Articles from the April 1, 2019 edition


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  • Legislative teleconferences: Updates on senior bills

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2019

    Keep track of senior-related bills, budget decisions and other issues by attending or listening in to the Alaska Commission on Aging Legislative Teleconferences. Hosted by local agencies statewide, and available by toll-free call-in, the teleconferences provide a convenient forum for seniors and advocates across Alaska to share information about issues and specific bills of concern, including Medicaid, state budget and funding, senior assistance, retirement, Pioneer Homes and more. Teleconferences are scheduled 9:30 to 11 a.m. every other...

  • Are you aging legally? Find out at Anchorage forum

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2019

    AARP Alaska, Older Persons Action Group and the Anchorage Senior Activity Center continues the series of “Age Smart – Let’s Talk” forums on April 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. The April topic is “Age Legally”. Aging legally implies there are ways to age illegally. That may be partially true if one is unprepared, in a legal sense, for the kinds of dos and don’ts of later life. These can include things like wills, powers of attorney, supported decision making agreements, advance directives, and others. Fortu...

  • Weighing Social Security policies and politics

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Apr 1, 2019

    Congressional Democrats are pushing an ambitious plan to expand Social Security and put it on a sustained long-term footing in an effort to overturn 20 years of attempts by congressional Republicans to scale back entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. The New Deal social insurance program had been one of the primary targets of former House Republican Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., since his arrival in Congress in 1999. Ryan always believed Social Security “is an undeserved entitlement,” and lawmakers have often suggested that it...

  • Opinion: Pioneer Home rate increases would punish Alaskans

    Rep. Zack Fields|Apr 1, 2019

    On Feb. 25, many of Alaska’s seniors woke to a disturbing surprise. They found a letter announcing unprecedented Pioneer Homes rate increases due to the Governor’s budget proposal. I am writing as the Representative of House District 20 to oppose the rate increases for Alaska’s Pioneer Homes and oppose the invasive collection of Pioneer Home residents’ private financial information. As Alaska’s seniors, you already have paid your way. After a lifetime of service, taxes and helping build our state, asking for these rate increases in this mann...

  • Long Term Care Ombudsmen - Why are they important?

    Teresa Holt, Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman|Apr 1, 2019

    Working at the office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman, I am often asked, “What exactly, do you do?” The answer is simple, we visit elders who live in assisted living homes and nursing facilities. We listen to what they have to say and work to resolve any problems they are having. Elders face a range of problems from disliking the food being served or staff being mean to elders, to physical and sexual assault. As Long Term Care Ombudsman, our job is to resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the elder. If the elder is not able to com...

  • African Americans face greater Alzheimer's risk

    Rodney A. Brooks, Diverse Elders Coalition|Apr 1, 2019

    A decade ago, Rushern Baker III started seeing signs that something was wrong with his wife when she was still in her late 40s. Christa Beverly was forgetting things and losing things. It took some doing, but he convinced her to see a doctor. She was tested, and at age 49 was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. Within a few years of the diagnosis, Christa had lost most of her functions. Today, at age 58, she is unable to talk, walk or eat on her own, but she remains at home. Baker, 60, has r...

  • Diet drinks may increase stroke and disability

    Suzy Cohen, Senior Wire|Apr 1, 2019

    We are so attached to our food and drink that it pains me when I have to take something away from you. But this is an old story for me. I have never ever recommended artificially sweetened sodas or “diet” anything. To me, that whole industry is a multi-billion dollar campaign effort to get you to drink and eat things that aren’t, by definition, food anymore. The entire industry depends on the illusion of you thinking that diet drinks are healthy. The latest research is frightening. It’s based upon data collected over 12 years and suggests that...

  • Safe ways to get rid of expired, unused medicine

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Apr 1, 2019

    Dear Savvy Senior: What’s the best, environmentally safe way to dispose of old and unused medications? My mother has a medicine cabinet chocked-full of pills, some of which haven’t been touched in 25 years, and I’d like to clean it out for her. - Protective Daughter Dear Protective: Cleaning out the medicine cabinet is a chore that most people don’t think about, but it’s an important task that can help prevent medication problems, and protect children who may have access to these old, unused drugs. Here’s how you can clean out your mother’s me...

  • Fifteen years of Amblin' for Alzheimer's

    Alzheimers Resource of Alaska|Apr 1, 2019

    Local non-profit Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska holds an annual walk in Anchorage every spring. This will be a special year though as they reach the 15 year milestone. The walk has taken various paths over the last decade, literally, with the first walk beginning at the Sourdough Mining Company and meandering along the Campbell Creek Trail, University of Alaska at UAA, Kincaid Park, and for the last several years, the walk has opted for the beauty of the Anchorage Golf Course. This year’s walk will be held Saturday, May 4. Walkers are gre...

  • April events at Hospice of Anchorage

    Hospice of Anchorage|Apr 1, 2019

    Save the date for Hospice of Anchorage’s 17th Annual Heroes of Healthcare Awards Black Tie Event and Auction at the Anchorage Marriott Hotel on Saturday, April 20. Heroes of Healthcare is a way to recognize significant contributions and service to the community. This event is also an annual fundraiser for Hospice of Anchorage. Individuals have the opportunity to sponsor a table and bring eight guests to attend the event as well as participate in the silent and live auction. There are different levels of sponsorship starting at partner level of...

  • Spring health fairs coming to locations near you

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Apr 1, 2019

    Alaska Health Fair events offer free health screenings, health and safety education, plus 11 affordable blood tests and so much more. These tests and screenings can help you learn about your overall health and detect potential problems early, when treatment or changes in personal habits can be most effective. Alaska Health Fairs will be held at the following locations and times in April (and early May). Everyone is welcome at these events. For more information, call 907-278-0234 (Anchorage) or 907-374-6853 (Fairbanks); or just visit http://www....

  • Eating more mushrooms may protect the brain

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Apr 1, 2019

    Mushrooms may have hidden brain benefit Researchers are reporting that older adults who consume more than two standard portions of mushrooms weekly may have 50 percent reduced odds of having mild cognitive impairment (MCI). A six-year study, led by Assistant Professor Lei Feng from the National University of Singapore, found that seniors who ate more than 300 grams of cooked mushrooms a week were half as likely to have MCI. A portion was defined as three quarters of a cup of cooked mushrooms...

  • Rosacea's impact on well-being can be profound

    National Rosacea Society|Apr 1, 2019

    Although a cure for rosacea has yet to be discovered, advances in medical therapy have made it increasingly possible for those who suffer from this chronic disorder to achieve clear skin. At the same time, recent surveys have shown just how important this attainable goal is to patients’ physical and mental well-being. The National Rosacea Society has designated April as Rosacea Awareness Month to educate the public on the current understanding of this often life-disruptive condition estimate to affect more than 16 million Americans and 415 m...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2019

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in April. This month’s topic is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and meetings will include discussion centered around age related issues and driving. April 2, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 9, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 16, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m. April 23, Open house at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program in Blazy M...

  • Put Social Security to work for you

    Social Security Administration|Apr 1, 2019

    It’s National Social Security Month and this year we’re highlighting some of the time-saving features of the “my Social Security” account. Once you create an account, you’ll see that we already have your work history and secure information to estimate what you could receive once you start collecting benefits. With your personal my Social Security account, you can also: Request a replacement Social Security card; Set up or change direct deposit; Get a proof of income letter; Change your address; Check the status of your Social Security applicati...

  • Social Security questions answered by the experts

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2019

    Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times in April: Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (April 9 and 23), 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai Senior Center, on the first and third Wednesday of each month (April 3 and 17), 9 a.m. to noon. Ketchikan Job Center, every Thursday (April 4, 11, 18 and 25), noon to 3 p.m. Social Security provides toll-free telephone service to all of Alaska. Residents in Alaska’s Southeast communities can cal...

  • How to behave around dogs to avoid bites

    Laura Atwood, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2019

    As adults we tend to think only kids need to know how to behave around dogs. But actually we all need to know how to be safe around dogs. Anchorage Animal Care and Control teaches kindergarten through sixth grade students how to behave around dogs to prevent dog bites. But adults often need the same lesson. April 7-13 is Dog Bite Prevention Week, so here are some tips and illustrations from our school presentation for everyone in the family: When a dog is happy and feels secure, their face...

  • Volunteers deserve every bit of appreciation

    Dana Paperman, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2019

    The decorations made and hung by volunteers. Check. Treat bags filled with fine chocolates and table displayed, completed by volunteers. Check. Front desk volunteer arrives early (first time!) to assist in welcoming volunteers. Check. We are prepared to give back a hearty meal, a sweet treat and celebrate those that find purpose in supporting programs that add value to a senior's life. Volunteer board members shoot photos to capture celebrating volunteers. Check. The dishwasher broke down hours...

  • Where the heck is the card catalog?

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2019

    I still get the feeling that most libraries I have visited the last twelve or fifteen years are, well, naked. OK, maybe that is not the best description, but at first glance they seem to be missing something very important. Where is the card catalog? It was the brain center of every library -- a dark wooden wall of dozens or hundreds of sturdy little drawers holding thousands of index cards with key information about the library’s holdings. For decades my fingers laboriously walked through those cards searching for that part of the world’s inf...

  • These insurgent mice were thorough

    Maraley McMichael, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2019

    “Gary,” I said to by husband, “I think a couple moved in while we were gone, and not only had babies, but invited the whole extended family.” It was early April many years ago and we had just returned to our home in Slana after an absence of a few months while being “snowbirds”. Other winters we had done the same and not had a problem, but this time was different. We found mouse sign everywhere -- in the cellar, the kitchen, the living room, bedroom and even upstairs. Since I was so glad to be back in my own home and since I planned to...

  • Anchorage Museum launches free workshops for older adults

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2019

    Anchorage Museum is launching a new series of three, eight-week workshops geared to adults ages 55 and older. The first series, “Vital and Creative,” begins in April and will allow participants to develop art skills, make an artwork to take home and connect with others in the class. Local, professional artists lead each class, incorporating objects in the museum’s extensive collection of Northern and Arctic art and cultural material. The series is funded by a $25,000 Seeding Vitality Arts in Museums grant from Aroha Philanthropies. Studi...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Apr 1, 2019

    Interested in learning more about businesses and agencies providing senior services in the Anchorage and Mat-Su area? Want to get the word out about your own service? The monthly Service Providers Breakfast (formerly known as the Interagency Breakfast), sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, Inc., is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, with breakfast provided. The April meeting is April 10, hosted by the Thomas Center. Begins at 8 a.m. RSVP by calling Older Persons Action Group, Inc. for more information on these...

  • Klondike Mike and the piano

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2019

    Klondike Mike Mahoney's return trip to Dawson in 1898 included a hike up the Chilkoot Trail with an unusual item strapped to his back: a piano. It all started when Mahoney hopped aboard the City of Seattle and found it stuffed to the bulwark with passengers, freight and a variety of animals, including more than 100 dogs headed to Skagway on consignment and horses crowed into stalls in the dining room. Mahoney shared his stateroom with a strange little man named Hal Henry, booking agent and manag...

  • Michael Dante, actor to author

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Apr 1, 2019

    It's not uncommon for actors to find a second career away from the camera after spending years in front of it. In Michael Dante's case, that new vocation has been writing, beginning with his 2014 award-winning autobiography, "From Hollywood to Michael Dante Way" (see www.michaeldanteway.com). "I received the Ella Dickey Literacy Award for it last April in Marshfield, Missouri, at their Cherry Blossom Festival," said Dante. "My second book, 'Winterhawk's Land,' is the sequel to the film I...

  • Think your way to financial comfort

    Karen Telleen-Lawton, Senior Wire|Apr 1, 2019

    Psychology has found its way into finance, and it’s a good fit. Behavioral economists design systems that nudge people into making the right decisions. For instance, workers save significantly more when the default is paycheck deductions into their retirement account. This type of “opt-out” policy, versus an “opt-in” standard of having to choose to participate, has gained popularity with both employers and employees. Each of us approaches retirement in different circumstances. Some started retirement accounts with their first paycheck....

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