Articles from the June 1, 2022 edition


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  • Legislature passes permanent telehealth expansion

    Alaska House Majority Coalition|Jun 1, 2022

    Editor’s note: This press statement was received May 19, 2022. The telehealth access Alaskans relied on during the pandemic is on the path to becoming permanent after Rep. Ivy Spohnholz’s House Bill 265 passed the Senate floor by a vote of 17-0. The bill would increase Alaskans’ access to health care by making permanent some of the flexibilities that were crucial to patients and providers during the pandemic. Without HB 265, Alaskans would risk losing expanded telehealth access when the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires this July....

  • Social Security benefits lose 40% of buying power

    The Senior Citizens League|Jun 1, 2022

    High inflation has caused Social Security benefits to lose 40% of their buying power since the year 2000, according to the latest update of an ongoing study by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a Washington D.C.-based senior advocacy organization. "That's the deepest loss in buying power since the beginning of this study by The Senior Citizens League in 2010," says Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for The Senior Citizens League who conducted the research. Based on the most recent...

  • Free summer tax assistance in Anchorage

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2022

    Through October, AARP Tax Aide volunteers will assist people of all ages in filing their 2021 taxes. Appointments will be available for noon, 1 and 2 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month at the Alaska Literacy Program, 1345 Rudakof Circle, Suite 104. The appointment will include a short interview and the tax preparer will complete the return. You will pick up the return from 3 to 3:30 p.m. If you are filing with a spouse, both of you must be present. Once the return is complete, it will be reviewed with you, signed and electronically...

  • Get the facts about the Equality Act and LGBTQ+ seniors

    SAGE Media|Jun 1, 2022

    The Equality Act is a piece of federal legislation that would update current civil rights laws for the 21st century. It includes significant and explicit protections for LGBTQ+ people in public accommodations, federally funded programs, employment, housing, education, credit, jury service and education. The Equality Act would do three things: 1. Fill critical gaps in public accommodation non-discrimination law for everyone 2. Add non-discrimination protections for sex, sexual orientation and gender identity to federally funded programs 3. Adds...

  • The good, bad and ugly of family caregiving duties

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    Q: My wife’s brother refuses to pitch in and help their father, who needs assistance with grocery shopping, bill paying and bathing. The brother lives closest to Dad’s house. We are thousands of miles away, and although we travel as much as possible to visit and help with his care, logistically it’s just not as easy for our family as someone who lives in the same town. How can we work this out? A: While stepmom, mother, brother or father relationships can be straight out of a horror film, often...

  • COVID update: Early detection, 'long COVID', more

    John C. Schieszer, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    Wearable device for COVID early detection University of Texas at Dallas bioengineers in collaboration with EnLiSense LLC have come up with a wearable sensor that can detect two key biomarkers of infection in human sweat, a significant step toward making it possible for users to receive early warnings of infections such as COVID-19 and influenza. The sweat sensor can identify the biomarkers interferon-gamma-inducible protein (IP-10) and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). Elevated levels of IP-10 and TRAIL indicate...

  • You can help with reproductive cancer research

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    Since writing about clinical trials several editions back, I’ve earned about $40 in gift cards. Now I search for more. Participating in clinical studies can put a jingle in your pocket while contributing to medical science. Even my 5-year-old granddaughter realized this contribution -- when I gave her a microscope for her birthday, she said, “Now I can cure people!” The webpage that details current clinical trial research in your area is www.clinicalconnection.com/search-clinical-trials. I have to say, using this website was a little more...

  • Identifying and fighting Medicare fraud

    Sean McPhilamy, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    This June, we acknowledge 25 years of progress helping each other in preventing Medicare fraud. We appreciate your efforts, both for yourself, your fellow Alaskans, and all who benefit from Medicare. As your local Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), we are ready to provide you with the information to protect yourself from Medicare fraud, errors and abuse. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the State of Alaska’s Medicare Information Office (MIO) to speak with any of our certified c...

  • A welcome break between health fair seasons

    Sharon Phillips, Alaska Health Fair Inc.|Jun 1, 2022

    The loyalty of many long time clients and the curiosity of many new ones has helped us at Alaska Health Fair to ride the crazy, wild waves of 2020-2022 and we didn’t go under water during the process. Our staff and volunteers will now take a short summer break, and dream of or take advantage of long weeks of camping or fishing as many of you might dream of. We use summer for personal leave, to rest and recover, write grants, do inventories, restock supplies, catch up on reports, book events and carefully prepare for the whirlwind of what we c...

  • Family caregiver support program wants your feedback

    Dani Kebschull, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    During the month of June, staff at the Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will be traveling from Seward to Nikiski to introduce the program to more people and to gather feedback from family caregivers, as well as potential family caregivers. We strive to provide quality training topics each month but cannot do so if we don’t have an understanding of what people would be interested in learning. With that in mind, please look for our schedule in Senior Voice as well as on our Facebook page (@KPFCSP) and join us. Beginning this month...

  • New guidelines for best sleep, aspirin use

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Jun 1, 2022

    How much sleep do I need? Everyone is different when it comes to sleep. Some people need much more than others. Well, it now turns out that seven hours may be the ideal amount of sleep for people in their middle age and upwards, with too little or too much sleep associated with poorer cognitive performance and mental health, according to a new British study from the University of Cambridge and Fudan University. Sleep plays an important role in enabling cognitive function and maintaining good...

  • How to access COVID funeral assistance funds

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Jun 1, 2022

    Dear Savvy Senior: I recently saw a news segment on TV about a government funeral assistance program available to families who lost loved ones during the pandemic. What can you tell me about this? I lost my 78-year-old mother to COVID in 2021 and want to find out if I’m still eligible for any funeral funds, and if so, what I need to do to get them. - Still Sad Dear Sad: I’m very sorry about the loss of your mother. The government program you are asking about is the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Man...

  • Get your Senior Farmer's Market checks today

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2022

    This year’s Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition program check (formerly coupon) booklets are now available, distributed through local senior centers and other agencies. Each booklet includes $35 worth of checks that can be used to buy fresh produce and other items at local farmer’s markets, authorized roadside stands and other select locations. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and meet low-income eligibility guidelines. Links to program information and a downloadable application are at https://bit.ly/38GnBU0. Or call your local senio...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2022

    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, sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, Inc., is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, the monthly event currently meets virtually online via Zoom. The June meeting is June 8, hosted by the Chugiak-Eagle River Senior Center. Begins at 8 a.m. RSVP by calling Older Persons Action Group, Inc. for more information on...

  • News items from 100 years ago in Alaska

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    The following are selections from newspapers across Alaska, published in June of 1922. The laws of nature Editorial, Seward Gateway, June 14, 1922: Seward - Complaint was made in Seward this week that fishing boats were killing the seals on rocks at the mouth of the harbor. While there is no law to prevent these animals being slaughtered, for sentimental reasons the few that congregate in these haunts should be preserved. They are objects of great curiosity to tourists and invariably are mention...

  • Assistance program aims to make internet more affordable

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    Low-income Alaskans now qualify for discounted or free internet access, thanks to an expanded federal program announced by the White House May 16. The White House estimates the program will cover 48 million households, or 40 percent of the country. The Affordable Connectivity Program grants up to $30 a month to pay for high-speed internet for households who qualify under certain programs and income levels. Do you qualify for this program? There are two main ways to qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Program: Your household income, which...

  • Alaska Natives to see new broadband effort

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    The $41.5 million provided by the federal Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program will make fast internet more affordable so rural residents can access telehealth appointments, and provide access for economic growth and remote learning. As is usual with federal spending, Alaska is getting more than other states. The Alaska Federation of Natives will receive $35.1 million to subsidize internet service, provide computer packages, help tribal communities access telehealth and offer digital skills training, according to a press release from the U.S....

  • Farm tour surprises include familiar names, shared pasts

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jun 1, 2022

    My sister, Jeanette, who lives in Soldotna, made arrangements for the four of us siblings to go on a farm tour, though Margaret Adsit, original owner of Alaska Farm Tours. As the date got closer, it turned out that only Jeanette and I could attend. We showed up at the Palmer Visitor Center promptly at 9 a.m. June 18, 2018 and learned we were the only guests for the morning tour. At that time, I'd lived in the Mat-Su Valley for a total of 22 years on and off since 1984, so I knew quite a bit...

  • Alaska documentary seeks to raise awareness of lymphedema, a common side effect following cancer treatment

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2022

    A newly released film, "Not So Swell," produced by Homer-based Affinityfilms, aspires to educate doctors, patients and the general public about lymphedema. A May 4 press statement notes the 30-minute film and a series of 16 shorter segments are now available for free viewing by Alaskans at www.affinityfilms.org/not-so-swell/. Lymphedema is a swelling in the arm, torso or legs that is caused by a blockage in the lymphatic system, which is commonly the result of lymph node removal or radiation...

  • Last shot of Civil War lands in Bering Sea

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jun 1, 2022

    Seventy-four days after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate forces at the Appomattox courthouse in Virginia, and almost two months after the Confederate Army stopped fighting on land, the last gun of the Civil War was fired in the Bering Sea of Alaska. Not knowing the war had ended, the commander of English-built Confederate vessel CSS Shenandoah fired upon several whalers near Saint Lawrence Island on June 22, 1865 (although some credible sources say it was on June 28). Commanding of...

  • 60s pop singer Donna Loren traded fame for family

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2022

    When a top female British singer declined to appear on the premiere episode of the new American musical variety show "Shindig!" on Sept. 16, 1964, the producer knew who to call – Donna Loren. "Dusty Springfield couldn't make the first show, so I was invited to sing her hit 'Wishin' and Hopin'', and became a regular cast member for the rest of the series," said Loren, who turned 75 in March, from her home in Bisbee, Arizona. Loren had already impressed American television audiences six years e...

  • Actions, including financial, always have consequences

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2022

    Here’s a very common question I am asked: “How much can I give my kids while I’m alive?” The correct answer is “How much ya got? You can give it all away to them”. It's true. This is still a more-or-less free country, and if you own it, you have the right to give it away. But that doesn't mean there aren't consequences if you do. Every action has consequences, even if you have the right to take that action. You have a right to wear satanic symbols on your T-shirt, but that doesn't mean they c...

  • Photoshop alternatives, faster home networks, and laundry apps

    Bob Delaurentis, Bobs Tech Talk|Jun 1, 2022

    Q. Is there a good image editor for making my photos look better? I want something like Photoshop but less expensive. A. Free tools to retouch photos are installed on many devices and bundled with cloud services like Google Photos. The power of these tools is significant, and most of them are much easier to use than Photoshop. I suggest you consider those options first. There was a period early in its history when Photoshop was bundled free with scanners. Today, Photoshop is only available as an annual subscription that costs hundreds of...

  • Museums statewide offer deals for seniors

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Jun 1, 2022

    Alaska has museums from Dutch Harbor, to Sitka, to tiny Anaktuvuk Pass in the middle of the Brooks Range. But the most striking-looking building in all of Juneau, and surely anywhere else in the state, has to be the Sealaska Heritage Institute on Front Street. The huge 40-foot exterior panels outside the building were designed by internationally celebrated Haida artist Robert Davidson, and its design represents a supernatural being called the "Greatest Echo," a theme chosen by Davidson because...

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