Senior Voice -

New research: Retirement with dignity or poverty?

Here’s a thought experiment: What would happen if Social Security were suddenly entirely eliminated? The most immediate consequence would be that six million households across the United States would be plunged into poverty or near-poverty, i.e....

Pioneer Homes see rate decreases and other changes

On April 29, 2020 Governor Dunleavy signed into law House Bill 96 (HB 96) for the Alaska Pioneer Homes (Anchorage, Fairbanks, Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitk, and Alaska Veterans & Pioneers Home in Palmer). The Pioneer Homes serve elder Alaskans needing...

Settlement reached on Pioneer Home rate increase lawsuit

A lawsuit filed in November 2019 related to massive rate hikes at Alaska’s Pioneer Homes has been settled out of court, Alaska State Attorney Kevin Clarkson said on May 6. In a statement released by the Department of Law, Clarkson addressed the...

Social Security's online services are ready for business

During this time when our physical offices are closed to the public, you may wonder, “How can I get help from Social Security without visiting an office?” You can find the answer at www.ssa.gov/onlineservices, which links you to some of our...

Budget overhaul may be due after COVID-19

You’ve planted a victory garden, cleaned the garage, and caught up with old (and older) friends. If you’re lucky, you’ve stayed healthy and are still employed (or retired). COVID-19 has affected each of us differently, but there’s no doubt...

Alaska ferries increase COVID-19 protocols

In an effort to protect the health and safety of passengers and crew, the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) has announced a revised procedure for coronavirus mitigation, effective immediately. These protocols will be visible in all AMHS...

Annual Wasilla fundraiser returns, virtually

Be part of Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc.’s virtual Miles for Meals 5K fundraising event. Miles for Meals is WASI’s largest fundraising event of the year, supporting Meals on Wheels of the Mat-Su Valley. Using the proceeds, WASI strives to end...

Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program returns

Despite the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program will be offered this summer. On May 12, 2020, The Alaska Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)...

How to make the most of your telehealth appointment

Dear Savvy Senior: I manage a large doctor’s clinic that treats hundreds of seniors each month. We are moving to more telehealth visits to help keep our patients safe at home during the coronavirus pandemic, but this new way of seeing a doctor is...

Alaska Health Fair is open for in-office tests

Alaska Health Fair is not able to put on health fairs in your community at the current time. We hope to return to this important service as soon as possible. Over the past three years, we have offered office draw appointments several days each...

Conversations at the end of life

One of the most challenging areas of communication our society still faces today is communication at the end of life. Some of the most important decisions and opportunities are found to have come from end of life conversations. However, many still...

Free training, support for family caregivers

Editor’s note: This schedule may change, due to coronavirus safety measures. Be sure to confirm with the host agency prior to visiting. The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in June....

Finding relief for these old (not) cryin' eyes

I can't see clearly out of my right eye, I have a headache and in spite of blinking, the eye is uncomfortable. I have extreme dry eye. I went to an ophthalmologist who plugged the tear ducts into...

COVID-19 research yields new details, theories

COVID-19 may affect men differently than women The COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to perplex researchers and is leaving millions of people struggling. It is still not clear why some individuals are...

High blood pressure is even more dangerous in the COVID-19 era

Dear Savvy Senior: Are people with high blood pressure at increased risk of getting coronavirus? - Hypertensive Helen Dear Helen: If you have high blood pressure, you definitely need to take extra care to protect yourself during the coronavirus...

Snatiation and facts about sneezing

If you’re out somewhere — getting groceries, for example — don’t sneeze. If you do, you might be taking your life into your hands. That happened to me last month when I sneezed (into my arm) in a grocery store parking lot – and then heard...

Social Security not keeping up with living costs

Editor’s note: This press statement was received on May 12, 2020. Social Security benefits have lost 30 percent of buying power since 2000, according to the latest “Social Security Loss of Buying Power” study released in May by The Senior...

COVID scams are high for veterans, military

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there have been over 20,300 COVID-19 complaints carrying an estimated $15.6 million in losses since the start of 2020. U.S. service members and veterans should take particular notice because these...

Combating social isolation for LGBT elders

SAGE, the world's largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT elders, has recently launched SAGEConnect, a program that matches LGBT elders with volunteer community...

Life and death in senior living facilities: More fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic

Getting older in America will never be the same, after the astonishing death toll in nursing homes and senior housing facilities has revealed just how flawed the nation’s system of care is. The fallout could completely collapse the nursing home...

Memories of Dad and a life well-lived

I sat listening as Dad recited verse after verse of "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" by Robert Service. During my month long visit with him in October 2005, I had been surprised and amazed several times....

Japanese invade Aleutian Islands in June, 1942

The remote islands of the Aleutian Chain, home to the Unangan people for more than 8,000 years, endured the first invasion on American soil since the War of 1812. On June 6, 1942, at around 10:30...

Kelly Stewart remembers dad, Jimmy Stewart

If you don't think Jimmy Stewart put the classic in 'classic movies,' consider these titles in which he starred: "It's a Wonderful Life," "The Philadelphia Story," "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,"...

Advance Directives in the time of corona

Covid-19 is some scary stuff. It’s even more so if medical procedures make you nervous. By now we’ve all seen videos of people having long swabs stuck far up their noses, or a tube stuck down...

Selecting the best smartphone, Zoom privacy, and getting help

Q. Which mobile phone is the best value? A. Although many options exist in the smartphone market, one choice stands above all the others: The 2020 iPhone SE. I am so impressed by the new iPhone SE that I believe it should be the first phone anyone...

Travel options remain iffy for now

When I contacted Scott McMurren, who has published the Alaska Travelgram each week since 1999, for his take on tourism at this strange moment in time, he wrote, "Not sure how much insight I can...

Travel will look different forevermore: Are you ready?

Normally by mid-May I've come and gone several times from my home in Anchorage, sometimes unpacking and re-packing in the same day. It usually feels both frenetic and satisfying to finally be on the...

Older Persons Action Group

Established in 1968, OPAG is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving services, developing programs, educating, promoting and implementing changes to help Alaska seniors live healthy, productive...

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