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Articles from the January 1, 2016 edition

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Latest Medicare changes affect senior dollars

A new law signed by President Obama will help shield some 17 million Americans from steep premium hikes. But many will continue to see changes in the amounts they pay for Medicare next year. About 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries were facing a 52...

 

Aging at home – with a little help from our friends

What do you do when you need an extra hand for a household chore and neighbors, friends or kids aren't available to help? In Fairbanks, there's a new organization for older adults that can be the...

 

Short term problems need short term fixes

Governor Bill Walker wanted the job as governor, and he got it. As our chief executive officer he is responsible for establishing the state’s budget. The legislature must fund it. The problem is that government expenses exceed available state...

 

Remember OPAG when filing for your PFD

You may file your 2016 Alaska Permanent Fund Divided beginning Jan. 1, 2016. If you choose, you can designate a portion of your PFD to support non-profit organizations in Alaska who are eligible for the Pick.Click.Give. program. This year, Older...

 

Cute puppies – and scams – abound online

A Pennsylvania consumer reported on BBB’s Scam Tracker, “I paid $700 for a kitten that does not exist. My kid is devastated because she was waiting for a kitten to be delivered to our house today.” Another consumer wrote, “All we wanted was a...

 

Don't cut funding for vital assistance

Dear Senator Murkowski: The Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) is gravely concerned about the proposed 42 percent reduction to the federal State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), from $52 million to $30 million, at a time when Alaska and...

 
 By Ken Helander    News    January 1, 2016

What to expect in our next legislative session

It is soon time to gavel in the second regular session of the 29th Legislature on January 19. There will be a lot of work to be done in the 90 days allotted, but no one will be too surprised if the legislators once again go into an additional...

 
 By Mark Begich    News    January 1, 2016

Let's help our home care and hospice nurses

I became President and CEO of the Foundation for Hospice and Homecare earlier this year, because I understood the home care and hospice community is committed to every person’s right to receive care in the setting of their choice. Simply put,...

 
 By Suzy Cohen    Health    January 1, 2016

This is why I threw out my multivitamin

I used to think multivitamins filled a nutritional gap, but today I think differently. There’s no way that 1.7 mg of any B vitamin will boost energy, or 20 mg of magnesium could improve mood. I’m beginning to realize that multivitamins are an...

 

Donated dental care available to seniors

Alaska Donated Dental Services (DDS), part of the Dental Lifeline Network, is a group of dentists who have agreed to provide dental care for seniors and people with disabilities on a fixed income who cannot afford needed dental services.  This...

 
 By Rita Hatch    Columns    January 1, 2016

Defining Medicare primary, secondary payers

I have been asked what the difference is between a primary and secondary payer in Medicare. The insurance that pays first (primary payer) pays up to the limits of its coverage. The one that pays...

 

'Virtual classes' will focus on geriatric health

A series of online trainings on geriatric health care topics will be available beginning in January, sponsored by the Area Health Education Center (AHEC), the Alaska Training Cooperative and Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The series is a...

 

Shocker! Veterans lose ground in budget cutting

Military members and veterans lost on almost every big benefit fight waged in the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, according to many veterans organizations. However, there was no shortage of...

 

Latest research news on hearing aids, breast cancer, fatty liver disease

Diabetes drug may help combat fatty liver disease New research published in The Lancet is showing that a drug currently used in the treatment of type-2 diabetes can be effective in clearing fatty liver disease from some patients. The researchers from...

 
 By David Washburn    News    January 1, 2016

Food box home deliveries available in Anchorage and Mat-Su areas

Food Bank of Alaska is looking for volunteers in the Anchorage and Mat-Su areas to deliver food boxes once a month to homebound seniors. The food boxes are distributed through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, CSFP, and contain about 30 pounds...

 

Free training, support for family caregivers

The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in January. This month’s focus: “What topics would you like discussed in 2016 support meetings?” All caregivers should attend and help direct...

 

Religious beliefs linked to healthier lives

What are the physical effects of religious faith? A study tracking 20,000 Americans found that white people who attended church regularly lived an average of seven years longer than their counterparts who didn’t go to church. And churchgoing black...

 

A success built on creativity and good food

"What do I like best about my job? That's easy. It's my customers! I love our customers." It's an early Monday morning and Janet Hickok is multi-tasking. She has been an owner of Doriola's on Tudor...

 

Learn something new this winter

Why hibernate when you can enroll in a class or activity and make some new friends? Anchorage learning opportunities Anchorage-area seniors can sign up now for winter session classes offered by OLE (Opportunities for Lifelong Education). Although the...

 

Alaska Picnic returns to Yuma for 30th year

Started 30 years ago in Yuma, Ariz., as an informal get together for Alaska snowbirds, the annual Alaska Picnic has grown into an enormous annual party. “We have people fly in from Alaska for the two days just for the picnic,” says Ruth Giles,...

 

Alaska pioneer brings automobiles north

One of Alaska's early pioneers, who died 33 years ago this month at age 99, left his mark on early Alaska transportation. Robert E. "Bobby" Sheldon built the territory's first automobile, drove the...

 
 By Nick Thomas    Columns    January 1, 2016

Betty Lynn is keeping Mayberry alive

It's just after noon on the third Friday of the month, and 89-year-old Betty Lynn is preparing to take her seat behind a small brown table in the main room of the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy,...

 

Social Security experts answer your questions

Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times:     Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (Jan. 12 and 26), 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai...

 

The costs of a trust vs. probate fees

Dear Jonathan: My financial advisor is pestering me to create a trust for the purpose of holding my assets for probate avoidance. However, I am really not interested in creating a trust and I am not all that concerned with having my estate being...

 

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