Articles from the June 1, 2023 edition


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  • Summer begins the moving season, here's what to know

    Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau|Jun 1, 2023

    For countless Americans, summer signifies a major transition in their lives. Whether it’s graduating from high school or college, starting a new job, or receiving that highly anticipated acceptance letter, summer is the busiest time of year for movers. In 2022, 40% of all business inquiries on BBB.org for moving companies occurred from May through August, and over 5,300 complaints were filed with BBB against moving companies throughout the year. Additionally, consumers reported to the BBB Scam Tracker more than $1.2 million lost to moving s...

  • Relax and let the driver take you to your destination

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

    First, I'm going to tell you a true story. Then we'll talk about how your public transit driver can pick you up and take you where you want to go for free, or sometimes for just a buck or two. In the late 1990s Christy (my wife) and I lived for nearly a year in Huntsville, Alabama, while I did research for a book I was writing. On weekdays she took our car to her job, and I took a city bus to the law office where I was doing the research. After a few months I got to know the bus drivers pretty...

  • New name, same support for Alaska's LTGBTQ+ seniors

    Alaska Rainbow Elders|Jun 1, 2023

    The LGBTQ+ organization, SAGE Alaska, is now Alaska Rainbow Elders, or ARE for short. This change was made at the request of the national organization, SAGE USA, hoping it would encourage all its partners to concentrate on issues unique to their area. Under the new structure, ARE continues to partner with SAGE USA but will no longer use its name or logo. It will retain access to SAGE USA’s many resources. Alaska Rainbow Elders was created after using community input to guide the rebranding. ARE joined the national SAGE USA in 2016, having opera...

  • Age-Friendly Anchorage: One small park

    AARP Alaska|Jun 1, 2023

    What does it mean to be a Livable Community? As defined by the AARP Livable Communities project, a Livable Community supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and rural areas to be great places for people of all ages. Communities should supply safe, walkable streets, affordable housing, safe transportation options, access to needed services and opportunities for residents of all ages to take part in community life. How does that translate to life in Anchorage? This is the first in a...

  • How I met my life (while writing it down)

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Q: When I was younger, my uncle gave me a copy of his manuscript detailing his life. Now in my advanced years, I am thinking about writing my own life summary. Where do I start? A: Chronicling your story can be a way to leave memories for your family, record information for historical purposes, or just be remembered. It can be a way to capture your lifetime of experiences, lessons learned, failures, triumphs, and share memorable moments with others. While a written legacy may seem daunting, it...

  • Studies debunk long-held cholesterol misconceptions

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

    Most of us seniors have grown into adulthood "knowing" that total cholesterol levels over 200 "cause" premature death from cardiovascular disease. Like most medical facts, the truth is complex, nuanced and dependent on multiple variables. It is intuitively obvious that cardiovascular disease is more complex than the number 200. I hope we can agree on that. I have a family of Finnish patients who are hearty athletes (the type that skin up the mountain for spring skiing long after the lifts are...

  • Medicare coverage for mental health

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

    Mental health care can diagnose and treat mental illnesses or mental health conditions. A mental illness or mental health condition may affect your thinking, feeling or mood. Examples of mental health conditions include depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Some also consider addiction, like opioid use disorder and alcoholism, to be mental health conditions. Mental health conditions are typically not the result of any single event or circumstance. Rather, they are complicated conditions involvi...

  • Beware scams around 'new' Medicare cards

    Alaska Medicare Information Office|Jun 1, 2023

    In 2018, Medicare updated the Medicare card from containing a person's Social Security number to a random identifier that includes numbers and letters. That was the last time the card was updated and there is no plan to update it again. What does the card look like? The card from Medicare is a paper card that has a blue banner on the top, a white middle, and a red banner on the bottom. However, you can print your own in black and white. Examples of Medicare card scams Someone calls you...

  • Celebrating Men's Health Month: Get informed, get tested

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Jun 1, 2023

    June is Men’s Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the unique health issues men face and to encourage early detection, treatment and prevention. Alaska Health Fair, Inc. is proud to support this important initiative, and we’re here to help you take control of your health. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of men’s health and highlight the blood tests we offer that can help detect potential health problems. Men’s health issues can often go unnoticed or undiagnosed, which is why it’s crucial to prioritize regular checkups an...

  • Controlling appetite with electrical stimulation

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Jun 1, 2023

    Forget about dieting. A new electrical “pill” may be able to regulate a person’s appetites without any drugs or invasive medical procedures. It is a promising advance in treating eating disorders and other medical conditions that benefit from adjusting someone’s food intake. Developed by a research team from NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the pill has been dubbed FLASH. It delivers electrical impulses to the stomach lining once it’s sw...

  • Alaska's high COVID-19 vaccination rate pays off

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Jun 1, 2023

    COVID-19 transmission continues to occur in many communities across Alaska, although overall case counts continue to slowly decline, according to state officials who are tracking the virus. Most COVID-19 infections in Alaska at this time are caused by viruses belonging to either the XBB.1.5 lineage or to BQ lineages. While many infections with the virus that causes COVID-19 are not detected or reported, changes over time in the number of reported cases still provide useful information about the...

  • Risk of malnutrition increases as you age

    National Hispanic Council on Aging Media|Jun 1, 2023

    The term "malnutrition" is used when a person has an inadequate diet. This diet does not allow them to obtain the necessary nutrients for their body and organs to function properly. In older adults, malnutrition manifests itself in increased fatigue due to a lack of vitamins and minerals. The body seeks to maintain the rhythm of a healthy organism and uses energy reserves to function properly. Changing needs Due to the changes in this stage of life, older adults have different nutritional...

  • Father's Day: A meaningful, historic tradition

    Maureen Haggblom, Anchorage ADRC|Jun 1, 2023

    How did Father’s Day begin? According to Wikipedia, there has been a customary day to celebrate fatherhood since at least 1508 in Europe. The national day honoring dads in the United States is recognized as being started by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was raised by a widower. Sonora Smart Dodd became a well-known poet, scribe and sculptor. She studied at the Chicago Art Institute and later taught at the school. She first became concerned about acknowledging fathers after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. She noted that there wasn’t a day t...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2023

    Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska (ARA) organizes caregiver support meetings around the state, including Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau/Southeast, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su Valley, Seward, Sitka, Soldotna, Talkeetna, Willow. Call 1-800-478-1080 for details. ARA also hosts a statewide call-in meeting on the first Saturday and third Wednesday of every month, 1 to 2 p.m. For information, call Gay Wellman, 907-822-5620 or 1-800-478-1080. The Homer caregiver support group meets at the Homer Senior Center on the second and fourth T...

  • Safety in and on the water for older Alaskans

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Water safety is essential for all ages but particularly important for seniors. As people age, they often experience changes in their physical abilities and health that can make them more vulnerable to accidents and injuries in and around water, but self-awareness doesn't always keep up with those limitations. Understanding water safety is critical to prevent accidents and enjoy the many benefits of water activities. The most important aspects of water safety for seniors are the risks associated...

  • Tree swallows return with the summer to Alaska

    Rachel Gingras, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    With the arrival of summer, you will begin to catch glimpses of a small but speedy bird in flight, looping through the sky, searching for insects to eat. Its underside is white, and it sports a dark iridescent back that flashes varying hues of blue as the sunlight passes through its feathers. The tree swallows are back! The tree swallow is one of several swallow species that come to Alaska to breed. This small songbird, weighing around 20 grams, arrives from regions as far south as Cuba, Costa...

  • Living with antiques

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jun 1, 2023

    "Dad, we would like to replace your stove. Is that okay with you?" I asked back in the spring of 2004. He said he supposed so. I was planning a two-month visit with him in Homer and the thought of trying to cook a regular meal on his kitchen stove was discouraging. The General Electric electric range matched the refrigerator. Both were probably top-of-the-line when purchased back in the 1950s when the house was new. Dad had replaced the element in the oven a few years back, but the metal...

  • New Stuyahok Elder Mentor Anna Neketa

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Program|Jun 1, 2023

    The Elder Mentor Program is pleased to continue our monthly feature in Senior Voice, each article highlighting an Elder Mentor who has generously offered their time, support, wisdom and care to their local communities throughout Alaska. For the next three months, our New Stuyahok Elder Mentors will be sharing their stories and recipes. Elder Mentors volunteer in school with students, serving as role models, tutors and, often, also Culture Bearers. Culture Bearers pass down their knowledge to...

  • How Rick Mystrom found his groove

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Nothing seems to stop Rick Mystrom. From the quest to hold the Olympics in Anchorage, to building an ad agency, to running for mayor of Anchorage, to facing the scourge of Type 1 diabetes, Mystrom has not backed down. Born in Minnesota in 1943, he moved to Alaska in 1972 and three years later established Mystrom/Beck Advertising, now the Nerland Agency. He's contributed a lot to the life of Alaska. "I started Big Brothers Big Sisters after doing it in Los Angeles," he said. "I called the...

  • Get ready for the 2023 Alaska Senior Games in Fairbanks, Aug. 5-13

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2023

    Registration is open for this year’s Alaska International Senior Games, taking place Aug. 5-13 in Fairbanks. The online registration portal is at www.alaskaisg.org. The annual event brings together athletes and recreation enthusiasts age 50 and older from all around the state and beyond. This year’s events include archery, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, ice hockey (co-ed), indoor shooting, mini golf, pickleball, power walk, road race, swimming, table tennis, team toss, tennis, track and field and triathlon. Com...

  • Surprising history of once-booming Alaska town

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

    Thousands of gold seekers flooded into the North country during the late 1800s and settled around new towns such as Nome, Juneau and Dawson. Several also streamed into Cook Inlet. They hacked out primitive trails connecting scattered camps and eventually unified the region between Cook Inlet on the south and the Talkeetna Mountains on the north, and the Matanuska River on the east and the Susitna River in the west. Although few of the prospectors who entered Cook Inlet became rich, by the early...

  • Calling all Knuckleheads: Touring with the Three Stooges

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2023

    Despite extensive on-screen credits throughout their long careers, the Three Stooges comedy team only spent about a month or two a year in front of the cameras, rarely producing more than 10 of their beloved comedy shorts a year. According to long-time Stooges fan Gary Lassin, the slapstick legends were on the road for up to six months a year, crisscrossing the country to perform largely vaudeville-like acts on stage. Those journeys, from the 1920s to the 1960s, are now recounted in exquisite...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Social Security Administration|Jun 1, 2023

    The Social Security Administration partners with locations throughout Alaska to offer a secure video service option. Video service is a convenient and no-cost way for people to talk directly to a Social Security employee through a secure computer link that includes two-way video and sound. The video service locations are available at: In Nome, Norton Sound Health Corporation, located at 1000 Greg Kruschek Ave. Video service is available for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis, on the second and fourth Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai...

  • MASST supports Alaska senior jobseekers

    Monica Wafford, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Are you 55 or older and seeking work? Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training (MASST) is a community service and work-based job training program. In Alaska, there are MASST programs covering the state by region: Anchorage, Northern and Interior, Gulf, Southeast and Mat-Su. Learn while you earn Through MASST, subsidized community service assignments are provided in public and non-profit agencies, allowing these agencies to enhance and provide needed services to the community while older workers gain job skills. Program participants work an...

  • Can I collect Social Security from my ex-spouse?

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Jun 1, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior: Is it possible to collect Social Security benefits from my ex-spouse? We were married for 12 years but have been divorced for almost 20 years now. - Never Remarried Dear Never: Yes, depending on your specific circumstances, you may very well be eligible for divorced spouses Social Security benefits. Here’s what you should know. Who’s eligible? A divorced spouse can collect a Social Security retirement benefit on the earnings record of their ex-husband (or ex-wife) if you are at least age 62, were married for at least 10 years...

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