The State Unit on Aging produced a 30-minute television program with four panelists on the topics of Consumer Protection, Guardianship and Conservatorship, and Advance Directives. Panelists were Margaret Schaefer, Legal Aid of Nebraska; Debora Denny, Dispute Resolution & Special Court Projects; Judge Susan Bazis, Douglas County Court; and Mary Wilson, Buford Law Offices. The panel was moderated by Mark Feit of the Alzheimer’s Association).
The program, Safe, Secure, Seniors: Legal Services to Protect Older Nebraskans will start airing soon on NET2 and will be posted on NET Connects (click to view).
Broadcast dates and times on NET2 are:
- July 3, 8:00 p.m.
- July 6, 2:00 p.m.
- July 10, 7:30 p.m.
- July 13, 1:30 p.m.
- July 31, 8:30 p.m.
- August 14, 8:30 p.m.
- August 17, 2:30 p.m.
Safe, Secure Seniors: Legal Services to Protect Older Nebraskans
Many Nebraskans are being confronted with the challenges of protecting themselves and their loved ones from the threat of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Jodi Osborn from Lincoln whose mother was a victim of family violence and elder abuse told us “elder abuse is not always just something you can see, like physical abuse, or that you can find, like financial abuse. It can be mental abuse. I missed the signs of elder abuse and I don’t want anyone else to miss them. I just don’t want anyone else to go through what we did. A simple call to the hotline may save a loved one’s life. ”
To provide protection of vulnerable older adults and to help older Americans with legal assistance on issues, the Older Americans Act was established. It decrees that older Americans are entitled to certain basic rights and benefits such as income security, health care, consumer protection, defense of guardianship, and housing and provides legal assistance on these priority issues.
Legal assistance is one of the priority services of the Older Americans Act. In Nebraska, legal advice and representation is provided to those 60 and older with economic or social needs through our eight Area Agencies on Aging. The area agencies on aging contract with private attorneys for these services or with Legal Aid of Nebraska to operate a hotline to provide legal assistance. The area agencies on aging based in Lincoln, Norfolk, Kearney and Hastings contract with a private attorney in addition to the Elder Access Line that is available statewide. These legal providers help older Nebraskans with Advance Directives such as wills, durable and health care powers of attorney as well other things like eviction notices, debt collection and government benefits. The State Unit on Aging within DHHS also sponsors free law school clinics throughout the state to prepare Advance Directives and provide consumer credit counseling.
In this program, legal experts will discuss some of the legal issues and point you to resources in your community to find help.
Watch for this program on your NET2 station or on NET Connects (click to view).