Page 1


ka Offc e

o g in g •

• E a st e




A publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging

November 2019 VOL. 44 • NO. 11

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


en oa. org

ing Serv

New Horizons old • er 74 adul ts since 19


Busting crooks, helping pets

Mark Langan – who joined the Nebraska Humane Society in 2004 – recently stepped away from his position as the organization’s vice-president of field operations. Prior to joining the NHS, Mark spent 26 years with the Omaha Police Department. Langan has written extensively including the book Busting Bad Guys: My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers, and Ladies of the Night. Nick Schinker’s profile of Langan begins on page 8.

Speed walking

What’s inside Caregivers resource fair at ENOA. ..................2

According to Duke University researchers, faster walkers tend to have healthier lungs, teeth, and immune systems than slower walkers. See page 9.

Non-specialists often diagnose dementia .....2 Sticks and stones and healing bones ............3 Preparing your garden, landscape .................4 The perils of outdoor noise exposure.............5 Medicare open enrollment continues .............7 Nancy Hemesath’s ‘Conscious Aging’ .........10 The link between hearing loss, falling ..........11 The benefits of pet interaction ......................14 Online, social media safety ideas.... .............15

Camelot Friendship Center

Caregiver resource fair on Saturday, Nov. 2

You’re invited to visit the Camelot Friendship Center inside the Camelot Community Center, 9270 Cady Ave., this month for the following: • Nov. 7: Book club @ 10:30 a.m. • Nov. 8: Council meeting @ 12:15 p.m. • Nov. 13: Music by Rockin’ Woody sponsored by the Merrymakers @ 11:45 a.m. • Nov. 14: VNA presentation on nutrition @11:45 a.m. • Nov. 19: Craft day (gnomes) @ 1 p.m. • Nov. 20: Music by Johnny Ray Gomez @ 11:45 a.m. • Nov. 21: Presentation by Terry from the Alzheimer’s Association @ 11:45 a.m. • Nov. 22: Presentation by Methodist College nursing students @ 11:45 a.m. • Nov. 25: Tai Chi @ 10:30 a.m. • Nov. 27: Box lunches and pitch. The facility will be closed on Veterans Day and on Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving. 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 @ 10:30 a.m. For reservations or more information, call 402-444-3091.

Dora Bingel Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Dora Bingel Senior Center, 923 N. 38th St., this month for the following: • Nov. 1, 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, & 22: Ceramics class @ 9 a.m. • Nov. 4, 11, 18, & 25: Al-Anon meeting @ 7 p.m. • Nov. 6, 13, & 20: Tai Chi @ 11 a.m. • Nov. 13: Music by Joe Taylor sponsored by the Merrymakers @11:30 a.m. Lunch is $3. • Nov. 14: Book Club meets at 10 a.m. • Nov. 20: Birthday party luncheon @ noon. Eat free if you have a November birthday. The center will be closed Nov. 27, 28, & 29 for Thanksgiving. Lunch is served on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A $1 donation is suggested for the meals, other than $3 for Merrymakers day. Round-trip transportation is available for $3. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for all meals. Other activities offered at the facility include: Tuesday: Devotions @ 10 a.m., matinee @ 12:30 p.m., quilting @ 1 p.m. Wednesday: Devotions at 10:30 a.m. Bingo @ 12:30 p.m. Friday: Bingo @ 12:30 p.m. and Bible study @ 12:30 p.m. For more information, please call 402-898-5854.

WHITMORE LAW OFFICE Wills • Trusts • Probate

Ask A Lawyer: Q — What rights does my domestic partner have at my death?

A — Your unmarried partner will not have any rights in your

property at the time of your death other than rights you specifically confer. Without a will, your children, if any, and siblings have priority over your domestic partner to inherit your assets and to the right to be named administrator of your estate. We advise unmarried couples to hold assets in joint tenancy or designate their partner as POD beneficiary to provide for them in case of an unexpected death. We also recommend unmarried partners name each other as power of attorney agent in both financial and health care instruments. 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

Page 2

New Horizons


ovember is National Family Caregiver Month in the United States. As part of the activities, Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson – with the support of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging – is sponsoring the Celebrating Older Adults and Caregivers Resource Fair on Saturday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held at the Eastern Nebraska Human Services Agency building, 4715 S. 132nd St. Guests are asked to enter the building on the west side. The fair will include a

wellness center, resource people from area agencies, information on aging and caregiving, memory screenings, advice for ways to provide respite for caregivers, and tips for responding to the challenges of dementia. Among the participants and vendors will be Friendship Program Adult Day Care, Franciscan Center Adult Day Care, Hillcrest Mable Rose Adult Day Care, St. Joseph Villa Homecare, Elite Professionals, Omaha Home Instead, Angels Care Home Health, The Alzheimer’s Association, Hillcrest Caring

Companions, Legal Aid of Nebraska, Parish Nurse Association, Immanuel PACE Program, Nebraska Medicine Trauma Center, Care Consultants/Oasis Senior Advisors, VOSH Nebraska, the Millard Lions Club, and Legion Home Care. “One of the greatest honors is to care for those who once cared for us,” said Borgeson, who is also the president of the National Association of Counties. For more information on the Celebrating Older Adults and Caregivers Resource Fair, please call Mike Osberg at 402-444-6596.

Most older Americans never meet a dementia specialist


n the first large study to examine the diagnosis of dementia in older Americans over time, researchers found the vast majority of older men and women never meet with a dementia specialist and are instead overwhelmingly diagnosed and cared for by non-specialists. Researchers at the University of Southern California, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Washington used Medicare data to track dementia diagnoses of nearly a quarter of a million people over five years. The team found 85% of individuals first diagnosed with dementia were diagnosed by a non-dementia specialist physician, usually a primary care doctor, and an “unspecified dementia” diagnosis was common. One year after diagnosis, less than a quarter of the patients had seen a dementia specialist. After five years, the percent of patients had only increased to 36%. The study also found the use of dementia specialty care was particularly low for Hispanic and Asian patients. “Dementia specialists are more familiar with subtypes of dementia and may be less likely, for example, to misdiagnose Lewy body dementia as Alzheimer’s disease and wrongly prescribe antipsychotic medications to patients,” said co-author Julie Zissimopoulos, director of the Aging and Cognition program at USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. Using a large Medicare dataset, researchers examined the types of physicians that diagnose dementia, what dementia subtype diagnoses were initially provided, how they changed over time, the extent to which individuals accessed specialty care, and how it varied by gender, race, and ethnicity. They found among those diagnosed by a non-dementia specialist, 33% of patients were given a diagnosis that lacked a specific type of dementia, compared to 22% of patients diagnosed by a specialist. Diagnoses of Alzheimer’s disease among patients who saw a specialist within the first year of diagnosis were higher at 42% compared to 29% among those who did not see a specialist. Dementia specialists include neurologists, psychiatrists, neuropsychiatrists, and geriatricians. “Without identification of dementia type, patients and their families are potentially

November 2019

missing out on important discussions about care and managing this diagnosis with other chronic conditions, as well as information about clinical trials,” Zissimopoulos said. The team also found Hispanic and Asian patients were less likely to have a follow-up visit about the diagnosis compared to white and African American patients. The research team said more study is needed to identify factors driving these differences such as severity at diagnosis, complexity of the care and barriers, or differences in seeking care from specialists. There are many different types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, and frontotemporal dementia. Study authors say more accurate identification of dementia type may lead to better treatment for symptoms, enhance knowledge of medications that may worsen symptoms, inform disease progression over time, and encourage advance care planning. Identifying dementia subtypes can also assist in developing and evaluating new drugs and gaining access to effective treatments when they become available. “While the study shows that specialists seem to be able to identify the subtype better, what we’re really interested in is whether that leads to better health and financial outcomes,” Zissimopoulos said. “If in the future these diagnoses are going to be handled in large part by non-dementia specialists, they may need better training and tools.” The study authors explain their results don’t answer the question of whether or not increasing use of dementia specialist health care should be a policy goal. They said use of specialist services may increase health care costs and, without enough evidence they improve health outcomes, they may not be a cost-effective approach to dementia care. “General practitioners and other nondementia specialists play an important role in screening because often they are the first point of contact, while specialists are key to making finer distinctions across dementia subtype,” Zissimopoulos said. The researchers say the study’s findings will aid in efforts to improve diagnosis, especially among patients and families not receiving timely post-diagnostic care or dementia specialist care.

Figuring out ways to heal broken bones


roken bones are a bigger deal the older you are. Even after they’ve healed, the bones of older men and women are weaker and more likely to re-fracture. Since more than 6 million Americans break a bone each year, figuring out how to help people heal better could make a big difference. In a paper published recently in JCI Insight, Duke University scientists found a certain protein which is more prevalent in older adults interferes with bone healing. They hope this discovery will lead to new treatments to help people heal after injuries or surgeries. “When we decreased the protein level, aging was reversed,” said senior author Gurpreet Baht, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Duke University Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. “Not only was there more bone and healing happened faster, but it was also structurally more sound.” Baht’s team confirmed older men and women have more Apolipoprotein E, ApoE for short, than younger people. If that protein name rings a bell, it’s because ApoE is also im-

plicated in Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The team found 75 to 85-year-olds had twice as much ApoE in their bloodstreams as 35 to 45-yearolds. The same was true for 24-month-old mice versus 4-month-old mice, which approximate the same human age ranges. Next, they wanted to figure out if and how ApoE affects the multi-step process of bone healing. When you break a bone, your body sends signals through the bloodstream to recruit cells to fix the injury. Some of those recruits, specifically skeletal stem cells, build up cartilage as a temporary scaffolding to hold the fracture together.


n the next step, more recruited cells mature into osteoblasts, bonebuilding cells, which lay strong, dense bone cells on top of the cartilage scaffolding. Finally, a different kind of cell eats up the cartilage scaffolds and osteoblasts fill those holes with bone. “Over time, this cartilage will continue to be resorbed and osteoblasts will continue to deposit new bone,” Baht explained. “After a few months of your arm or leg

healing, there will be almost no cartilage anymore. If you were to look at it five years out, there’d be no sign of an injury anymore.” That’s if the bone healing process works perfectly. The researchers found if they added ApoE to a petri dish with skeletal stem cells, fewer cells developed into osteoblasts and the osteoblasts were worse at building bones. “We wanted to see if the cell population was more or less capable of becoming osteoblasts,” Baht said. “Normally, you put these cells down in a petri dish for about a month and the dish becomes so hard you can’t even scratch the surface because they’ve made two-dimensional bone there. ApoE-treated cells are still able to do this, they just don’t do it as much or as well.” Next, the researchers created an intervention by injecting a virus which keeps mice from making ApoE protein. Circulating ApoE levels dropped by 75 percent and the healed bones contained one and a half-times more strong, hard bone tissue than bones of untreated mice. (Duke University provided this information.)

Intercultural Senior Center

Art classes for adults who have a disability

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. Basic computer class @ 10:30 a.m. • Tuesdays: Tai Chi class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. • Wednesdays: Zumba class @ 9:15 & 9:55 a.m. Basic computer 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: 11/5 & 11/19: Opera Omaha workshops @12:30 p.m. 11/12: Fighting Cancer with a Fork @ 5:30 p.m. 11/13: Arthritis by the U.S. Bone & Joint Initiative @ 12:30 p.m. 11/18: What is Cancer? @ 12:30 p.m. 11/27: Civic Nebraska @ 12:30 p.m. Events: 11/1: Día de los Muertos celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. 11/27: Thanksgiving luncheon @11:30 a.m. Call for reservations. The center will be closed on Veterans Day and on Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving. 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 @ 11:30 a.m. 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 a member of the ISC’s Social Services department. For more information, please call 402-444-6529.

WhyArts and the MunroeMeyer Institute are offering Exploring the Arts, free art workshops for adults with developmental and other disabilities. Here’s the schedule: • Nov. 1 6 to 7:30 p.m. Animation, Video, and Garage Band Weitz Community Engagement Center 6400 University Drive South UNO campus • Nov. 15 6 to 7:30 p.m. 3D Sculpture Weitz Community Engagement Center 6400 University Drive South UNO campus Each class can accommodate 25 to 30 people, so reservations are required. For more information or to register, contact Ray at The program is funded through a grant from the Lincoln Financial Foundation.

November 2019

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; 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

Page 3

Fremont Friendship Center

Tips for planning, updating gardens, landscapes

You’re invited to visit the Fremont Friendship Center, 1730 W. 16th St. (Christensen Field), for the following: • Nov. 5: Rich Hirshman’s presentation on the History of the Automobile @ 10:30 a.m. • Nov. 6: Presentation on being thankful @ 10 a.m. followed by pianist Wally @ 10:30 a.m. • Nov. 13: Entertainment by the Links @ 10 a.m. The monthly birthday party follows @ 11:30 a.m. • Nov. 20: Enjoy cinnamon rolls from Nye @ 8:45 a.m. • Nov. 20: Music by Tim Javorsky @ 10:30 a.m. • Nov. 25: Funny Money Bingo Auction @ 11 a.m. • Nov. 27: Board meeting @ 9:15 a.m. • Nov. 27: Music by Wayne Miller @ 10:30 a.m. followed by a Thanksgiving dinner. The center will be closed on Veterans Day and on Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving. The annual Parks and Recreation Department Crafts show is scheduled for Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.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.

Fontenelle Tours

Omaha/Council Bluffs


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 25 – 31, 2020. Our sixth 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 Laughlin in November. November 25 - 29. $329. Five days – four nights. Includes non-stop, round-trip airfare to Laughlin, Nevada, four nights lodging at the Riverside Resort and Casino on the banks of the Colorado River, and shuttle transportation to and from the airport. Spend Thanksgiving in Laughlin!!

By Melinda Myers

the flowerbed. Connect two garden beds with an over-thetop arbor. Grow pole beans, melons, or squash up and over ncorporate arbors, trel- the Titan Squash Tunnel ( You’ll expand lises, and other strucyour gardening space by going vertical and help reduce distures into your designs ease problems by increasing the sunlight and airflow reachwhen planning new ing the plants. or updating existing garSecure large fruit to its obelisk with a net, cotton, or macdens and landscapes. These ramé sling to prevent them from breaking off the vines. structures help form the Dress up any home, garage, or shed with trellises covframework of any garden, ered with flowering vines, climbing roses, or an espaliered add year-round interest, and fruit tree. Provide space between the wall and trellis when provide years of beauty and mounting them to a building. The space reduces the risk of function. damage to the wall and the plants benefit from the added Utilize arbors to define airflow and light. and connect distinct areas of Many trellises are works of art in their own right, so the landscape. Invite visitors when the plants go dormant the structure continues to dress into your landscape with a up an otherwise blank wall. Whether you prefer simple vine-covered arbor. Guests squares and diamonds, circles, leaves, or ceramic, songbirds won’t be able to resist the perched among the branchlike supports of the Enchanted invitation to enter and exWoods Trellis; select a design that reflects your personality perience the beauty that lies and complements your garden design. beyond. Cover these strucCombine several trellis sections to create a decorative tures with vines for seasonal screen or bit of fencing. This is a perfect solution for creatinterest, additional texture, ing privacy or a bit of vertical interest in any size or shape and blossoms. Combine two of garden space. Add colorful glass bottles and contempodifferent vines to extend or rary design to a vertical planting with a trellis like Gardendouble your floral display. er’s Achla Designs Vinifera Bottle Trellis. Plant an annual vine for Use obelisks as focal points and plant supports in the garquick cover with a perenden or containers. They’re perfect for creating scale in the nial that takes a year or garden, especially when new plantings are small and immamore to establish and cover ture. Select a support tall and sturdy enough for the plants the structure. you are growing. Beat summer’s heat by Add a bit of beauty and elegance when growing watercreating your own shade melons, cucumbers, pole beans, or tomatoes. Train them with vine-covered aronto decorative obelisks and they’ll be pretty enough to bors. Plant annual or deinclude in flowerbeds and mixed borders. Add more beauty ciduous vines that let the and a bit of hummingbird appeal with scarlet runner beans. sun and its warmth shine The bright red flowers are followed by green beans that can through during the cooler be eaten fresh or its large seeds harvested and used fresh or months. When the leaves dried. return, they provide shade Always consider the function, strength, and beauty when and cooler temperatures selecting structures for your landscape. Team them up with during warmer times. plants suited to your growing conditions and you will benArbors are as much at efit from years of enjoyment. home in the food garden as (Myers has written more than 20 gardening books.)


Holy Land Pilgrimage Holy Land Pilgrimage. January 20 – 31, 2020. $2,995 plus airfare. 12 days – 11 nights. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus at many of the most important and well-known biblical locations in the Holy Land, including daily Mass. Discover the sites with an expert local guide, enjoy sightseeing including a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, Holy Hour in the Garden of Gethsemane, visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, travel to Cana, Nazareth, Jerusalem, and more. Contact 952-388-2736 at Magi Travel to register. 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 for our trip schedule. 2708 Franklin Avenue Council Bluffs, IA 51501

Page 4

New Horizons

November 2019

Outdoor noise can damage hearing


he American Academy of Audiology warns members of the public to protect their hearing when exposed to loud outdoor sounds including concerts, fireworks, lawn equipment, and thunder. Many of these are dangerous for hearing. The numbers of Americans facing hearing loss is at a record high and rising annually. Outdoor activities can pose a significant threat to hearing health. More than 40 million Americans have some type of hearing loss with approximately 10 million of those being attributable to noise-induced hearing loss—exposure to loud noise. The American Academy of Audiology said noise above 85 decibels can damage hearing. To put that into perspective, noise from fireworks can reach up to 155 decibels. A jet plane taking off is estimated to be 150 decibels. Shooting a gun is around 140 to 175 decibels depending on the gun. A clap of thunder can be 120 decibels. A report in Environ Health Insights looks at noise exposure from the use of outdoor equipment in regard to recommendations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It’s not just the decibel levels that matter. The amount of time exposed to loud noises is also important. If you spend multiple hours on a loud riding mower, running a chain saw, working a weed eater, leaf blower, or other equipment, you may experience hearing loss. According to the Centers for Disease Control, loud noise of more than 120 decibels can cause immediate harm to hearing. As the baby boomer population ages, more Americans are forced to face hearing health challenges. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 15 percent (37.5 million) of American adults ages 20 to 69 have some trouble with hearing and approximately 28.8 million could benefit from the use of hearing aids. While age is still the greatest factor in hearing loss, many younger people also experience hearing problems due to exposure to loud music and noises including occupational noise. Among adults age 70 and older with hearing loss who could benefit from hearing aids, only 30 percent have ever used them. With adults ages 20 to 69, only approximately 16 percent of those who would benefit from hearing aids have used them. “Many summer activities are noisy and can result in hearing damage,” said Lisa Christensen, Au.D., president of the American Academy of Audiology and audiology program manager for Cook Children’s

Medical Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. “The inner ear contains delicate hair cells which do not regrow. Once these are damaged by noise, the result is permanent hearing impairment. It’s important for people to use hearing protection when riding all-terrain vehicles, shooting firearms, using power equipment and tools, and attending large sporting events and concerts.” Damaging noise, however, isn’t only generated by outdoor activities. Many children and adults spend long amounts of time using earbuds. Audiologists caution that stock earbuds can produce sounds from 80 to 125 decibels. Some earbuds advertise they produce sounds as loud as 110 decibels which can cause damage especially over time. Remember to use portable music safely or you risk hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). To ensure safe earphone use, remember the 80 to 90 rule: It’s safe to use music players at 80 percent of the maximum volume for up to 90 minutes per day. If you turn it down, you can safely listen for longer periods of time. Some signs of hearing loss may include: • Ringing, buzzing, or hissing noises in the ear after the loud noise. • Muffled hearing after exposure to noise. • Suddenly having to turn up the volume of the television, radio, or stereo, and having other family members complain the volume is too loud. • Difficulty understanding people speaking to you and asking people to repeat themselves. • Problems with phone conversations and understanding other people. • A sudden inability to hear the doorbell, the dog barking, and other household sounds. • People saying you speak too loudly. • Ringing in the ears. • Ear pain. “Children are often exposed to the same noises as adults,” Christensen said. “Parents need to make sure to teach them to stand back from loud noises and to protect their ears.” School-aged children with hearing loss will sometimes exhibit poor school performance because they can’t understand the teacher assignments or classroom interactions. If hearing loss has been present from a young age, they often don’t recognize the loss and can’t identify the problem. The American Academy of Audiology recommends that anyone experiencing the above symptoms should make an appointment with an audiologist.

Ralston Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Ralston Senior Center, 7301 Q St., this month for the following: • Nov. 6: The Merrymakers present music by The Links @ noon. • Nov. 12: 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. • Nov. 13: Board meeting @ 10 a.m. • Nov. 7 & 21: Line dancing @ 10 a.m. No Thursday bingo during November. 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 @ 402-885-8895 for reservations. 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.

Corrigan Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Corrigan Senior Center, 3819 X St., this month for: • Nov. 8: Toenail clinic @ 9:30 a.m. • Nov. 12: The Merrymakers present music by Tom Strohmyer @ 11 a.m. • Nov. 25: Thanksgiving luncheon @ noon. • Nov. 26: The Merrymakers present music by Cynthia Ziesman @ 11 a.m. The center will be closed on Veterans Day and on Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving. 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., and Trivia Friday @ 11 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.

ENOA is recruiting Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents Men and women age 55 and older who want to earn a tax-free 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 10 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.

November 2019

The Sierra Group, LLC FREE Book & CD Call Us: (800) 309-0753

New Horizons

Page 5



he Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is a part of Senior Corps, a nationwide group of nearly 400,000 volunteers age 55 and older. RSVP volunteers are making a difference across Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Washington, and Cass counties. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, stay connected, and find new purpose in life. From the American Red Cross to Washington County Recycling, we have a wide variety of locations that need volunteers like you. For more information, please call your local RSVP volunteer coordinator at 402-444-6536, ext. 1024.

Tai Chi for Balance classes

Vols needed to become ombudsman advocates

he 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 Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. at the Visiting Nurse Association building, 12565 W. Center Rd. Registration will occur immediately before the class. For more information, please contact Lausterer at 402346-7772 or

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. 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 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 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 402-444-6536.




Free Packaged Medicine Services


Free Delivery Compression Wear Prescriptions Travel Vaccinations Respiratory Equipment Mobility Equipment


Home Modifications Flu Shots Shingles Vaccinations

T Discover Kohll’s Rx TODAY!

Eight locations serving Nebraska and Southwest Iowa • 402-408-1990 Page 6

New Horizons

November 2019


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. The Nov. 11 meeting will feature a presentation by Alley the Arson Dog and her trainer David Sobotka. For more information, please call Dorothy at 402399-0759 or Mary at 402393-3052.

Omaha Computer Users Group meets monthly at Swanson Library


ou’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 their 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 to show users how to solve their computer problems. For more information, please call Phill Sherbon at 402-333-6529.

VAS to help with reviews

Medicare open enrollment period is scheduled through Dec. 7 Medicare’s 2019 annual open enrollment period runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. This is the time to review your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage coverage, and if needed, switch to a different plan for 2020. Even if you’re satisfied with your coverage, you should review your options for next year to see if there’s a plan that better meets your needs. Medicare beneficiaries could find a different plan that would cover their medications at a lower cost and/or with fewer restrictions. Medigap supplement policies aren’t subject to an annual open enrollment period. Last year, Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS) helped 1,911 people review their coverage during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period. Those who switched to a less expensive plan averaged a $1,116 savings in their prescription drug costs for 2019. VAS is scheduling appointments at various locations throughout the Omaha area to assist Medicare beneficiaries with Part D and Medicare Advantage plan reviews again this year. To schedule your appointment, call 402-444-6617. DODGE COUNTY Friday, Nov. 1 9 a.m. to noon Fremont Friendship Center 1730 W. 16th St. Friday, Nov. 8 9 a.m. to noon Fremont Friendship Center 1730 W. 16th St. Friday, Nov. 15 9 a.m. to noon Fremont Friendship Center 1730 W. 16th St. Friday, Nov. 22 9 a.m. to noon Fremont Friendship Center 1730 W. 16th St. DOUGLAS COUNTY Monday, Nov. 4 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Immanuel AgeWell 6801 N. 67th Plz. Tuesday, Nov. 5 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane University 4020 S. 147th St #100 Wednesday, Nov. 6 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Friday, Nov. 8 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Wednesday, Nov. 13 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Thursday, Nov. 14 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane University 4020 S. 147th St. #100

Hearing loss group The Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America, a support group for hard of hearing adults, will meet next on Tuesday, Nov. 12 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

Please see the ad on page 3

New Horizons Club gains new members $25 Leni Rauschenberg $5 Kathleen Koons Mary Shriver Reflects donations received through October 25, 2019.

Bilingual resource information Bilingual information about hospice care, palliative care, helping loved ones with grief and loss, and caregiving is available through the Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Partnership. The number for the Cuidando con Carino Compassionate Care HelpLine is (toll free) 1-877-658-8896. The service is offered weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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

Saturday, Nov. 16 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Monday, Nov. 18 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Tuesday, Nov. 19 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane University 4020 S. 147th St #100 Wednesday, Nov. 20 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Thursday, Nov. 21 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Baright Library 5555 S. 77th St. Ralston Monday, Nov. 25 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Tuesday, Nov. 26 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane University 4020 S. 147th St, #100 Monday, Dec. 2 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Doane University 4020 S. 147th St. #100 Wednesday, Dec. 4 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Friday, Dec. 6 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312

November 2019

New Horizons

Page 7

Mark Langan built his career based on helping people By Nick Schinker Contributing Writer


hey say to write about what you know, and Mark Langan knows bad guys. Author of the best-selling and award-winning true crime book Busting Bad Guys: My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers, and Ladies of the Night (, Langan served on the Omaha Police Department for 26 years, rising from the OPD’s youngest rookie officer to working as a detective sergeant in the Burglary, Vice, and Narcotics Units. After retiring from the OPD in 2004, Langan went on to serve 15 years as vice-president of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS), going as he put it, “from busting meth labs to chasing black labs.” In his role with the NHS, he became an advocate for all animals, working to strengthen and enforce laws against animal cruelty and dog fighting, among many others. He was appointed in 2000 to the Judicial Nominating Commission where he served eight years helping select candidates for judgeships in Nebraska. Now retired from the NHS, Langan was most recently appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts to the Nebraska Board of Parole, a post he will hold until 2025. From the witness stand to national news programs, Langan is recognized as an expert on crime. He knows bad guys – many of them personally. Call it destiny. “I had a police scanner radio at about age 10,” Langan recalls. “I would race out on my bike to try and get to a call first and see what the police would do.” As a student at Blessed Sacrament Grade School, he would watch police cars speed past the building at 30th Street and Curtis Avenue. “I told myself I would be in one of those cruisers one day,” he says. “It’s the only thing I ever wanted to do.”


ark Langan was the third child born to Jerome “Jerry” and Elizabeth “Lib” Langan. When Mark was born, his brother, Tom, was already 20 years old, and his sister, Judi, was 17. “I was not planned,” Langan says, smiling. His mom was a homemaker, and his dad was a career federal law enforcement officer, serving 39 years as a United States Marshal. Over his career, Jerry Langan escorted prisoners, including one of the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted, more than a million miles between courts, jails, and prisons. “When I was a kid, my dad would take my buddies and me to the office on the weekends,” Langan writes in Busting Bad Guys. “These were no ordinary adventures, because

Page 8

Langan’s first book is an Amazon best-seller with more than 20,000 copies purchased. It won the bronze medal for best true crime book nationally in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. my dad’s office had jail cells, vaults with all kinds of guns, and courtrooms for us to play in. I loved the hidden door in the back of the judge’s bench, and the bulletproof paneling under his desk that I would dive under pretending to be under attack. “I would appear in this courtroom years later, dressed in a suit and tie, and sworn in to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.”


fter graduating from Omaha Roncalli High School, Langan was attending Creighton University when in the spring of 1978 he saw an advertisement that the minimum age for becoming an Omaha Police Department officer was 19. Though he was only 18, he

New Horizons

thought he’d take a chance – and the OPD tests, which included reading, writing, and physical exams, as well as an oral interview. Out of 140 eligible candidates, he ranked sixth. And though he was still just 18, Langan was accepted and became the youngest officer ever hired by the OPD. He wasn’t even old enough to register his handgun – Langan’s father had to do it for him. Although they were unhappy he was quitting college, his parents supported Mark’s decision. “After I was hired, mom would listen to the police scanner,” he says, “then ask me the next day about a call.”


rom his work in uniform to his undercover investigations, Langan saw just about everything at least once. “I was 18 for a

November 2019

week, then I turned 19 in the police academy,” he says. “Let’s put it this way: I had to mature at an accelerated rate.” He hit the ground running, handling calls that included homicides, fatal auto accidents, sexual assaults, and death notifications. It wasn’t easy work. “I could let the streets eat me up alive, or I could mature quickly and learn how to handle the stress,” he says. “Luckily, I chose the second.” Mark recounts many of his experiences – including his fatal shooting of an armed drug dealer on Feb. 14, 2002 – in his book. He earned many commendations and awards as an officer, including the Medal of Valor for bravery during that Valentine’s Day shooting, and the Distin--Please turn to page 16.

Covers pre-school to midlife years

Study: Slower walkers have accelerated aging, look older


he walking speed of 45-year-olds, particularly their fastest walking speed without running, can be used as a marker of their aging brains and bodies, according to a recent Duke University study. Slower walkers were shown to have “accelerated aging” on a 19-measure scale devised by researchers. Their lungs, teeth, and immune systems tended to be in worse shape than people who walked faster. “The thing that’s really striking is this is in 45-year-old people, not the geriatric patients who are usually assessed with such measures,” said lead researcher Line J.H. Rasmussen, a post-doctoral researcher in the Duke University department of psychology & neuroscience. Equally striking, neurocognitive testing these individuals took as children could predict who would become the slower walkers. At age 3, their scores on IQ, understanding language, frustration tolerance, motor skills, and emotional control predicted their walking speed at age 45. “Doctors know slow walkers in their 70s and 80s tend to die sooner than fast walkers their same age,” said senior author Terrie E. Moffitt, the Nannerl O. Keohane University Professor of Psychology at Duke University, and professor of Social Development at King’s College London. “This study covered the period from the preschool years to midlife, and found a slow walk is a problem sign decades before old age,” Moffitt said. The data comes from a long-term study of nearly 1,000 people born during a single year in Dunedin, New Zealand. The 904 research participants in the study have been tested, quizzed, and measured their entire lives, most recently from April 2017 to April 2019 at age 45. MRI exams during their last assessment showed the slower walkers tended to have lower total brain volume, lower mean cortical thickness, less brain surface area, and higher incidence of white matter “hyperintensities,” small lesions associated with small vessel disease of the brain. In short, their brains appeared to be somewhat older. Adding insult to injury perhaps, the slower walkers also looked older to a panel of eight screeners who assessed each participant’s “facial age” from a photograph. Gait speed has long been used as a measure of health and aging in geriatric patients, but what’s new in this study is the relative youth of the study subjects and the ability to see how walking speed matches up with health measures the study has collected during their lives. “It’s a shame we didn’t have gait speed and brain imaging for them as children,” Rasmussen said. The MRI was invented when the subjects were age 5 but was not given to children for many years after. Some of the differences in health and cognition may be tied to lifestyle choices these individuals have made. The study also suggests there are already signs in early life of who would become the slowest walkers, Rasmussen said. “We may have a chance here to see who’s going to do better health-wise in later life.” (Duke University provided this information.)

Please support New Horizons advertisers

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 *Elevated Stools *LED Lighting




Locations available in all parts of the Omaha area

New Home Features:

For NW/Elkhorn Living: 402-916-9883 *New home Low Maintenance & Warranties For SW Living: 402-895-1100 or 402-896-9200 *Energy Efficient For Bellevue/Papillion Living: 402-614-6088 *Cambria Quartz Countertops *Hardie-Plank Cement Siding *Lawn & Snow Services Available * This is Universal Design; not ADA Standards.

THANK YOU SPONSORS! Symphony Pops Series Sponsor


Please donate food items at the Holland Center now through December for Food Bank for the Heartland.

M Fam ake it Y il o Trad y Holid ur ition ay !


DECEMBER 19 - 22 HOLLAND CENTER A stellar cast of Broadway performers send your spirits soaring with festive favorites and Christmas classics. Programs, dates, artists, times, and pricing subject to change.

November 2019

| 402.345.0606 Levels 1 - 4. Restrictions may apply. Expires 10/31/18 OMAHASYMPHONY.ORG

New Horizons

Page 9

Free workshop for family caregivers


egistration is underway for a free educational workshop on Nov. 2 that will help family caregivers understand how to provide the best possible care for their loved ones with dementia. The workshop is presented by Nancy Flaherty, a certified dementia practitioner and president of Flaherty Senior Consulting. “This workshop provides caregivers with helpful information and opportunities to learn from and support each other so they can provide the best possible care to their loved ones,” Flaherty said. Saturday, Nov. 2: Creating a Plan for Peace of Mind: Short Term and Long Term. Find out what resources are available to make a safe plan. Presented with Nolan Clare of Clare Senior Advisors. The workshop will 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 the workshop. To register, contact Sister Margaret Stratman at 402-951-3026 or email her at For more information, contact Flaherty at 402-312-9324 or

Millard Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Millard Senior Center at Montclair, 2304 S. 135th Ave., this month for the following: • Nov. 1: Treat Day. Bring a snack/treat to share. • Nov. 7: Methodist College nursing students will be at the center to play chair volleyball with the participants. • Nov. 9: Dress in patriotic clothes in honor of Veterans Day. • Nov. 13: Board meeting @ 9:45 a.m. • Nov. 15: Music by George and the Juniors @ 10 a.m. • Nov. 19: Join us at the movies. Time and movie TBA. • Nov. 20: P.A.W.S. meeting @ 10 a.m. • Nov. 21: Methodist College nursing students’ presentation @ 9:30 a.m. • Nov. 26: Play canasta @ 1:30 p.m. The center will be closed on Veterans Day and on Nov. 28 and 29 for Thanksgiving 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.

Florence Home Healthcare Center Is a Four-Star Facility! We offer quality post-acute and long-term clinical services by people who truly care in an environment that promotes healing and wellness.

Inspiring the individuals we serve to live life to the fullest.

Call 402-827-6000 for a personal tour OMAHASENIORCARE.ORG •

New Horizons


y friend, Holly, is a wonderful pianist. I recently accompanied her to one of her gigs at a senior center. The audience’s response was that of pure delight. She stirred happiness and good memories as she played the old tunes they know so well. Holly also benefits as she shares her musical gifts with others who enjoy them so much. Her Third Chapter of Life purpose is to play for older adults in nursing homes and assisted living settings. Their pleasure in hearing Holly’s music is matched by her enjoyment in playing for them. This is one example of how the arts benefit the human spirit for those who create and those who enjoy the arts. There’s also a scientific reason why this is true. A chemical in our brains that causes a rush of pleasure and reward is called dopamine. This chemical has gotten a bad rap because it’s what addicts are seeking in massive amounts. There are many healthy ways to experience the natural high due to dopamine. Among these are good sleep, exercise, protein, sunshine, meditation, and physical contact. Another dopamine trigger I want to highlight here are the arts and culture. Research shows cultural engagement (i.e. singing, playing a musical instrument, making crafts, visiting museums, watching movies, etc.) is a strong antidote to depression. A study of older adults found those who engaged in active cultural pursuits enjoyed better overall physical health, fewer doctor visits, less medication, fewer falls, less loneliness, and better morale within a year. Take a closer look online at

Difficulties experienced as we age (the death of a partner, poor health, fewer social interactions, or economic stress) can easily lead to depression. About one-quarter of older adults experience depression. For this reason, it’s beneficial for this population to choose cultural engagement to prevent and reduce depression. “Cultural engagement involves cognitive stimulation, social interaction, and gentle physical activity,” said Daisy

Conscious Aging By Nancy Hemesath

Fancourt, a senior researcher in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health at University College. A common mindset of our generation has been that work should always have priority over more “frivolous” activities such as music, dance, crafts, artwork, plays, and movies. However, science shows the brain needs these more pleasurable activities in order to thrive. For me this has meant getting season tickets to the Omaha Symphony because I seldom make the effort to go if I don’t commit myself ahead of time. It also may mean having movie buddies who regularly see a good show together and then discuss the film. It might mean memberships at a museum or a theater. If money is short, there are many free concerts and art shows. I know several older adults who have taken up painting, crafts, learning a musical instrument, or creative writing. For many of us, these activities were put on hold while we held down a full-time job and raised a family. Now’s the opportunity to do what our past work lives didn’t allow us to pursue. “Her music makes me feel so good. I look forward to it every week. I just wish she could play longer and more often,” said someone who listened to Holly’s performance. I’m reminded of a song popular in our youth which says we need bread, but we also need roses. Without the beauty of the arts, where would we be? (Hemesath is the owner of Encore Coaching. She is dedicated to supporting people in the Third Chapter of Life. Contact her at

Christmas dinner at St. Margaret Mary’s


maha-area residents age 65 and older who otherwise will be alone on Christmas Day are invited to attend a 2 p.m. holiday dinner and celebration at St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Church, 6116 Dodge St. Round-trip transportation is available. The program can also provide homedelivered dinners on Christmas Day to homebound older adults in the Omaha area. For reservations, please call Mary at 402-670-2224 by Friday, Dec. 20. Please indicate whether transportation and/ or a home-delivered meal are needed.

Older adults, caregivers needed for UNO, UNMC study

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE: • Skilled nursing • Cardio-pulmonary rehab • Respite care • Long-term care

Page 10

We all need to take the time to enjoy the wonderful things life has to offer

Researchers at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the University of Nebraska Medical Center are looking for healthy adults and caregivers for an older adult with a chronic disease (e.g., dementia, cancer, or cardiovascular disease) to participate in a research study. The study involves two visits of 3.5 hours each. Compensation for study participation is available. The experiment involves completing questionnaires and computer tasks, taking samples of saliva for hormone analyses, and undergoing brain imaging. To be eligible for the study, participants must be 19 to 75 years of age, have compre-

November 2019

hension of written and spoken English, the mobility to travel to the UNO campus, and have completed a minimum of two years of high school or higher. You’re not eligible for the study if you have a diagnosis of a neurological or psychiatric disease (e.g., stroke, schizophrenia), vision, hearing or motor difficulties, or if you are pregnant, have metal implanted in your body, or are taking an antidepressant medication or glucocorticoid-based oral medication or cream (e.g., cortisone). For more information, please contact Janelle Beadle, Ph.D. at 402-554-5961 or

Eclectic Book Review Club

Elder Access Line

The Eclectic Book Review Club, founded in 1949, will meet again on Nov. 19. The monthly meeting, which includes lunch and the book review, will be held at noon at the Field Club, 3615 Woolworth Ave. The cost is $15 per person per month. On Nov. 19, Joy Johnson will discuss her new book, The BOOB (Burned Out Old Broads at Table 12) Girls XI the Gun Found at Marks. To reserve a seat, call Rita at 402-553-3147. The reservation deadline is the Friday Nov. 15.

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 a variety of topics like homestead exemptions and powers of attorney. 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.

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 • 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. 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

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.

Senate Committee on Aging studying link between hearing loss, frequency of falling


he American Academy of Audiology recently provided recommendations to the Senate Special Committee on Aging as it seeks to investigate the prevention and management of falls and fall-related injuries for older adults. In the comments, the Academy explained audiologists are the primary healthcare professionals who evaluate, diagnose, treat, and manage hearing loss and balance disorders in patients of all ages. The numbers of Americans facing hearing loss is at a record high and rising annually. More than 40 million Americans have some type of hearing loss. Vestibular symptoms and dizziness are a significant problem in older adults, and it has been estimated that 30% of persons older than age 60 and almost 50% of those over age 85 have experienced these and related symptoms. According to a study done by the Johns Hopkins University School

of Medicine, individuals with untreated mild hearing loss were nearly three times more likely to have a history of falling. A recent Canadian study looked at 2017 to 2018 hospital data and determined the leading cause for hospitalization in older adults is falls, with 51 percent of all injury-related hospitalization occurring with older men and women. The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging identified this issue as one of the greatest health problems facing the nation, citing the fact that in 2016, approximately three million older adults were treated in emergency rooms after falling, with the annual total direct medical cost of fall-related injuries for older Americans at approximately $50 billion. “We know there’s a direct link between hearing loss and falls,” said the American Academy of Audiology President Lisa Christensen, Au.D. who is also audiology program manager for Cook Children’s Medical Center in Ft. Worth, Texas. “Audiologists are experts in the area of vestibularspecific evaluation and intervention,” she explained. Audiologists perform an extensive battery of tests as part of the evaluation of the vestibular system. Depending on the findings of the exams, an audiologist may provide management options and, in some cases, refer the patient to an otolaryngologist, neurologist, or physical therapist. “It’s so important for older adults to see an audiologist. Falls are the leading cause of accidental death.” Christensen said.

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

November 2019

New Horizons

Page 11

Several things to ponder when choosing a plan during the Medicare open enrollment period

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 @ 1 p.m. • Third Wednesday: Community food pantry from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Nov. 18: Lunch & Learn program on Holiday Food Safety Mistakes presented by ENOA’s Michaela Howard. • Nov. 21: Welcoming party @ 1:30 p.m. • Nov. 27: November birthday celebration with music by Cynthia Ziesman sponsored by the Merrymakers @ 1:30 p.m. The following programs and services will also be available at Notre Dame/Seven Oaks this month: • Nov. 6: Program on tenant rights @ 10 a.m. • Nov. 7: Dental screenings from 8 a.m. to noon. • Nov. 12: Presentation on Seasonal Affective Disorders @ 1:30 p.m. • Nov. 14: Mobile diabetes center from 1 to 3 p.m. • Nov. 20: Health clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Nov. 20: Fair housing counselor from 10 a.m. to noon. • Nov. 20: Medicare/Medicaid assistance 10 a.m. to noon. 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.

AARP meeting on Nov. 18 to feature program on the USS Abner Read


he next meeting of The Florence AARP chapter will be Wednesday, Nov. 18 at Mountview Presbyterian Church, 5308 Hartman Ave. The event will begin with a noon lunch followed by a presentation by Michael Davis, a United States Navy veteran and an AARP volunteer. He will share the story of the USS Abner Read (DD 526), the only U.S. Navy ship known to have been sunk one and a half times during World War II. Davis will discuss how 71 crew members perished on Aug. 18, 1943 in the cold waters off the coast of Alaska. Then less than 15 months later an additional 24 shipmates gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Leyte Gulf off the coast of the Philippines on Nov. 1, 1944. For reservations, please call Gerry Goldsborough at 402-571-0971. Rides to the meeting are available by calling Ruth Kruse at 402-453-4825.

A Caring Community Called HOME! Independent & Assisted Living

• No Entrance Fee • Medicaid Waiver Approved • All Utilities & Housekeeping Included • Spacious 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments

49th & Q Street • 402-731-2118

Page 12

New Horizons

By Ginny Czechut


t’s that time of year again to choose a Medicare plan that fits your needs. Open enrollment goes until Dec. 7 with plans effective Jan. 1, 2020. What plan is right for you? Here are a few things to consider. If you’re over age 65 (or turning 65 in the next three months) and don’t receive Social Security benefits, you need to sign up for Medicare Parts A and B. One good way to find out what services or supplies you might need is to talk to your doctor or other health care provider about what Medicare covers. What’s covered is based on federal and state laws, national coverage decisions by Medicare, and local coverage decisions by companies that process Medicare claims. Original Medicare includes Hospital (Part A) and Medical (Part B) for any doctor or hospital that accepts Medicare across the U.S. Part A premiums are usually free. The Part B premium is $135.50 month. This covers 80% of most medical bills. You pay the remaining 20% of the cost with no annually limit. You can also buy a Medicare Supplement Policy (Medigap) to pay some of the out-of-pocket costs. If you want prescription drug coverage, you need to buy a Medicare Part D plan. If you enroll late in a Medigap or Part D plan it may cost more.

In general, Medicare A covers inpatient care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility care, inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care), hospice care, and home health care. Medicare Part B covers medically necessary services needed to diagnose or treat your medical condition, and preventive services, which include health care to prevent illness or to detect it at an early stage. Part B covers things like clinical research, ambulance services, durable medical equipment, mental health services, getting a second opinion before surgery, and limited prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage or other Medicare plans may have different rules but must provide at least the same coverage as original Medicare. Medicare D plan premiums range between $0 to $107 per month. Some services may only be covered in certain settings or for patients with certain conditions. Beneficiaries must use doctors and hospitals in the plan’s network for non-emergency care. Most of these plans include extra benefits like vision, dental, etc. These plans have a limit on out-of-pockets costs. Some plans require authorization for certain medical services. Medicare doesn’t cover everything. If you need certain services, you’ll have to pay for them unless you have other insurance coverage. Please turn to page 13.

Now’s the time to learn about hospice care By Lisa Dempsey


ovember is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in the United States. Don’t skip over this information because hospice is a tough topic to consider. Often, we tend to shy away from things we don’t understand or that aren’t currently relevant. Hospice might be something you or a loved one may need in the future, so it’s smart to learn about it now. Some people (maybe you?) think hospice care is just about dying and that hospice is “a place you go” to receive the care. This isn’t entirely true. Hospice goes wherever the patient calls home: a private residence, an assisted living facility, a retirement home, etc. Hospice is a philosophy of care for those with a terminal illness who have decided to stop treatment to fight their disease. They’ve decided to live the time remaining on their terms and as pain free as possible. The care team consists of the patient’s doctor, a medical director, nurse manager, social worker, bath aide, volunteer, and a chaplain.

November 2019

Together, they create a care plan. The patient and the patient’s family are always informed of any changes and recommendations to the plan. Given that, here are 10 facts to know about hospice: • Hospice isn’t a place. It’s a philosophy of care where pain is managed so the patient and family can focus on quality of life during the time that’s left. • Hospice is paid for by Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. Cost should never prevent a person from accessing hospice care. • Hospice serves anyone with a terminal illness, regardless of age or type of illness. • Hospice serves people of all backgrounds and traditions. The core values of hospice extend to everyone. Those values include allowing the patient to be with family, allowing caregivers to provide spiritual and emotional support, and allowing pain treatment. • The 2017 Nebraska End-of-Life survey by the Nebraska chapter of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reported 76.9% of the 1,100 respondents trusted their primary care physician with

information about end-oflife/hospice issues. • Hospice patients can receive care for six months at a time. Each six-month period for hospice needs to be certified by a physician to continue. • Hospice care uses a medical director who oversees the care provided. The patient, however, should keep their primary care physician involved while receiving hospice care. • The hospice care team includes volunteers who can make companionship visits and assist the family with any needs. This role is one of the unsung benefits of hospice care. • Many people know hospice to be 11th hour care and therefore, patients may be referred to hospice with only weeks or days left to live. Hospice provides the greatest value to everyone involved when it’s brought in sooner rather than later. • Sometimes patients rally once they receive hospice care. That may be because hospice manages pain and provides comfort which allows patients and caregivers to relax. (Dempsey is the volunteer coordinator for Prime Home Care LLC/Compassionate Care Hospice in Omaha.)

Self silence may lead to a stroke

Sharing your opinion good for your mental, physical health


xpressing your true feelings is not only good for your mental health, it could also be important for your physical health. A new study associates selfsilencing (inhibiting one’s self-expression) with greater carotid plaque buildup which could lead to a stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Individuals engaged in a North American Menopause Society (NAMS) study participated in a range of behaviors to maintain close relationships, some of which may be costly to their own health. One such behavior is selfsilencing, which is sometimes used to avoid conflict or relationship loss. Although self-silencing has been linked to worse mental and self-reported physical health in women, it hasn’t been previously examined in relation to women’s cardiovascular health. In this new study of 304 perimenopausal and postmenopausal non-smoking women, researchers tested whether self-silencing was associated with carotid atherosclerosis. They found greater self-silencing was related to increased odds of plaque independent of socio-demographics, CVD risk factors, and depression. The results were based on women’s self-reporting on a range of factors such as how often they expressed anger or put someone else’s needs before their own. Ultrasound imaging was used to quantify carotid plaque. “Given increased public health interest in women’s experiences in intimate relationships, our results suggest women’s socio-emotional expression may be relevant to their cardiovascular health,” says Karen Jakubowski, PhD, lead author of the study from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh. “Studies like this one are valuable as they highlight the importance of understanding how a woman’s emotional disposition can affect her physical health,” says Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director. “These results should encourage healthcare providers to take into consideration socio-emotional factors when outlining a preventive care plan for their patients.”


Omaha Fire Department

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.

Respite Care


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



he 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.


Widowed group

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.


ne in three adults covered by Medicare aren’t getting regular dental care, according to a new survey by The Seniors Citizens League. “We estimate that roughly 20 million older Americans are going without bi-annual cleanings, X-rays, and dental exams,” said Mary Johnson, a Social Security and Medicare policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League.  Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental health services, and that often comes as a surprise to new beneficiaries. More than half of survey participants say they don’t have any dental insurance coverage. The high cost of treatment is a frequently cited barrier by those who aren’t getting the dental care they need.  Advancing age puts many retirees at risk of oral health problems. A common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth, a side effect of more than 500 medications. Periodontal disease is widespread, even though it can be prevented with regular visits to the dentist and cleanings. In addition, research shows a strong link between oral health and a host of other diseases. “Poor oral health makes serious medical conditions more difficult to treat,” Johnson said.  Researchers have found links between gum disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Improved oral care can reduce medical costs in patients with inflammatory diseases, according to research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.  “To improve health outcomes for beneficiaries and reduce Medicare spending on diabetes and other inflammatory diseases, Medicare needs to cover routine dental care,” Johnson said. 

Omaha community centers


en and women age 75 and older are encouraged to use the City of Omaha’s community centers at no cost for open gym, weight areas, open and lap swimming, aquacise, and ice skating. Tai Chi classes are offered at the following locations and times: • Adams Park 3230 John Creighton Blvd. Mondays & Wednesdays 9:15 a.m.

For more information, please call 402-278-1731 or 402-493-0452.

Choosing a Medicare plan... --Continued from page 12. Even if Medicare covers a service or item, you generally have to pay your deductible, coinsurance, and a copayment.  Some of the items and services that Medicare doesn’t cover include longterm care, dental care, eye exams related to prescribing glasses, dentures, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids and exams for fitting them, and routine foot care. You can get prescription coverage through Medicare Part D or through a Medicare Advantage plan. Before

Survey: Most Medicare beneficiaries are not getting regular dental care

deciding, learn how prescription drug coverage works with your other drug coverage. Find out if you have drug coverage from an employer or union, TRICARE, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Indian Health Service, or a Medigap policy. Compare your coverage to what Medicare offers. If you have drug coverage through another plan, your Medicare drug coverage may change. Educate yourself about your choices. Talk to your doctor, read all the materials you get from your insurer or plan provider, and talk to your benefits administrator, insurer, or plan provider before you make any changes to your current coverage. Medicare can be confusing, but there are a lot of resources available to help you decide what’s best. Visit medicare. gov to learn more. (Czechut is with Midwest Geriatrics, Inc.)

November 2019

• Camelot 9270 Cady Ave Tuesdays & Fridays 10:30 a.m. • Florence 2920 Bondesson Ave. Mondays & Wednesdays 10:30 a.m. • Montclair 2304 S. 135th Ave. Thursdays 8:30 a.m.

For more information on these programs, please call 402-444-4228.

Alzheimer’s Association programs


he Alzheimer’s Association is offering a series of free programs this month. For more information, please call 402739-8636. Know the Ten Signs Nov. 7 6 to 7 p.m. Grand Reserve 3535 Piney Creek Rd. Elkhorn Know the Ten Signs Nov. 10 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Elkhorn Hills United Methodist Church 20227 Veterans Dr. Elkhorn Know the Ten Signs Nov. 12 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Armbrust YMCA 5404 S. 168th St.

Know the Ten Signs Nov. 15 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Engage Wellness Center 730 S. 38th Ave. Understanding and Responding to Dementia Related Behavior Nov. 20 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Kroc Center 2825 Y St. Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia Nov. 21 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Camelot Friendship Center 9270 Cady Ave. Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia Nov. 21 Noon to 1 p.m. Memorial Hospital 810 N. 22nd St. Blair

New Horizons

Page 13

The 211 network


Pets can reduce feelings of isolation, loneliness

he 211 telephone network has been established in parts of Nebraska to give consumers a single source for information about community and human services. By dialing 211, consumers can access information about human needs resources like food banks, shelters, rent and utility assistance, physical and mental health resources, employment, support for older Americans and persons with a disability, children, and families, as well as volunteer opportunities and donations. The 211 network is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The information is also available online at


Medicare Made Easy seminars

hree free Medicare Made Easy seminars designed to help consumers make changes to their Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans through Dec. 7, are scheduled for November at Think Whole Person Healthcare, 7100 W. Center Rd. Here’s the schedule: • Friday, Nov. 8 @ 11 a.m. • Thursday, Nov. 14 @ 1 p.m. • Wednesday, Nov. 20 @ 5 p.m. For reservations, please call 402-506-9376. Think Whole Person Healthcare also offers free, private consultations with Medicare specialists by calling 402-5069127 and Welcome to Medicare Wellness Doctor visits by calling 402-506-9000.

News, notes from the AARP Information Center


ou’re invited to attend a free program on Tips for Communicating with Your Physician on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the AARP Information Center, 1941 S. 42nd St. (Center Mall), Suite 220. The 1:30 p.m. presentation will be given by Easton Galindo, a clinical behavior specialist with the Visiting Nurse Association. After the program, both AARP members and nonmembers are welcome to stay to enjoy some coffee, conversation, and treats.

For reservations or more information, please call 402398-9568. ARP needs volunteers to help out at the front desk at its Information Center located inside the Center Mall. Training and orientation will be provided. Volunteers help out weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and weekdays from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, please call Betty Morris at 402-393-2066.


Acappella Omaha Chorus The Acappella Omaha Chorus’ annual fall show titled, Our Pajama Party, is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 9. The 7 p.m. performance will be held at the Ralston Community Theater located inside Ralston High School, 8969 Park Dr. The chorus will perform in their pajamas and guests are invited to attend wearing their pajamas. A free-will offering will be taken at the door to help defray expenses. For more information, please call 402-932-0155. 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

Page 14

New Horizons


ocial isolation is becoming an increasingly common issue, with one in five Americans reporting they feel lonely. Older adults are especially vulnerable to these feelings. In fact, 43% said they experience loneliness regularly. A new survey of adults age 65 and older by Home Instead, Inc. found regular interaction with animals can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. “While we recognize pet ownership isn’t for everyone, we find interaction with pets, even on a small scale, can have a big impact on older adults,” said Andy Gorman, a senior care expert and general manager of the Home Instead Senior Care in Omaha. “A simple act like petting a dog, holding a cat, or watching a bird can bring so much joy to a senior who may be feeling lonely.” Additional survey results found nearly half of older pet owners cited stress relief, a sense of purpose, and exercise as leading advantages to owning a pet. In addition to providing positive health benefits, pets can also provide constant companionship for older adults who would prefer to age in place. In fact, 82% of older animal owners surveyed said they wouldn’t consider moving to a senior living community without their pet. These findings aren’t a surprise to Steve Feldman, executive director of the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization. “There is a strong connection between heart health and pet ownership or interaction,”

Feldman said. “Pet owners are more likely to get recommended levels of exercise, have lower blood pressure, and experience reduced levels of stress. Pets have even been shown to aid in recovery after a heart attack.” While there are many benefits to owning a pet later in life, Home Instead also found even occasional interactions with pets prove to be beneficial for older adults. Survey results indicate older men and women achieve the same positive feelings when spending time with animals in other capacities such as visiting with pets owned by family, friends, or neighbors. “This interaction is especially important, as it also provides the opportunity to socialize with other people, further reducing feelings of loneliness,” Gorman said. “Our goal is to keep seniors safe and happy in their own homes for as long as possible and many times that includes helping them with their own pet, taking them to dog parks, or visiting pet-friendly businesses to gain that animal interaction they desire.” Elisabeth Van Every, communications and outreach coordinator for Pet Partners, a nonprofit North American therapy animal organization, agreed. “Research also shows animal interaction can help perceptions of pain and discomfort, and improve motivation for treatment protocols for diseases such as cancer by helping individuals feel more focused and positive moving forward,” she said. “Even interactions for half an hour a week can make a difference.”

A focus on preventing, slowing Alzheimer’s disease UsAgainstAlzheimer’s recently released a paper that highlights the strengths, gaps, and opportunities for exploration within non-pharmacological interventions for Alzheimer’s disease, which could slow, delay, or prevent the disease and related dementias. The paper’s release comes as research and evidence point the scientific community in the direction of risk modifying measures that can strengthen brain health and increase resiliency against cognitive decline. “For decades, the medical and research community has had a relentless, singular focus on curing Alzheimer’s disease – not preventing it,” said George Vradenburg, chairman and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. “It is the only disease we treat this way. Thankfully, emerging evidence is showing us clearly that when it comes to curing or preventing Alzheimer’s, it’s time for us to now focus on doing both.” The World Health Organization stated unequivocally that “dementia is not a natural or inevitable consequence of aging.” In recommending ways to reduce the risk of developing dementia today, the

November 2019

report focused on a number of risk modifying behaviors including exercise, eating well, managing other health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; staying socially engaged, and avoiding smoking, overeating, and excessive drinking. “The latest research is showing clearly that behavior modifications can have an impact today in slowing and even possibly preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dr. Mark Hyman, director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. “We must dedicate more resources to studying the impact of these interventions to fully understand the potential benefits for individuals who want to do something about combatting cognitive decline,” Hyman said. “We cannot afford to leave scientific opportunity on the table,” Vradenburg said. “This means providing scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – where much of this research is conducted – the resources they need to validate the benefits of non-pharma interventions with the strongest possible scientific rigor. It means acknowledging the needed urgency for boosting clinical trial participation (particularly among communities of color and women), increasing NIH funding of $350 million for fiscal year 2020, and broadening Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services payment and reimbursement mechanisms that would allow us to keep pace with the latest science and explore both pharma and non-pharma pathways wherever they lead.” “The UsAgainstAlzheimer’s paper demonstrates we must dramatically increase the scale and scope of studies around non-pharmacological interventions, particularly with special attention to women, communities of color, and those without exposure to higher education who experience higher risk for dementia,” said David G. Morgan, Michigan State University professor of translational neuroscience. “Our focus must be on adequately funding large-scale research into lifestyle, dietary, brain training, social engagement, and medical device interventions which are hard to support from private funding sources,” he said. The cost incurred by doing nothing will exact a far higher toll on our healthcare system, our economy, and the 5.8 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s and their 16 million caregivers.

Safety tips for those using the Internet, social media


ocial media is no longer the exclusive domain of millennials and members of Generation Y. A new study has found 67% of older Americans use the Internet with 34% having social media accounts. “Although a lot of seniors are embracing smart and social technology, they need to be reminded about its dangers. Online scammers can take advantage of older people’s trusting nature,” said Daniel Markuson, the digital privacy expert at NordVPN. Older adults use the Internet for talking with friends and family, shopping, watching videos, and reading the news. Older men and women, however, are often targeted by scammers who see them as wealthy and vulnerable. Scams try to exploit weaknesses, so Markuson identified the five most common mistakes made by inexperienced Internet users. He also listed some tips to help protect consumers. • Using weak passwords: When signing up for a new account, your first priority is to set a strong, complex, and unique password. For best security, use different passwords for each account changing them occasionally to avert possible data breaches. • Sharing personal information: Avoid putting your email address, phone number, home address, or vacation plans on blogs, forums, and social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Never reveal your Social Security number online, as identity thieves can wreak havoc with that information. Markuson advised not sharing feelings or participating in heated discussions online. Cybercriminals are looking for emotionally vulnerable people they can exploit using psychological techniques. • Falling for online shopping scams: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, older adults lose more than $3 billion each year to financial scams. New or trusting Internet users are rich pickings for fraudsters. Learn this simple rule: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some websites will send fake items instead of what was advertised. Some will take your money and run. In either case, scammers now have their hands on the victim’s credit card details. How do you identify a fake e-shop? Markuson said to look for the telltale signs like poor website design, broken English, suspicious domain names, shady contact information, unclear return policies, poor customer reviews, etc. • Clicking on phishing links: Fraudulent emails hide malware and viruses to infect your computer. Don’t open phishing links, download suspicious attachments, or click on fraudulent links. Hackers use them to inject tracking programs and potentially hijacking your device. Believing fake news: The Internet is full of seemingly reputable websites that aim to influence readers through fake news. Misleading news about politics or finances may cause panic and cloud judgement. (NordVPN provided this information.)

Get a free Thanksgiving meal through the Salvation Army’s annual Turkeyfest program


en and women in the Omaha area age 60 and older who would like to receive a free, hot Thanksgiving dinner are encouraged to sign up for the Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest program. Recipients – who must be home on Thanksgiving Day morning when the volunteer stops by – will receive a meal which will include turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, a dinner roll, and dessert. To sign up for the Turkeyfest from Nov. 6 through 21, please call 402-8987538 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please make sure to speak with an operator. No voice mails will be accepted.



he American Cancer Society needs volunteers to help out at its office located at 9850 Nicholas St. Men and women are needed to answer phones, provide customer service to office visitors, connect volunteers with appropriate staff members, open and sort mail, prepare bulk mailings, fold brochures, cut paper, collate materials, assemble packages, fold and sort t-shirts. Training will be provided for these men and women who are needed weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Volunteers normally help out a few hours at a time and can be scheduled based on their availability. For more information, contact Sherry Welton at 402-393-5801, ext. 70760 or online at


93rd & Maple • 402-397-6921

Cartagena Painting Service

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


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

Please call 402-444-4148 or 402- 444-6654 to place your ad


Lamplighter II

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


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


A+ Heartland Concrete Const.

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

23-year BBB member

402-731-2094 Senior Citizens (62+)

OLD STUFF WANTED (before 1975)

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…

Accepting applications for HUD-subsidized apartments in Papillion & Bellevue.

Johansen Brothers

Bellewood Courts


Call Frank

1002 Bellewood Court Bellevue (402) 292-3300

Older adults sought for balance study niversity of Nebraska Medical Center researchers are looking for volunteers age 60 to 70 for a research study. The study’s purpose is to investigate how the sensation of vibration on the bottom of the feet can potentially improve older adults’ ability to maneuver around obstacles without losing their balance. This study is funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant. Information gained could also be used to support the bodily awareness of astronauts in environments of partial weightlessness.

Volunteers are needed at American Cancer Society

deFreese Manor

Monarch Villas

201 Cedar Dale Road Papillion (402) 331-6882

Participants – who will be compensated with a gift card – will be asked to complete a 10-minute screening for balance and cognitive ability when they arrive at UNMC. They will also be asked to walk down a 10foot walkway and step over two obstacles approximately one to two inches tall while wearing inserts in their shoes that vibrate slightly against the soles of the feet. The study will last less than two hours. For more information, please call 402-350-7427 or send an email to

Managed by Kimball Management, Inc. PO Box 460967 Papillion, NE 68046

Subsidized housing for those age 62 and over with incomes under $28,600 (1 person) or $32,650 (two persons) 2669 Dodge Omaha, NE 402-345-0622

We do business in accordance with the Fair Housing Law.

ENOA November 2019

New Horizons

Page 15

Author, ex-cop now member of Nebraska’s parole board -Continued from page 8. guished Service Medal. His career is a fascinating read, and his book is now earning awards and accolades both inside and outside law enforcement. An Amazon bestseller with more than 20,000 copies purchased, it won the bronze medal for best true crime book nationally in the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Langan contacted one of his favorite authors, former Los Angeles Police Department Detective Joseph Wambaugh, seeking an endorsement for Busting Bad Guys. And though Wambaugh was unable to endorse an independently-published book, he did telephone Langan and wish him luck. Today, Langan’s book is fifth out of the Top 15 “must-reads” on the website – ranked ahead of Wambaugh’s crime novel The Choirboys at number 13.


angan left the OPD in 2004, one year after a new police union contract set the minimum retirement age at 45. He did many brave and honorable things in his career, and he’s proud of the fact that no fellow officer was injured or killed in his time as a command officer. “We did a lot of dangerous things, especially in narcotics,” he says. “Having someone hurt or killed under my command was my biggest fear, and what drove me to be so careful when we did those operations.” One day, Mark was home eating lunch when he got a call from retired OPD Sergeant Dave Schlotman who was working as vice-president of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society. Schlotman was planning on leaving that job, and knowing Langan was eligible for retirement from the OPD, discussed with Mark the possibility of him taking the post with the NHS. Langan talked it over with his wife, Annette, and he took the job. “I told her I’d probably be there a couple of years,” Mark recalls. Fifteen years later, he is marking his second retirement. At the NHS, Langan worked with local and state officials, including many in the Nebraska Legislature, to strengthen and enhance the laws protecting animals. “There was a lot of law enforcement involved in our work,” he says. “All the animal cruelty, and the link between domestic violence and animal cruelty. The hoarding cases and the mental health issues involved there. The connection between gangs and dog fighting.” He and the NHS worked to make proac-

Langan attending an Omaha Police Department memorial ceremony in 2017. tive changes on law enforcement, including the dedication of a city prosecutor to animal cruelty cases. “We collaborated with several agencies to get help for those people where mental health issues had an impact on their treatment of animals, especially in hoarding cases,” he says. “Our goal was more than prosecution. We were trying to find ways to keep these people from reoffending.” Langan lobbied the Legislature to increase the number of state inspectors locating and exposing puppy mills. “Even with the significant divide between rural and urban districts, and in some ways, the differences in thinking, we had great success working with the senators,” he says.

Mark and Annette Langan in the back yard of their Omaha home. The Langans have two children and two grandsons.

Page 16

New Horizons

Mark says he has always been drawn to jobs where he could help people, “and the NHS was way more than an animal job.”


ow officially retired again, Langan is looking forward to the challenges of serving on the Nebraska Board of Parole. He and Annette have two children and two grandsons, and they plan on spending plenty of time with them. And there is Book Two. As yet untitled, Langan is hard at work stringing together the stories that he hopes will become another best-seller. Because, as any good cop knows, you never run out of bad guys.

During his career as vice-president of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society from 2004 to 2019, Langan had an opportunity to interact with a variety of animals including this Nile monitor lizard.

November 2019

Profile for Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging

New Horizons November 2019  

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 November 2019  

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