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                                       June – July 2012

TALKING BOOKS                                 NPSA MEMBERS
By Maria Laskley                              By Emily Johnson

   If weakness or immobility has kept you        NPSA members looking for volunteer
from the joys of reading, the Nebraska        opportunities, employment counseling,
Library Commission has a solution.            nutrition services, case management and
   Since 1901, the Talking Book and           more were able to explore their options
Braille Service of Nebraska has provided      and ask in-depth questions when Jeff
people with disabilities (PWD) with the       Reinhardt of the Eastern Nebraska Office
joys of reading through the use of            on Aging (ENOA) spoke during the May 6
audiocassettes and digital cartridge          NPSA meeting.
players. The Talking Book service is free        ENOA helps Nebraska families in
of charge to those PWD who qualify.           Douglas, Sarpy, Dodge, Cass and
   David Oertli, director of the Talking      Washington counties by creating programs
Book and Braille Service at the Nebraska      to meet the diverse needs of older
Library Commission (NLC), was the             individuals. However, Reinhardt said
featured speaker at April’s NPSA meeting.     members who live outside of Nebraska
   "All you have                              could seek aid from other Office on Aging
to do is fill out                             offices.
an application                                   Reinhardt passed out programs and told
form once and                                 members about a care management and
have it signed by                             caregiver support program designed to
some kind of                                  help adults over 60 reside in their homes
medical                                       by providing a health and social
professional,"                                assessment, developing written plans for
Oertli explained.                             needed services, provide information and
"If you qualify, we will provide service to   support services on resources, and monitor
you for the rest of your life.”               ongoing provisions.
TALKING BOOKS                                 ENOA OFFERS SUPPORT
(Continued on page 4)                         (Continued on page 2)
   Gleanings                                                         June – July 2012

ENOA OFFERS SUPPORT                               lighting, picking up some rugs or [fixing]
(Continued from page 1)                           things that aren’t tied down well.”
                                                     People who use ENOA’s services are
   ENOA provides assistance by offering a         not billed, a difference which sets the Area
Medicaid Waiver opportunity to Medicaid           Agencies on Aging apart from other
eligible applicants, as well as Senior Care       organizations. Recipients are asked to
Options (SCO) to assess the necessity or          make contribution to ENOA based upon
cost of nursing facility or in-home care.         their income.
   Some of the most popular and most-                “It’s simply a contribution request,”
needed services are In-home services such         Reinhardt said. “It’s not a bill, we just ask
as Home-delivered meals through Meals             them to make a donation based upon the
on Wheels, the Homemaker program, Bath            services they receive. If you can’t pay,
Aide, and information about how to                then you don’t pay anything.”
acquire Durable Medical Equipment for                Another important part of ENOA
those who aren’t covered by Medicaid or           programs is that it serves volunteers as
need help purchasing                                                 well as recipients,
their own equipment.                                                 Reinhardt said. While
   Other In-home                                                     ENOA promotes
services include chore                                               intergenerational
services such as home                                                friendships by
repair or safety                                                     encouraging people of all
modifications, respite                                               ages to volunteer, many
care from trained                                                    middle-aged or elderly
volunteers, and a 24-hour                                            volunteers get active as
response personal                                                    well.
response service that                             A few members mentioned volunteering
summons help with a press of a button.            as well as using programs during the
   Reinhardt said recipients benefit from         meeting. One member shared stories of
these in-home assessments because                 how her mother had been helped by
volunteers provide exactly what they need         ENOA’s safety and in-home services. She
for day-to-day living at home. They also          said was impressed by the levels of
speak to spouses, children or family              services, professionalism and guidance
members to help recipients compile                ENOA provided, especially since she
thorough care plans.                              lived in a different town and couldn’t
   “By going into your home, we get to            always make the trip to help her mother.
see your true living environment,” he said.          For more information about ENOA’s
“It gives the care manager a better and           offices and services, members can visit the
more complete understanding of your               ENOA website:
living environment. They can also look for
some safety issues by adding some

  Gleanings                                                           June– July 2012

ASKING FOR HELP                                      another. At 6 a.m., it takes a bit more than
By Millie Malone Lill, Gleanings columnist           that to concern me enough to completely
                                                     open my eyes and start my day.
   Why is it so darn hard to ask for help? I            When I got up, I found all the parts to
was taught, as many of you may have                  the detector and laid them on the table.
been, that we should never ask for help,             Now what? I had new batteries, but
that people don’t want to stop what they             putting the detector back on the ceiling
are doing to help you do something you               wasn’t as easy as knocking it down. I
can do yourself.                                     decided it was a job for our maintenance
   I’m fine with that philosophy up to a             man. I love having a maintenance man, as
point. However, what if the thing that               opposed to being one. I went to the
requires help is something you can’t do?             administrator of my building and
As a polio survivor, I will find a way. It           requested help from the aforementioned
will not be the regulation way that an able-         maintenance man. Denny, the man in
bodied person will use, but I will do it             question, was having back surgery. Our
somehow. Or, I’ll                                                        administrator promised
decide it doesn’t need to                                                to find time to do this
be done.                             She gave me “That Look,” and        for me herself. She
   The other night, the           don’t pretend you don’t know           only works 18 hours a
carbon monoxide                   what look I mean. I absolutely         week, so I knew this
detector in my                    know you’ve been on the                would not be an
apartment started                 receiving end of “That Look”           immediate response.
beeping. Every 30                 yourself.                              She has a lot to
seconds or so it would                                                   accomplish in those 18
emit a loud, screeching                                                  hours, and I have no
noise. I knew it meant the battery was               idea how she manages to do it all.
dead, but 30 seconds is exactly enough                  A week passed, and my table
time for me to fall back to sleep at 2:20            centerpiece was still a detector and
a.m. So I was startled awake, my little dog          batteries. I have a step stool, but my
would go airborne and let out a yip, and             ‘good’ hip is no longer all that good. A
I’d fall asleep again until the next time.           wrong move will set off bursitis or sciatica
   I would just have time to think, “Hey,            or both. Aging with PPS is a challenge,
get up. Change the battery.... zzzz.”                isn’t it? I could always ask again for help,
Finally, at 6 a.m., my nervous system was            but you know that is Not The Polio Way.
shredded enough for me to completely
awaken. Sort of. I took my reacher and               MILLIE (Continued on page 4)
knocked the detector off the ceiling. It
only hangs by the heads of a couple of
screws, so a twisting motion did the trick.
Yes, it flew one way and the batteries flew

  Gleanings                                                              June – July 2012

   To reach Millie Malone Lill, you                    TALKING BOOKS (Continued from page 1)
   can send a message to her email
     address:                          Oertli, who has been with the NLC
                                                       since 1983, has seen firsthand how the
    Or send your comments to:
                                                       Talking Book and Braille Service
                 NPSA                                  positively affects the lives of those who
             PO Box 6076                               choose to participate in the program.
           Omaha, NE 68106                                 “I knew a man who had been inflicted
     Email:                       with glaucoma and spent two years in a
                                                       deep depression, which made him
MILLIE (Continued from page 3)                         suicidal,” he said. “Being able to use the
                                                       Talking Book and Braille Service allowed
   I climbed on a dining room chair,                   him to read again, and it changed his life.”
feeling that the seat of the chair was a                  The NLC’s catalogue of materials
larger surface to stand on than the step               includes everything from the newest best
stool, and I could use whatever small help             sellers to magazines, while placing a
my ‘bad’ leg was to assist my efforts.                 specific emphasis on Nebraska authors.
Piece of cake!                                            “We get 50 to 75 new books every six
   I did not fall, and I did not twist just            months,” David said. “If we don't have
wrong and set off my hip’s motion                      what you're looking for, you can place a
detector. But didn’t I feel foolish when               request and we will pass it along to the
the administrator came to fix it shortly               (Nebraska) Library Commission.”
thereafter? She gave me “That Look,” and                  In addition to the services available to
don’t pretend you don’t know what look I               individuals, the Talking Book and Braille
mean. I absolutely know you’ve been on                 Service are also accessible to schools and
the receiving end of “That Look” yourself.             facilities such as nursing homes, hospitals
I got “That Look” from my grandson                     and senior citizen centers. Including
when I mentioned it to him, after I’d                  children's books has vastly expanded the
already replaced the thing, of course.                 NLC’s catalogue of books.
“Next time,” I was told, “Ask For Help.”                  "We try to do books for all ages now,"
I will. Of course I will. Sure.                        he said. "A lot of those are pioneer stories
   Darn arthritis! Makes my fingers hurt               set in Nebraska.”
when I cross them like that.                              If you, or anyone you know, are in need
                                                       of the Talking Book and Braille Service,
                                                       please visit the Talking Books website:
           Find us and other polio           
survivors on Facebook:                                 service.aspx .

  Gleanings                                                        June– July 2012

                               We are grateful for all gifts       NPSA DONORS
GOOD READING                 we receive from our donors. If        The following donors
   On June 2, the Omaha      you wish to support NPSA’s            contributed cash gifts
District Rotary              mission, please send checks to:       from Apr. 1, through
Conference keynote                         NPSA                    May 15, 2012:
speaker is scheduled to                 PO Box 6076                Annual Gifts:
be polio survivor and                Omaha, NE 68106               Anonymous and
Rotarian Ann Lee                                                   Linda K. Hunter, via
Hussey. Read about her           The Nebraska Polio Survivors United Way of the
personal quest to             Association is a 501(c)(3) non-      Midlands
vaccinate children in         profit organization. Your gifts
Real Simple magazine:         are tax-deductible.                  Memorials:
One Woman’s Mission:                              Irwin C. Nielsen by
To Immunize Children Worldwide With                     Alice G. Nielsen,
the Polio Vaccine.                                      Nancy J. Anderson,
   To read it online, here’s the web                    Charles I. Nielsen
address:                                          Jean Yeager Love by                Alan & Glen Husak,
ative-health/polio-vaccine-                             John & Allison Park
                                                  Arjean Kratzke by
                                                        Karen & John Dulany

                                  Mark Your Calendars!

                        Sunday, October 7, 2012, 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
                               NPSA Annual Reunion
                             W.H. Thompson Alumni Center
                             University of Nebraska-Omaha
                                   Omaha, Nebraska

      Join us for a delicious luncheon prepared by Brandeis Catering, followed by a
   video program with physician and polio survivor Dr. Wenzel A. Leff, author of
   the new book: Traveling without a Spare.

     More details and reservation information will appear in the August-September
   2012 issue of Gleanings.

NPSA Board of                          Vice President                          At-Large Member
                                       Edward B. Roche, Ph.D.                  Kusum Kharbanda, Ph.D
Directors                              117 Bellevue Blvd A                     770 N. 93rd St., Apt. 484
                                       Bellevue, NE 68005-2440                 Omaha, NE 68114-2674
Executive Director                     Home: 402-292-3781                      Home: 402-995-3752
Elaine J. Allen                        Work: 402-559-4645                      Work: 402-346-8800 x 3736
PO Box 6076                                 
Omaha, NE 68106                   Treasurer
                                       Larry Weber, CPA
President Eugene Roth and              Weber & Thorson PC
Secretary Barbara Roth                 11205 Wright St. Ste 220
4011 N. 15th St.                       Omaha, NE 68144-4719
Lincoln, NE 68521                      Work: 402-330-9900
Home: 402-477-2188                     FAX: 402-330-4022
Cell: 402-326-3266           

                                        NPSA Mission Statement
    The mission of Nebraska Polio Survivors Association is to educate the public and the health care community
     concerning polio and post-polio syndrome and to respond to the needs of individuals who suffer from the
    syndrome through group meetings, educational programming and newsletters, financial and other support
                    of research concerning the syndrome and the circulation of research results.
                               NPSA was founded in 1984 by Nancy Baldwin Carter.

PO Box 6076
Omaha, NE 68106

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