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Lincoln – Every May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) leads the nation's observance of Older Americans Month (OAM). This year's theme is “aging in place" as the aim is to focus on how older adults can plan to stay in their homes and live independently for as long as possible. OAM is also a time to acknowledge the contributions of older persons to our country, and in particular, veterans.
The ACL was created around the principle that older adults and people of all ages with disabilities should be able to live where they choose, with the people they choose and have the ability to participate fully in their communities.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has several services available to assist aging individuals in their daily lives. Throughout Nebraska, there are Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) for Nebraskans aged 60 years or older, people with disabilities of all ages, family members, caregivers, and advocates. Local ADRCs provide information, referral, and assistance for accessing community services and long-term care options. Nebraskans can find the closest ADRC location at https://ne211.org/nebraska-aging-disability-resource-center or call toll-free (866) 813-1731.
The State Unit on Aging is also part of DHHS. It oversees funding to help Nebraskans stay in their homes. These funding sources include the Older Americans Act, the Nebraska Community Aging Services Act, and the Aging & Disability Resource Center Act. To learn more about services and to apply, please visit https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Aging-and-Disability-Resource-Center.aspx or call toll-free at (844) 843-6364.
Finally, DHHS provides Adult Protective Services (APS) through the Division of Children and Family Services (CFS). This service meets the needs of vulnerable adults and helps protect them from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If an individual has reason to believe a vulnerable adult is being abused, neglected, or exploited in Nebraska, call the 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1-800-652-1999. To learn about signs of elder abuse, please visit https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Adult-Protective-Services.aspx.
“DHHS has built and supported an expansive network of community organizations that can provide needed assistance and support to older Nebraskans," said Kevin Bagley, Director of the Medicaid and Long-Term Care Division. “I encourage those who feel overwhelmed and in need of support to reach out for help to identify available resources."
“There are resources and funding available to connect aging Nebraskans with services and supports. These services are provided with a Person-Centered focus for aging Nebraskans to live how they choose and be independent. We are committed to helping Nebraskans live their golden years with fulfillment and joy," said Developmental Disabilities Division Director Tony Green.
“Elder abuse affects older people across all socioeconomic groups, cultures, and races and can occur anywhere when elder Americans are disconnected from social support," said CFS Division Director Stephanie Beasley. “Factors such as dementia or poor physical health can increase older people's isolation, which in turn puts people at greater risk of experiencing abuse or neglect. Contact the Nebraska Child and Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999 if you suspect elder abuse."