Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 2, 2011

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Older Nebraskans Connect With Their Communities

May is Older Americans Month

Lincoln - Older Nebraskans are living longer, are healthier and more active, and contribute to their communities more than ever before, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“Older Nebraskans have made so many contributions to our state, and they have valuable insights they can share with younger generations,” said Vivianne Chaumont, director of the Division of Medicaid and Long-Term Care. “Older Americans Month is our chance to show our appreciation and to support our seniors as they continue to strengthen our communities.”

Over 329,400 Nebraskans are over the age of 60, according to the U.S Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 2009.

Older Nebraskans step up to help and support one another through civic and volunteer opportunities. Many volunteer at group meal sites and deliver food to homebound seniors and help their peers with home repair and shopping.

“We want people to continue to remain in their communities as active and engaged citizens,” Chaumont said. “Their energy and commitment remind all of us —not just senior citizens and their caregivers—to do our part to enhance the quality of life for older generations.”

Nebraska’s aging network includes the public and private sectors and is funded by the federal Older Americans Act, the Nebraska Community Aging Services Act and DHHS. DHHS’ State Unit on Aging grants state and federal funds to Nebraska’s eight Area Agencies on Aging to support local programs and services.

Of the 28,933 individuals who received one or more services from the aging network in 2010:

  • 6,039 received Care Management support;
  • Over 26,000 received meal services;
  • 22% were below poverty level;
  • Almost half lived alone;
  • Over 75% receiving support resided in rural areas;
  • Over 50% have one or more Activities of Daily Living impairment; and
  • Over 50% of the clients receiving nutrition support were at moderate to high nutrition risk.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging at to learn more about volunteer opportunities with programs that provide services for seniors.