Articles from the April 1, 2023 edition


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  • Commission on Aging: Thank you for your feedback

    Jon Hagheyaghi and Bob Sivertsen, Alaska Commission on Aging|Apr 1, 2023

    On behalf of the Alaska Commission on Aging, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your outstanding participation in the recent Senior Survey. Your response rate was double that of the Commission’s previous survey, demonstrating that your voices are being heard and that your opinions matter. By sharing your opinions, you have helped us to identify key areas where we can improve the lives of Alaska seniors. The results of the Senior Survey indicate that maintaining physical health, access to healthcare, and financial security are t...

  • Volunteer hospice is a community resource

    Summer Johnson-Thomas, Hospice of Anchorage|Apr 1, 2023

    In February, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care. Despite his remarkable longevity and vitality until the end, President Carter still faced the inevitability of aging and the need for end-of-life care. After hearing this news, many people in the U.S. began wondering: what is hospice care? Hospice provides compassionate care to people nearing the end of their lives. It is a form of specialized healthcare that...

  • Artificial Intelligence: Bright side and dark side

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    I periodically listen to a New York Times podcast called "The Daily." A recent show was entitled, "The Online Search Wars Got Scary. Fast." Of course, I had to listen to that one. In this episode the moderator interviewed a long-time NYT technology analyst, Kevin Roose. Roose is normally a rather blasé "been-there-done-that" kind of guy when he discusses the latest whiz-bang developments in technology -- but not this time. He was freaked out and shaken up. Here's what happened. Bing is...

  • Palmer lunch cancellation hard to swallow

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    When Palmer Senior Center, a facility under the Mat-Su Senior Services, announced on Feb. 17 that its on-site lunch program would end Feb. 21, seniors expressed anger, sorrow and understanding on its Facebook page. The center’s page disabled comments, so they weren’t visible, but people sharing the announcement posted plenty of their own reactions: “For most Alaska-bound seniors like myself, it’s about the only socially significant thing to do to get out of the house in winter,” wrote one. “I don’t qualify for Medicaid but that doesn’t mean...

  • Alaskans to be chosen for Walking College fellowship

    AARP Alaska|Apr 1, 2023

    As part of the Anchorage Age Friendly community initiative, AARP Alaska is covering the tuition for seven Alaskans to be a part of the Walking College through America Walks. The Walking College is a six-month, distance-learning fellowship program designed to build the capacity of local advocates to create and expand livable, walkable communities. At the end of the course each fellow will develop a walking action plan for their community. Two Alaskans have already completed the Walking College course: Charles Bingham from Sitka and Maja...

  • Too old to learn something new?

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Q: Getting older makes me feel less sharp. Why don’t I catch on to things as quickly as I used to? A: Faster. Better. Younger. Smarter. Not necessarily. By definition “latent learning” can occur at any age. This means you can learn or observe something subconsciously. Then, you can repeat that behavior at a later time. While it is true that concept formation, abstract thinking and mental flexibility declines with age (especially after age 70), it does not mean you lack capacity to learn. Some...

  • Treat your stomach right and it will treat you right

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Stomach acid blockers are some of the most popular medicines on the market. You can get them over-the-counter (OTC) in supermarkets, drug stores, gas stations, Costco, Amazon, you name it. They range in strength from Tums (basically just calcium plus sugar) to Protonix. The milder medicines (Tums, Rolaid, Alka Seltzer) bind up acid which is produced in your stomach at the beginning of your meals, whereas stronger medicines actually inhibit specialized cells in the stomach (parietal) from secreting acid. Many of these stronger PPIs (proton pump...

  • Healthy lifestyles help us age with dignity

    National Hispanic Council on Aging Media|Apr 1, 2023

    According to the definition provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), 60 years old is the age at which one is considered an older adult. Aging is understood, in a biological sense, as the result of the accumulation of a wide variety of molecular and cellular damage over time. This means that, as we age, our physical and mental abilities and faculties decline. This process leads to an increased risk of disease and, ultimately, death. However, these changes are neither linear nor uniform, and their link to a person’s age is rather r...

  • Medicare coverage for home health care

    Sean McPhilamy, Alaska Medicare Information Office|Apr 1, 2023

    Receiving home health care can be available for some Medicare recipients. To be eligible for Medicare coverage of home health services, you must be homebound. In other words, it must be difficult for you to leave your home and doing so requires a lot of effort. Medicare considers you homebound if you need help to leave your home. The help you need can be from another person or from medical equipment such as crutches, a walker or a wheelchair. You are also considered homebound if your doctor...

  • Free health fairs offered around the state

    Sharon Phillips, Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Apr 1, 2023

    April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time to reduce the stigma associated with alcohol addiction and encourage people to seek help if they need it. Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans and can have serious consequences for their health, relationships and well-being. There are many resources available in Alaska to help you find treatment and recovery support: ARG Addiction Treatment Centers: This is a network of outpatient and residential treatment facilities that offer evidence-based programs for alcohol...

  • Technology for wellness and independence

    Tori Gingras, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Assistive technology can increase an individual’s independence, enhance their quality of life, and give them control over their well-being. While that may seem like a big promise, it is easily achievable. Almost everyone uses assistive technology, but often it’s seen as a gadget, tool, device or piece of software that makes things easier for the user. However, for someone that experiences a barrier because of an impairment or disability, it can be life-changing. Examples of assistive technology include: personal listening devices for amp...

  • Bandage delivers electrotherapy to accelerate healing

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Apr 1, 2023

    Northwestern University researchers in Chicago have developed a first-of-its-kind small, flexible, stretchable bandage that accelerates healing by delivering electrotherapy directly to the wound site. In an animal study, the new bandage healed diabetic ulcers 30% faster than in mice without the bandage. The bandage also actively monitors the healing process and then harmlessly dissolves into the body after it is no longer needed. The new device could provide a powerful tool for patients with dia...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Apr 1, 2023

    Family Caregiver Support Programs offer free support meetings to allow you to share your experiences as a caregiver, or support someone who is a caregiver. If you are helping a family member or friend by being a caregiver, learn what kind of help is available. There is no charge for these services and everyone is invited to attend. The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program office is located at 35477 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 205 (located in the 4D Professional Building). You can call them at 907-262-1280. Call with suggestions and...

  • Home maintenance guidelines from the BBB

    Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau|Apr 1, 2023

    Housing affordability continues to be one trend that remains top of mind for many homeowners and prospective buyers. With interest rates rising, some experts suggest we may see a decrease in home prices. However, housing supply remains historically low. Because home costs continue to climb in many areas, it’s more important than ever to do your homework before hiring someone to perform work on your home. BBB recommends the following tips for finding trustworthy contractors and caring for your home. Hire reliable contractors. No matter what k...

  • Elder Mentors share their wealth of experience

    Yasmin Radbod, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    In upcoming months, Senior Voice will feature Elder Mentors from around the state to show appreciation for all they do. RurAL CAP's Elder Mentor Program, nationally known as the AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent Program, serves children in pre-K and school settings throughout the state of Alaska. Elder Mentors are senior volunteers age 55 and older who support school readiness and improvement of academic engagement among children with special needs. Elder Mentors receive training, support...

  • Bed and breakfast reluctance and reward

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2023

    Spring weather makes me think of summer's influx of visitors to our wonderful state and I am reminded of our years living in Slana running a bed and breakfast in our home. My husband Gary and I provided a home away from home for many people from 2001 through 2006. Each year was busier than the one before, until we stopped serving the public due to health reasons – first my dad's and then my own. I was surprised how disappointed I was to close our business when we did. I had doubts back in 2...

  • Anchorage Genealogical Society celebrates 40 years of service

    Gretchen Bersch, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Forty years ago, a group interested in family history gathered at the Anchorage Museum to talk about creating a genealogy society in Anchorage. In February 1983, they officially created the Anchorage Genealogical Society, with Joe Gallant as the first president. By July, they had grown to 47 members. In May 1983, they began creating a newsletter; later they created a quarterly. Over the years, publications have been produced that members and others have enjoyed. In recent years, Peggy Hempelmann has produced the AGS Digest. In 1984, AGS...

  • Alaska writer turns former job into flaming passion

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    There's nothing better to warm up with on a chilly Alaska night than a romance novel with not only lust, but fire. But with Lolo Paige's books, don't expect covers with buxom women having their bodices ripped by over-muscled men with flowing hair. "I write clean, not dirty, not graphic," said Lois Paige Simenson, age 68. Her pen name, Lolo Paige, is taken from her childhood nickname. Her books are the kind of innocent romance the Hallmark Channel looks for, but the channel no longer takes...

  • Anchorage's Midtown Mall is aging well at year 55

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Apr 1, 2023

    Have you ever wondered how the mall that sits at Northern Lights Boulevard and the New Seward Highway got its start? This Anchorage landmark opened its doors to the public for the first time 55 years ago. When shoppers streamed into The Mall, then Alaska's largest shopping center, on Jan. 31, 1968, they found a covered, weather-conditioned facility anchored by Sears Roebuck Company at one end and the newest Carr's Quality Food Center at the other. The Mall was the brainchild of Lawrence J....

  • A hunk, a hunk of burning litigation

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    A long time ago – around the time I was born, actually – there was a young man from Mississippi who had some success as a singer. He bought a nice house in Memphis, married a beautiful actress, and had a daughter. And then at the age of 42 he died, leaving most of his assets in trust for his then-young daughter. I'm talking, of course, about Elvis Presley. You might have picked up in the news recently that his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, died unexpectedly at the age of 54. You might or mig...

  • iPhone storage alerts, Gigabit Ethernet, Android notifications

    Bob Delaurentis, Tech Talk|Apr 1, 2023

    Q. Every few weeks my iPhone nags me with an alert that my storage is almost full. What should I do? A. There are two common storage errors on iPhone. One is “Storage Almost Full” and the other is “iCloud Storage Almost Full.” There may be minor variations in the words based on your device’s version, but the idea is the same. Take both of these messages seriously, because a cascade of very bad things are about to happen. The biggest danger is when the warning simply states that storage is almost full. This message implies your device is not con...

  • Exhilarating Oregon coast beckons you

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Apr 1, 2023

    You enter Newport via the impressive 600-foot Yaquina Bay Bridge, a combination of art deco and art moderne with touches of gothic architectural style that opened in 1936. It sits a thrilling 135 feet above sea level. With so many things to do, Newport, Oregon, is a perfect place for a quick getaway or a family reunion. Plus, you can fly direct from Alaska to Portland's sweet and user-friendly airport with a mere 60 gates and dodge the complexity of Seattle's 111 gates and that darned...

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