As communities across the nation celebrate Older Americans Month in May, they will recognize aging friends, family, neighbors and friends who are taking charge of their health and working to live active and independent lives.
In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Older Americans Act (OAA), the Administration for Community Living within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that the 2015 celebrations will be held under the banner of Get into the Act. The focus of the observance is how older adults are improving their well-being through community involvement, wellness activities and increasing awareness of home- and community-based services that support independent living.
“Older Americans Month is a great opportunity to celebrate our parents, grandparents and all of those special older individuals who have impacted our own lives,” said DHHS CEO Courtney Phillips. “I encourage all Nebraskans in May to look for opportunities to give back to the older adults in their lives by supporting programs in their community that help individuals thrive and live more independently as they age.”
Director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care Calder Lynch said that Nebraska’s eight Area Agencies on Aging are a key component for information about local resources to help the elderly. “We work closely with these agencies to provide the assistance older Nebraskans need to become healthier, to stay at home longer and to support them with the services they need,” he said. “It’s important that we recognize the sacrifices and contributions that our aging loved-ones have made so that all generations can enjoy a better life.”
Activities will be held across the state to observe Older Americans Month, including:
- Aging Partners will host the 3rd annual Age Strong! Live Long! Walk On! at Union College, 3800 S 48th Street, at 9 a.m. on May 15.
- Dine Out 4 Seniors will take place at seven Lincoln restaurants raising funds to support the work of senior centers on May 20.
- Thrive!, an expo and educational experience at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center will be held on May 27. Information for these and many other Aging Partners activities can be found at http://aging.lincoln.ne.gov.
- The Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging will hold the first annual Step Out for Senior Walkathon on May 16 at Benson Park, 7028 Military Ave. with registration at 9 a.m. Besides the walk, a Lifestyle Expo will exhibit a variety of services and products, health information and other activities. Register at http://stepoutforseniors.weebly.com
- The South Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging will hold an open house May 21, from 2-4 p.m. at 620 E. 25th St., Suite 12, in Kearney where information will be provided about the agency’s services and programs.
Within the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, the State Unit on Aging has broad responsibilities for addressing the concerns of older Nebraskans, including:
- Supporting local programs through the eight Area Agencies on Aging in Nebraska
- Assisting in transitions of care and providing quality oversight for long-term care programs
- Connecting older persons to community support services that allow the elderly and persons with disabilities to remain independent and connected to community services
- Providing ombudsman and legal assistance to help protect elder rights
- Providing support services to caregivers of people 60 years and older, including respite, education, training, information, assistance and services.
- Helping older Nebraskans identify and report possible fraud and protect them from scams
- Providing volunteer community service opportunities to older persons
- Providing training opportunities to help prepare older workers for local employment
- Providing transportation support for the elderly
To learn more about the services that support elderly in Nebraska, visit:http://dhhs.ne.gov/medicaid/aging/pages/ProgramsServices.aspx.
This article has been reprinted with permission from Nebraska DHHS.