MEDIA CONTACTAlycia Davis, (531) 249-8079, Alycia.Davis@nebraska.gov
Lincoln – February is National Senior Independence Month, which provides an opportunity to celebrate older adults across the state of Nebraska and spread awareness of information and resources that are available to help support them and their independence throughout their journey.
“The word independence means something different to every individual depending on their age and life circumstances", said Tony Green, Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) for The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “One of our goals is to help the senior citizens in communities across Nebraska maintain their independence by helping seniors find the appropriate resources to fit their specific needs, encouraging social interaction, and building an inclusive and supportive community."
The Senior Volunteer Program helps older adults across the state of Nebraska stay in their homes. Senior volunteers, age 60 and older, are paired with other senior members in their community. These volunteers help with daily tasks such as getting the mail, shopping or running errands, helping with rides to medical appointments, and providing a one-on-one companionship opportunity. The purpose of this program is to provide volunteers with a purpose and the satisfaction that they are making a difference in other seniors' lives, it also combats isolation and loneliness. This program is available in the counties of Banner, Buffalo, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Gage, Garden, Hall, Kimball, Nemaha, and Pawnee.
Local Senior Volunteer Programs:
According to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, as of July 2021, 305,771 individuals living in Nebraska were ages 65 and older. That makes up roughly 16% of our total population in 2021. National Senior Independence Month allows individuals to give back and show that they care for the elderly members of the community. Reach out to your local senior center or organization and ask about available volunteer opportunities. It is a great way to create an inclusive community and celebrate the value and knowledge that senior citizens add to the community.
Resources are available. If you or a loved one need assistance, please reach out to:
Nebraska State Unit on Aging: (402) 471-2307, https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Aging.aspx
Division on Developmental Disabilities: 877-667-6266, https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Developmental-Disabilities.aspx
Long-Term Care Ombudsman: (800) 942-7830, https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Aging-Ombudsman.aspx