Articles from the July 1, 2018 edition


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  • Sweepstakes, other prize schemes devastate older victims

    Better Business Bureau|Jul 1, 2018

    A new report by Better Business Bureau (BBB) says sweepstakes, lottery and prize schemes are devastating victims financially and emotionally with ever-evolving methods. These frauds concentrate on seniors, targeting them by direct mail, cold-calling, social media, even text messages and smartphone pop-ups. BBB warns consumers to be on guard against these serious and pervasive frauds and their perpetrators. The report, “Sweepstakes, Lottery and Prize Scams: A Better Business Bureau Study of How ‘Winners’ Lose Millions Through an Evolving Fraud...

  • Blood Bank of Alaska vital to senior care

    Christopher Mello and Robert W. Scanlon|Jul 1, 2018

    On February 15, the Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA) celebrated its second anniversary in the new facility it developed to serve Alaska’s patients in need. It has been a robust two years, and we continue to meet our primary objective of service to patients by virtue of the state’s medical community. On July 25, the BBA will celebrate its 56th anniversary. Being Alaska’s only blood gathering and processing non-profit entity, the BBA has consistently served with distinction, and plans to continue doing so for many years to come. In view of Alask...

  • Long-term care's devastating toll on finances and emotional health

    Andrew Lam, Diverse Elders Coalition|Jul 1, 2018

    Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing series provided by the Diverse Elders Coalition, focusing on different senior populations. The cost of aging in America is exorbitant, which my siblings and I are finding out firsthand through our struggles over the past three years to take care of our parents. My mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, spends her remaining days mostly in a hospital bed in hospice care, but mercifully next to my father. Both live in an apartment in a high-end assisted living compound in Fremont, California. It had...

  • Cancer patients, like everyone, benefit from exercise

    Tim Chinn, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2018

    In bygone days, if you were being treated for cancer your doctor generally told you to get plenty of rest and reduce your daily activities. But research has now shown that regular exercise can be an important part of cancer treatment by helping you feel better and improving your quality of life. It may also lessen nausea, weight gain, sleep disturbance and fatigue. It could even mean fewer medications during your treatment and lower your risk of complications. Exercise guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are the same...

  • Trainings for care coordinators

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    “Basic Concepts of Care Coordination” a five-hour class for new care coordinators, will be offered several times in July and August in either online or face-to-face formats. Sponsored by the Alaska Training Cooperative, the course is designed to be interactive and provide attendees the opportunity to participate in discussions. Topics to be covered include ethics, how to serve someone with a disability, advocacy, person-centered planning, and skills of interaction. will be available via virtual classroom this January. The class is for new car...

  • Services and products that Medicare doesn't cover

    Nila Morgan, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2018

    Each month I enjoy sharing with readers the many facets of Medicare. The enrollment periods, coverage under the different parts of Medicare, types of providers available, how to avoid penalties related to late enrollment, and how to pay for Medicare. However, there are certain services and products that Medicare does not cover under Original Medicare; Part A & Part B, which is what is available to most beneficiaries in Alaska. As you budget your health care dollars, it is important to know what...

  • Aloe vera has 10 impressive uses

    Suzy Cohen, Senior Wire|Jul 1, 2018

    Aloe vera made a couple of headlines recently. The first was when the actress Drew Barrymore dabbed some on a facial sore and it instantly took out the redness. The second was when Prop 65 regulations in California called out a known carcinogen in aloe vera called “aloin.” Don’t worry, aloe will never get banned. Not to be morbid from the get-go, but extracted compounds from this spiky succulent were used in the middle east during ancient times to clean dead bodies and prepare them for burial. Plants of aloe vera give us two different subst...

  • New surgery for blood pressure; artificial irises; brain-boosting foods

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Jul 1, 2018

    Surgery for treating high blood pressure An operation that targets the nerves connected to the kidney may be able to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension, according to a clinical trial led in the UK by Queen Mary University of London and Barts Health NHS Trust. If the findings are confirmed in more extensive clinical trials, the surgery could offer hope to patients with high blood pressure who do not respond to drugs, and are at increased risk of cardiovascular...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in July. This month’s focus is “Take care to give care,” with discussions on how caregivers can better care for themselves while they are caring for their loved one. July 3, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. July 10, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. July 17, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m. July 24, open house and picnic at Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Progr...

  • Free memory screenings

    Alzheimers Resource of Alaska|Jul 1, 2018

    Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska offers free confidential memory screenings by appointment at any of its office locations. Memory screenings play a significant role in determining if you have a memory problem. They can serve as a baseline for people to use as a comparison later in life, or a first step in validating someone’s concern with memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease. Memory screenings do not provide a diagnosis. They test memory, language skills, learning and other cognitive abilities by asking a series of questions and having the parti...

  • The pros and cons of 'Right to Try' legislation

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Jul 1, 2018

    Congress managed to pass well-intentioned legislation recently allowing people with life-threatening illnesses to bypass the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to obtain experimental medications. Unfortunately, it won’t do much to help the people who need the unapproved therapies the most. The “right to try” legislation, pushed by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Reps. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., which Congress passed and President Donald J. Trump signed into law in May, gives terminally ill patients the right to seek drug...

  • These simple gadgets can help older drivers

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Jul 1, 2018

    Dear Savvy Senior: Are there any specific auto gadgets you can recommend that can help senior drivers? Both of my parents are in their eighties and still pretty good drivers, but due to arthritis and age they’re very stiff, which causes them some driving problems. Researching Daughter Dear Researching: To help keep senior drivers safe and prolong their driving years, there’s a plethora of inexpensive, aftermarket vehicle adaptions you can purchase that can easily be added to your parent’s vehicles to help with many different needs. Here are s...

  • New housing initiatives on the Kenai Peninsula

    Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiatives, Inc.|Jul 1, 2018

    Fifteen years after it hired its first staff member, Kenai Peninsula Housing Initiatives (KPHI) held a grand opening for its brand new office in Homer on May 16. The housing non-profit also announced that it will open a Homer Community Housing Center in the same building, and will break ground on six new apartments this summer on an adjacent lot. "We know there is a real need for affordable housing in Homer, and are excited to not only be building a six-plex this summer, but also to be offering...

  • Resurrecting details from a long-ago family hike

    Maraley McMichael, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2018

    While looking for something else, I recently came across a photo that instantly brought back many good memories. In the photo, my Dad, my three siblings and I are standing by the Resurrection Pass signpost during the last family hike I participated in. In July 1972 we hiked the Resurrection Trail along with family friends Charles and Jimmie King. The trail was 36 or 38 miles long, depending on which sign post you believed. We started in Hope on a Friday evening and ended near Cooper Landing on Sunday at noon. We couldn’t dawdle because one o...

  • Make the most of summer -- check out all of these July festivals

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    Alaska is in full bloom in July, and this includes festivals. There is absolutely no reason to not find some fun with so many opportunities around the state. Here are a few highlights. Girdwood Forest Fair, July 6-8. Features Alaskan artists, hand-crafted items, exotic foods and entertainment from all over Alaska. Fun for the whole family is kicked off with the parade at 10 a.m. on Sat. July 7. www.Girdwoodforestfair.com Chugiak-Eagle River Bear Paw Festival, July 11-18. Celebrate with this year’s theme “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Am...

  • Alaskans join HistoryMakers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American video oral history archive, visited Anchorage the week of May 21, 2018, to interview 11 African Americans whose video oral histories will be preserved permanently at the Library of Congress and featured on The HistoryMakers Digital Archive. Those interviewed included former commissioner for the Alaska Administration Eleanor Andrews; defense attorney Rex Butler; retired Superior Court Judge Lawrence Card; former Alaska Senator Bettye Davis; owner of Mayfield’s Quality Cleaners and E&S Div...

  • Networking for Anchorage area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    Interested in learning more about businesses and agencies providing senior services in the Anchorage area? Want to get the word out about your own service? The monthly Service Providers Breakfast (formally known as the Interagency Breakfast), sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, with breakfast provided. The July meeting is July 11, hosted by the Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman. Begins at 8 a.m. RSVP by calling Older Persons Action Group, Inc. for more information on...

  • Russian shipbuilding rises with the Phoenix

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jul 1, 2018

    During July 1791, Alexander Baranof arrived at Kodiak Island to manage the fur exporting operation of Grigorri Ivanovich Shelikhov, who formed the North American Company. When he received orders to build a sea-going vessel, Baranof remembered a sheltered bay he had seen that was a welcome refuge from Pacific storms. Baranof had named it Resurrection Bay, where Seward now exists, as he had found it during the Easter season. Baranof knew he would have access to timber suitable for shipbuilding,...

  • Eric Braeden is still the king of daytime drama

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jul 1, 2018

    "The Young and the Restless" star Eric Braeden has been playing character Victor Newman for 38 years and says it's been an amazing run. But he doesn't believe daytime drama actors always receive the recognition of their nighttime TV counterparts. "We shoot 100 to 120 pages a day," said Braeden, from Los Angeles. "Imagine what that means in terms of memorization. Actors in a weekly nighttime series would crap their pants if they had to do that! The most I ever learned was 62 pages of dialogue in...

  • The stuff you don't get can hurt you

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2018

    One of the biggest problems with DIY estate planning (where you get a kit, or a program, or a form, and “do it yourself”) is that the stuff you don’t understand can ruin everything. But then, this happens even with estate planning you get from a lawyer. Sometimes. Case in point: up until 2011, there was some very complicated language, which was inserted into a lot of living trusts, splitting the trust when the first spouse died. It was a necessity in certain situations, but that language is st...

  • Can a debt collector take my Social Security benefits?

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Jul 1, 2018

    Dear Savvy Senior: Can my Social Security benefits be garnished if I have some outstanding debts? I just turned 62 and would like to start collecting my retirement benefits, but want to find this out before I apply. - Worried Retiree Dear Worried: Whether your Social Security benefits are garnishable or not depends on whom you owe. Banks and other financial creditors, for example, can’t touch your Social Security checks. But if Uncle Sam is collecting on a debt, some of your benefits are fair game. Here’s what you should know. Creditor pro...

  • Advice on Windows, email addresses and smartphone backups

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Jul 1, 2018

    Q. What is the single most important piece of advice every smartphone owner should know? A. Back up your phone, especially photos. Your smartphone will eventually become the most important tech device in your life. All the gear that a generation ago filled a Radio Shack catalog is now contained in that single, slim, pocket-sized device. The longer you have it, the more the vital bits of your life will collect there. Once-in-a-lifetime photos, family snapshots, messages from loved ones. The smartphone has become the center of the technology...

  • RV park or public campground

    Erin Kirkland, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2018

    Summer has finally arrived in the Last Frontier. After a wet, windy spring, Alaskans are fueling up and hitting the highways and byways in search of a night or two (or many) among Alaska's wild spaces. If one were to look at the numbers, RV (or car) visitors to Alaska only make up 78,000, or about four percent, of the state's two million annual visitors, but there's no mistaking their impact. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, RV parks, campgrounds, and even highway pullouts are packed with rigs,...

  • Gulls and guillemots and what not

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Jul 1, 2018

    Last month, Senior Voice travel correspondent Dimitra Lavrakas wrote about various ways to appreciate historic lighthouses in Alaska and beyond. This month, she shares about her recent experience as a volunteer lighthouse caretaker in Massachusetts. It's sunset on a small, stony 52-acre island, 1.5 miles off the coast of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, and hundreds of seagulls take to trees and roofs to gaze at the setting sun. The birds do the same at sunrise, which comes at 4 a.m., and the gulls'...

  • Social Security questions answered by the experts

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2018

    Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times in July: Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (July 10 and 24), 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai Senior Center, on the first and third Wednesday of each month (July 18; July 4 is holiday), 9 a.m. to noon. Ketchikan Job Center, every Thursday (July 5, 12, 19 and 26), noon to 3 p.m. Social Security provides toll-free telephone service to all of Alaska. Residents in Alaska’s Southeast com...

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