Newsroom > DHHS News Release

For Immediate Release
May 23, 2016

Contact Julie Naughton, Communications and Legislative Services, (office) 402-471-1695 or (cell) 402-405-7202,  or

Department of Health and Human Services Celebrating May as Older Americans Month

LINCOLN – The Department of Health and Human Services’ State Unit on Aging is showing its commitment to Nebraska seniors not only for May’s Older Americans Month, but year around.

“Older adults are a growing and increasingly vital part of our state,” said Courtney Phillips, Chief Executive Officer of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “The contributions they make to our communities are deeply rooted.  Our work with older Nebraskans includes important services such as those through the State Unit on Aging, Medicaid, economic assistance programs, our Veterans’ Homes, adult protective services, and developmental, behavioral and public health efforts.”

Phillips said that on July 1, DHHS’ State Unit on Aging will launch its new Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ARDCs) through three pilot projects funded by LB 320, passed in 2015. The ADRCs will offer important information, referral services, and options counseling. They also will identify unmet needs for persons with disabilities and persons sixty (60) years of age and older.

She also highlighted DHHS’ Adult Protective Services, which investigates reports of vulnerable adult abuse, neglect and exploitation, including self-neglect, and intervenes when maltreatment is confirmed.  Adult Protective Services provides necessary interventions with as little disruption to the client's life as possible. Whenever feasible, clients are helped to live in the environment of their choice. If anyone has reason to believe a vulnerable adult has been abused, neglected or exploited, call the 24-hour toll free DHHS Adult Protective Services hotline at 800-652-1999 or your local law enforcement.

The DHHS State Unit on Aging promotes the dignity, independence and freedom of choice for older Nebraskans and provides funding to the eight Area Agencies on Aging in Nebraska to support local programs and services. The State Unit on Aging receives the federal grants from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging. Those grants, along with State appropriations for aging programs, are sub awarded to the area agencies on aging. The SUA is responsible for the monitoring of the programs and expenditures.

“We work closely with Nebraska’s eight Area Agencies on Aging,” noted Cynthia Brammeier, administrator of the DHHS State Unit on Aging, noting that these agencies oversee more than 200 centers.  “They serve all 93 counties and provide an array of services to older adults year-round, such as meals, in-home services and transportation.” The Area Agencies on Aging provide services to their service areas, arrange for services, and establish focal points for services where people can find resources.

 “Older Americans Month is an opportunity for us to recognize and honor older Americans, the contributions they have made to society and their independence,” said Rod S. Horsley, executive director of the Kearney-based South Central Nebraska Area Agency on Aging, which provides services to 14 counties in central Nebraska. “We are also celebrating the passage of the Older Americans Act, which funds many of the services Agencies on Aging provide, such as legal services, senior meals programs, homemaker services, and others. The Older Americans Act is the foundation for providing older Americans with the services and supports to allow them to remain independent and in their own homes as long as possible, which is vital to our seniors.”