A publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging
October 2017 VOL. 42 • NO. 10
ENOA 4780 South 131st Street Omaha, NE 68137-1822
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID OMAHA NE PERMIT NO. 389
New Horizons ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
Nancy Thompson is the Director of Public Policy for the OneWorld Community Health Centers. The organization’s headquarters are located in the former Livestock Exchange Building (background). Thompson, a LaVista resident who represented Sarpy County in the Unicameral from 1997 to 2006, is a long-time advocate for children and families in Nebraska. Nick Schinker chronicles Thompson’s career beginning on page 10.
Support Providing long-term, in-home care for an older loved one is often stressful. Programs and services that can reduce the caregiver’s stress and help keep the care receiver living at home are available through ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program. Staff members are Mike Osberg (seated) and back row (left to right): Maria Champion and Kathy Daniels. See page 20.
Tips for downsizing your home
t some point most people think about downsizing their home, especially if they’re close to retirement. The thought of downsizing can seem overwhelming and daunting. Harris Rosen offers hundreds of tips for all of life’s milestone moments in his popular book My Family Record Book available on Amazon. Originally drafted as a plan for his wife after his passing, it was turned into a book to help others. Some of the chapters include charitable giving, investments, insurance, leases, medical information, equipment maintenance, and home information. Here are Rosen’s tips for downsizing your home: • Begin to go through your possessions long before you’re going to move. Dispose of what you can now by either using it, selling it, giving it away, or junking it. But don’t move it. • For the items that are going with you, begin packing immediately and label each box with its destination so it ends up in the right place. Example: Kitchen: Mugs and glasses. The more detailed your labeling, the easier it will be to store and eventually unpack those items. • Color code where you can with tags, stickers, or markers. For example, everything with a blue tag goes into one room, red tags into another. This makes it easier for movers to keep the items together even if they can’t read your handwriting or they speak a different language.
• Create a photo album by taking a photo of an item, putting that photo on the box so you can see what’s inside. Identify bigger items, their condition, and where they should go when they arrive at your new home. Including measurements can be helpful for movers as well.
• For items you’re selling consider selling locally so you know who you’re dealing with. Contact your local police department to see if they offer a natural ground spot with a camera for the exchange of money and items. Measure and weigh the items you’re selling so there’s no confusion when they’re picked up. • Never give out banking information for transfers or other reasons. Make the terms of the sale very clear including no returns, cash only, etc.
Five keys for grieving
fter the loss of her husband, Jean Birckhead wished she’d been given a manual on how to grieve. She was about to enter a difficult and uncertain chapter in her life that even her counseling experience had not prepared her for. Birckhead has combined her personal experience with her professional training to provide the guidebook she always wanted in Five Keys for Grieving People: An Unofficial Guide to Your New Normal. While mourning is a deeply personal experience, Five Keys for Grieving People helps normalize any feelings exhibited after the passing of a loved one. Additionally, Birckhead emphasizes the fact grief is not about the individual who has passed, but concerns the person left behind. In the book, she discusses five essential keys that will help the heartbroken learn to process their grief, find purpose in the pain, and settle into their new normal. “Grieving is a necessary process that has its ups and downs but, too often, we get stalled because we are stuck on a person that is no longer there,” Birckhead said. “Five Keys for Grieving People helps individuals focus on themselves, understand their emotions, and eventually find a purpose in the loss.” Birckhead brings an insightful Christian perspective that can aid individuals battling various encounters with grief. For more information, please visit www.jeanbirckhead.com. Five Keys for Grieving People: An Unofficial Guide to Your New Normal is available at bookstores and online bookdealers.
Senior Moving Services
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We offer a full range of moving services that we believe can reduce the stress and anxiety related to your move. We specialize in both the physical and the emotional aspects of this type of move.
Examples of Services: • Provide a complimentary in-home assessment to determine your transitional needs. • Plan, schedule, and coordinate all aspects of the move. • Prepare a floor plan. • Organize, sort, pack, and unpack household contents. • Prepare change of address for mail delivery. • Coordinate transfer of utilities, phone, and cable service. • Disconnect and reconnect electronics. • Unpack and settle your new home including hang the shower curtain, make the beds, and hang the pictures; making your new home feel familiar. • Coordinate shipment of special heirlooms to family members. • Coordinate a profitable dispersal of remaining household items through estate sale, auction, consignment, and/or donation.
Senior Moving Services today at
We understand the anxiety and the challenges, and we will personally see you through the entire move process; from the first phone call until the last picture is hung. There is hard work to be done and well will be with you every step of the way.
To learn more, contact
A dozen ways to help prevent falls
hether it’s from dizziness, medication side effects, certain health conditions like arrhythmias, or tripping over an uneven surface, the fact is the older we get the more likely we are to fall. For some older adults, it’s a serious and recurring problem. Kurt Kazanowski MS, RN, CHE, a hospice, homecare, and senior care expert, who is author of A Son’s Journey: Taking Care of Mom and Dad, says there are 12 steps you can take to help prevent falls: • Check the floors: Move the furniture in walkways and hallways so the path is clear. Remove rugs or use doublesided tape or a non-slip backing so the rugs won’t slip. Pick up any loose objects like papers, books, towels, shoes, magazines, boxes, and blankets. Tape or clip wires and cords to the wall. • Check stairs and steps: Always keep objects off the stairs. Fix loose or uneven steps. Make sure the carpet is firmly attached to every step, or remove the carpet and attach non-slip rubber treads to the stairs. Have an electrician put in an overhead light at the top and bottom of the stairs. Make sure handrails are tightly secured to the walls. • In the kitchen: Move more frequently used items like cups and dishes to the lower shelves of cabinets. If you must use a step stool to reach items that are stored higher up, get one with a bar to hold on to. Never use a chair. Make sure all kitchen chairs are even and don’t wobble back and forth. • In the bathroom: Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower. Install a grab bar inside the tub and next to the toilet. Consider installing a floor level shower that doesn’t require
climbing or stepping into. • In the bedroom: Place a lamp close to the bed where it’s easy to reach. Put in a nightlight so you can see where you’re walking at night. Consider carpeting which can absorb the impact of a fall better than tile. • Check medications: Ask your pharmacist to review the medications you take. Some can make you sleepy, dizzy, and more prone to falls. • Wear shoes as much as possible: Sneakers with a firm rubber bottom that grips the ground well are best. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers or socks only. • Easy access to help: Keep emergency phone numbers in large print and near each phone. Put a phone near the floor in case of a fall and you can’t get up. Think about getting an emergency response system that with the click of a button will bring help if you’ve fallen and can’t get up. • Vision checks: Get regular vision checkups at least once a year. Poor eyesight can contribute to falls. • Regular exercise: Exercise makes you stronger and improves balance and coordination. Regular exercise may help reduce falls or the injuries from falls. Always check with your physician before starting an exercise program. • Protective clothing: Hip protectors, knee pads, elbow pads, wrist splints, and soft foam helmets can greatly reduce or eliminate serious injuries. • Nutritional changes: Speak with your doctor about adding calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin C. These may help prevent fractures and reduce falls.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertisements appearing in New Horizons do not imply endorsement of the advertiser by the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. However, complaints about advertisers will be reviewed and, if warranted, their advertising discontinued. Display and insert advertising rates available on request. Open rates are commissionable, with discounts for extended runs. Circulation is 20,000 through direct mail and freehand distribution.
Editor....................................................Jeff Reinhardt Ad Mgr................Mitch Laudenback, 402-444-4148 Contributing Writers......Nick Schinker, Leo Biga, & Lois Friedman ENOA Board of Governors: Mary Ann Borgeson, Douglas County, chairperson; Lisa Kramer, Washington County, vice-chairperson; Janet McCartney, Cass County, secretary; David Saalfed, Dodge County, & Brian Zuger, 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.
Celebration at Millard Senior Center
Dora Bingel Senior Center You’re invited to visit the Dora Bingel Senior Center, 923 N. 38th St., this month for the following: • Oct. 2, 9, 16, 23 & 30: Al-Anon meeting @ 7 p.m. • Oct. 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 22, 25, & 27: Ceramics @ 9 a.m. • Oct. 4, 11, 18, & 25: Tai Chi @ 11 a.m. • Oct. 4: Hard of hearing support group @ 10:30 a.m • Oct. 4: Holy Communion served @10 a.m. • Oct. 9: Book Club @ 10 a.m. • Oct. 11: Music by Tim Javorsky from the Merrymakers @11:30 a.m. Lunch is $3. • Oct. 18: Foot care clinic from 9 a.m. to noon for $10. Call 402-392-1818 to make an appointment. • Oct. 25: Birthday party luncheon @ noon. Eat for free if you have an October birthday. A nutritious lunch is served on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. A $1 donation is suggested for the meals, other than $3 for Merrymakers. Round-trip transportation is available for $3. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for all meals. Other activities offered at the facility include: Tuesday: Matinee @ 12:30 and quilting @1 p.m. Wednesday: Devotions @ 10:30, bingo @ 12:45 p.m., and Bible study at 12:45 p.m. Friday: Bible study @ 12:45 p.m. and bingo @ 12:45 p.m. For more information, please call 402-898-5854.
ouglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, and Brook Bench, director of the City of Omaha’s Parks and Recreation Department, were among the special guests who attended the 20th anniversary of the Millard Senior Center being located inside the Montclair
Community Center, 2304 S. 135th Ave. Musical entertainment by the Mission Belle Singers from Divine Lutheran Church and a delicious meal highlighted the festivities held on Sept. 20. The Millard Senior Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $3.50
donation is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the meal the guest wishes to attend. Center activities include walking, card games, Tai Chi, other games, quilting, needlework, dressmaking, chair volleyball, and bingo. For more information, please call 402-546-1270.
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 Branson Christmas. November 6 - 9. $739. Enjoy Daniel O’Donnell at the Welk Theater, Pierce Arrow, The Brett Family, Neal McCoy, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits in “New Jersey Nights”, and either “The Miracle of Christmas” at the Sight and Sound Theater or the SIX Show, and Grand Village shopping. Kansas City Christmas. December 13 – 14. $379. ($399 after 10/16). Come along with us to Kansas City and enjoy some Christmas spirit including “Funny Money” at the New Theater Restaurant, National Toy and Miniatures Museum, holiday luncheon at the Webster House, and “Holly Jolly Homicide”, a Christmas-themed murder mystery comedy dinner.
Among those attending the Sept. 20 celebration were ((left to right): Rosemary Hroch, Charlie Hayes, Marge Hayes, Neil Becker, Douglas County Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, June Knowles, former Omaha Mayor Hal Daub, and Arlene Witt.
Black Hills “Ski for Light”. January 20 – 26, 2018. Fourth 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. Motor coach will pick up at various points across Nebraska. Contact us at 712-366-9596 for more details.
Laughlin (There are currently no Laughlin trips available out of Omaha. Check with us for updates on these very reasonably priced charter flights to Laughlin, Nevada. They typically sell out fast.)
In Partnership with Collette Vacations Quoted prices are per person, double occupancy, and do include airfare. More destinations available! Discover Panama. February 22 – March 2, 2018. Details to follow. Canadian Rockies & Glacier National Park. Mid July 2018. Details to follow. Spotlight London Holiday. December 2018. Details to follow. Iceland’s Magical Northern Lights. Early March 2019. Details to follow. Watch New Horizons and our website www.fontenelletours.com for our trip schedule. 11808 Mason Plaza, Omaha, NE 68154
Author recalls favorite Halloween stories from her childhood in Clearmont, Mo. J.C. Combs and his sister, Barbara Combs Lewellen, have written a book about growing up in in Clearmont, Mo. Here’s a chapter on Halloween from the book titled, Clearmont: Life in a Small Town in the 1940s and Early 1950s.
an you name a better holiday than Halloween? The fall air is crisp, there is free candy, and you get a break from the usual grind at school. You also scare other kids. What could be better? Each Halloween my best friend and I would go to every house in town. You could never tell who would have the best treats. People you think might give out big treats gave out small treats. Someone you wouldn’t dream in a million years would spring for a really big candy bar, did so. Word would get around about that house very quickly, and the next year it was on everyone’s candy stop. One Halloween my friend and I stopped at a house on my paper route. When we knocked on the door someone said, “You kids step back.” We looked up and on the porch roof was the owner of the house with another guy. They had shotguns, and they were pointed at us. “Get out or we’ll shoot you,” the owner said. If they hadn’t been so drunk, I wouldn’t have been so scared, but I was afraid they would stagger and accidentally shoot us. We backed away and ran like mad. There would be no Halloween candy from that house. The weirdest treat we received that night came from a house that obviously wasn’t expecting trick-ortreaters. When we said, “Trick or Treat,” the woman said, “Wait a minute.” She returned with two pieces of apple pie and dumped them into our sacks. We wasted lots of time that Halloween night picking pie away from our candy. The last spot was the greatest. I remember it as if it were yesterday. We went to this older woman’s house. I didn’t know she had problems. She seemed OK to us. She invited us in and gave us each $5. At that time, $5 was equal to about a billion dollars to me. I saw a pearl handled derringer lying on the table. When I admired her gun, she asked me to open my trick-or-treat bag
and she dropped the gun in it. How wonderful. I could hardly wait to tell Mom and my brother about my good fortune. When I did, I couldn’t believe Mom’s reaction. She made me take the beautiful pistol and money right back to the lady. Mom said I was not to take any more guns from anyone. She was so upset I skipped telling her about the drunken shotgun affair we encountered earlier that evening. --Barbara Combs Lewellen
Notre Dame Housing honors ENOA with its Community Difference Maker Award
he Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging was among three recipients of the 2017 Community Difference Maker Award from Notre Dame Housing – 3439 State St. – at an event last month which also celebrated the facility’s 20th anniversary. The festivities were emceed by Michael Lyon from Omaha’s KIOS radio. Joseph Hall, a 2009 America’s Got Talent winner,
provided the entertainment at the celebration which also included tours of Notre Dame Housing, a social hour, cocktails, and heavy hors d’oeuvres. The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Hiller Electric were also honored with the Community Difference Maker Award, and the Notre Dame Sisters were recognized for their 100 years of community service.
Sons of Norway’s annual Torsk Dinner is scheduled for Oct. 15 at Croatian Society You’re invited to attend the 29th annual Torsk Dinner presented by the Sons of Norway, Elveby Lodge on Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Croatian Cultural Society, 8711 S. 36th St. Dinner seatings will be at 4, 5, and 6 p.m. Carryout dinners will also be available. Door prizes will be offered at each seating time.
The menu features torsk with melted butter or shrimp sauce, meatballs, potatoes, cucumbers, pickled herring, pickled beets, cranberry sauce, carrots, rolls, desserts, and LEFSE. For tickets and more information, please call 402880-2066 or go online to email@example.com. Please RSVP by Oct. 8.
Fremont Friendship Center
Michael Robinson (far left), executive director of Notre Dame Housing, presented ENOA with a Community Difference Maker Award in ceremonies last month at Notre Dame Housing, 3439 State St. Accepting the award for ENOA were (left to right): Pat Tanner, Trish Bergman, Diane Stanton, Mary Ann Eusebio, and Susie Davern.
You’re invited to visit the Fremont Friendship Center, 1730 W. 16th St. (Christensen Field), for the following: • Oct. 4: Hints with Home Instead @ 10 a.m. Pianist Wally @ 10:30 a.m. • Oct. 5: Flu shots from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Premier Estates presentation @ 10 a.m. • Oct. 11: Music with Bill Chrastil @ 10:30 a.m. followed by the monthly birthday party. • Oct. 16: Movie Monday with popcorn @ 9:30 a.m. • Oct. 18: Music with Pam Kragt @ 10:30 a.m. • Oct. 25: Music with Wayne Miller @ 10:30 a.m. • Oct. 31: Halloween Costume Contest with Halloween Bingo to follow. Prizes will be given to the most creative, funniest, and scariest costumes. The facility will be closed on Oct. 9 for Columbus Day. Walking in the main arena Tusesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. is encouraged. Keep track of your miles in our walking book. 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 $3.50 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.
Heartland Generations Center You’re invited to visit the Heartland Generations Center – 4318 Fort St. – for the following: • Oct. 4: Play cards and other games with Skutt High School students from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. • Oct. 10: Birthday party with music by Paul Siebert from the Merrymakers @ 11:30 a.m. Sundaes for everyone. • Oct. 11: Krafts with Kina @ 10:30 a.m. • Oct. 13: Talk by Methodist College nurses @ 11 a.m. • Oct 15: Join our Student League for bingo and special heritage treats from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Bring a treat to share that reflects your heritage. • Oct. 17: WhyArts? Family Halloween Night from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Mac and cheese dinner will be served @ 6 p.m. followed by karaoke. We’ll be making masks, too. • Oct. 23 & 24: Sign up for a manicure. • Oct 25: Trip to Skinny Bones Pumpkin Patch in Blair @ 10:30 a.m. The cost is $8. We’ll eat lunch at its restaurant. • Oct 26: Dominoes tournament @ 12:30 p.m. with prizes, food, and fun. Call 402-553-5300 to sign up. • Oct. 31: Halloween party @ 10:45 a.m. with the Guild. Costumes aren’t required. Prizes, treats, and much more. The center will be closed on Oct. 9 for Columbus Day. Other center events include bingo Wednesday @ 12: 30 p.m., Thursday and Friday @ 10:30 a.m., and Tai Chi Tuesday & Thursday @ 10:45 a.m. The Heartland Generations Center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is normally served at noon. A $3.50 donation is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the lunch you wish to attend. Bus transportation is available within select neighborhoods for 50 cents each way. For meal reservations and more information, please call 402-553-5300.
Read it & eat By Lois Friedman firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a team approach with your healthcare By Rick Pane
veryone wants to lead a long, happy, and healthy life, but unfortunately in the U.S. we don’t Recipes, photos to enjoy in October do a very good job of that. We Terrific cookbooks with recipes galore. Enjoy the stories spend more than twice as much as well in this delightful array of cookbooks with fabulous on healthcare as the rest of the developed recipes, inspiration, and photos to showcase everything. world – and every dollar spent on health is a dollar spent on suffering. Mozza At Home We do this because our care is disconBy Nancy Silverton (Knopf, $35) nected. We go to a specialist or a doctor Simple food served family style with friends and family. when we feel the need, not as a matter of Organized by meal with 18 main dishes including a list of course. We service our cars regularly before sides, options, and a dessert chapter. A delightful read that’s something major goes wrong and we know like having this award-winning chef and restaurant owner in the older they get the more attention they your kitchen. need. Yet we don’t do the same for our own Meathooked bodies. As we get older we develop condiBy Marta Zaraska (Basic Books, $26.99) tions that we have to live with: heart disSubtitled: The history and science of our 2.5-million-year ease, high blood pressure, and diabetes are obsession with meat. This science journalist explores the just a few of the diseases we need to man“meat puzzle”, takes the reader on a global meat tour, and age and that we cannot cure. reveals the interplay of forces that keep us hooked on animal protein. Master Chef Street Food of the World By Genevieve Taylor (Bloomsbury, $35) Check out this cookbook inspired by pop-up restaurants and the array of street food vans. Many recipes contributed by 13 master chef champs. Enjoy this “foodie phenomenon” of global food from Aloo Tikki (a classic Indian snack food) to Zapiekanki (Polish pizza).
Corrigan Senior Center
You’re invited to visit the Corrigan Senior Center, 3819 X St., this month for: • Oct. 3: Noon lunch followed by a talk on home fire safety @ 12:30 p.m. Lunch is chili or a deli Salmon turkey and cheese sandwich. By Diane Morgan (Chronicle, $19.95) • Oct. 4: Talk by UNMC An award-winning cookbook author shares 45 up-to-date nursing students on practicsalmon recipes that are raw, cured, cooked on the stove, in ing mindfulness @ 11 a.m. the oven, on the grill, and what to do with leftovers plus • Oct. 11: Roast beef or tempting salads and sides. Salmon wrapped, cured, planked, deli classic chef salad lunch potted in burgers, tacos, and more. Try this sure to please, @ noon and flu shots from delicious old fashioned main-course salad recipe that’s part 12:30 to 2 p.m. Call 402of a lemon oil-cured salmon recipe. 731-7210 to sign up. • Oct. 12: Methodist College of Nursing students Salade Russe offer free blood pressure Serves 8 checks from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Lunch and bingo 2/3 cup mayonnaise afterwards. 1 Tbsp Champagne or white wine vinegar • Oct. 12: St. Peter & 1 Tbsp finely snipped fresh chives Paul School students’ back 1 Tbsp minced fresh flat-leaf parsley Fine sea salt to school presentation @ Freshly ground black pepper 12:30 p.m. Bingo follows. 2 Tbsp drained brined capers, rinsed and patted dry • Oct. 19: Octoberfest 5 cups water dinner dance. Red Raven 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced polka band will entertain 1 bay leaf 4 peppercorns @11 a.m. The lunch menu 1 1/4 lb red-skinned potatoes, peeled and diced is pork roast with gravy, 3/4 cup peeled and diced carrots seasoned red potatoes, peas 1/2 cup frozen green peas and carrots, sauerkraut, rye bread, and apple pie. Bingo In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, will follow lunch. The chives, parsley, 3/4 tsp fine sea salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Fold in the capers. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set reservations deadline is 11 aside. a.m. on Oct. 13. Have ready a slotted spoon or a wire-mesh skimmer and a large bowl of ice water. In a four-quart saucepan, combine the water, lemon slices, bayleaf, peppercorns, and one tsp of fine sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-low, add the potatoes, and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, eight to 10 minutes. Using the slotted spoon or skimmer, transfer the potatoes to the ice water to cool, about two minutes. Scoop the potatoes out of the ice water and gently blot dry with paper towels. Cook the carrots until crisp-tender, scoop out, cool, and blot dry in the same way, but simmer the carrots for only five to seven minutes. Repeat with the peas, simmering for about one minute. In a medium bowl, combine the potatoes, carrots, and peas. Add the dressing and toss to coat thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover the salad and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld. (This salad can be made up to one day in advance, covered and refrigerated until ready to serve.) Chill eight salad plates for serving.
That takes a team approach centered around you, the patient. So how do you go about that? First, pick a primary physician – someone you trust who will care for you… all of you. Someone who advocates for your health goals with a team that includes a care coordinator and others who make decisions that affect your health, like a clinical pharmacist. Then see these professionals regularly to stay healthy and improve your health. Just like servicing your car, you save money in the long run. Most of us will have to live with life-long conditions that come our way, or we have to deal with the results of a few more miles on the clock. But wouldn’t it be preferable to have help in these situations? Wouldn’t it be better to have a team you can trust to minimize hospitalizations and the times you are sick and maximize the times you are well? Think about it. (Pane is the CEO of Think Whole Person Healthcare in Omaha.)
• Oct. 23: Spooktacular birthday party featuring music by Joyce Torchia from the Merrymakers @ 11 a.m. A delicious lunch of Swedish meatballs with a baked potato or a deli choice fruit medley and diced chicken salad are available. Stay for bingo. • Oct. 24: Cooking Matters program by the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) @ 10:30 a.m. Cooking demo with Chef Corey and a registered dietician talk every session for five weeks. Call 402731-7210 to sign up. • Oct. 25: Pumpkin Carols program by St. Peter & Paul students @ 12:45 p.m. Baked cod or a deli egg salad sandwich for lunch. • Oct. 26: Lunch & Learn presentation by the VNA on The Value of Volunteering @ 11 a.m. Stay for a tasty chicken breast or a deli ham and cheese on a Ciabatta roll for lunch. Bingo follows lunch. • Oct. 31: Monster Mash Halloween party. Join us for tricks and treats, ghoulish games, and more. The party begins @ 10 a.m.
Entertainment by keyboard great Bob Ford @ 11 a.m. Lunch is a mummy loaf or a fiesta chicken salad wrap. The reservations deadline is Oct. 27 at noon. Stay for bingo following lunch. The center will be closed Oct. 9 for Columbus Day. Everyone, including new players, is welcome to play chair volleyball every Tuesday and Thursday @ 11 a.m. A noon lunch will follow. Join us for Tai Chi – a relaxing and fun activity that’s proven to improve your balance – Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. in our spacious gym. Bingo, ceramics, exercise, woodcarving, and loads of fun are also available. The Corrigan Senior Center is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $3.50 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, call Lynnette at 402-731-7210.
Florence Home Rehabilitation Rehab, renew, return home. More than 400 individuals have safely transitioned to their home.
Is your home ready for winter’s heating season?
Eclectic book reviews continue on Oct. 17
Cooling and heating are responsible for 48 percent of the typical American home’s energy use. If your home’s losing cool air in the summer or heat in the winter, your energy bill and environmental impact will both go up. Unfortunately, most homes lose some energy when inside air escapes the house or air from the outside comes inside. Here are the areas where homes usually lose the most energy: • Some of the worst offenders for air loss are a house’s ceilings, walls, and floors. As much as 31 percent of air leakage occurs from these areas. Replacing the insulation in these areas can stop a good portion of your energy loss. You may want to get an energy audit to help determine which specific areas are causing the most problems. • Windows are another place that provide an escape route for warm or cool air. Adding blinds or curtains is one simple fix, but this means you can’t use the windows as much. Caulking to fill gaps in the windows’ frames can also be helpful. A more expensive, but effective option is applying a glaze designed to reduce energy loss to your windows. It might be worth it, though, because of the money you’ll save on your energy bills. • Air can also escape through doors. As with windows, doorframes can be caulked to stop energy loss. Close any gaps at the bottoms or tops of your doors. Leave doors closed as much as possible if you want to keep air inside. • Garage doors can be especially serious culprits, since they often cover as much as 30 percent of your home’s facade. Adding extra insulation or getting a new, more energy-efficient garage door can help with this problem. • The plumbing, wiring, and air ducts that run through your home are further examples of common but unexpected sources of air loss. Holes in ceilings and walls for pipes or wires may provide openings for heat or cold to escape. You can fix these gaps with high-temperature caulk. You may
The Eclectic Book Review Club’s 68th year continues: • Oct. 17: Creighton U. professor emeritus Dr. Eileen Wirth will present Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. • Nov. 21: Jeff Kurrus, editor NEBRASKAland Magazine, and The Tale of Jacob Swift. The monthly meetings, which include lunch and a book review, are held at noon at the Field Club, 3615 Woolworth Ave. The cost is $13 per person per month. To reserve a seat, call Rita at (402) 553-3147. The reservation deadline is the Monday morning prior to the Tuesday meeting.
need to use expanding foam to fill larger holes or vents for plumbing. • Attics can be problematic because of energy loss because they’re usually intentionally colder than the rest of the house in winter to prevent melted snow from re-freezing in gutters. To achieve this temperature, an attic needs to be insulated from the rest of the house. This requires installing rafter vents, also known as insulation baffles, before putting in insulation. This lets air in while not letting any of the air from the attic into the rest of the house. You should also ensure any gaps around attic doors or holes for pipes going into the attic are sealed. • Fireplace chimneys can lead to a lot of air loss. You’ll need to use a damper that fits the chimney without letting any air leak through. You can also use a chimney balloon to fill the gaps in your chimney. • Air conditioners are another home feature that can help in one season but hurt in another. In the summer, they can cool your home, but air will leak out around them in the winter. For this reason, you should also remove any inwindow air conditioning units when the weather gets cool enough that you won’t need to use them again until next season. • Because basements have a lot of pipes and ducts and can be a rarely used area of the home, basements are another common room that leads to energy loss. To make your basement more energy-efficient, seal any openings around pipes or ducts with caulk or foam. Check around the edges of the basement, too, and seal any gaps with caulk. Heating and cooling a home requires a lot of energy, but air leakage can cause problems. Conducting an energy audit to determine where you’re losing air and then fixing issues can make your home more comfortable, lower your energy bills, and reduce your environmental impact. (EarthTalk provided this information.)
AARP’s Tax Aide program Volunteers are needed for AARP’s Tax-Aide program which provides free taxpreparation services to the community with a focus on older adults with low to moderate income. AARP membership isn’t required. Men and women are needed at the nine sites in the Omaha area that provide tax preparation services. No experience is needed other than knowing how to operate a computer and having done your own income tax returns. Volunteers – who’ll work with experienced volunteers – will receive materials from AARP and the IRS for reference and self-study, attend training sessions in December and January, and then prepare tax returns a few hours a week during the tax season. AARP also needs greeters, administrative help, and technical support personnel who aren’t directly involved in the tax preparation. For more information log on to nebraskataxaide.org or call 402-398-9568 with your name, phone number, and email address. Your information will be passed to the local supervisor who will contact you.
Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions 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 15 hours or more per week, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions receive a $2.65 an hour tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement, an annual physical examination, supplemental accident insurance coverage, and other benefits including an annual recognition luncheon. The stipend does not interfere with rent, disability, Medicaid, or other benefits. For more information on the FGP and SCP, please call 402-444-6536.
Cedars-Sinai is investigating how Alzheimer’s can affect the retina
edars-Sinai neuroscience investigators have found Alzheimer’s disease affects the retina – the back of the eye – similarly to the way it affects the brain. The study also revealed an investigational, noninvasive eye scan could detect the key signs of Alzheimer’s disease years before patients experience symptoms. Using a high-definition eye scan developed especially for the study, researchers detected the crucial warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease: amyloid-beta deposits, a buildup of toxic proteins. The findings represent a major advancement toward identifying people at high risk for the debilitating condition years sooner. The study, published recently in JCI Insight, comes amid a sharp rise in the number of people affected by the disease. Today, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s. That number is expected to triple by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. “The findings suggest the retina may serve as a reliable source for Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis,” said the study’s senior lead author, Maya Koronyo-Hamaoui, Ph.D., a principal investigator and associate professor in the departments of Neurosurgery and Biomedical Sciences at Cedars-Sinai. “One of the major advantages of analyzing the retina is the repeatability, which allows us to monitor patients and potentially the progression of their disease.” Yosef Koronyo, MSc., a research associate in the Department of Neurosurgery and first author on the study, said another key finding was the discovery of amyloid plaques in previously overlooked peripheral regions of the retina. He noted the plaque amount in the retina correlated with plaque amount in specific areas of the brain. “Now we know exactly where to look to find the signs of Alzheimer’s disease as early as possible,” said Koronyo. Keith L. Black, MD, chair of Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Neurosurgery and director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, who co-led the study, said the findings offer hope for early detection of Alzheimer’s when intervention could be most effective. “Our hope is that eventually the investigational eye scan will be used as a screening device to detect the disease early enough to intervene and change the course of the disorder with medications and lifestyle changes,” said Black. For decades, the only way to officially diagnose Alzheimer’s was to survey and analyze a patient’s brain after the patient died. In recent years, physicians have relied on positron emission tomography scans of the brains of living people to provide evidence of the disease. The technol-
ogy, however, is expensive and invasive, requiring the patient to be injected with radioactive tracers. To help find a more costeffective and less invasive technique, the Cedars-Sinai research team collaborated with investigators to translate their noninvasive eye screening approach to humans. The published results are based on a clinical trial conducted on 16 Alzheimer’s disease patients who drank a solution that includes curcumin, a natural component of the spice turmeric. The curcumin causes amyloid plaque in the retina to “light up” and be detected by the scan. The patients were then compared to a group of younger, cognitively normal individuals.
New Cassel Foundation to honor ENOA at Spirit of St. Francis dinner on Oct. 5
he New Cassel Retirement Center – 900 N. 90th St. – invites you to attend the Spirit of St. Francis dinner on Thursday, Oct. 5. The New Cassel Foundation will honor the people and organizations who have used their talents to provide a dignified life to older adults and the disadvantaged people in our community. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at the Scott Conference Center on the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Pacific Street campus. The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging will receive the New Cassel Distinguished Community Service Award for advocating for older adults in eastern Nebraska. Father Jim Tiegs will receive the Spirit of St. Francis Award for embodying the true spirit of St. Francis of Assisi through his lifetime of gracious giving and selfless commitment to older adults. Martin Bros. has earned the Lempka Leadership Award for its outstanding voluntary leadership and spirit of giving to New Cassel’s mission and ministry. For more information on tickets – which are $100 each or $1,000 for a table of eight – contact Cindy Petrich at email@example.com or 402-390-5317 or Maureen Naumann at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402-3905308. Spirit of St. Francis is a benefit to create a future place to age with grace at the New Cassel Retirement Center and the Franciscan Adult Day Centre.
Notre Dame Housing You’re invited to visit Notre Dame Housing, 3439 State St. for the following: • Second & fourth Tuesday @ 10 a.m.: Get banking help as an American National Bank representative visits. North entrance. • Second, third, & fourth Friday @ 1:30 p.m.: Saving Grace. East entrance. • Wednesday @ 4 p.m.: Tai Chi. North entrance. • Third Thursday @ 3 p.m.: Center for Holistic Development provides confidential one-on-one counseling. • Monday & Thursday @ 10:30 a.m.: Nutrition education program classes from the Nebraska Extension office. • Third Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Food pantry. Please bring a picture ID and a piece of mail from the last 30 days showing proof of address. East entrance. • October 17 @ 1:30 p.m.: October birthday party with music by Joe Taylor from the Merrymakers. North entrance. • Oct. 18 & 25: A representative from United Healthcare visits @ 10 a.m. • Oct. 25 @ 1:30 p.m.: Presentation on hearing loss by a Boys Town National Research Hospital representative. North entrance. Notre Dame Housing is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch is served at noon. A $3.50 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by 11 a.m. the business day prior to the lunch you wish to attend. For meal reservations and more information, please call Brenda at 402-451-4477, ext. 126.
Thompson has lived a life of public, community service
Photo courtesy of Lifetouch Special Events
During May 2017 graduation ceremonies at the Baxter Arena, University of Nebraska Medical Center Chancellor Dr. Jeffrey Gold presented Thompson with the J. G. Elliott Award for her significant contributions to medicine and health programs in Nebraska. By Nick Schinker Contributing Writer
aybe it began for Nancy Thompson when she was a member of the high school debate team in Sioux Falls, S.D. Perhaps it was when she served as president of the teenage Democrats. Or, when she volunteered on her first political campaign in junior high school, or even earlier, when she met John F. Kennedy when Nancy was 12 years old. No matter what provided the spark, Thompson has fanned the resulting flame into a career of public and community service that continues today – despite her claim of having “retired” two years ago. “I guess I was always interested in government,” she says, “and it just circled back around later in my life.” A former Nebraska state senator and the first woman elected to the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners, today Thompson works to better our community as Director of Public Policy at OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc., where she helps fulfill the mission of providing “culturally respectful, quality health care with special attention to the underserved.” In February, she was appointed to the board of directors of the Bellevue Housing Authority. She also
sits on the Cornhusker Motor Club Foundation board of directors, the La Vista Citizen Advisory Review Committee, and the William and Ruth Scott Family Foundation board of directors. In between it all, she makes time for her husband of 47 years, Jim; their four children, and their seven grandchildren, who range in age from 8 months to 15 years. So much for a quiet retirement. “At first, retirement was just one of those things,” she says with a captivating smile that punctuates almost every sentence. “I needed a break. But then, opportunities started coming back my way, and they were things I care about and am interested in.” It is a long list, indeed.
hompson was born in Sioux Falls, where she lived with her father, Sylvester “Sy” Polus, mother, Elaine, and sister, Peggy. “My father was a Realtor and mom was a kindergarten teacher.” What does she remember about growing up in Sioux Falls? “It was cold,” she says, laughing. “A lot.” There was only one high school, and her class had 980 students. “That was a big class to be in, but it created a lot of opportunities to pursue your interests.” In addition to government and debate, Thompson was interested
in American history. She moved to Omaha to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history at Creighton University. That is where she met Jim Thompson. “I was dating a guy who had a friend, which was Jim,” she says, “and so I fixed him up with my best friend. A couple years later, Jim and I started dating. That’s why I tell people we met on a blind date, just not with each other.” She and Jim, a retired banker and active community volunteer, were married July 4, 1970. “The Fourth of July is one of my two favorite holidays,” Thompson says. “The other is Halloween. That particular Fourth of July just happened to be a Saturday.” They have four children: Kevin, Matt, Cyndi, and Joe; and seven grandchildren. “I love my grandma time,” Thompson says. “It’s the best.” After graduation from Creighton, Thompson taught fourth grade at St. Robert Bellarmine and Christ the King elementary schools in Omaha. “That was the hardest job I ever had,” she says. “Luckily, other opportunities presented themselves.”
caring mother and grandmother, it is no wonder Thompson’s personal and professional interests are focused on people, like her current association with OneWorld, help-
ing underserved individuals and families receive the health care they need. She has long been an advocate of families and children. The issue of juvenile justice has been of particular interest. Thompson worked many years to further juvenile justice system and facility improvements, and to enhance treatment services. “When I was elected County Commissioner in 1982, roads and economic development were big issues,” she recalls. “But it is also where I was introduced to juvenile justice.” The introduction came from the late Pat Thomas, the longtime Sarpy County Sheriff. “Pat invited me to see what was going on at the jail,” she says. “At the time, juveniles were put in the jail with the adult prisoners. That was obviously not a good situation.” Thomas wanted the Sarpy County jail to comply with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974, a United States federal law providing funds to states that follow a series of federal protections known as the “core protections” on the care and treatment of youths in the justice system. Among its provisions, the law calls for “sight and sound core protection,” which significantly limits the contact juvenile prisoners have with adult inmates. The problem, Thomas explained --Please turn to page 11.
Nancy’s special interests include healthcare, juvenile justice --Continued from page 10. to her, was that the only place available in the Sarpy County jail to segregate juveniles “was what I call the old drunk tank,” Thompson says, “where there were no windows and it was covered floor to ceiling in metal.” Over the years, in partnership with Thomas and other officials, she worked to improve conditions and system processes, provide alternatives to detention, and expand treatment and prevention services. Eventually, the collaborative efforts resulted in construction of the Patrick J. Thomas Juvenile Justice Center in Papillion. Opened in 2003, the facility is a 36-bed, staff-secure housing center
for juveniles. It includes an educational center, youth assessment center, juvenile court suite, visitation area, an alternative school, as well as administrative offices. After losing re-election to a third term on the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners, another opportunity presented itself for Nancy. When Nebraska Sen. Ron Withem left the Legislature to join the University of Nebraska administration, where he recently retired as senior associate vice president for university affairs and director of governmental relations, Thompson was appointed by then Gov. Ben Nelson to finish Withem’s term. As a state senator from 1997 until 2006, Thompson served on
the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, the Executive Board, the Health and Human Services Committee, and the Appropriations Committee, which allowed her to focus on advancing public health, increasing access to health care, and protecting children. “When you get elected to an office the very first time, you come into it with some basic knowledge,” Thompson says. “But when you serve, that’s when you really get introduced to the needs. I learned there are so many needs related to Health and Human Services, and the experiences I had at the county level really helped when I became a state senator.” She worked at the state and
national level on numerous committees and commissions addressing health care, juvenile justice, education, and child welfare issues. After leaving the Legislature because of term limits, Thompson became CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands and served on the Nationwide Leadership Council of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. During her tenure, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands was named Agency of the Year. She also was the first CEO of the Health Center Association of Nebraska, which provides training, technical assistance, and advocacy for community health centers throughout the state.
“Although women are nowhere near where we need to be, I think today we have many more opportunities to take on important positions serving the community.”
Nancy is proud of the legislation she introduced and helped pass during her 1997 to 2006 tenure in the Nebraska Unicameral, laws that have assisted families and safeguarded children.
hompson has received many accolades for her work, most recently, the J.G. Elliott Award, presented earlier this year by the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Among her many accomplishments, she is proud of the legislation she introduced and helped pass, laws that help families and safeguard children, such as the automobile booster seat requirement to protect toddlers. She also points to her service at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands. “We had a small but very talented group of people working there, and together we were able to greatly expand our services and grow the agency, thanks to community support,” she says. “My heart will always be there.” Given the opportunity to work part time for OneWorld, where she had previously served on the board of directors, Thompson eagerly accepted. “I was able to go back and play an active role in providing health care for medically underserved people,” she says. “Turns out, my heart was there, too.” As she continues following her heart, Thompson sees no end to the work yet to be done – by her and other dedicated women like her. “Although women are nowhere near where we need to be in terms of the number elected to public office, I think today we have many more opportunities to take on important positions serving the community,” she says. “We have unique perspectives and skills that bring incredible diversity to issues. “I’m very happy I have had the opportunities to do what I can to help.”
Alzheimer’s support groups
Can ‘sin tax’ help alleviate obesity?
The Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter offers several caregiver support groups and specialty support groups each month in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, 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 (toll free) 800-272-3900. CASS COUNTY • PLATTSMOUTH Second Tuesday @ 6 p.m. First Lutheran Church (chapel) 1025 Ave. D DODGE COUNTY • FREMONT Second Tuesday @ 5:30 p.m. Shalimar Gardens (second floor community room) 749 E. 29th St. DOUGLAS COUNTY • OMAHA Second Thursday @ 10 a.m. Country House Residences 5030 S. 155th St. FREE on site adult day services are provided. 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. FREE on-site adult day services are provided.
Third Tuesday @ 6 p.m. Temple Israel (media room) 13111 Sterling Ridge Dr. Caring for Your Parents Second or third Saturday @ 11 a.m. Call Teri @ 402-393-0434 for locations Spanish Language Support Group Second Tuesday @ 4 p.m. Intercultural Community Center 3010 R St. 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.
onsumer Reports (CR) examines the pros and cons of using so-called “behavior” or “sin” taxes as weapons in the complex war to end America’s obesity crisis in a new report, Can ‘Sin Taxes’ Solve America’s Obesity Problem? published online on CR.org recently. In November 2016, Consumer Reports conducted a nationally representative telephone survey to assess American consumer opinion of government taxes and subsidies and their effects on behavior. Respondents were selected by randomdigit dialing and were interviewed via phone. The data was statistically weighted so respondents were demographically and geographically representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. CR’s extensive report explores the growing effort across the nation and around the globe to hike taxes on sugar-sweetened drinks and
sodas to help reduce sugar consumption and calories and help prevent obesity and related chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. The report features graphics that look at the health benefits associated with drinking more water and another on how much sugar can be avoided by switching to a different beverage.
new nationally representative CR survey of 1,010 adults shows while consumers have mixed feelings about sin taxes, among the 42 percent who favor them, the majority approve of taxing sugar sweetened beverages. The survey also finds half of Americans say they wouldn’t cut back on unhealthy food even if it cost more. But most people – 73 percent – say they’d eat more healthy food if it cost less. “It doesn’t take a radical change in a person’s diet to make a difference in weight. An average 20-ounce soda
Intercultural Senior Center
ou’re invited to attend two special events this month at the Intercultural Senior Center, 3010 R St. (south side of the YMCA building). A Bi-national Health Week event for older adults will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Get a flu shot and enjoy healthy food, healthy living tips, free health screenings, and other healthcare presentations. On Friday, Oct. 27, stop by for the 2017 Day of the Dead celebration. The 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. festivities – that honor the memory of our deceased loved ones – will include live music, delicious food, an altar display, children’s activities, and much more. For more information, please call 402-444-6529 or 402-933-2643.
Third Tuesday @ 5 p.m. Immanuel Fontenelle 6809 N 68th Plz.
The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging has been providing programs and services for older adults in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties since 1974.
contains about 16 teaspoons of added sugar,” said Trisha Calvo, CR’s Health and Food Deputy Content Editor. A simple switch in daily beverages can help an individual drop unwanted pounds and live healthier, she said. Replacing one 20-ounce sugary cola with water daily could save 119 cups of sugar annually and result in 14 pounds of potential weight loss, according to the National Institutes of Health Body Weight Planner. The full report on behavior taxes is in the October issue of Consumer Reports magazine. The United Sates holds the unenviable title of most overweight nation on earth, with more than a third of its citizens now considered obese. Local governments around the country including in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle have begun enacting laws that tax sodas and sugar sweetened drinks at a higher rate than other foods and beverages. Sugary drinks are a major contributor of daily American calorie intake, roughly 7 percent of all calories consumed, while contributing little to no nutritional value. Research suggests taxing soda and sugary drinks can help alleviate the problem but they’re most effective when paired with subsidies for healthy foods and education programs. Experts say such efforts should focus on two groups, the young and the heaviest soda consumers. In addition, reducing sugary drinks won’t help prevent obesity unless consumers replace those beverages with healthier choices. Water is the best choice since it provides zero calories and is essential to good health. (Consumer Report provided this information.)
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VAS is offering assistance
Medicare open enrollment runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 Medicare’s annual open enrollment period will start Sunday, Oct. 15 and run through Thursday, Dec. 7. This is the time to review your Medicare Part D coverage or your Medicare Advantage coverage, and if needed, switch to a different plan for 2018. Even if you’re satisfied with your coverage, you should review your options for next year to see if there’s a plan that will better meet your needs in the upcoming year. Research shows people with Medicare prescription drug coverage could lower their costs by comparing plans annually as there could be another plan that would cover the medications they take with fewer restrictions and/or lower prices. Last year, Volunteers Assisting Seniors (VAS) helped more than 1,800 people review their coverage during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period. Individuals who reviewed their coverage options with a VAS certified counselor last year and switched to a less expensive plan averaged a $720 savings in their prescription drug costs for 2017. VAS will schedule appointments at various locations in eastern Nebraska to assist Medicare beneficiaries with Part D and Medicare Advantage plan reviews. See the list below for dates, times, locations, and the number to call to schedule an appointment. Please remember the annual open enrollment period pertains to Part D and Advantage plans only. Medigap supplemental policies aren’t subject to an annual open enrollment period. To schedule your appointment for a plan review, or if you have questions about Medigap policies, please call VAS at 402-444-6617. Wednesday, Oct. 18 Southeast Community College 537 Main St. Plattsmouth 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 402-444-6617
Thursday, Nov. 2 Washington County Extension Office 597 Grant St. #200 Blair 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 402-426-9455
Thursday, Nov. 16 Dodge County Extension Office 1206 W. 23rd St. Fremont 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 402-727-2775
Wednesday, Oct. 18 Arlington Senior Center 305 N. 3rd St. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 402-478-4774
Friday, Nov. 3 Metropolitan Community College 829 N. 204th St. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Friday, Nov. 17 Metro Comm. College 829 N. 204th St. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Thursday, Oct. 19 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St. #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Friday, Nov. 3 Washington County Extension Office 597 Grant St. #200 Blair 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 402-426-9455
Monday, Oct. 23 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Oct. 25 Goodwill 4805 N. 72nd St. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Oct. 25 Arlington Senior Center 305 N. 3rd St. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 402-478-4774 Friday, Oct. 27 Metro Comm. College 9110 Giles Rd. LaVista 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Friday, Oct. 27 North Bend Library 110 E. 13th St. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 402-727-2775 Monday, Oct. 30 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Nov. 1 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Monday, Nov. 6 Goodwill 4805 N. 72nd St. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Nov. 8 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Thursday, Nov. 9 Eastern Nebraska Veterans Home 12505 S 40th St. Bellevue 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Nov. 15 Metropolitan Community College 835 N. Broad St. Fremont 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Nov. 15 Dodge County Extension Office 1206 W. 23rd St. Fremont 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 402-727-2775 Thursday, Nov. 16 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Multiple ways to grow, use herbs By Melinda Myers
njoy herbs all year round. Harvest herbs now for garden-fresh meals and preserve a few for the winter ahead. Snip a few leaves or leafcovered stems as needed. For the same intensity of flavor, you generally need two to three times more fresh herbs than dried except for Rosemary, which has an equally strong flavor fresh or dried. Continue harvesting herbs as needed throughout the growing season. And don’t worry about harming the plant because regular harvesting encourages new growth that allows more for you to harvest. Just be sure to leave enough foliage to maintain plant growth. You can remove as much as 50 percent of the foliage from annual herb plants. This is about when the plants near their final height. You can remove up to onethird from established perennial plants that have been in the garden for several months or more. Harvest when the plant has formed buds, but before they open into flowers for the greatest concentration of flavor. This is the perfect time to harvest herbs you plan to preserve. Use a pair of garden scis-
sors or pruners for faster and easier harvesting. Make your cuts above a set of healthy leaves to keep the plants looking good. Then preserve the flavor and zest of herbs with proper storage and preservation. Store thin leafy herbs like parsley and cilantro for up to a week in the refrigerator. Place in a jar of water, like a flower arrangement, and loosely cover with a plastic bag. Keep basil out of the fridge to avoid discoloration and others on the counter for quick and frequent use. Wrap dry thicker-leafed herbs like sage and thyme in a paper towel, set inside a plastic bag, and place in a warmer section of the refrigerator. Freeze sprigs, whole leaves or chopped clean herbs on a cookie sheet. Or pack clean-diced herbs in ice cube trays and fill the empty spaces with water. These are great for use in soups and stews. Store the frozen herbs and ice cubes in an airtight container or baggie in the freezer. Or bundle several stems together, secure with a rubber band and use a spring type clothespin to hang them in a warm dry place to dry. Make your own drying rack from an old embroidery hoop, string and S hooks. Visit Bonnie Plants do-it-yourself Herb Drying Rack project (bonnieplants.com) for detailed instructions. Get creative and use some of your herbs to make a fragrant edible wreath. Use fresh herbs that are flexible and easier to shape into a wreath. They’ll dry in place and can be harvested as needed. Speed up the drying process in the microwave. Place herbs on a paper towel-covered paper plate. Start with one to two minutes on high. Repeat for 30 seconds as needed until the herbs are brittle. Store dried herbs in an airtight plastic or glass jar. Keep enjoying these fresh-from-the-garden flavors throughout the remainder of the season. And consider preserving a few for you, your family and friends to enjoy throughout the winter. (Myers has written more than 20 gardening books.)
Saturday, Nov. 18 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 402-444-6617 Monday, Nov. 20 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Monday, Nov. 27 Goodwill 4805 N. 72nd St. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Nov. 29 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Thursday, Nov. 30 SUMP Library 222 N. Jefferson St. Papillion 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. 402-444-6617 Monday, Dec. 4 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Wednesday, Dec. 6 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617 Thursday, Dec. 7 VAS 1941 S. 42nd St #312 Center Mall 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 402-444-6617
Dealing with vision loss? Don’t let it stop you from doing what you love! We have tools and resources to help. Come to the Outlook Nebraska Open House Friday, Oct 13 | Noon-6pm Guided Tours | Giveaways and Prizes 4125 S. 72nd St. | Omaha, NE 68127 outlooknebraska.org | (402) 614-3331 Positively impacting the visually impaired through training, technology, recreational and cultural activities.
Thank you to all those who supported Outlook Nebraska’s renovation project!
Annual increases near 22 percent
Protecting customers from medical identity theft, fraud
he Medical Identity Fraud Alliance (MIFA) recently published a paper titled Healthcare Industry Wisdom on Medical Identity Fraud. The paper is aimed at helping organizations protect their customers from medical identity theft and fraud. The MIFA defines medical identity fraud as “when someone uses an individual’s name and other personally identifiable information and/or protected health information to fraudulently receive medical services, prescription drugs, and/or healthcare goods; or when someone uses false identities for fraudulent healthcare billing.” The most recent annual study on medical identity theft – conducted by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by MIFA and its members – shows annual increases of nearly 22 percent in medical identity fraud between 2013 and 2014. Medical identity fraud poses substantial challenges to its victims. A victim’s annual out-of-pocket costs average $13,500. There are no legal or regulatory consumer protections in place that limit the financial liabilities for this specific type of fraud. The Fair Credit Billing Act, which limits an identity theft victim’s fraud losses to $50, doesn’t apply in many medical identity fraud situations. Even more frightening than the financial effects of this type of fraud are the medical ones. Inaccurate medical records created by an identity criminal can threaten the victim’s future care and health. Fraudsters may exhaust the maximum limits of the victim’s health plan with false claims, precluding coverage in the event the victim has a medical emergency. There is also serious risk the victims’ medical records may become corrupted with information from the identity criminal, creating unsafe healthcare situations for victims when there’s confusion about the victim’s true health status. Such situations can lead to misdiagnosis, mistreatment, delay in receiving proper care, being prescribed the wrong medication, and permanent or long-lasting errors to medical records. Victims of medical identity fraud may suffer reputational consequences when sensitive medical or health information is publicly disclosed, both in scenarios in which the divulged data is true or falsely added to their records via the fraud. For many, this disclosure can result in embarrassment; however, some victims also suffer employment issues, such as job loss, lost advancement opportunities, or loss of a professional license. Such consequences are more common when the victim’s employment is conditioned upon certain health-related requirements such as being drug free. The startling growth and frightening effects of medical identity theft and fraud highlight the crime’s severity. MIFA details several important considerations organizations should take to help their customers protect themselves against and to help resolve medical identity theft and fraud should they become a victim, including: • The shifting landscape of healthcare data security. • Current fraud management practices. • Patient authentication and its role in preventing fraud. • Identity proofing. • Fraud mitigation planning. Law Offices of Charles E. Dorwart 35 years of legal experience • Wills • Living Trusts • Probate • Healthcare and Financial Powers of Attorney • In-home consultations • Free Initial consultation 6790 Grover Street • Suite 100 Omaha, NE 68106 Office: (402) 558-1404 • Fax: (402) 779-7498 email@example.com
Better Business Bureau
Book tries to educate boomers about the ‘tightrope of aging’
Scams involving the IRS are circulating ulitzer-prize winning columnist Ellen in the region. One involves phone calls, the Goodman says Melanie Merriman’s other involves emails. new memoir is “a wake-up call.” The Better Business Bureau office serving As the nearly 75 million American babyNebraska is warning that telephone scamboomers enter their 60s and 70s, too many mers are impersonating IRS agents by using remain in denial about the period between fake names, identification numbers, and self-sufficiency and the end of life. phone numbers. With boomers facing the possibility of caring for aging parents at the same time they worry about being a burden on their “People with a tax issue own children, it’s become critical to acwon’t get their first contact knowledge this period and its unique set of needs and concerns. from the IRS with a Melanie P. Merriman, PhD, a former threatening email or hospice consultant, has dubbed this period phone call.” “the tightrope of aging and a time typically characterized by ever-steeper physical and/ The BBB said the IRS impersonators or mental decline.” threaten arrest, deportation, and license Smart, capable parents cling to the familrevocation if it doesn’t receive immediate iarity of homes that no longer suit them and payment. The scammers instruct people to refuse the help they need. Adult children try put money on a prepaid debit card or an to keep aging parents safe while respecting iTunes gift card or to send payment via a their autonomy. wire transfer. In the email scam, someone is sending n her new memoir, Holding the Net: out an email asking that you click on a link Caring for My Mother on the Tightrope to fill out a questionnaire. The email inof Aging – published by Green Writers cludes the IRS and the FBI emblems, with Press – Merriman shares what she learned the fake link falsely attributed to the FBI. while caring for her fiercely independent, The link downloads a type of malware aging mother. She candidly describes her called ransomware that prevents a user from efforts to make her mother’s final years the getting access to information on his or her best possible. own computer unless money is paid to the Part memoir and part social explorascammers. tion, Holding the Net brings readers along “This is a new twist on an old scheme,” on Merriman’s journey allowing them to said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. learn from her successes and failures. The “People with a tax issue won’t get their first book offers practical details about the efcontact from the IRS with a threatening fects of aging on the body and mind, living email or phone call.” arrangements for older people, health care The BBB also offered these tips: decisions, and surviving a stay in a rehab • Look for written notice before trusting a facility. phone call. It also challenges the notion that anyone • Don’t provide any account number or can achieve perfection when it comes to other financial information over the phone. caring for an aging parent, and encourages • Don’t wire any money. The IRS won’t us to do our best. ask for immediate payment on a prepaid Merriman’s goal is to help readers find debit card or wire transfer. more positive moments and better deal with • Don’t be bullied, so never trust callers the difficult ones by anticipating and planwho use threats. ning for this crucial “tightrope” phase. • Hang up as soon as you are skeptical of The book will be available from booka caller and report suspicious calls to 800stores and online booksellers Nov. 1 for 829-1040 or irs.gov. $19.95.
Elder Access Line
egal Aid of Nebraska operates a free telephone access line for Nebraskans age 60 and older. Information is offered to help the state’s older men and women with questions on topics like bankruptcy, homestead exemptions, collections, powers of attorney, Medicare, Medicaid, grandparent rights, and Section 8 housing. The telephone number for the Elder Access Line is 402-827-5656 in Omaha and 1-800-527-7249 statewide. This service is available to Nebraskans age 60 and older regardless of income, race, or ethnicity. For more information, log on the Internet to http://www.legalaidofnebraska. com/EAL.
Outlook Nebraska’s open house is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 13 Persons dealing with vision loss are invited to attend Outlook Nebraska’s open house on Friday, Oct. 13 between noon and 6 p.m. at 4125 S. 72nd St. Outlook Nebraska will showcase its new state-of-the-art technology training lab that allows people to experience technology that makes the world accessible to everyone. Outlook Nebraska’s trainers can show visitors how to use a computer, a smartphone, or other electronic devices. At the open house, visually impaired persons looking for employment can meet Outlook Nebraska associates and learn about its adapted workplace and inclusive culture. Visitors will also be introduced to Outlook Nebraska’s recreational activities, cultural opportunities, and accessible art workshops for people with vision loss. Outlook Nebraska exists to empower as many blind and visually impaired individuals as it can, supporting them on their journey of self-discovery and self-reliance. For more information, please visit outlooknebraska.org or call 402-614-3331.
Proper planting is vital to a tree’s survival By Melinda Myers
hether planting a tree to add seasonal beauty, grow backyard fruit, provide a bit of shade, or reduce energy costs, it’s a big upfront investment. Make the most of the money spent by giving your tree its best chance at survival with proper planting and care. Now is a great time to plant trees. Cooler air temperatures make it less stressful on newly planted trees and the gardeners planting them. Select a tree suited to the growing conditions. Make sure it tolerates the sunlight, soil, and temperature extremes. Check the tag for the mature height and spread. You’ll have a betterlooking plant that always fits the space with minimal pruning. Plant the tree correctly to insure it thrives for many years. Dig a saucer shaped hole three to five times wider than the root ball. It should only be as deep as the distance from the root flare to the bottom of the root ball. The root flare, where the roots bend away from the trunk, should always be at or slightly above the soil surface.
Set the tree in the hole, then peel back and cut away any burlap and wire cages. These can eventually constrict root growth. Roughen the sides of the hole and backfill with the existing soil. Water thoroughly to moisten the roots and surrounding soil. Continue to water thoroughly whenever the top few inches of soil are crumbly and moist. Proper watering, especially during the first two years, is critical for establishing trees. Watering thoroughly as needed encourages deep roots and a more drought tolerant and pest-resistant tree. Make the job easier with a watering aid like a GreenWell water saver. This contains and concentrates the water where it’s needed, acting as an insurance policy for your tree during the critical root establishment phase. It also holds the mulch in place and prevents weed whips and mowers from damaging your tree. Be sure to mulch the soil surface with a two to three-inch layer of woodchips or shredded bark to conserve water, suppress weeds, and improve the soil as it decomposes. Pull the mulch back from the trunk of the tree to avoid disease problems. Remove any tags that can eventually girdle the tree and prune out any broken or rubbing branches. Wait a year to fertilize and two years, once the tree is established, for additional pruning. Continue providing tender loving care for at least the first two years. Make regular checkups, prune to create a strong structure, and keep grass, weeds, and lawn care equipment away from the trunk throughout the lifetime of your tree. Your efforts will be rewarded with years of beauty, shade, and for some; bushels of fresh fruit. (Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books.)
Call 402-444-3560 to learn more
Fire Department can install free smoke, carbon monoxide detectors
he Omaha Fire Department’s Public Education and Affairs Department can 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 10245 Weisman Dr. Omaha, Neb. 68134 For more information, please call 402-444-3560.
AARP offering driving course AARP is offering a new four-hour, research-based Smart Driver Course for older adults. By completing the course, participants will learn research-based driving safety strategies that can reduce the likelihood of having an accident; understand the links between the driver, the vehicle, and the road environment, and how this awareness encourages safer driving; learn how aging, medications, alcohol, and health-related issues affect driving ability and ways to allow for these changes; increase confidence; know how to share the road safely with other drivers, and learn the newest safety and advance features in vehicles. The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonAARP members. No tests or examinations are involved, course completion certificates are provided, and auto insurance discounts may apply. Here’s this month’s schedule: Oct. 11 @ noon Bloomfield Forum 9804 Nicholas St. Call 402-390-9991 to register
Call 1-800-AAA-NEBR for more information
AAA is offering free 18-point vehicle checks Oct. 21 from 8 to noon at state headquarters To help motorists prepare for the winter driving season, AAA is offering free 18-point vehicle car care checks on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 8 a.m. to noon at their state headquarters, 910 N. 96 St. Participants are encouraged to enter from Burt Street. Car components checked on standard passenger vehicles include batteries (cables, clamps, terminals, and charging/starting system), belts, hoses, tires (pressure, tread), horn, mirrors, fluid levels (under the hood fluids only), wipers, lights, and turn signals. Checks will not be available for RVs, electric vehicles, some sports cars, and hybrid vehicles. Before the winter season arrives, AAA advises all motorists to check the following: • Battery: Check for loose battery cables and corroded terminals. Charging system should be tested. • Antifreeze: Check the antifreeze strength in the radiator overflow reservoir with a proper coolant tester. Antifreeze should be clean, at the proper level, and able to provide protection to 36 degrees below zero. • Brake fluid, oil, and power steering fluid: See owner’s manual for details and recommended intervals. • Automatic transmission fluid: Vehicle
should be on level ground in “park” position with the emergency brake engaged and engine running at the operating temperature. Check fluid level with dipstick. • Belts and hoses: Inspect the serpentine belt(s) for excessive cracks, fraying, and glazing. Check hoses for cracks, bulges, leaks, and loose clamps. • Air filter: Hold the filter up to a light. If you can’t see light through it, replace the air filter. • Washer fluid: Keep reservoir filled with winter grade solvent. • Wipers: Replace wipers if they are split, leave streaks or skip. • Lights/signals: Check all lights including reverse, emergency, high-beam, and brake lights. • Tires: Inspect tread wear and air pressure. If you own a vehicle with a under mount spare tire, check the lowering device to ensure it’s functioning. Check the pressure in the spare tire, as well. If inclement weather develops, the free car care check may be cancelled. For more information, visit www.aaa.com or call 1-800-AAA-NEBR.
Oct. 14 @ 1 p.m. AARP Info Center 1941 S. 42nd St #220 Call 402-398-9568 to register
Oct. 20 @ 9 a.m. Metro Community College 9110 Giles Rd. Call 531-622-2620 to register
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Healthy adults, caregivers of patients with dementia needed for study by UNO’s Department of Gerontology The University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Department of Gerontology is looking for healthy young and older adults and for caregivers of patients with dementia to participate in a research study about cognition and emotion. Study participants – who may be compensated – are asked to make a one-time, two-hour visit to a laboratory on UNO’s Dodge Street campus. The experiment involves paper and pencil questionnaires and computer tasks.
Free parking will be located a short walk from the building where the experiment will take place. Participants must be age 19 to 35 or 55 to 90, able to comprehend written and spoken English, have transportation to the UNO campus, and must have completed a minimum of two or more years of high school. Persons interested in joining the study may not have received a diagnosis of neurological or psychiatric disease (e.g., stroke, depression), have vision, hearing, or motor difficulties, or are pregnant. For more information, please contact Janelle Beadle, Ph.D. at UNO’s Aging Brain Lab. Her contact information is 402-554-5961 or ABELabUNO@gmail.com. Ask about Study IRB: 842-15-EP.
Florence Chapter AARP # 2269
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New Horizons Club membership roll rises
AARP’s Florence Chapter 2269 meets monthly at Mount View Presbyterian Church, 5308 Hartman Ave. The meetings feature a noon lunch for $8 followed by a program at 12:45 p.m. The meetings are open to both AARP members and non-members. Transportation is available by calling Ruth Kruse at 402-453-4825 or Marge Willard at 402-455-8401. Here’s the schedule for the rest of 2017
$50 Howard Roberts, Jr. $15 Elaine Zink $10 Shirley Lamountain Edith Buis Richard Majorek
• October 16 Environmental specialist Tim Fickenscher Elders for the Earth
$5 Joe & Aurelia Barrientez
• November 20 Omaha historian Lowen Kruse Omaha Blossoms
$2 Bob & Betty Ruff Reflects donations received through September 22, 2017.
• December 12 Christmas music
Omaha Genealogical Society fall workshop set for Oct. 28 The Greater Omaha Genealogical Society will present its 2017 fall genealogy workshop on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Nebraska Methodist College, 720 N. 87th St. The guest speaker will be Lisa Alzo, an author who teaches genealogy courses for Family Tree University and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. The Oct. 28 workshop will feature four sessions on Crossing the Pond: In Search of Eastern European & Immigrant Ancestors. The cost is $55 for Greater Omaha Genealogical Society members and $65 for non-members. A $5 discount is available for registrations postmarked before Oct. 19. Lunch, with a vegetarian option, is included. For more information, please call 402-289-5733.
Omaha Computer Users Group You’re invited to join the Omaha Computer Users Group (OCUG), an organization dedicated to helping men and women age 50 and older learn more about their computers. Anyone can join OCUG regardless of his or her computer skills. The organization meets the third Saturday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Abrahams Library, 5011 N. 90th St. Annual dues to OCUG are $25. OCUG has a projector connected to a Microsoft Windows 7 computer and a Windows 8 computer to show users how to solve their computer problems. Bring your questions concerning your computer problems to the meetings for answers. For more information, please call OCUG’s president Phill Sherbon at 402-333-6529.
NARFE chapters meet at Omaha eatery
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.
Camelot Friendship Center You’re invited to visit the Camelot Friendship Center inside the Camelot Community Center, 9270 Cady Ave., for the following: • Oct. 8: Foot care clinic @ 10 a.m. • Oct. 11: Birthday bash. • Oct. 19: Jackpot bingo @ 12:15 p.m. • Oct. 20: Trip to Hummel Park. • Oct. 27: Music by Paul Siebert from the Merrymakers @ 11:45 a.m. • Oct. 30: Pumpkin carving @ 10:15 a.m. • Oct. 31: Halloween party @ 11 a.m. The center will be closed on Oct. 9 for Columbus Day. Other activities include Tai Chi (Friday @ 10:15 a.m.), bingo, pinochle, card games, other games, crafts, candy making, and scrapbooking. The Camelot Friendship Center is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. A $3.50 contribution is suggested for the meal. Reservations are due by noon the business day prior to the lunch you wish to enjoy. For reservations or more information, please call 402444-3091.
Call 402-292-9105 to learn more
Lutheran Family Services can assist with mental health disorders, suicidal thoughts
uicide takes a life every 13 minutes and is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska (LFS) is fighting daily to save lives and help individuals suffering from mental health disorders or suicidal thoughts. Individuals with suicidal thoughts often suffer from a mental illness that can disrupt their ability to cope with situations in their lives. Mental illnesses can be caused by a combination of biological, psychological, and environmental factors and don’t discriminate based on age, ethnicity, gender, and income. Suicide rates saw a 40-year high in 2015, with many vulnerable populations hardest hit including young women, residents of rural communities, and our nation’s veterans. Every day, we lose 20 honored Americans who have served our country. But these trends can be reversed. Mental illness is treatable, but often, individuals don’t know where to seek help or fear reaching out due to social stigmas. According to the LFS Crisis Response Program’s Clinical Supervisor Lindsay Kroll, people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts aren’t alone and shouldn’t be afraid to seek help or tell someone. “This isn’t a secret they have to keep, and they shouldn’t worry about being judged. There are so many people in our community who are willing to listen and provide support and help,” Kroll said. “It’s OK to have these thoughts, and it’s what we do about them that makes all the difference. There are other options to relieve the pain and suffering they’re experiencing, but sometimes it’s harder for them to see those options on their own.” Whether a person has an alcohol abuse problem or is suffering from a traumatic event from their childhood, LFS therapists can provide specialized counseling, mental health therapy, peer engagement, or other tailored services. LFS provides a 24-hour mobile crisis response program to provide intervention and resources to those experiencing a behavioral health crisis. “LFS providers work hard to establish individualized safety plans for each individual to assist them in their time of need,” Kroll said. “We assist them in exploring what could be motivating their suicidal thoughts and how to better address those underlying concerns. “We want to support the individual to develop additional coping mechanisms that could help alleviate that emotional pain that could be the driving force for suicidal ideation.” According to Kroll, learning the following warning signs of suicide could help save someone’s life: • Withdrawing from loved ones and activities. • Changes in sleep patterns or eating habits. • Drug or alcohol abuse. • Having mood swings. • Feelings of hopelessness or unbearable pain. • Talking about being a burden to others. • Family history of suicide, a mental disorder, or substance abuse. • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse. • Engaging in risky or reckless behavior. • Talking or writing about wanting to die. • Giving away possessions. • Looking for a way to kill themselves. Talking to a loved one about feelings and behaviors may reduce a person’s risk of acting on suicidal thoughts. If you feel a loved one is in immediate danger, seek emergency help by calling 911, contact a mental health professional, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-2738255. LFS helps those suffering from mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts by providing confidential, individualized counseling services, regardless of the ability to pay. For more information about Lutheran Family Services programs, please visit LFSNeb.org or call 402-292-9105.
The Men’s Health Network is working to increase awareness of prostate cancer in American males
he Men’s Health Network (MHN) is calling for greater awareness of health issues impacting males as American men still rank among the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world. Prostate cancer remains the leading cancer in American men; about 2.8 million men are living with the disease with over 26,000 men dying each year. The American Cancer Society reports about 161,000 men are expected be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. The U.S. ranks fourteenth among countries with the highest incidence of prostate cancer, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Men and their families need to think about the importance of prostate health and early detection, according to Ana Fadich, vice president of MHN. “A PSA test can be a life-saving tool for early detection and by creating a benchmark against which you and your healthcare provider can measure future tests.” To raise awareness of how prostate cancer impacts American men, MHN features new videos showing the Top 10 states ranked by prostate cancer deaths and incidence. MHN believes early detection through screenings like the PSA (ProstateSpecific Antigen test) and DRE (digital rectal exam) is the key to successful treatment, which is responsible for saving an untold number of men by encouraging them
to have a discussion with their healthcare provider about prostate cancer and early detection. “Prostate health impacts general health,” said Gregory Pecchia, MD, a MHN advisor. “Getting men to be more aware of preventive screenings like the PSA is paramount in the fighting prostate cancer and improving health outcomes.” MHN encourages men to know their prostate cancer risk as early detection is the best predictor of survival. It also urges men at high risk for prostate cancer to talk with their
healthcare provider about getting a yearly screening starting at age 40, with other men beginning at age 50. MHN also emphasizes the role women can play by encouraging their husbands or partners to speak to their healthcare provider about being screened for prostate cancer, including having a PSA test and a DRE. “The various conflicting positions on prostate cancer screening are confusing for patients and doctors alike, but the fact is prostate cancer still is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men,” said Jason Jameson, MD, a urologist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Az. “I encourage men to discuss their individual risk, screening options, and prevention strategies with their doctor. Every man deserves a discussion about this regardless of age.” “The Oncology Nursing Society encourages men to learn about prostate cancer screenings and talk with their healthcare providers about what screening tests are right for them,” said Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, Chief Clinical Officer at the Oncology Nursing Society. “By being aware of prostate health and following the screening guidelines, men can improve their health, and have cancers detected earlier, increasing their chances for cure and a long life.” To learn more about prostate cancer and prostate health, visit the Prostate Health Guide at www.prostatehealthguide. com and the Men’s Health Resource Center at www.menshealthresourcecemnter.com. Volunteers needed
211 network The 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, etc. • Physical and mental health resources. • Support for older Americans and persons with a disability. • Support for children and families. • Volunteer opportunities and donations. The 211 network is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging is looking for volunteer drivers for its Meals on Wheels Program. Flexible weekday schedule delivering midday meals to homebound older adults in the greater Omaha area. Call Arlis at 402-444-6766 for more information.
Vols needed for Car-Go project
We want to hear from
he Retired and Senior Volunteer Program is recruiting volunteers age 55 and older to provide free transportation services for older adults in Fremont and Blair. “We’re especially interested in providing transportation services for military veterans,” said Pat Tanner, who coordinates the RSVP for the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Sponsored locally by ENOA, RSVP is a national program of the Corporation for National and Community Service through the Senior Service Corps. RSVP staff members who serve in Dodge, Washington, Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties realize many older men and women live alone, are on fixed incomes, are no longer able to operate their own vehicle, and don’t have family members available to drive them to their various appointments. In response, RSVP’s Car-Go Project offers free transportation for men and women age 55 and older in Blair and Fremont through volunteers age 55 and older who use their own vehicles. Free rides can be given to medical appointments, pharmacies, grocery stores, beauty parlors, barbershops, banks, and other personal business locations. Rides for persons who use wheelchairs (must be able to transfer themselves) will be considered on a case-bycase basis. The Car-Go Project – which isn’t available to nursing home residents – operates in Fremont and Blair Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on becoming a volunteer driver or to make a reservation (24 hours notice is required) for a ride, call 402-721-7780.
• Do you have questions about the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, its programs or services? • Do you have a comment about the agency and how it serves older adults in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties? • Maybe you have a story idea for the New Horizons?
Send your questions,comments, story ideas, etc. to
DHHS.ENOA@nebraska.gov We appreciate your interest in ENOA and the New Horizons.
Bilingual 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.
Hearing Loss Association to meet Oct. 10 at Dundee Presbyterian
he Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America, a support group for hard of hearing adults, will next meet on Tuesday, Oct. 10 at Dundee Presbyterian Church, 5312 Underwood Ave. Participants are asked to enter the church on the Happy Hollow Blvd. (east) side. The 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. meeting will feature social time and a speaker. The Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America meets the second Tuesday of the month from September through December and from March through August. You’re encouraged to like the Omaha Area Hearing Loss Association of America on Facebook. For more information, please contact Beth Ellsworth at firstname.lastname@example.org or Verla Hamilton at 402-5586449.
THEOS THEOS, a social organization for singles age 60 and older, meets from 1 to 4 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. On Oct. 9, Jim Backens will address the group about the story of Omaha’s Rev. Livingston Wells, also known as “The Broom Man”. For more information, please call Dorothy at 402-3990759 or Mary at 402-393-3052.
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RSVP RSVP is recruiting men and women age 55 and older for a variety of opportunities. For more information in Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties, please call 402-444-6536, ext. 1024. In Dodge and Washington counties, please call 402-721-7780. • The Corrigan Senior Center is looking for volunteers. • The Boys Town Hall of History needs volunteers. • The YWCA’s Reach and Rise Mentoring Program wants volunteers to work with children ages 8 to 15. • The Heartland Hope Mission needs volunteers for its food pantry. • The Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital is looking for volunteers for a variety of assignments. • The Low-Income Ministry wants volunteers for its food pantry. • The Blair and Fremont Car-Go Program needs volunteers to drive older adults to their appointments.
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ENOA program can help reduce a caregiver’s stress The assessment will help determine the caregiver and care receiver’s needs and how they can best utilize the Caregiver Support Program’s respite resources. “We don’t use a cookie cutter approach,” Osberg said. “We look at each relationship and each situation individually.” After the care plan has been implemented, Osberg, Daniels, or Champion will follow up with the family at least once a month either at home or over the telephone. “We want to develop a relationship,” Osberg said. “Our program is built on trust.” Champion said families caring for a loved one at home should learn about available programs and services immediately. “Caregivers are often overwhelmed,” Osberg said. “They don’t realize how much time it takes or how much it costs.” “Caregiver burnout can be a major factor in elder abuse,” Daniels said. “Sometimes the caregiver just needs a little time for themselves.” Osberg said caregivers should never feel guilty asking for help. “If they want to be the best caregiver possible, they need take care of themselves,” he said. “It’s OK to be frustrated,” Champion added. “That’s why we’re here.”
Caregiver Support Program care manager Kathy Daniels (left) with caregiver Tara Evans (right) and Tara’s mother, Mary Wilson (center).
n Dec. 27, 2016, Mary Wilson, then an 86-year-old retired social studies teacher, was in an automobile accident in her hometown of Jackson, Miss. While Mary didn’t have any broken bones, her injuries included a bruised spinal cord which greatly limited her mobility. “That’s the day my life changed,” said Wilson’s daughter, Tara Evans, a Bellevue resident. After several weeks of rehabilitation in Mississippi, Wilson moved to Evans’ Bellevue home in April. Caring for her mother soon created a stressful 24/7 lifestyle for Tara who gets some caregiving assistance from her daughter, Carmen, and her son, Steven. “We work as a team,” Evans said. Realizing they needed some additional help, Tara, Mary, Carmen, and Steven became one of the 95 families in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass, and Washington counties enrolled in the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging’s Caregiver Support Program. The program offers specialized care management services that assist caregivers age 18 and older who are caring for a frail loved one age 60 and older or for a person of any age who has been diagnosed as having dementia. “The program’s main emphasis is to provide respite services for the caregiver,” said Program Coordinator Mike Osberg. Recent statistics show more than 34 million Americans have provided unpaid in-home care to someone age 50 and older in the last 12 months. Studies also indicate the value of those services provided by informal American caregivers is estimated at nearly $500 billion annually. While ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program is open to anyone age 18 and older, 75 percent of its primary family caregivers are age 60 and older, Osberg said. He said caregivers over age 60 are more vulnerable to a decline in their own health due to the emotional, physical, and financial toll of providing care for a loved one. The caregiving duties are often in addition to maintaining a job and/or caring for children and grandchildren. ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program provides respite services designed to reduce a caregiver’s stress and help them keep their loved one at home and out of a skilled nursing facility, according to Kathy Daniels, a care manager with
the program. “We try to prevent burnout and provide time for the caregiver to do what they need or want to do,” she said. The assistance may include up to six hours a week of respite care at home or days in an adult day services facility. Supplemental services may feature lawn care, snow removal, nutrition counseling, home-delivered meals, durable medical equipment, a personal emergency response system, and counseling to help caregivers make decisions and solve problems related to their caregiving responsibilities. A month into caring for Wilson, stress became an almost constant companion for Evans. “My blood pressure rose to 152/100,” she said. Initially, Tara didn’t feel comfortable leaving her mother alone, so she had trouble finding time to shop and wasn’t able to attend church. Daniels arranged for six hours of in-home respite care each week for the family. “It gave me a chance to breath,” Evans said. ENOA also installed a personal emergency response system in the home which allowed Wilson to summon help by pushing a button on a pendant worn around her neck.
vans is grateful for the Caregiver Support Program. “I have Kathy’s number on my speed dial because I know where to go when I need help,” she said. “ENOA finds resources within your means that allow you to be a successful caregiver.” In September, Wilson took a couple of steps on her own for the first time since the accident. “I am going to walk again,” she said confidently. “To know Mama’s getting better helps reduce my stress,” Evans said. Families receiving assistance through ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program are asked to contribute for the services on a sliding fee scale based on their income. “Nobody is denied services due to an inability to pay for those services,” Champion said. For more information on ENOA’s Caregiver Support Program, please call 402-444-6536.
amilies interested in enrolling in the Caregiver Support Program begin the process by calling ENOA’s Information and Assistance division at 402-444-6536. An intake specialist will ask the caller a series of questions to determine if the person being cared for requires long-term care and meets the definition of frailty; defined as the inability to perform two or more activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, eating, mobility, toileting, or transferring) without substantial assistance, cues, or supervision. The caregiver also acknowledges increased stress, lacks support, has personal health issues, and agrees to participate in an in-home assessment, development of a service plan, and an evaluation survey. Neither the caregiver nor the care receiver can be receiving Medicaid Waiver, service coordination, or care management from another agency. Within 24 to 48 hours of the family being referred to the program, an in-home assessment will be arranged for by Osberg, Daniels, or care manager Maria Champion.
(Front to back): care managers Maria Champion, Kathy Daniels, and program coordinator Mike Osberg.
Published on Sep 29, 2017
New Horizons is a publication of the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging. Distributed free to people over age 60 in Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Wash...