50 Shirley Copas $20 Therese Rieck $10 Rita Willuhn $5 Tom Hunter Stephanie Heller

Reflects donations received through November 26, 2018.

Page 16

New Horizons

By Melinda Myers

making it stand out among the red amaryllis and poinsettias of the season. ake holiday gift giving easy with Dress up your amaryllis gift by planting unique green presents that provide the bulb in a pretty container, setting it on weeks, and in some cases, months stones in a glass hurricane or combining and years of beauty. Plus, giving easy-care it with spring-flowering bulbs like tulips, blooming plants is an experiential gift that’s grape hyacinths, and crocus. ideal for everyone, especially that person on Provide some aromatherapy, flavor, and your list who has everything. beauty with fragrant flowers and herbs. Gardeners as well as practical family Lily-of-the-valley may be a bully in the garmembers and friends will enjoy the dual den, but it’s a fragrant beauty sure to brightpurpose the Christmas rose (Hellebore) pro- en a winter day when planted in a container vides. This European holiday plant is gainand enjoyed indoors. ing popularity in holiday celebrations in the The calming fragrance of Spanish lavenU.S. Recipients will enjoy up to two months der can be enjoyed fresh or the stems and of blossoms indoors when grown in a cool flowers snipped, dried, and added to boubright location. Once the danger of frost has quets and sachets.  passed, it can be moved outdoors into a full Rosemary’s flavor makes it a perfect gift or partially shaded spot in the garden for for the foodies on your list. And everyone, years of added beauty. including non-cooks, will enjoy its fraEven non-gardeners will be fascinated by grance. Grow it indoors in a cool location the amaryllis as its beauty erupts from the with morning sun or under artificial lights. bulb. Everyone will eagerly watch for the Take care of this and multiple holidays bulb to sprout, its flower stems to quickly throughout the year with a subscription of grow and eventually produce several large three, six, or 12 Months of Blooms (gardentrumpet-shaped blooms. ers.com). Your recipient will enjoy bouquets Make it easy and fun for all with a waxed of bulbs or flowers sent on this and other amaryllis bulb. Dipped in colorful wax, holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and these freestanding bulbs need no soil or wa- more. ter. Just set the waxed bulb in a space where Just place your order once and you’re they can be enjoyed, and watch the magic set for a few or all of the major holidays happen as the amaryllis breaks through throughout the year. This is the perfect gift the wax coating and grows into a colorful for the person who has everything or anyspecimen. one that can use a little floral pick-me-up. Impress avid gardeners with unique Make this the year you give the perfect varieties like Papillion Butterfly amaryllis. gift; one that’s unique and is sure to proThe flowers resemble orchids and are quite vide instant smiles and weeks or months of striking with maroon striped green petals. fragrance and beauty. The narrow chartreuse lily-like blossoms (Myers is the author of more than 20 garof Evergreen eventually turn apple green, dening books.)

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Researchers have created atlas of the brain’s memory bank Curing some of the most vexing diseases first requires navigating the world’s most complex structure – the human brain. University of Southern California (USC) scientists have created the most detailed atlas yet of the brain’s memory bank. Cartographers of the cranium, a USC research team has illustrated the internal circuitry of the hippocampus in great detail. Using fluorescent tracers and 3-D animation, the scientists show structures, nerve connections, and functions in vivid detail. “Like a new atlas, we’ve constructed the most detailed diagram of the hippocampus to date,” said Michael S. Bienkowski, lead author of the study and a researcher at the USC Mark and Mary Stevens Neuroimaging and Informatics Institute in the Keck School of Medicine at USC. “With a better map, we can see each region and how it functions. A better map is a resource scientists can use to better understand the hippocampus and how its degeneration leads to diseases.” The human hippocampus

December 2018

sits at the base of the brain and it’s shaped like a seahorse. It stores memories, helps regulate emotions, and guides navigation by spatial processing. It’s the first part of the brain impaired by Alzheimer’s and hippocampus degeneration can cause epilepsy and other diseases. In this case, scientists worked on a mouse brain because it’s organized similar to a human brain. Scientists can use the new map of the hippocampus to deliver genetically-targeted drugs to specific neurons with fewer side effects, said senior author, Hong-Wei Dong, USC professor of neurology and director of the USC Center for Integrated Connectomics. Disconnections in the brain underlie Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, and many other illnesses. Scientists have long known the basic four-part architecture of the hippocampus. What’s different now is the USC scientists can show its sub-regions and how nerve cells interact across the structure. It’s a night-and-day difference,

akin to seeing transmission lines and power poles slung across a city by day compared to fully illuminated at night. This new visualization traces neural pathways and connections in remarkable detail using fluorescent dyes as tracers that reveal cells, neuron junctions, and connections to the rest of the brain. “It totally changes our understanding by combining a wiring diagram with gene expressions of the mouse hippocampus. We see it doing different things, and this gives us a new way to understand how the whole thing works together. This should have a very profound and broad impact,” Bienkowski said. Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death for older people and the leading cause of dementia in the United States, according to the National Institute on Aging. It accounts for 93,500 deaths nationwide annually, and the prevalence and rate of death is increasing as the population ages, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Christmas dinner at Our Lady of Lourdes You’re invited to attend and enjoy a free Christmas dinner on Christmas Day at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 2110 S. 32nd St. The dinner will be served at 2 p.m. in the St. Bernadette Hall on the north side of the church. Reservations, which can be made by calling Marty Smith at 402-689-4800, are requested by Friday, Dec. 15. Round-trip transportation is available by calling 402689-4800. Arrangements to have a hot, Christmas Day dinner delivered to homebound individuals can be made by calling 402-689-4800.

Respite Across the Lifespan Life can bring on stress for many of us. Finding ways to relieve stress are important to our overall health and well-being. Caregivers are not immune to this stress.  Please contact Respite Across the Lifespan at 402559-5732 or edbennett@unmc.edu to find out more about respite services and to locate resources in your area.

Hearing Loss Association The Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America, a support group for hard of hearing adults, will meet next on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Ave. Participants are asked to enter the church on the Happy Hollow (east) side. The 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. meetings feature social time and a speaker. For more information, please contact Verla Hamilton at 402-558-6449 or verlahamilton@cox.net.

Omaha Computer Users Group You’re invited to join the Omaha Computer Users Group, an organization dedicated to helping men and women age 50 and older learn more about their computers. OCUG meets the third Saturday of each month at 10:30 a.m. at the Abrahams Library, 5011 N. 90th St. For more information, please call Phill Sherbon at 402-333-6529.

Pet grooming tips

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hile a haircut is often the first thing that comes to mind when pet parents contemplate a visit to the groomer for their pets, those visits can involve much more than a bath and trim. It can also include spalike skin and paw treatments, deep moisturizing shampoos and conditioners for healthy skin and a lustrous coat, deshedding, and flea or tick treatments. These treatments are all in addition to the expert clipping, shaving, and nail trims you might expect. Pet grooming is more than an attractive hairdo; every breed, regardless of size, age, or coat type, needs regular grooming for overall wellbeing and to help prevent problems such as excessive shedding, skin and paw irritation, painful mats, and bad breath. For certain longerhaired breeds, more frequent grooming may be necessary. While grooming is a necessity, it may sound more pleasant to pet parents than pets, especially dogs that are new to the experience or who don’t visit the groomer regularly. “While a day at the groomer is enjoyable for some pets, others may feel nervous or out of their comfort zones,” said Jennifer Freeman, DVM, PetSmart’s resident veterinarian and pet care expert. “Frequent visits are key to a less stressful experience and visiting the same trusted salon associate each time can help your pet build a connection and foster a relationship, making each visit more pleasant.” Freeman also recommends flagging any pre-existing conditions with your groomer beforehand. This is especially important because grooming can elicit excitement or stress in some pets and aggravate underlying health issues like heart disease. “Talk to your groomer about any known health concerns so he or she can be sure to watch out for signs of distress,” Freeman said. “For some pets, the stress of a visit to the salon can trigger an adverse clinical event due to preexisting conditions. Salon associates care about the overall well-being of each pet. Talking to them about underlying health issues makes the grooming associates aware of any special needs and, in some cases, may even lead them to recommend holding off on grooming for the health and safety of the pet.” Freeman also offers these tips for pet parents: • When deciding on a groomer, look for a salon that employs safety-certified groomers who have undergone extensive hands-on grooming instruction including bathing, trimming, and styling. • Be proactive in raising questions or concerns. Being transparent about your pet is best for his or her well-being as well as that of other pets and associates in the salon. • Let your pet visit the store or salon beforehand to get familiar with the smells, sounds, and salon associates. • Schedule groomer visits during slower times or request an express groom where the pet stays in the salon for a shorter time period. • Prepare your pup for having his or her feet, ears, and tail handled by doing these things at home and using grooming tools like combs and brushes to reduce fear of strange objects. Try holding an electric toothbrush near your dog to familiarize him or her with the humming sound and vibrations that are similar to clippers in the salon. • Limit how much food, water, and treats your pet consumes before grooming, as this can contribute to upset stomachs and digestive trouble. • Ask a salon associate to recommend appropriate basic grooming tools and supplies for at-home maintenance between appointments. Find more advice for creating a safe and enjoyable grooming experience for your pet and learn about upcoming events where you can check out grooming options in your community at services.petsmart.com. (Family Features provided this information.)

December 2018

FTC warns about telephone scam targeting Social Security beneficiaries

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here’s a new telephone scam targeting Social Security beneficiaries that older adults and advocates for them should know about. The Federal Trade Commission is warning that scammers are engaging in a caller ID trick called “spoofing” to make it appear they’re calling from the Social Security Administration (SSA). These phony callers claim to work for the SSA and ask for personal information – such as the individual’s Social Security Number – supposedly in order to process a benefit increase. These scam artists have also tried to get this information by claiming the person’s benefits will be cut off if the personal information isn’t provided. For more information, please contact Justice in Aging at 202-289-6976 or info@justiceinaging.org

Program costs $300

Safety Council of Nebraska offering three-hour driving assessment class

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he National Safety Council of Nebraska is offering a comprehensive three-hour driving assessment class for older adults by appointment. The Senior Driving Program, which costs $300, is designed to keep older adults driving safely on Nebraska’s roads for as long as possible. Participants will be able to assess and improve their driving skills to reduce risk to themselves, their passengers, and to other drivers. The classes, held at the National Safety Council of Nebraska’s office, 11620 M Cir., offer a driving skills selfassessment, behind the wheel driving with state-certified instructors, driving tips, an evaluation, and recommendations. To learn more or to register for the Senior Driving Program, please call 402-898-7371 or go online to safety@safenebraska.org.

Fremont-area vols needed for UNMC pain management study

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he University of Nebraska Medical Center is looking for volunteers in the Fremont area to participate in a research study on Interactive Assistance for Pain Management. The study will examine the practical use of a Google Home Mini Device to help with the self-management of musculoskeletal pain. Study participants must be age 55 and older who take scheduled pain medications for musculoskeletal pain, live independently, be responsible for selfmanaging their medications, able to use a smart phone, have wireless Internet in their home, able to read and

speak English, and complete questionnaires.

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he volunteers will be asked to set three reminder prompts for their pain medications on the mini device for four weeks and be able to document their pain characteristics. They will also be asked to complete surveys before and after using the mini device. The older adults involved in this study will be allowed to keep the Google Home Mini Device in exchange for their time. For more information, please contact Dr. Marcia Shade at 402-559-6641 or marcia.shade@unmc.edu. Moments like these are precious.

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New Horizons

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Volunteer Bredar giving back to her community

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n 1952, nearly 58,000 cases of poliomyelitis, commonly referred to as polio – were reported in the United States, mostly in children ages 5 and younger. That year, more than 3,000 Americans died due to complications from the disease. Another 20,000-plus were left with mild to disabling paralysis. The following year, Marcia Bredar became the fourth of eight children (six girls and two boys) born to Vincent and Teresa Bredar in Des Moines, Iowa. At age 20 months, Marcia was diagnosed with polio. She spent much of the next three years in and out of the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City paralyzed from the neck down. By age 4, Bredar had regained much of her upper body strength, but still needed crutches and leg braces to walk. Even today, there’s no cure for polio, it can only be prevented by immunization. In 1955, however, medical researcher and virologist Jonas Salk discovered and developed one of the first successful polio vaccines. Eradication of polio in the United States via mass immunization began in 1963. The nation’s last natural outbreak of polio occurred in 1972.

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n 1960, a job transfer required Vincent Bredar to relocate his family to Omaha. That year, Marcia enrolled at St. Cecilia’s Grade School and began living a fairly normal life. “I folded laundry, ironed clothes, set the table, and raked leaves (among other things),” Bredar said during a recent interview in her west Omaha condominium. “With my family it was never she couldn’t do something, it was always how can she do this,” Marcia added. Her childhood, however, was much more than doing chores around the house. “I played baseball with the other kids. Boy, could I hit that ball. Someone else would run for me.” Marcia also enjoyed riding sleds with her siblings.

After graduating from the Creighton University School of Law in 1977, Bredar clerked for a Nebraska Supreme Court justice before embarking on a career at Mutual of Omaha. “The best part was that I didn’t have to walk back up the hill. My brothers and sisters would pull me on the sled,” a smiling Bredar recalled. By fifth grade, Marcia had developed scoliosis, a condition in which the spine is curved sideways. In Minneapolis, doctors inserted a stainless-steel Harrington rod to help straighten her spine. Recovery required Bredar to stay on her back in a body cast for nine months. “After that, I had to learn to walk again (with the crutches and leg braces),” Marcia said.

Marcia volunteers an average of 20 hour a week for a variety of local organizations including Citizen Advocacy of Omaha.

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New Horizons

The following year, Bredar fell on some ice, and the Harrington rod slipped out of place. Surgery to remove the rod and fuse her spine was followed by nine more months in a body cast. Upon Bredar’s return to school, the St. Cecilia’s administration – fearful Marcia might fall again – insisted she use a wheelchair. Bredar attended Cathedral High School, where she was a member of the German Club and president of the Cardinals’ Pep Club. She graduated from CHS in 1970. From there, Marcia spent the next seven years at Creighton University. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science in 1974 and a law degree in 1977. Her first post law school job was in Lincoln clerking for Nebraska Supreme Court Judge Lawrence Clinton for a year. Bredar then became an attorney for Mutual of Omaha for nearly 20 years. At age 32, Marcia began feeling the effects of post-poliomyelitis syndrome, a condition that impacts the lives of approximately 25 to 40 percent of people who survived a polio attack. Symptoms include fatigue accompanied by acute or increased muscular pain and weakness in the neck and shoulders. “I couldn’t sleep, and I had to wear a cervical collar for two years,” Bredar said.

December 2018

Despite the pain and trouble sleeping, Marcia kept working. “You have a job to do, so you do it,” she said proudly. Mutual of Omaha allowed Bredar to work at home two days a week, but by 1998, she was forced to retire. “A post-polio expert told me if I didn’t retire, within 10 years, I’d be in a nursing home,” Marcia said.

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hile she missed working at Mutual, retirement meant Bredar had more time for volunteering, a passion she developed as a youngster. “I watched my parents volunteer, and I grew up volunteering,” Marcia said. “Volunteering helps make the community better.” A partial list of the organizations where Bredar has volunteered or continues to volunteer include the Nebraska Bar Association, the New Cassel Retirement Center, Habitat for Humanity, St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Cathedral High School, Creighton University, the Great Plains Girl Scout Council, the Omaha Archdiocese, Inclusive Communities, and Citizen Advocacy of Omaha. Bredar said the major reason she volunteers an average of 20 hours a week is simple. “I feel a need to give back. I guess that’s who I am. I think that’s the way the Good Lord made me.”


The proper tires are essential for safe driving during winter

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The winter season is typically one of the busiest times of the year for travelers. While millions prepare to hit the road to visit family and see sights, there’s one essential travel tip that cannot be overlooked: the proper tires. Winter tires are an essential safety feature for drivers and deliver as much as a 25 to 50 percent increase in traction over all-season tires, which could be the margin you need to brake in time to avoid trouble. Winter tire tread design uses thousands of extra traction edges for added grip, and the softer rubber of the tire surface allows the tires to stay pliable in colder temperatures to maintain contact with the road. In addition, winter tires feature aggressive groove patterns for a more confident grip on ice, slush, and snow. Learn the best time to install your winter tires and how to keep them in safe condition with these guidelines from the experts at Discount Tire: • Plan ahead. A good rule of thumb: if you can see your breath, you should think about winter tires for all four wheels. When the temperature drops to 45 degrees F and below, all-season tires can start to lose traction and grip. • Keep tabs on pressure. Check your tire pressure at least once a month. For every 10-degree drop in temperature, your tires lose one pound of pressure (PSI). Use a tire pressure gauge to get the proper reading or stop by a tire store for a free air check. • Check your tread with the penny test. Tread depth determines a vehicle’s safe stopping distance. To check your tread depth, stick a penny upside-down in a tread groove. It’s time to replace your tires if Lincoln’s head is visible. • Know the limitations of all-wheel drive. Drivers often mistake all-wheel drive as sufficient for driving in sleet or snow. In reality, all-wheel drive only helps you start from a stop. It doesn’t function in the stopping or steering of a vehicle. • Designate a winter set of wheels, too. Having a set of wheels specifically for your set of winter tires can save you money in the long run. A second set of wheels eliminates the cost of changeover and spares nicer wheels from the wear and tear of ice, slush, snow, and salt. • Extend your winter tires’ use. Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 miles, or earlier if irregular or uneven wear develops. Change out your winter tires around tax season. This can help avoid wearing out the rubber in hot months and increase the tires’ lifespans. As you prepare for winter travel season, visit discounttire.com to find a tire store near you, or search for winter tires specific to your vehicle’s make and model. (Family Features provided this information. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

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December 2018

New Horizons

Page 19


Davis, Steamroller to perform at Orpheum Dec. 22 and 23 --Continued from page 12. There there’s the artists Davis has gathered around him for studio sessions and concerts. He credits concertmaster and violinist Arnie Roth with landing stellar classical musicians. “We’re talking really big-deal players from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra I could never have gotten to myself. French Horn superstar Dale Clevenger played all my sessions. We had just monster players in the studio. I couldn’t have done it without Arnie. My musicians are intensely loyal.” For the Steamroller tours, contract musicians are hired at each stop to join the touring players to create a great big sound machine on stage. The first violin player Davis hired, Steve Shipps, is associate dean at the University of Michigan’s School of Music. Shipps sits in as lead violinist whenever Steamroller plays in the Ann Arbor area. Some of Omaha’s best-known musicians have collaborated with Steamroller including Jackson and Almeda Berkey, Joey Gulizia, Ron Cooley, Becky Kia, and Chuck Penington. Omaha native Jonathan Swoboda plays keyboards in the Universal Orlando Resorts orchestra Davis conducts. Swoboda’s father was the

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attorney who trademarked American Gramophone for Davis. Davis has had the same business partner and the same agent for decades. He became and remains friends with the head buyer who got his work sold at Target department stores. Most of all Davis is grateful for the gift of music and the ability to share it. He feels obligated to do so. “This music comes into me from somewhere. I don’t know where. I feel like it comes from above, or from God, or the ultimate creator. I feel it’s pouring into me and it just kind of leaks out. Sometimes it comes to me in my sleep.” Chip may awaken in the middle of the night with an idea and stay up all night to write it. He keeps a voice recorder handy to whistle or hum notes that appear. Making a difference with his music is icing on the cake. “Doing things for people like the Ambience project makes me feel I’m repurposing different things I have been given a shot at doing. To not take advantage of it would be a sin.” Chip has made sizable donations of CDs to U.S. troops, military hospitals, the VFW, and to military support groups.  For the Strategic Air Command & Aerospace Museum’s 20th anniver-

New Horizons

Chip Davis vocalizing with his daughters, Kelly and Elyse.

sary gala in October, he conducted Mannheim Steamroller in concert and led the audience in singing the national anthem.

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avis himself is still exploring new ground. He and Mark Valenti co-wrote a boxed set audio book, The Wolf and the Warlander, inspired by the friendship between a horse and a wolf who’ve grown up together on Chip’s farm.  He could live and work anywhere, but Omaha continues being his permanent home. Why leave the

December 2018

place where everything happened for him? “The hand of God put me down here in this town and said, ‘You will create,’ Davis said, laughing. “I wouldn’t want to be in any other place. There’s a lot of freedom here. A lot of memories.” Davis and Mannheim Steamroller will perform Christmas concerts at Omaha’s Orpheum Theater on Dec. 22 and 23. For more information, visit www.mannheimsteamroller.com. (Read more of Biga’s work at leoadambiga.com.)

New Horizons December 2018  

New Horizons is a publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Wash...

New Horizons December 2018  

New Horizons is a publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Wash...

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