Articles from the April 1, 2014 edition


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  • New fares, schedules on the way for AnchorRides

    Theda Pittman, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2014

    Anchorage seniors who use the AnchorRIDES transportation program can expect new policies about hours of service and fares effective May 1. Weekday senior transportation service hours will be expanded for the core service area, with the earliest pickups available at 5:45 a.m. and the latest dropoffs at 11:30 p.m. This increases by over six hours the Monday through Friday availability in areas where the pickup and dropoff is within three-quarters of a mile of a bus route. The Municipal Department of Transportation, which administers AnchorRIDES,...

  • Alaska Commission on Aging to meet in Anchorage, April 30 and May 2

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2014

    The Alaska Commission on Aging will hold its quarterly meeting April 30 and May 2 at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center in Anchorage. The commission has provided the following draft agenda: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 8:30 a.m. Good Morning & Welcome All! Breakfast snacks will be provided. The public may call in to listen on April 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on May 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Public comment is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The toll-free number is 1-800-315...

  • Always ready with more TLC

    Dianne Barske, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2014

    It's Tuesday morning, and Elise Patkotak is heading off to the Bird Treatment and Learning Center on King Street in Anchorage. She has volunteered for this early shift for 14 years. "I feel so privileged to be this close to the birds, to actually get to handle them," she says. And with her characteristic, somewhat quirky sense of humor, she adds, "I don't know if the birds feel the same way about me." She admits she has long been enthralled with birds. It all started with Adeline – one bird ...

  • Analysis: Proposed Medicare Part D changes incite cheers, jeers

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Apr 1, 2014

    When do you fix a government program that’s not broken? That’s the question many in Washington are asking, after Medicare recently proposed a series of changes to its Part D prescription drug program – a program that, by most everyone’s view, is working very well. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed new rules recently that would fundamentally change the program's private insurance coverage for certain drugs, alter the pharmacy networks that some plans cover and limit the number of policies available to benefic...

  • Event marks ten years of Amblin' for Alzheimer's

    Alzheimers Resource of Alaska|Apr 1, 2014

    Local non-profit Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska holds an annual walk every spring. This will be a special year though as they reach the ten year milestone. The walk began in 2005 with 146 walkers raising $30,000. Today, the walk has grown to as many as 289 walkers and has raised a combined total of over $500,000 to support Alaska’s seniors and those with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. The walk has taken various paths over the last decade, literally, with the first walk beginning at the Sourdough Mining Company restaurant and meand...

  • IRS advocate helps taxpayers with problems

    Kristia Douts, IRS TAS Program|Apr 1, 2014

    The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS. We help taxpayers whose problems with the IRS are causing financial difficulties; who have tried but have not been able to resolve their problems with the IRS; and those who believe an IRS system or procedure is not working as it should. Here are some things every taxpayer should know about TAS: TAS is your voice at the IRS. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS and helps taxpayers resolve problems with the IRS and recommend changes that will prevent the...

  • Symposium explores the Power of Aging, May 1

    Alaska Commission on Aging|Apr 1, 2014

    You are invited to the Power of Aging in Alaska Symposium on May 1, 2014, at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. This event is sponsored by the Alaska Commission on Aging, in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Services, ConocoPhillips, AARP Alaska, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, University of Alaska and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority. The purpose of this conference is to provide Alaska’s seniors and those who care about them with the knowledge and tools to have a strong voice and empower seniors to s...

  • Free legal clinics for landlord, tenant issues

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2014

    Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC) is offering free Landlord/Tenant legal clinics in Anchorage on the first Thursday of every month from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fairview Rec Center, 1121 E. 10th Avenue. There is no fee or pre-registration required, and anyone having a problem with their rental property, landlord, or tenant may attend. The next Landlord/Tenant legal clinics are April 3 and May 1. A local volunteer attorney will facilitate these clinics and will also answer general questions from attendees about their particular situations. Both...

  • Designing your home for aging in place

    Leslie Shallcross and Art Nash, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2014

    My mom loved her own home - a wooded, two-acre property on a rural country road. She liked caring for her home and relaxing on her small, screened porch with a view of birds at the feeder and flowers in her garden. She liked having friends and family come for visits. Her own dishes, her own bed, her own music, eating when and what she wanted. As her vision declined and she stopped driving, she did think that it would be sensible to find a new home in town where she could walk to the library, hairdresser or grocery. Dad, on the other hand,...

  • Free dental work in Anchorage, April 11-12

    Theda Pittman, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2014

    On April 11 and 12 at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, 600 West 7th Avenue, the Alaska Dental Society, in collaboration with Anchorage Rotary and over 1,400 volunteers will provide a free clinic for people who have no access to dental care or cannot afford dental care. This is the first year for the Alaska Mission of Mercy. Its goals are to provide free dental care for patients suffering from dental infections or pain; to raise awareness of the increasing difficulty low-income adults and children face in accessing critical dental care; and t...

  • Update on food assistance, other programs

    Rita Hatch, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2014

    The calendar says that it is spring but my calendar says , “Where?” Well soon, maybe. I can’t stress this enough, because I have had so many questions about it: If you are on Medicare, you do not have to buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act. You already have insurance. However if you are not on Medicare and do not have health insurance, you cannot get any through the ACA until November 15, 2014, unless you have a qualifying life event such as moving to a new state, have a change in in...

  • Health screening, education at spring health fairs

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2014

    Alaska Health Fairs, Inc. continues its spring health fairs this month, featuring free health screenings and education, low cost blood tests and more. The tests can help you learn about your health and detect potential problems early, when treatment or changes in personal habits can be most effective. The test results give you and your health care provider important information about your physical condition and vital organ functions. A complete and comprehensive chemistry/hematology test is available for only $45 and panels 27 different tests...

  • Veterans health care suffering from shortfalls

    Major Mike Dryden, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2014

    “I am shocked — shocked— to find that gambling is going on in here!” This much-paraphrased line of Claude Rains that he said to Humphrey Bogart in the great film Casablanca should be the tagline of this monthly article on Veteran’s healthcare. I am shocked – shocked – to find the federal government has promised more than they can deliver! Yes, I hope you were sitting down when you read that line but sadly for all veterans this is true. It was easy to promise to provide Veterans healthcare coverage for life when the money from taxpaying bab...

  • Holistic approach to spine health offers options

    Dr. Marius Maxwell MD PhD, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2014

    Spine patients are often surprised to learn that surgery is not the only option for spinal conditions. As a neurosurgeon with 30 years of experience, I am a firm believer in a holistic approach to spine care that utilizes a team of health care experts including pain management specialists, physical therapists, chiropractors, acupuncturists and massage therapists. Some neurosurgeons consider surgery to be a cure-all for any spine condition, but for seniors in particular, alternative approaches can be equally beneficial and may even offer a...

  • Research about allergies, hip resurfacing, more

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Apr 1, 2014

    The truth about spring allergies Every year we hear about how it may be the worse allergy season in years. But how true is it and are allergies a big problem than ever before? It turns out that several factors determine the severity of allergy season, such as weather patterns. While allergies are on the rise, affecting more and more Americans every year, each spring isn’t necessarily worse than the last, according to allergist Dr. Michael Foggs, who is the president of the American College of A...

  • Alaska Brain Injury Conference, April 30-May 2

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2014

    The North American Brain Injury Society and the Alaska Brain Injury Network will join together to host the second quadrennial Alaska Brain Injury Conference at the Anchorage Marriott Hotel, April 30 through May 2. The conference, entitled “Shining a Light on Everyday Heroes; Supporting Brain Injury in Your Community,” will have a strong focus on rural and underserved communities. Attendees will benefit from nationally and internationally recognized authorities on the subject of brain injury research, rehabilitation and long-term care. From gro...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2014

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following meetings and trainings in April, which is National Stress Awareness Month. A 60 minute video, “Humor Your Stress,” will be shown and discussed at these meetings. Please join and share your experience as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver. April 1, peer support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 8, peer support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 15, peer support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 22, peer sup...

  • Long term care rights and sexual orientation

    Diana Weber, Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman|Apr 1, 2014

    Research suggests that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender elders are disproportionately represented in long term care facilities because, compared to their heterosexual counterparts, LGBT elders are much less likely to have family members who can care for them at home. Yet it is rare for our staff ombudsmen to hear long term care residents identify themselves as LGBT. So I have to conclude that there is an invisible minority of older LGBT Alaskans who live in long term care facilities but...

  • Can you help tell these photos' stories?

    Sarah Henning, Anchorage Museum|Apr 1, 2014

    Nora Velez of Anchorage was flipping through archival black-and-white photographs when she came across a familiar face – her mother, Lucy Kelly, who recently passed away. Nora was emotional: She had never seen this picture before. It was taken in Old Harbor in the 1940s and showed her mother as a gradeschooler wearing a jaunty cap and a shy smile. The image was taken by teachers Etta and Foster Jones. After Etta's death, the Anchorage Museum acquired the couple's photographs. The image of L...

  • Everyone goes away winners

    Apr 1, 2014

  • Anchorage summit brings together 'Elders in Training'

    UAA Trust Training Cooperative|Apr 1, 2014

    The Third Annual We Are All Elders-In-Training Summit takes place May 15 and 16 in Anchorage at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel. Sponsored and organized by the Trust Training Cooperative, the event is a celebration of diverse community, with presentations by elders sharing their life experiences and strategies for aging and well-being. Each sharing will be followed by group discussions targeting issues around aging and mental health. The public is encouraged to join for group discussions, closing circles each day, and an opportunity to address...

  • Home built in 1915 survives in Anchorage

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2014

    Have you ever wondered what it was like living in "the good old days" and wished you could step back in time? One Anchorage home listed on the National Register of Historic Places offers visitors that opportunity and showcases the furniture, appliances and gadgets from days gone by. The Oscar Anderson House Museum, located at 420 M Street, is filled with memorabilia from the turn-of-the-last century. Built in 1915, it's the first frame house constructed in Anchorage and belonged to the...

  • If you're sensitive, sit where he can't see you

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Apr 1, 2014

    Despite a leg infection that sidelined him earlier in the year, Don Rickles is as feisty as ever. In March, the 87-year-old comedian began a spring tour of theaters and casinos across the country with stops in California, Nevada, Michigan, Connecticut and Wisconsin.\ But be warned! If you're in the audience and sporting a bad hairpiece, have an unusually curved nose, or are a little on the chubby side, Rickles could be waiting for you. That's because just about everyone "annoys" Don in his act,...

  • Prepaid debit cards are easy money for scammers

    Better Business Bureau|Apr 1, 2014

    According to Better Business Bureau reports, consumers across Alaska are being scammed out of hundreds of dollars with prepaid money cards. These cards offer many conveniences, but create easy opportunities for scammers; consumers should be aware of the dangers associated with prepaid cards. In February 2014, BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington received information from a woman who claims to have been ripped off by an elaborate Green Dot MoneyPak scheme. The woman reports that a person called her home stating that her son was...

  • Is my computer use being tracked online?

    Richard Sherman, Senior Wire|Apr 1, 2014

    Q. When I go to Google and search for items to buy, later on I see those same or related items as ads at the top of other pages I visit. It sure seems like I’m being tracked and then being solicited soon thereafter. Is that what is happening or do you think it is just a coincidence? A. It is definitely not a coincidence. Tracking (also called search profiling) is an inherent part of life online today. Everything we do online leaves a trail, and in your situation, Google (and other search engines) do indeed monitor searches and use that data t...

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