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Celebrating 45 Years

March 2020

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


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New Horizons old • er 74 adul ts since 19

A publication of the Eastern Nebraska Offce on Aging

VOL. 45 • NO. 3


Deborah Ward has directed the marketing and communications efforts for Visit Omaha since 2007. Her mission is to promote Omaha as a dynamic destination to help stimulate its economic growth. Prior to joining Visit Omaha, the graduate of Ralston High School and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was a television news anchor and reporter for Omaha’s KMTV for 26 years. Nick Schinker chronicles Ward’s life and career beginning on page 8.

Ski for Light A group of 35 area residents volunteered and/or participated in the 41st annual Ski for Light held during late January in the Black Hills. See page 16.

What’s inside Health agencies collaborating .................... 2 Hemesath’s ‘Conscious Aging’ ................... 2 Homestead exemption program ................. 3 VAS can help file homestead forms ........... 4 AARP’s Tax-Aide program ........................... 5 Senior discounts can save you $$$ ............ 6 Scammers eye new technology .................. 7 Caregivers visit College of St. Mary .......... 12 Avoiding the dangers of poison ................ 13 Watering indoor plants properly ................ 15

Sharing your wisdom will help Public health agencies working together create a more peaceful world to create a better life for all Nebraskans


ike almost everyone else, I’m bothered by the disturbing news that’s reported by the media. I’m saddened by the discourse among people who disagree because there’d such a lack of respect for one another. At times it feels like everything is falling apart around us and my gut clenches. Where will this all end? When this is my response to a recent news report, I know it’s time for inner reflection. It’s time to remember other crises when it seemed the world was falling apart, and I could see no way out.

Conscious Aging By Nancy Hemesath

I remember the fear we felt during the Cold War. The nuclear build-up was enormous and from childhood to young adulthood, I wondered if we could ever avoid annihilation. Then, to the world’s amazement, the Berlin Wall came down and the Soviet Union fell apart. Some nuclear weapons were dismantled, and fear lessened. I also remember well the painful chaos of the 1960s with assassinations and violent protests. I wondered then if the fight for civil rights for African Americans could ever be won. I wondered when we could get out of the war that destroyed so many of our soldiers as well as the Vietnamese. Would we continue to see our national leaders assassinated? Eventually the mood of the country settled when we withdrew from Vietnam and civil rights legislation was passed. Other disturbing situations, such as the Irish “troubles” and apartheid in South Africa seemed to drag on with no solution in sight. These, too, were eventually resolved as parties came together. When I reflect on the political chaos of today, I realize we have been in difficult situations before. When I observe the painful antagonism within our government, I know this isn’t without precedent. I remember Watergate. As an older adult I believe it’s my obligation to share the wisdom that comes from decades of life experience. I’ve learned we need not give up in despair. Our country has weathered equally difficult periods of history. None of the conflicts described above were settled by violence but rather by engagement. Over the years I’ve noticed I feel much better about any major issue if I perform some small actions that counter the evil I see. I might make a donation or volunteer time for a cause. Sometimes, I simply make sure my own words don’t dehumanize another person. In the present political and environmental situation, I talk with my peers about what we can do together to ensure that justice and peace will prevail in our world. It’s for each of us in the Third Chapter of life to determine how we can best contribute our wisdom to a solution that will bring us into a more peaceful era. Strategies may differ but if we reflect on the truth we’ve learned through our lives, we will have wisdom to offer the next generations. According to the Hopi Tribe, “When the grandmothers speak, the world will be healed.” It’s time for the grandmothers (and the grandfathers) to speak. (Hemesath is the owner of Encore Coaching in Omaha. She’s dedicated to supporting people in the Third Chapter of Life. Contact her at Charles E. Dorwart Massih Law, LLC 38 years of legal experience • Wills • Living Trusts • Probate • Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney • Medicaid Planning • In-home consultations • Free Initial consultation 226 N. 114th Street • Omaha, NE 68154 Office: (402) 558-1404 or (402) 933-2111

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New Horizons

By Robert Butz, Josie D. Gutierrez, Chris Rodgers, & Marie Parker “An ounce of prevention is worth (more than) a pound of cure.” This greatly understates reality when it comes to community health. The real work of achieving a healthier community must be done while people are still healthy through prevention and promotion of good health practices. This needed public health work must start working upstream. Nebraska’s public health departments carry the hope of every Nebraskan for a better life. Our departments are guided by the firm belief everyone, no matter where they live, deserves to be connected to a system in an environment that supports their health and well-being. Nebraska’s public health departments are in your communities. From dealing with catastrophic flooding, high cancer rates, childhood lead poisoning, lack of dental and medical care, opioids, tuberculosis, measles, and worksite health, Nebraska’s public health departments are your best defense today and your best insurance for the future. We can’t medicate ourselves out of poor health, yet 80% of Nebraskans’ health care dollars are directed toward chronic disease. Chronic disease is preventable, and no one knows how to prevent chronic disease like Nebraska’s public health departments. Health prevention is the most powerful proven health policy tool we have. Studies have shown investing $10 per person each year in proven, community-based public health activities could save the nation more than $16 billion within five years. Nebraska’s public health departments know how to maximize those efforts. Creativity and collaboration are in the public health departments’ DNA, just as growth is in the soil of this state. That growth is threatened by spiraling health care costs and stagnant or contracting funding. Inadequate funding often puts our most vulnerable Nebraskans’ lives and health at risk. It leads to decreased opportunities, a physically challenged workforce,

school absenteeism, and decreased opportunities for growth. Nebraska’s public health departments are grounded in their communities and continue to grow and develop community specific public health strategies. Those upstream efforts are proven to combat chronic disease even as they prepare for emergencies and expand their knowledge to meet the challenges of new infectious disease threats that are only a plane flight away. From border to border, Nebraska’s public health departments cover all 93 counties using science-based, community-driven, and collaborative health protection strategies. Eighteen years ago, the Nebraska Legislature used $5.6 million from the Healthcare Cash Fund to jumpstart a statewide public health funding infrastructure. Inflation and the growing challenges of an everchanging world dictate this infrastructure needs a tune-up. State support has been stalled at the level of 18 years ago, and your Nebraska public health system is at risk of eroding into ineffectiveness. Today, we’re asking our Nebraska partners to join the campaign to increase financial support for these vital community health prevention efforts. It’s time to unleash the power of Nebraska’s public health departments. From outreach clinics to health education and the initiatives that keep our lives safe and healthy, public health pays off. We need to keep Nebraska communities healthy and enable public health to be ready for the unthinkable that sooner or later always becomes real. The best time to invest in Nebraska’s public health departments was 10 years ago. The second-best time to invest in your public health departments is now. (Dr. Butz of Holdrege, is board secretary for the Two Rivers Public Health District. Dr. Gutierrez of Crete, is vice president of the Public Health Solutions Board of Health. Rodgers is a Douglas County Board member and president of the Douglas County Board of Health. Parker, RN, of Scottsbluff, is president of the Panhandle Public Health District Board.)


If necessary, older adults can get help completing their 2020 Census forms


mericans should begin receiving census forms by email or through the United State Postal Service in mid-March. Since this year’s census will be the first to be completed largely online, some people are concerned older adults may face challenges in participating. Thankfully, there are multiple ways to complete the 2020 Census including online, on paper, by phone, and in different languages. Support is available for the older adults at Older men and women should be encouraged to fill out the census form and send it back as soon as they receive it, even though the official census date is April 1.  The information people share with the Census Bureau is confidential and only statistics are reported. If a resident isn’t counted, their needs may not be met. Critical funding for public libraries, early childhood education, school lunch programs, health services, affordable housing, and special education depend on an accurate census count. The same is true for programs older adults rely on like Medicaid and Meals on Wheels.  For more information, go to or call Justice in Aging at 1-202-289-6976.

March 2020

Florence AARP chapter


he Florence Chapter of AARP meets monthly at Mountview Presbyterian Church, 5308 Hartman Ave. The meetings begin with a noon meal followed by a program. For reservations, please call Gerry Goldsborough at 402-571-0971. Transportation can be arranged by calling Ruth Kruse at 402-453-4825. Here’s the schedule for the next two months: March 16 Marjorie & Scott Shreve A Guatemala Innovation April 20 A’jamal Rashad Byndon Current Black/White Issues

Return homestead exemption applications by June 30


pplicants whose names are on file in the assessor’s office in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties should have a homestead exemption form mailed to them by early March. New applicants must contact their county assessor’s office to receive the application. The 2020 forms and a household income statement must be completed and returned to the county assessor’s office by June 30, 2020. A homestead exemption provides property tax relief by exempting all or part of the homestead’s valuation from taxation. The state of Nebraska reimburses the counties and other government subdivisions for the lost tax revenue. To qualify for a homestead exemption, a Nebraska homeowner must be age 65 by Jan. 1, 2020, the home’s owner/occupant through Aug. 15, 2020, and fall within the income guidelines shown below. Certain homeowners who have a disability, are developmentally disabled, are totally disabled war veterans, or the widow(er) of a totally disabled war veteran – including those who have remarried after age 57 – may also be eligible for this

annual tax break. When determining household income, applicants must include Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits plus any income for which they receive a Form 1099. The homestead exemption amount is based on the homeowner’s marital status and income level (see below). Maximum exemptions are based on the average assessed value for residential property in each Nebraska county.


he Douglas County Assessor/Register of Deeds’ office (1819 Farnam St.) is sending volunteers into the community to help older adults complete the application form. The volunteers will be located at sites throughout the county. A list of these locations will be included with your application. Assistance is also available by calling Volunteers Assisting Seniors (see page 4) at 402-444-6617. Here are the numbers for the local assessor’s offices: Douglas: 402-444-7060, option #2; Sarpy: 402-593-2122; Dodge: 402-727-3911; Cass: 402-296-9310; and Washington: 402-426-6800.

Household income table Over age 65 married income

Over age 65 single income

Exemption %

0 - $34,500.99 $34,501 - $36,400.99 $36,401 - $38,300.99 $38,301 - $40,100.99 $40,101 - $42,000.99 $42,001 - $43,900.99 $43,901 - $45,700.99 $45,701 - $47,600.99 $47,601 - $49,400.99 $49,401 - $51,300.99 $51,301 and over

0 to $29,400.99 $29,401 - $30,900.99 $30,901 - $32,500.99 $32,501 - $34,000.99 $34,001 - $35,500.99 $35,501 - $37,100.99 $37,101 - $38,600.99 $38,601 - $40,100.99 $40,101 - $41,700.99 $41,701 - $43,200.99 $43,201 and over

100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0

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: 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 ENOA Board of Governors: Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County, chairperson; Janet McCartney, Cass County, vice-chairperson; Lisa Kramer, Washington County, secretary; David Saalfeld, Dodge County, & Angi Burmeister, 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.

March 2020

New Horizons

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VAS can help you file your Homestead Exemption form


he 2020 Nebraska Homestead Exemption program can provide relief from property taxes for persons who qualify by exempting all or part of their home’s valuation from taxation. See page 3 for more information. Volunteers Assisting Seniors is available to help older Nebraskans file their 2020 homestead exemption applications. Tuesday, March 3 Douglas County Extension Office 8015 W. Center Rd. Tuesday, March 10 DAV Hall 4515 F St. Thursday, March 12 Salem Baptist Church 3131 Lake St. Thursday, March 19 IBEW Hall 13306 Stevens St. #200 Tuesday, March 24 Northwest Hills Church 9334 Fort St. Thursday, March 26 Iron Workers Union Hall 14515 Industrial Rd.

See below for a list of the sites and dates the VAS representatives are available. All appointments will be scheduled to be held between 10 a.m. and noon except those appointments scheduled at Notre Dame Housing, 3439 State St. These appointments will be scheduled to be held between 9 and 11 a.m. Please call 402-444-6617 to schedule your appointment.

Thursday, April 2 Notre Dame Housing 3439 State St. (9-11 a.m.) Tuesday, April 7 Adams Park Center 3230 J.C. Creighton Blvd. Thursday, April 9 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Tuesday, April 14 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Thursday, April 16 Florence Comm. Center 2920 Bondesson St. Tuesday, April 21 Goodwill Industries 4805 N. 72nd St. Thursday, April 23 Mockingbird Community Center 10242 Mockingbird Dr.

Tuesday, April 28 Elkhorn Fraternal Eagles 20276 Wirt St

Thursday, May 28 Salem Baptist Church 3131 Lake St.

Thursday, April 30 Ralston Senior Center 7301 Q St #100

Tuesday, June 2 Douglas County Extension Office 8015 W. Center Rd.

Tuesday, May 5 DAV 4515 F St. Thursday, May 7 Faith Westwood Church 4814 Oaks Ln Thursday, May 14 St. Andrews Church 15050 W. Maple Rd. Tuesday, May 19 Goodwill Industries 4805 N. 72nd St. Thursday, May 21 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312

Thursday, June 11 Northwest Hills Church 9334 Fort St. Saturday, June 13 Sheet Metal Workers Hall 3333 S. 24th St. Thursday, June 18 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Call 402-444-6617 to make an appointment.

Near tub, shower, and toilet

Installing grab bars can promote safety in your home’s bathrooms By David Kohll, Pharm D.


s we age, the bathroom can become an increasingly unsafe place. The inability to maneuver as well as we once could, mixed with wet, slippery surfaces can create a dangerous combination. Falls can cause everything from bruises to broken bones and serious head injuries. Fortunately, grab bars in the bathroom installed around your bathtub, shower, and toilet can make it safer and help you maintain your independence longer. The fear of falling and getting hurt can keep you from doing a lot of things. You may become reluctant to bathe or shower as often as you should because you don’t want to risk getting hurt. Poor hygiene can create infections and skin problems. It’s important for overall good health to take a bath or shower at least twice a week. Installing grab bars in and around your shower can give you the confidence and stability needed to bathe safely. The shower or bathtub isn’t the only place where falls can occur in the bathroom. Getting on and off the toilet can cause you to take a tumble, as well. Sometimes, it’s because your balance isn’t as stable as before.


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New Horizons

March 2020

eing able to live in your home and maintaining your independence as long as possible is important. It may be difficult to ask family and friends for help with bathing and toileting. Small changes like adding grab bars to your bathroom, however, can prolong your independence, quality of life, and freedom. Grab bars are a relatively inexpensive way to make bathing and toileting easier and safer allowing you to take care of yourself without asking for help. Grab bars have a simple design and are a versatile and effective way to enhance bathroom safety. There are many different types of grab bars including vertical, horizontal, diagonal, straight, wave, fixture (built into toilet paper holder, soap dish, or towel rack), slide with a hand-held showerhead, grab bar clamps, flip up and flip down, floor to ceiling poles, angled, corner for two walls, and suction cup (not recommended). Most of these grab bars are made of stainless steel (white or silver) so they won’t corrode from the water that gets on them. Grab bars come in a variety of sizes ranging from nine to 36 inches in length. The most common sizes are 18 and 24 inches long and an inch and a half in diameter, so they easily fit into your hand. Prices range from $18 to more than $200 depending on the brand and type. There are a few companies that sell and install grab bars and mounting systems. An experienced grab bar installer can recommend the best places for installation. Grab bars can be installed in any type of surface including ceramic tile. It’s not necessary to hit the studs, especially if the studs aren’t in the optimum place for the grab bars. It’s important, however, to make sure the grab bars are in the most effective place in your bathroom. Determine that by climbing in and out of your tub or shower without the water being present. Mount the grab bars where you place your hands for support. The bars should not just go in the tub. Put one on the wall as close to the tub as possible to help you get in and out safely. Being proactive by installing grab bars in your bathroom will help give you the peace of mind needed to use your bathtub, shower, and toilet without being afraid of falling. (Kohll is with Kohll’s Rx in Omaha.)

UNMC creates allergy, immunology division To reflect the growing demand for patient services in allergy and immunology, the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Department of Internal Medicine has created a Division of Allergy and Immunology, which will include four physicians/faculty members. Deb Romberger, M.D. – the Henry J. Lehnhoff Professor and chair of UNMC’s Department of Internal Medicine – appointed Jill Poole, M.D., as the new division’s first chief, effective Jan. 1, 2020. “I am very excited to see our allergy faculty start their journey as a division, and there is no better person in the country to lead them than Dr. Poole,” Dr. Rom-

berger said. “She has grown the allergy group to provide clinical services on Nebraska Medicine’s main campus, at Village Pointe, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, and the Omaha VA Medical Center. “The group provides much education at the medical student and resident physician levels and is working to establish an allergy and immunology fellowship in 2021.”  A Grand Island, Neb. native, Dr. Poole received her medical degree in 1999 at UNMC and completed her internal medicine residency in 2002 at Washington University’s Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.  “I have always had passion for UNMC since I was medical student here in the 1990s,” said Dr. Poole, who also is a UNMC professor and medical director of Allergy and Immunology for Nebraska Medicine. “I am excited about all the growth areas we have targeted for the division, including expansion of clinical research, community outreach, and continual commitment to patients in our region to provide cutting-edge, quality allergy and immunology care.” She said the creation of a separate division is the realization of a dream for her. Several of the new faculty members in the division were UNMC students or residents, and some worked with Dr. Poole in her research lab or clinic.

AARP’s Tax-Aide program available at 11 Omaha-area sites through mid-April


he AARP Tax-Aide program provides free income tax preparation service at 11 Omaha-area locations. The program is designed to assist low and moderate-income older adults, but services are provided to a large variety of clients, including students. With a few exceptions each site will be open through

mid-April. The sites’ names, locations, and open days and hours are listed below. No appointments are needed to receive assistance at the walk-in sites listed below. Please arrive early to sign in. Clients must bring their photo identification, all documents related to their income, Social Security cards for all persons named on the tax return, and last year’s tax return. For more information, call 402-398-9582 or go to

Abrahams Library 5111 N. 90th St. Fridays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

La Vista Community Center 8116 Park View Blvd. Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday 3 to 7 p.m.

AgeWell by Immanuel 6801 N. 67th Plz. Suite 100 Fridays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bellevue Volunteer Firefighters’ Hall 2108 Franklin St. Monday and Wednesday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bellevue University Library 1000 Galvin Rd. South Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Crossroads Mall 7400 Dodge St. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday 1 to 5 p.m. Kids Can Community Center 4860 Q St. Tuesday & Thursday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Montclair Community Center 2304 S. 135th Ave. Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. St. Martin de Porres Center 2111 Emmet St. Monday & Tuesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday 4 to 7:30 p.m. Sons of Italy 1258 S. 10th St. Sunday Noon to 4 p.m. Appointment Only Sites: AARP Information Center 1941 S. 42nd St., Ste. 220 Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 402-398-9582 Kids Can Community Center 4860 Q St. Thursdays • 5 to 7 p.m. Call 402-731-6988

March 2020

Corrigan Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Corrigan Senior Center, 3819 X St., this month for: • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day party @ 10:30 a.m. Lunch @ noon. • March 19: The Merrymakers present music by Joyce Torchia @ 11 a.m. • March 23: The Merrymakers present music by Johnny Ray Gomez @ 11 a.m. • Mondays & Fridays: Tai Chi @ 10 a.m. Other activities include craft and social hour Wednesday @ 10:30 a.m., bingo Monday and Thursday @ 1 p.m., ceramics class Wednesday @ 1 p.m., Happy Hands crochet group Tuesday @ 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 normally due by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations or more information, please call 402-731-7210.

Camelot Friendship Center You’re invited to visit the Camelot Friendship Center inside the Camelot Community Center, 9270 Cady Ave., this month for the following: • March 2: Be Fit Bingo begins today and runs throughout March. See Barb to pick up your bingo card. • March 10: Make a sock bunny gnome. Pick up supplies from Barb. • March 12: Book club @ 10:15 a.m. • March 13: Council meeting. • March 16: Music by The Three Irishmen @ 11:45 a.m. • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day trivia. • March 18: Meet “Teddy Roosevelt” @ 11:45 a.m. • March 19: VNA presentation on Tips for Keeping Your Mind Sharp @ 11:45 a.m. • March 25: Presentation on herbs & spices @ 11:45 a.m. • March 27: Trivia challenge. The facility will be closed on Friday, March 20. 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 yoga Monday & Friday @ 10:30 a.m., Tai Chi Tuesday & Thursday @ 10:30 a.m., chair volleyball Wednesday @ 10:15 a.m. For meals reservations or more information, please call 402-444-3091.

Fontenelle Tours

Omaha/Council Bluffs


We have decided that it’s the right time to discontinue planning and operating tours. We have enjoyed the wonderful opportunity to meet so many new traveling friends as we toured this great country of ours. We will continue to assist in developing plans and hosting trips for organizations on a “Not for Profit” basis when invited to do so. Thus we will be going to Deadwood, South Dakota for the annual “Black Hills Ski for Light” each year and provide travel assistance to the bi-annual “Christ Our Life” conference in Des Moines. Please feel free to contact us if you feel we can be of assistance with your school, church, or family travel plans. It has been an honor and a privilege to have experienced the many fun-filled days on the road with so many great people. Thank you for your patronage!

Ward and Kathy Kinney Fontenelle Tours

New Horizons

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Taking advantage of senior discounts

Fremont Friendship Center You’re invited to visit the Fremont Friendship Center, 1730 W. 16th St. (Christensen Field) for the following: • March 4: Pointers with Pro-Med @ 10 a.m. • March 5: Program on the differences between independent and assisted living @ 10 a.m. • March 11: Music by John Worsham @ 10:30 a.m. followed by our monthly birthday party. • March 12: Lt. Ed Watts will discuss community safety @ 10 a.m. • March 12: Trip to the high school to see Mary Poppins. • March 17: Wear green for St. Patrick’s Day. • March 18: Music by Billy Troy @ 10:30 a.m. • March 20: Play your choice of games. • March 20: Law clinic (reservations are needed to consult with a law student). • March 25: Music by Kim Eames @ 10:30 a.m. • March 26: Protecting the Good Life by Ryan Sothan from the Nebraska Attorney General’s office @ 10 a.m. The Fremont Friendship Center is open Monday through 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 lunch. Reservations must be made by noon the business day prior to the meal you wish to enjoy. For meal reservations and more information, please call Laurie at 402-727-2815.

Volunteers needed The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging is looking for volunteer drivers for its Meals on Wheels Program. Flexible weekday schedule delivering midday meals to homebound older adults in the greater Omaha area.


s people reach or near their retirement years, getting the most out of every dollar becomes more critical than ever. If they aren’t careful, the savings that took decades to accumulate can quickly evaporate. Fortunately, aging comes with at least one financial advantage – senior discounts that give older Americans a break on prices for everything from a haircut to a fast-food meal to a seat on an airplane. “Taking advantage of these opportunities is a smart move for seniors and their families looking to stretch their dollars,” says Chris Orestis, who is known as the “Retirement Genius” and is president of LifeCare Xchange. Each year, Orestis publishes a list of discounts that restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, and other businesses offer to their older clientele.  “Plenty of opportunities exist out there to shave a little or a lot off what you pay,” Orestis says. “Unfortunately, many people don’t take advantage of these discounts as often as they should. In many cases that could be because it doesn’t occur to them to bring it

Call Arlis at 402-444-6766 for more information.

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE Wills • Trusts • Probate

Ask A Lawyer: Q — What considerations are involved in estate planning for a nontraditional family? A — The laws for distribution of property and rights upon death are based on the traditional nuclear family, consisting of a husband and a wife and the children conceived by them. The law establishes a default Will that is designed for the nuclear family. In the case of blended families (two sets of children), unmarried partners, and same sex couples, the default pattern does not work. For those who don’t fit the nuclear family mold, expert planning is very much more important, because the standard “one size fits all” provisions will not meet your needs. Come see us!

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

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New Horizons

March 2020

up. In some cases, it may be because they have a hard time thinking of themselves as seniors.” In scouring for discounts, he says, a few things to keep in mind include: • Don’t assume you’re too young for a senior discount. At what age do these discounts kick in? “Every place is different, and in some cases, you may already be eligible for a discount at a business you frequent and don’t realize it,” Orestis says. AARP membership starts at 50 and comes with numerous discounts built into the membership. So, if you’re 49 those particular senior discounts are one year away. For others, you may have to wait. For example, Chili’s restaurants offer a 10 percent senior discount to those 55 and older. At the other end of the scale, Taco Bell will give you a free beverage, but not until you’re at least age 65. • When you go can make a difference. Sometimes discounts happen on a particular day of the week. “You might not want to schedule your entire life around discounts, but for some individual things – such as a night at the movies, dinner out, or a shopping trip to a retail store – it’s worth knowing that going a day earlier or later can make a difference,” Orestis says.  • Sometimes you don’t even have to be a senior. Plenty of opportunities exist to save money whether you’re advancing in years or not, Orestis says. Many stores offer store “memberships” that come with a discount for each purchase. Also, the American Automobile Association is another organization whose members enjoy a number of discounts the same way as AARP members. “Individually, some discounts might amount to just a dollar or two,” Orestis says. “But as you take advantage of more of them, those savings can grow. When you’re on a fixed income – or just want to get the most out of every dollar you have – the difference can be significant.”

AARP Nebraska

Ombudsman Advocates

On Thursday, March 12 – Dr. Dan Holtz, a retired professor from Peru State College – will provide a free All Nebraska presentation at the AARP Nebraska Information Center, 1941 S. 42nd St. (Center Mall), Suite 220. The 1:30 p.m. program – which is open to AARP members and non-members – will feature Dr. Holtz sharing Nebraska stories, songs, and history. Coffee, treats, and conversation will follow the presentation. If you plan to attend, please call 402398-9568. Volunteers are needed to help out in three-hour shifts at the AARP Nebraska Information Center’s front desk. Responsibilities include answering the telephone and providing information to callers and visitors. Training and orientation will be provided. Please call 402-398-9568 or Betty at 402-393-2066 to learn more about these volunteer opportunities. AARP’s Tax Aide program, provided by the AARP Foundation, is in full swing at 11 locations in the Omaha area. There are no more appointments available, however, at the AARP Nebraska Information Center unless there’s a cancellation. See page 5 for more information.

The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging is looking for men and women age 21 and older to join its Long-term Care Ombudsman Program which is co-sponsored by the Nebraska State Ombudsman Program. Long-term Care Ombudsmen volunteer in 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. The next training is set for Tuesday, March 3 and Thursday, March 5. Volunteers will 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. New volunteers will make four visits to a site with an experienced Ombudsman Advocate to learn more about the program. After a three-month 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. For more information, please call Beth Nodes at 402-444-6536.

Amazon rain forest plants are being used to treat brain plaques, tangles Head injuries can spark memory loss and other problems in later life and should not be taken lightly. Dr. Alan Snow, who has been researching Alzheimer’s disease and brain aging for more than three decades, said even minor head concussions can contribute to loss of cognitive ability in later life. He has been studying Cat’s Claw, a 2,000-year old plant used by the Peruvian tribes as a new and potent inhibitor and reducer of what scientists call brain plaques and tangles that develop in the aging brain as hallmarks of memory loss. The extract from cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa), found in the Peruvian Amazon rain forest is known as PTI-00703 Cat’s Claw and has been studied for more than 10 years by Dr. Snow’s research teams. Dr. Snow is a former research associate professor of pathology at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was also an Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center project team leader for more than 10 years. Dr. Snow was the lead investigator in a 108-page study published recently by Scientific Reports: A Nature Journal in which an extract from Cat’s Claw was administered to genetically engineered mice to develop brain plaques and short-term memory loss. When the extract was administered, the researchers saw a marked decrease of brain plaques along with improved memory which almost returned to normal after three months of treatment. Studies showed the cat’s claw extract inhibited and reduced brain tangles as well. “After working in drug development for brain aging for over three decades, I’ve never seen a more potent inhibitor of both plaques and tangles than the natural, plant-based Cat’s Claw extract that we have discovered,” Dr. Snow said. “In our study PTI-00703 extracted from a specific species of Cat’s Claw was identified as a potent inhibitor and reducer of both beta-amyloid fibrils—the main component of plaques—and tau protein paired helical filaments and fibrils—the main component of tangles.”

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. • Third Wednesday: Community food pantry from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. • First Wednesday: Senior Advisory Forum @ 3 p.m. • March 16: Snack attack program by Michaela Howard from ENOA. • March 30: Music by Joe Taylor sponsored by The Merrymakers @ 1:30 p.m. The following programs will available at Notre Dame/ Seven Oaks this month: • March 4: Avoiding Elder Fraud and Scams @ 1:30 p.m. • March 5 & 12: National Diabetes Prevention @ 11:30 a.m. • March 5: Chronic Conditions @ 1 p.m. • March 10: Dental Anxiety @ 1:30 p.m. • March 18: Fair Housing Counseling @ 10 a.m. • March 18: Medicare/Medicaid @ 10 a.m. • March 18: Health clinic @ 10 a.m. • March 25: City of Omaha Human Relations @ 1:30 p.m. 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 Brenda at 402-451-4477, ext. 126.

New technology requires increased security


echnology is constantly changing, and with each new platform or device comes a new worry about security. Tech support scammers aim to exploit this fear, claiming your computer or mobile device is dangerously ill and needs an immediate and costly cure. These fake technicians are out to steal your money or identity, not save your machine Microsoft has estimated tech support scams victimize 3.3 million people a year at an annual cost of $1.5 billion with an average loss of more than $450 per victim. These numbers are probably on the low side, since many victims never realize their “repair” was unnecessary. For example, you get an unsolicited phone call or email from a big tech company like Microsoft or Apple or you see a pop-up message on your screen warning a virus or other malicious program has infected your device and you need to call the number on your screen. A technician asks for remote access to your device. Once in, he shows you files to “prove” you have a major problem. You should know these big tech companies say they don’t call customers out of the blue to warm them of problems on their devices. The files the technician

March 2020

may show you on your devices are benign. The scammer may ask you to pay for his services by purchasing a gift card and providing the account number and PIN or requesting payment by wire transfer. These are sure signs the transaction is a scam. The scammer may call you back months later and offer you a refund for some phony reason, asking for your bank account information to deposit the money. This is a ruse. Here are a few tips to help you avoid these types of scams: • Screen incoming calls with an answering machine or voice mail. Once you listen to the message, decide if it warrants a call back. • If the caller claims you have a problem with your computer or its software, it’s likely a scam. Don’t return the call. • If you get a pop-up message that freezes your computer screen, shut down, and then restart the computer. • Keep your security software, browser, and operating system up to date. • If you think your device is infected, get it checked out by a reputable source. Most big box electronics stores offer tech support. • If you’ve fallen victim to this type of scam and you’ve paid for this “technical support” by credit card, contact your financial institution to dispute the charge and to cancel any monthly fees. • Report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission at

New Horizons

Page 7

Career has taken Ward from reporting on to promoting Omaha By Nick Schinker Contributing Writer


eborah Ward’s professional career might have been pulled from the Dickens’ classic, A Tale of Two Cities. In her 26 years as a journalist at KMTV in Omaha, she served as an assignment editor, reporter, and news anchor, often covering some of the worst of times in Omaha’s recent history. Now, as vice president of marketing and communications for Visit Omaha, the city’s official destination marketing organization, she has spent the past 13 years tapping her local experience and her creative talents to let the world know the best of times can be had right here in Omaha. Ward has storytelling in her blood. “I love to create,” she says. “Stories and videos, marketing strategies, and advertising campaigns, the tools we use to draw people here, like the Omaha Visitors Guide. I like it because in the end, you can see your work.” orn in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Ward moved to Omaha in third grade after her parents divorced. Her mother, Beverly, remarried a man named John Ward, who had 11 children from a previous marriage. Deborah and her sister, Karen, made it a lucky 13 children under one roof. “It was constant chaos, but in a fun way,” she recalls. “We had a huge food pantry, and a milk machine in the kitchen, just like at school. We had a great big dinner table where we all ate at one time.” That family kept growing through the years. Today, her siblings range in age from 55 to 70. “Almost everybody had at least four or five kids,” Ward says. “When mom died five years ago, she had more than 50 grandkids. I don’t remember all the names.” Ward attended Ralston High School. “The big thing for me was the journalism class. It was my very favorite. I worked on the yearbook.” Those experiences sparked an interest in journalism that carried over to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where in 1981, she earned a bachelor’s degree in the subject. “I liked writing and telling stories,” she says. “But I also liked the idea of holding people accountable. I am a very visual person, and I starting gravitating toward broadcasting. One of my teachers felt I had something special, and that gave me confidence.” Her junior year in college, Ward earned an internship at KMTV Channel 3 in Omaha. “I worked nights and weekends, really working my tail off doing a little bit of everything,” she says. Deborah’s hopes for a career were almost dashed when a news director made an insulting comment, one that today would likely result in a lawsuit and coverage on CNN. But a subsequent news director came to her with word of a fulltime job opening and urged Ward to apply. Deborah got the job – and stayed at KMTV from 1981 until 2006.



t KMTV Channel 3, Ward worked as interim assignment editor for a 40-person newsroom, morning news anchor, general assignment reporter, courthouse reporter, consumer reporter, weekend news anchor, and primary news anchor, where she wrote, produced, and edited news copy and video, then presented it live on the 5, 6, and 10 p.m. newscasts. “I loved covering the courthouse,” she recalls. “I was mesmerized by the legal process, how the prosecution and the defense teams worked to get their sides before the judge or jury.”

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New Horizons

During Deborah’s 13-year tenure with the organization, the annual marketing budget for Visit Omaha has grown from $700,000 to $1.8 million. Her time as a consumer reporter underscored the concept of holding people accountable. Ward earned recognition from Common Cause of Nebraska for an investigative news story that led to the federal Food and Drug Administration’s ban of the herbal supplement ephedra, the first time the FDA banned an herbal supplement. The decision was based on research involving more than 16,000 reports of adverse health effects, including more than 150 deaths from products containing ephedra. Ward also earned recognition from the Associated Press for an in-depth news investigation into unsafe carnival rides in Nebraska. “At the time, there were no state inspections of these rides,” she says. “Any traveling carnival could come in, set up, and start putting kids on board without any oversight. I included a state senator in my interviews, and it prompted the legislature to pass a law requiring inspections and insurance.” She enjoyed anchoring the news desk during live events, such as storms and elections. “The unscripted parts of the job were the most challenging, and they were the most gratifying.” Ward is proud of her work at KMTV -- except, maybe her stint reporting the weather. “I minored is sociology and climatology in college,” she says. “They needed an interim weather person for six months. So, I worked seven days a week as a weather person and as a reporter on the weekends.” Her weather gig won no awards. “I was horrible,” she says, laughing. “We had no fancy

March 2020

gadgets back then, just radar and maps from the weather service. I was live one time when I said it would start raining at 1 o’clock that afternoon. I immediately asked myself, ‘Why did you do that?’ I got off work at 12:30 and drove out to the Westroads. As I got out of the car, it started to rain. I quickly looked down at my watch. Bingo. I told myself, ‘OK, that will never happen again.’ “Oh,” she says, still chuckling, “and there was that time I tripped live on-air walking over to the radar screen…” ournalism isn’t limited to Ward’s professional life. She is married to Joe Jordan, who served as state bureau chief, executive producer, and award-winning investigative reporter at KMTV from 1980 until 2009. Currently, Jordan is the news manager and investigative and political reporter at News Channel Nebraska and Telemundo Nebraska. He and Ward have two daughters, Samantha, 30, and Addie, 25. Ward left Channel 3 when her contract expired to take the job with Visit Omaha, officially the Omaha Convention and Visitors Bureau. Her duties include management of the Visit Omaha marketing team, development of marketing and advertising strategies, management of advertising, social media platforms, and the Visit Omaha website, press relations, publication of the official Omaha Visitors Guide, and writing and editing press releases, CEO, and sales presentations. --Please turn to page 9.


Deborah able to merge hard work with creativity, curiosity --Continued from page 8. It’s a job that takes the city forward, and sometimes takes her back to her days at KMTV. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge between Omaha and Council Bluffs is an icon for Omaha and a visual tool that Ward has incorporated into many aspects of selling the city to potential tourists and conventions. “We created a T-Shirt that read, ‘I Walked on Bob,’ and I called to run it past Bob Kerrey and to get his permission,” Ward says. “He loved it. He ordered 30 or 40 (shirts). I thought about how I covered his run for governor as a very young reporter, and here I am a very old lady calling him to promote Omaha. It had come full circle.” “Bob the Bridge” figures prominently in Visit Omaha materials, such as the “Bobbing” campaign, named for being able to stand in two states at one time atop the bridge walkway. Most recently, Ward and her team have concocted Omar the Troll, a bright blue underthe-bridge dweller who is featured in his own book designed to entertain kids while showcasing Omaha attractions. It’s all part of a marketing campaign whose budget has grown from $700,000 in Ward’s first year at Visit Omaha to $1.8 million today. The money comes from 2 percent of the 5 percent lodging tax. It benefits all Omahans and the surrounding communities, Ward says. “It’s never enough to get our message out to as many markets as we’d like, so we have incorporated techniques to reach specific populations in those markets, using big data to target smaller audiences.” Ward enjoys traveling but doesn’t get the chance too often. “I love Chicago. It’s where Joe is from and where one of our daughters went to school. It’s like a second home. And I also like to go back to Idaho.” She has written a new name atop the list of where

While at KMTV, Ward was honored by Common Cause of Nebraska and the Associated Press. she would like to take her family: Charleston, S.C. “I went for a conference, came home, and said, “We have to go there.’ The cobblestone streets; the colonial buildings. To be able to sit in a church where George Washington sat. Wow.” When Ward travels, one of the first things she looks at in her hotel room is the local visitors guide, gleaning it for ideas she can bring home to Omaha. “It’s always on, no matter where I go, I am thinking, creating,” she says. “It was the same with journalism. It’s a constant curiosity. That’s probably why I’ve enjoyed both jobs.” It’s a tale of two careers, and she is in no hurry to get to the last page.

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Omar the Troll lives under a bridge where he showcases Omaha and entertains kids.

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New Horizons

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More than 20 volunteers helping out

RSVP is involved with recycling program in Washington County


onnie Buller, a volunteer with the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging’s RSVP program for more than 10 years, is one of more than 20 volunteers who help out at the Washington County Recycling Association (WCRA), 440 S. 3rd Ave. in Blair. Buller – who is also on the WCRA’s board – and the other volunteers recycle tons of material that

would otherwise end up in landfills. Among the items

Connie Buller

recycled are cardboard, pop cans, milk jugs, magazines, newspapers, and laundry detergent containers. The WCRA is one of the many RSVP volunteer opportunities available in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties. To learn more, please contact Sandy Blackman, who coordinates RSVP for ENOA, at 402-444-6536, ext. 1024.

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 about their computers regardless of skill level. OCUG meets the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Swanson Branch Library, 9101 W. Dodge Rd. Participants will have access to a projector connected to a computer with Microsoft Windows 10. For more information, call Phill at 402-333-6529.




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Free balance classes offered on Wednesday The Visiting Nurse Association’s Healing Motion Physical Therapy clinic is offering free Tai Chi for Balance classes. Tai Chi is a great way for older adults to improve their balance and strength, while decreasing their chance of falling. Physical therapist Kris Lausterer –a certified Tai Chi for Balance instructor for two years – will teach the ongoing classes which are open to everyone regardless of their experience with Tai Chi. The classes are held on Wednesdays at 5:15 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association building, 12565 W. Center Rd. Registration will occur before the class. For more information, please contact Lausterer at 402-346-7772 or

Elder Access Line


egal 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. Its hours of operation are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 1 to 3 p.m. Friday. For more information, log on the Internet to

Respite Across the Lifespan


Page 10

New Horizons

March 2020

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 or 402-559-5732 to find out more about respite services and to locate resources in your area.

Following simple steps can reduce risk

Protecting yourself, your home against fire By Ginny Czechut, MSPR


s we get older, the risk for death associated with fire increases significantly. Adults over age 65 are twice as likely to die in a house fire as their younger counterparts. Adults over age 85 are four times as likely. As an older adult or the caretaker of an older adult, are you doing everything you can to prevent fires in your home? Follow these simple steps to reduce the risk of fires. • Install & maintain smoke alarms: Nearly 3,000 people die every year in home fires, and many of them don’t have working smoke alarms. It’s a good idea to install smoke alarms on each level of your home and in the areas where you sleep. Test them monthly and clean or dust them at least once a year. If you can’t hear well, there are special smoke alarms available that can flash bright lights or shake the bed to alert you of a fire. • Smoke safely: Smoking is the leading cause of death by fire for adults age 65 and older. It’s also the third largest cause of injury for older adults. Whenever possible, smoke outside and make sure you never smoke in bed, while drowsy, or under the influence of a medication or alcohol. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays, and make sure cigarette butts and ashes are completely cool before throwing them away. • Cook safely: Prevent burns and fires by being

watchful and alert while cooking. Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling, and broiling food. Turn off the burners if you need to leave the room for a short period of time. Turn pot handles away from the stove’s edge and keep cooking surfaces clean and free from anything that could catch fire. • Heat your home safely: In cold weather, you may be using several methods to heat your home. Keep people, pets, and things that can burn at least three feet away from radiators, space heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces. Turn off space heaters if you leave the room or go to sleep. Ask a professional to install heating equipment and inspect it every year. It’s also important to plan an escape route in case of fire. Know at least two ways to get out of every room in your house, keep important items close to your bed at night, and clear all clutter that might get in your way if you need to escape quickly. If a fire should happen, stay calm. Get out of your home quickly and stay out. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things. Feel the door or cracks around a door before opening it. If you feel any heat, leave the door closed and use another exit. If you have to go through smoke to escape, get low to the floor and move quickly through the smoke on your way out. By making yourself or your loved ones aware of the risks for fire in the home, you take positive steps to preventing fires which can cause injury or death. For more information, contact your local fire department via their non-emergency phone number. They will be able to answer your questions and may be able to visit your home to install smoke alarms. (Czechut is the director of marketing and development for the Florence Home Healthcare Center in Omaha.)


A warning from the SSA

he Social Security Administration is alarmed by the volume and success of Social Security telephone scams and is working to educate and protect the public. Scammers play on emotions – generally fear – to get people to act without thinking. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming there’s a problem with your Social Security number or account hang up without providing the caller with money, gift cards, wire transfers, or pre-paid debit cards; and report the call to The SSA has collaborated with major phone carriers to block these types of calls, created a system of reporting these calls, and distributed information warning the public about scammers.



f there is a problem with your Social Security number or account, the SSA will mail you a letter. Generally, the SSA will only contact you by phone if you’ve requested a call or have ongoing business with them. SSA employees will not say your Social Security number has been suspended, promise a Social Security benefit approval or increase in exchange for information, ask for immediate payment, request credit or debit card numbers, require a specific means of debit repayment, or demand payment for a Social Security debt without giving you the ability to appeal the amount owed. If you receive a suspicious call or are unsure of the caller’s identity, contact the Office of the Inspector General at

Workshops for caregivers

egistration is underway for two free educational workshops that will help family caregivers understand how to provide the best possible care for their loved ones with dementia. The workshops are presented by Nancy Flaherty, a certified dementia practitioner and president of Flaherty Senior Consulting. The schedule includes: • April 4: Creating a Plan for Peace of Mind: Short Term and Long Term. Presented by Nolan Clare. • May 2: Are There Different Types of Dementia? Presented by Gayleen Bradley. The workshops take place from 9:30 to 11 a.m. at the Servite Center of Compassion, 7400 Military Ave. (enter via 72nd and Ames). While there is no charge to attend, registration is required for each workshop. To register, contact Sister Margaret Stratman at 402-951-3026 or email Each month, Flaherty Senior Consulting also offers four caregiver solutions groups for persons caring for a loved one with dementia. For more information, contact Flaherty at 402-312-9324 or

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March 2020

New Horizons

Page 11

Caregivers share stories with OT students

Ralston Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Ralston Senior Center, 7301 Q St., this month for the following: • March 10: Bus trip to WinnaVegas Casino in Sloan, Iowa. The bus leaves @ 7:30 a.m. and returns around 4 p.m. The cost is $5. Call Dorothy @ 402-553-4874 for reservations. • March 11: Board meeting @ 10 a.m. • March 12 & 26: Line dancing @ 10 a.m. • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. • March 25: The Merrymakers present music by Paul Siebert @ noon. Other activities include exercise on Tuesday and Friday @ 10 a.m. Lunch is catered in on Wednesdays. A $4.50 contribution is requested. Reservations are due by noon the Tuesday before the meal you wish to enjoy. Call Diane @ 402-8858895 for reservations. Remember to renew or obtain an annual Ralston Senior Center membership for $10. The handicapped-accessible facility can be used for weddings, memorial services, reunions, etc. on weekends. The center will be closed on any day the Ralston Public Schools are closed due to the weather. For more information, please call Diane West @ 402339-4926.

Millard Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Millard Senior Center at Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave., this month for the following: • March 2: Wear blue for Colon Cancer Awareness Day. • March 4: African dress making @ 9 a.m. • March 5: Presentation by Methodist College nursing students @ 9:30 followed by volleyball. • March 11: Board meeting @ 9:45 a.m. • March 13: Music by Paul Siebert @ 10 a.m. • March 17: St. Patrick’s Day fun. • March 18: Let’s go to the movies. Movie & time to be announced. • March 25: P.A.W.S. Don’t forget to sign up for lunch. 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, dominoes, quilting, needlework, chair volleyball, and bingo. For reservations or more information, please call 402546-1270.

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New Horizons

The Caregiver Support Program offers specialized care management services that assist caregivers age 18 and older caring for a frail loved one age 60 and older or a person of any age who has dementia. “Our program’s main emphasis is to provide respite services for the caregiver,” Osberg said. These respite services are designed to reduce a caregiver’s stress while allowing them to keep their loved one living at home. The assistance may include up to six hours a week of respite care at home or days at an adult day services facility.

the loss of my spouse, my life partner, my sounding board,” Schafer said. “While the isolation is difficult, I took him for better or worse,” Bodnar added. While challenging, being a caregiver can also be rewarding. “It gave me a chance to give back to her,” Turbes said. “I know we kept my mom living in the best situation possible.” “My faith has deepened, and my personal growth can’t be measured,” Schafer said. Bodnar said caring for her husband has brought her family closer together.

here are many challenges to caring for a loved one with dementia, according to the panelists. “The hardest part was

he panelists are thankful for the community resources and professionals available to them. “I highly recommend ENOA and have referred friends to it whole heartedly,” Turbes said. “The pain is eased the more you know (about dementia),” Schafer said. Bodnar praised the occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists who have worked with her husband. “If it wasn’t for them, he’d be in a wheelchair,” she told the students. “Your role is just huge.” At the end of the first panel discussion, Osberg stood up from his chair, faced the caregivers, and ended the session with a simple statement to the students. “These are the (caregiving) experts. They’re living it.” For more information about ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program, please call 402-444-6536.


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fter listening to two recent panel discussions, occupational therapy (OT) students at the College of St. Mary now have a better insight into what it’s like to care for a loved one who has dementia. The panel that visited two of Ellie Cusic’s classes at CSM featured Sheila Turbes, Jo Schafer, Diana Bodnar, and Mike Osberg. Sheila’s mother – who had Alzheimer’s disease – died in 2019 after living with the Turbes family for four years. Jo’s husband, age 75, has battled a cognitive impairment for seven years, while Diana’s 82-year-old husband was diagnosed with vascular dementia two years ago. Osberg is the coordinator of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging’s Caregiver Support Program.

Participants needed for research study on memory aids, those who use them

Independent & Assisted Living

Page 12

The panel which addressed the College of St. Mary students featured (from left): Sheila Turbes, Jo Schafer, Diana Bodnar, and Mike Osberg.

r. Beth Lyon from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Psychology Department is working on a research study with several of her students to learn more about people’s reliance on memory aids, and opinions of people that use those aids. Dr. Lyon and her students have put together an online survey that takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete asking for views, opinions, and information about the usage of various tools often used to help remember task completion. The survey – which is open to everyone over age 18 – can be found at Please follow this link if you’re willing to help with this research study. Your time and responses are appreciated. If you have any questions about this study, please contact Dr. Lyon at or 402554-2580.

March 2020


Eclectic Book Review Club The Eclectic Book Review Club, founded in 1949, has announced its spring 2020 schedule. The monthly meetings, which include lunch and the book review, begin at noon at the Field Club, 3615 Woolworth Ave. The cost is $15 per person per month.

To reserve a seat, call Rita at 402-553-3147. The reservation deadline is the Friday morning prior to the Tuesday meeting. • March 17: Henry Cordes from The Omaha World Herald will review his novel, Pathological. • April 21: Bryan L. Jones will talk about North of the Platte, South of the Niobrara: A little Further into the Nebraska Sandhills. • May 19: Susan Darst Williams and Nancy Darst will offer a senior reflection on their book, The Elderberries.



he 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 402-206-7786.

Widowed Persons Group of Omaha


he Widowed Persons Group of Omaha hosts a luncheon the third Monday of each month at 11:30 a.m. at Jerico’s Restaurant, 11732 W. Dodge Rd. For more information, please call 402-278-1731 or 402-493-0452.

Nebraska Regional Poison Center offers tips to help keep you safe The Nebraska Regional Poison Center would like to offer a few tips on how to avoid poisonings: • Store medications out of the reach of children. You may want to store all medication in a locked box. • Disc batteries may be found in toys, games, watches, remotes, and musical greeting cards. If swallowed, they can become lodged in the throat and cause serious injury or death if not removed. Avoid toys that contain magnets since they may be harmful if swallowed. • Alcohol is found in drinks and in gifts such as perfume and cologne. It’s important to clean up immediately following all parties. Remove all items that may contain alcohol and keep them out of the reach of small children. Remember

to empty all ashtrays. Swallowed cigarette butts can harm a child. • Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced when fuels burn incompletely. Some symptoms (nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness) can mimic other illnesses including the stomach flu and food poisoning. It’s important to have a CO detector in your home. • Lamp oil in candle lamps may be colored and look like pretty beverages to small children. It only takes a small amount of lamp oil to cause choking and chemical pneumonia if it goes into the lung. Aroma and fragrance oils smell good and attract small children. They can also be a choking hazard and cause vomiting. • Keep small children and animals away from seasonal plants such as mistletoe,

City of Omaha Rec Centers Older adults are encouraged to use the City of Omaha’s community centers to enjoy an open gym, weight areas, open and lap swimming, aquacise, and ice skating. These activities are free for men and women age 75 and older. Tai Chi classes are offered at the following locations and times:

• Adams Park 3230 John Creighton Blvd. Mondays & Wednesdays 9:15 a.m. • Camelot 9270 Cady Ave Tuesdays & Fridays 10:30 a.m. • Florence 2920 Bondesson Ave. Mondays & Wednesdays 10:30 a.m.

holly berries, yew plants, and poinsettias. Poinsettias aren’t the fatal poison they were once believed to be, but in large amounts can cause an upset stomach. • Remember chocolate,

raisins, grapes, and some nuts can be very toxic to animals. (Call 1-800-222-1222 to speak to a registered nurse or pharmacist at the Nebraska Poison Center.)

Alzheimer’s support groups 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 • FREMONT Second Tuesday @ 5:30 p.m. The Heritage at Shalimar Gardens 749 E. 29th St. DOUGLAS COUNTY

First Thursday @ 6:45 p.m. King of Kings Lutheran Church CORE Conference Room 11615 I St. Call Karen @ 402-504-9088 to arrange for adult day services.

• 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.

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.

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.

First Wednesday @ 1 p.m. Eastern Nebraska Vets Home (Vets and non-vets welcome) 12505 S. 40th St.

Second Tuesday @ 6:45 p.m. For caregivers of individuals with an intellectual disabilty/dementia. Barbara Weitz Center 6001 Dodge St. (UNO campus) Third Monday @ 9 a.m. Intercultural Senior Center 5545 Center St. Offered in English and Spanish

• PAPILLION Fourth Thursday @ 6 p.m. Hillcrest Grand Lodge 6021 Grand Lodge Ave. WASHINGTON COUNTY • BLAIR Third Wednesday @ 6 p.m. Memorial Community Hospital Howard Conference Room 810 N. 22nd St.

• Montclair 2304 S. 135th Ave. Thursdays 8:30 a.m.

For more information, please call 402-444-4228.

More to serve you better.

We have expanded our services and now have 10 additional openings to better serve you. Please call Florence Home Healthcare Center at 402-827-6000 or visit for more information. We’re here to help you!

7915 N. 30th Street • Omaha, NE 68112

March 2020

New Horizons

Page 13

Metro Women’s Club


he Metro Women’s Club will host its annual Spring Social & Game Day on Tuesday, March 10 at Arbor Hall, 14040 Arbor St. Proceeds from the 11 a.m. event will benefit Angels Among Us, an organization that supports families of

children with cancer. The $22 cost includes lunch and a raffle ticket. Additional raffle tickets are available through March 3 for $10 each or three for $25. For more information, please call Pat Bond at 402330-6830.

Please see the ad on page 3

New Horizons Club membership increases $25 Donna Blankenship $10 Charlotte Schopen John Gahan Grace Royston Katherine Sibbel $5 Kathleen Koons List reflects donations received through 2/21/2020.

Parkinson’s program is set for March 3 The Parkinson’s Foundation is sponsoring a free community education program titled, Living with Parkinson’s: Mind, Mood, and Motion on Tuesday, March 3. The 5 to 7 p.m. program will be held at the CHI CUMC – Bergan Mercy Conference Room, 7500 Mercy Rd. Resource tables and refreshments will be available at 4 p.m. The program will teach participants about the changes in thinking and memory Parkinson’s can cause for persons who have the disease and their loved ones, as well as steps they can take to manage its symptoms. Guest speakers will be Dr. Melinda Burnett, MD, from the CHI Health Neurological Institute and Cheri Prince, DPT, from PDWELL. Registration, which is required, can be completed by calling 913-3418828 online at


Hearing Loss Group of Omaha

he Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America, a support group for hard of hearing adults, will meet next on Tuesday, March 10 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. The Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America meets the second Tuesday of each month from September through December and March through August. For more information, please contact Verla Hamilton at 402-558-6449 or

THEOS THEOS, 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 402-3990759 or Mary at 402-393-3052.

Volunteers Assisting Seniors Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS) is committed to helping older adults make good life decisions. Through a network of trained and certified volunteers, VAS provides a variety of programs and services including Medicare counseling and assistance with Homestead Exemption filing. VAS is offering a Basic Estate Planning class developed and presented by volunteer attorneys this month. The workshop’s goal is to develop a better understanding of estate planning so you’ll have an easier time making the important personal decisions necessary to design plans that meet your needs. The workshop will cover financial and medical powers of attorney, living wills, wills, living or revocable trusts, alternatives and supplements to wills, taxes related to death, and mistakes to avoid. The class is set for March 26 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the VAS office, 1941 S. 42nd St. (Center Mall), Suite 312. To reserve your spot, please call VAS at 402-444-6617.

Intercultural Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Intercultural Senior Center (ISC), 5545 Center St., this month for the following: • Mondays: Tai Chi class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. Let’s Learn Spanish class @10:30 a.m. • Tuesdays: Tai Chi class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. • Wednesdays: Zumba class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. Basics to Technology class @ 10:30 a.m. • Thursdays: Salsa class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. Spark Your Mind (trivia, word games, etc.) @ 10:30 a.m. • Fridays: Exercise w/weights @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. Let’s Learn Spanish class @10:30 a.m. Presentations: • March 13: Handwashing @ 12:30 p.m. • March 18: End of Life Planning @ 12:30 p.m. • March 19: Chronic Conditions • March 25: Sleep Awareness @ 12:30 p.m. • March 26: Mini Health Fair @ noon. • March 27: The Merrymakers present music by Kim Eames @ 12:30 p.m. A food pantry for persons age 50 and older is available weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Items needed to prepare nutritious, balanced meals will be offered. Call 402-4446529 to learn more. New classes offered include a cycling club, ping pong, and weaving. The ISC also has four new exercise machines. The Intercultural Senior Center is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Programs and activities run from 8 a.m. through 1:30 p.m. The center is open for community groups from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. A light breakfast is served from 8 to 10 a.m. Lunch is served daily @ 11:30am. A voluntary contribution is suggested for lunch. Reservations are due by 9:30 a.m. the day the lunch is served. Please call 402-444-6529 for reservations. Round-trip transportation can be requested through the ISC’s Social Services department. For more information, please call 402-444-6529.

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New Horizons

March 2020

Tips for watering your indoor plants By Melinda Myers


oo much of a good thing can mean death for indoor plants. Overwatering is a good example of this and a common problem for indoor gardeners. For others it’s the opposite extreme, allowing plants to go too dry. Knowing when to water your indoor plants can increase gardening success and eliminate the stress of uncertainty. The first step is to throw away your watering schedule. Start watering plants based on their individual need not the date on the calendar. Consider the type of plant, container material and size, as well as other growing conditions. Get to know your plants by checking the plant tag, online resources, and books. Those native to tropical climates or wet soils such as peace lily, baby tears, and papyrus prefer moist soil. Plants from drier locations like cacti, succulents, Chinese evergreens, ponytail palm, and snake plants do best when the soil dries between watering. Evaluate the indoor growing conditions. Plants located in bright light and warm homes where the humidity is low lose moisture faster and need more frequent watering. Cooler homes, higher humidity, and lower light conditions mean longer stretches between watering plants. Adjust watering as the seasons change. Shorter, often gray days of winter mean plants dry out more slowly. When the heat and air conditioner are turned on, the humidity level drops and plants dry out more quickly. Plus, many plants rest in winter and prefer drier soil. Check plants growing in small pots, breathable terra cotta containers, and fast draining growing mixes more often and water as needed. Plants growing in larger containers and those made of plastic, glazed ceramic, and similar materials dry out more slowly. Use your finger to determine when plants need to be watered. Stick your finger an inch or so below the soil surface of small pots. You’ll need to go a finger length deep for larger containers. For succulents and cacti feel the soil through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot. Water thoroughly until the excess runs out the drainage holes as needed. Extend the time between watering with self-watering

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Program for caregivers of persons with an IDD is scheduled for April 7 at UNO By Janet Miller


f you’re a parent or guardian caring for an adult loved one who has an intellectual or developmental disability (IDD), you may have questions about the available community services and supports. Perhaps you’d like to meet other caregivers in a similar situation, learn more about the acronyms used by area service providers, or find out what’s involved with participating in yearly planning meetings. I’m working with friends and colleagues to offer evening informational/educational events held approximately every other month in collaboration with the Munroe-Meyer Institute and the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands. You don’t have to be caring for someone with Down syndrome to attend. The events are held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Community Engagement Center, located between the UNO library and the Performing Arts building. Parking is available in the lot near the UNO clock tower on the campus’ Dodge Street side. The date and topic of the next event is: • April 7: Planning for Adult Care. In addition, a caregiver Facebook page has been established for those interested in communicating with other caregivers. The Facebook site, Nebraska Caregivers of Adults with Developmental Disabilities, is open to all Nebraskans caring for adults with IDD. Men and women caring for an adult with Down syndrome who have questions or concerns about noted changes in behaviors or a decrease in skills, can also reach out to me. For more information about any of the topics listed above, please contact me at

pots and watering aids. These have reservoirs that slowly provide water to plants over time. Or amend the soil with a moisture-retaining product like wool pellets from ( This organic and sustainable product holds 20% of its weight in water and slowly releases it into the soil when needed. The wetting agents in most potting mixes lose effectiveness after a month or two. These pellets continue working long after this, so you’ll be watering less often.                Make watering easy, so it feels like an opportunity to enjoy each individual plant instead of a chore. Use a watering can with a long narrow spout, making it easy to apply water over the entire soil surface and under the leaves and crown of the plant. This reduces the risk of disease that can occur when the top growth remains wet. Set plants on saucers or trays filled with pebbles. The excess water collects in the tray and the pebbles elevate the container above the water. This eliminates the need to empty the water that collects and remains in the saucer for more than 30 minutes. With more experience watering indoor plants, it will become second nature. That means you’ll have more time and opportunity to enjoy and even expand your indoor garden.      (Myers has written more than 20 gardening books.)

CLASSIFIEDS Cartagena Painting Service

Some of the nicest, newer 1 & 2 bedroom apartments. Elevator, w & d, heated parking garage. Small complex. By bus & shopping. No pets or smoking.


SUNSHINE CLEANING Professional, friendly, and local company offering weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning for your home or business. Spring specials available. Call for a free estimate. 1-316-409-0298

Military, political, toys, jewelry, fountain pens, pottery, kitchen ware, postcards, photos, books, and other old paper, old clothes, garden stuff, tools, old household, etc. Call anytime 402-397-0254 or 402-250-9389

GET RID OF IT! Haul away, garage, basement, rental clean out…

Johansen Brothers Call Frank

402-312-4000 deFreese Manor

Subsidized housing for those age 62 and over with incomes under $30,100 (1 person) or $34,400 (two persons) 2669 Dodge Omaha, NE 402-345-0622


he Omaha Fire Department’s Public Education and Affairs Department will install free smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors inside the residences of area homeowners. To have a free smoke and/or carbon monoxide detector installed inside your home, send your name, address, and telephone number to: Omaha Fire Department Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Requests 1516 Jackson St. Omaha, Neb. 68102 For more information, please call 402-444-3560. Please call 402-444-4148 or 402- 444-6654 to place your ad

Lamplighter II

Commercial/Residential Interior/Exterior/Insured Free estimates/BBB member 402-714-6063

(before 1975)

Omaha Fire Department

If you need help CLEANING or ORGANIZING, Call Judy at 402-885-8731

93rd & Maple • 402-397-6921

A+ Heartland Concrete Const.

Driveways, garage floors, sidewalks, retaining walls. patio specialists since 1985. Insured/references.

23-year BBB member

402-731-2094 Please support New Horizons advertisers


Senior Citizens (62+) Accepting applications for HUD-subsidized apartments in Papillion & Bellevue.

Bellewood Courts

1002 Bellewood Court Bellevue (402) 292-3300

Monarch Villas

201 Cedar Dale Road Papillion (402) 331-6882

Managed by Kimball Management, Inc. PO Box 460967 Papillion, NE 68046 We do business in accordance with the Fair Housing Law.


Big jobs or small, I’ll do them all! [Bonded & insured]



Best & honest prices paid for: Vintage, Sterling, Turquoise, & Costume jewelry, old watches, old quilts, vintage toys, old postcards, advertising items, military items, pottery, and antique buttons. Also buying estates & partial estates. Call Bev at 402-339-2856

ENOA March 2020

New Horizons

Page 15

Volunteers, participants enjoy 2020 Ski for Light in the Black Hills


n late January, Ward and Kathy Kinney took a group of 35 local participants and volunteers to South Dakota’s Black Hills region for the 41st annual Ski for Light event. Ski for Light offers cross country and downhill skiing for blind, visually-impaired, and mobility-impaired individuals. The participants are also able to enjoy snowmobile rides and snowshoeing. “We were pleased to pick up Mrs. Wheelchair Nebraska, Aubrey Freeze, in Grand Island and three young men from western Nebraska who had been severely injured in incidents,” Ward Kinney said.

Ski for Light volunteers and participants – led by Ward and Kathy Kinney – spent the night in Chadron, Neb. on their way to the Black Hills region of South Dakota.

FREE & EASY “New Home” Living Specialized Design: *Step-less access at Garage Entry *One Floor Living *Wider Doors *Wider Hallways *Low Threshold *Showers *Grab-bar Backing

Created in 1979, the non-profit Ski for Light has grown from 62 participants in its first year to more than 300 attendees from throughout the United States and around the world this year. The 2020 event featured many heartwarming moments, according to Kinney. Tyrell – severely injured in an auto accident – sang Amarillo by Morning on the karaoke stage. A young lady, blind and handicapped since birth, cried as the week wound down because she didn’t want the fun to end. A young man, blinded and injured in an auto accident, smiled upon receipt of the trophy he won in the snowshoe challenge. “We had an 82-year-old lady on the trip who asked for a third ride down the slopes on the mountain man sled,” Kinney said. Rick Sobetski from Omaha skied on his own prior to losing his vision. This year, his Ski for Light guide was Fred Romanjenko from Montana who lost a leg following an accident several years ago. Ski for Light social events this year included a barbeque buffet, a slot machine contest, a bon fire, and a banquet. This was the sixth year the Kinneys have been involved with Ski for Light. “We’ve grown from 13 people the first year to 35 people in 2020,” Ward said. A new volunteer said he’d never seen the absolute lack of selfishness displayed by the people who were part of the festivities. Kinney thanked donors from across the country for their donations to the BHSFL Bus Across Nebraska fund which helped make the trip’s cost minimal for the participants and volunteers. Its web site address is For more information, go to or contact Black Hills Ski for Light at PO Box 3707, Rapid City, S.D., 57709. The email address is

*Elevated Stools *LED Lighting




New Home Features:

*New home Low Maintenance & Warranties *Energy Efficient *Cambria Quartz Countertops *Hardie-Plank Cement Siding *Lawn & Snow Services Available

Locations available in all parts of the Omaha area For NW/Elkhorn Living: 402-916-9883 For SW Living: 402-895-1100 or 402-896-9200 For Bellevue Living: 402-614-6088 For Papillion Living: 531-466-8444

Rick Sobetski and Fred Romanjenko enjoyed some downhill skiing at the 41st annual event.

* This is Universal Design; not ADA Standards.

Page 16

New Horizons

March 2020

Profile for Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging

New Horizons March 2020  

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 March 2020  

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