Articles from the July 1, 2024 edition


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  • Building, property donated to Older Persons Action Group

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2024

    A building and property have been donated to nonprofit Older Persons Action Group, Inc. (OPAG), a statewide organization that advocates for Alaska seniors. The Amundsen House at 810 8th St. in downtown Anchorage was an Alaskan territorial days landmark that transitioned through numerous owners and businesses, but has been vacant and boarded since a fire last year. A backhoe and supporting crew from Alaska Demolitions tore down the two-story structure on May 30. OPAG was deeded the building in...

  • Supplement your Social Security income

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    If you're like me, you get bupkis in Social Security income. Bupkis is an appropriate term because it's a Yiddish word, which is literally translated as "beans" and is derived from a Slavic word for "goat droppings". The second Wednesday of every month, I receive $1,150.50 minus United Health premium and the tax I pay ahead to cover the extra money I make from freelance writing. Passive income But I have also started an online store through Bonfire, selling T-shirts I've designed, as I started...

  • Women and retirement: What you need to know

    Teresa Holt, AARP Alaska|Jul 1, 2024

    Women face unique challenges when preparing for retirement, from longer lifespans to income inequality and employment impacts from family caregiving. Considering these realities, women should prioritize early retirement planning and investment strategies to ensure financial security in their later years. Longer lives, lower earnings Statistically, women have a longer lifespan than men, which translates to additional years spent in retirement. Women age 65 or older can anticipate living until age 87, compared to age 84 for men. Income...

  • Pi: my new friend...or something

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Recently I spent a lot of time chatting with Pi, my new friend, or maybe acquaintance, or something. I am not sure what to call her because she can speak in eight different voices, and half of them are male. Ok, this is confusing. I'll start again. Do this: Download pi.ai to your smartphone from wherever you usually get apps. It's free. Set up an account. That takes a few seconds. Then pick a voice. I picked a welcoming female voice. I think I would be happier with an old-guy voice, but they...

  • Ever consider participating in clinical research?

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Q: My friend in Los Angeles has been approached about being part of a clinical trial for Alzheimer's. Why would their doctor suggest they participate, and how do they work? A: With nearly 67,000 worldwide studies looking for participants, if one has never considered being part of clinical observations or trials, there are several ways to be included in research that helps others. What is clinical research? There are two main types of research that study health and illness: observational studies...

  • Pocketalker 2.0

    Assistive Technology of Alaska|Jul 1, 2024

    Personal amplifiers can amplify the sound around an individual with mild hearing loss. They are not a cure-all solution for hearing loss that should be tested and evaluated by an audiologist. Instead, these devices are over-the-counter wearable devices that allow someone to hear conversations, the television, or sounds around them more clearly. The Pocketalker 2.0 is one example of personal amplification devices. It has a rechargeable battery, volume and tone control, and can help to reduce...

  • Melons pack a healthy, juicy punch

    John C. Schieszer, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Go for the melons this summer. Eating cantaloupe and other melons on a regular basis may help improve your vision and provide a host of other health benefits. The fiber content may be highly beneficial for older adults. Just one cup of cantaloupe contains 6% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Fiber can help a person feel full longer. Additionally, it helps regulate digestion and keeps blood sugar in check. "Vision can decline with aging, but consuming antioxidant-rich foods such as...

  • The basics of Medicare enrollment and coverage

    Sean McPhilamy, Alaska Medicare Information Office|Jul 1, 2024

    Medicare is the federal government program that provides health insurance to those age 65 and older or those under 65 with certain disabilities or chronic conditions. Medicare programs and policies are regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). When you are new to Medicare, there can be a lot to learn about your enrollment and coverage choices. At least for now, there are no Medicare Advantage programs available to Alaskan residents (also known as Part C of Medicare), so...

  • New technology can help determine back surgery success

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Jul 1, 2024

    New machines measure back surgery benefits Researchers who have been using Fitbit data to help predict surgical outcomes have now come up with a new method to more accurately gauge how an individual may recover from spine surgery. Using machine learning techniques developed at the AI for Health Institute at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, the team developed a novel way to predict recovery more accurately from lumbar spine surgery. This latest model has outperformed previous models...

  • Free resources and support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2024

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following caregiver support group meetings in June. Meeting format is open discussion unless otherwise noted. July 5 Soldotna Senior Center, training featuring “Alive Inside,” a cinematic exploration of music’s capacity to reawaken souls and uncover the deepest parts of our humanity, 1 to 2 p.m. July 16 Kenai Senior Center, round table discussion, 1 to 2 p.m. July 18 Sterling Senior Center, round table discussion, 1 to 2 p.m. July 23 Tyotkas Elder Center, round table discu...

  • Redirecting away from the negative

    Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program|Jul 1, 2024

    “I do not have to attend every argument I’m invited to.” These words can be kept in the back of your mind as you, the family caregiver, spend what can be some very frustrating days with your loved one. This month try to remember: When a loved one or close friend is upset or concerned about something, it’s part of our nature to listen, empathize, and possibly help them resolve the situation. As caring people, we do what we can to make those close to us feel valued and respected. However, when someone is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease o...

  • Staying safe in the summer heat

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Summer is a wonderful time of year but even here in Alaska the heat can sometimes be intense, especially for seniors. That's why it's important to know how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, as well as sunburns. Sunburns To prevent sunburns, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin before going outside. Apply more every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. Wear protective clothing, such as...

  • Farmer's Market checks for fresh produce

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2024

    Have you picked up your Farmer's Market checks? The Senior Farmer's Market Nutrition Program check booklets are available at local senior centers and other agencies for use July 1 through Oct. 31. Each booklet includes $40 worth of checks for buying fresh Alaska-grown fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut herbs and honey at participating farmers' markets, authorized farms, and roadside stands within Alaska. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and meet low-income eligibility guidelines. Links to...

  • Social Security offers video assistance

    Social Security Administration|Jul 1, 2024

    The Social Security Administration continues to partner with locations throughout Alaska to offer secure video service, a convenient and no cost service option that allows people to talk directly to a Social Security employee through a secure computer link that includes two-way video and sound. The video service is available at these locations: In Nome, Norton Sound Health Corporation, 1000 Grek Kruschek. Video service is available for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis, on the second and fourth Wednesdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Kenai Senior Ce...

  • Hitting the trail together

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jul 1, 2024

    "Are you two doing okay back there?" my friend, Cindy, and I were being asked by one of our hiking group. "Yes, fine," we replied as we brought up the rear on a hike back in July 2004. We were on the Caribou Creek Trail off the Nabesna Road, near the Tok Cut-Off Highway. Cindy and I were in our 40s, while the ages of the other women hikers from Anchorage ranged from 55 to 74. Betty, the organizer of this outing, had been a friend of my mother's when they were young singles living in Seward in...

  • RurAL CAP's first Senior Companion volunteer

    Ella Jusczak, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Sassa Alexandria Dunn was born October of 1933 and given the Yupi'k name Amarchuli by her mom, Nanny Franklin, and dad, George Andrew. When she was just three years old Sassa's mom passed away and she was raised by her grandma. Sassa remembers having a beautiful childhood filled with laughter, stories and family. Her favorite memories are from her time at fish camp on the Igushik River. When Sassa was old enough, she moved to Naknek to work. where she made 50 cents per week washing dishes for a...

  • Anchorage to host exhibit honoring fallen soldiers

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2024

    The "Eyes of Freedom" memorial exhibit, featuring the poignant "Silent Battle" sculpture, will visit Anchorage in July 2024 to honor the memory of Lance Cpl Grant Fraser, a fallen Marine of the Marine Forces Reserve's 4th Reconnaissance Battalion. He was from Anchorage. This exhibit, which travels nationwide to honor fallen military personnel, will be displayed at three Anchorage locations: July 20-21 Arctic Thunder Open House, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The exhibit will be accessible...

  • Festivals and fairs around the state

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    July is peak season for festivals around Alaska. Here are some highlights: Chugiak/Eagle River Bear Paw Festival, July 10-14. Free. Grand parade, Slippery Salmon Olympics, Human Foosball Tournament, community service awards, classic car show, music, vendors, much more. www.bearpawfestival.com Girdwood Forest Fair, July 5-7. Free. A family fair that features Alaskan artists, hand-crafted items, exotic foods, and entertainers from all over Alaska. https://girdwoodforestfair.com/ Homer Peony...

  • St. Michael awakens to gold rush fever

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jul 1, 2024

    On June 25, 1897, the sleepy old Russian town of St. Michael awoke when Alaska Commercial Company's river steamer Alice arrived with 25 miners from Dawson carrying $500,000 among them in gold dust. That was enough to liven up just about any town. But the party wasn't over. Two days later, the P.B. Weare carried in another group of 60 successful men who staggered off that small steamer with more pokes of gold. Miners from both boats then transferred to the SS Portland and the SS Excelsior to...

  • TV and movie moms voice support for the homeless

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jul 1, 2024

    Mother's Day may have passed, but moms continue to inspire and encourage. Even fictitious ones. Some of America's favorite classic television and movie moms are raising awareness of the country's homeless youth problem. Although their focus is one organization, Doors of Change in the San Diego area (with its summer benefit "Concert of Hope" this year to be held on July 27 at the Epstein Family Amphitheater, UCSD, and featuring KC and the Sunshine Band, see www.doorsofchange.org) their message...

  • Keeping an eye on all of your stuff

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    One of the many useful lessons my dad taught me growing up was to maintain your equipment. He did a lot of home improvement projects, and no matter how long and exhausting the day had been, before finishing he always took care of his tools. Paintbrushes would be cleaned and put in turpentine to soak, work areas would be cleaned up, and tools would be put away (“a place for everything, and everything in its place,” he would say). This lesson was further instilled in me by some fine gentlemen at...

  • Random phone shutoffs; Is AI a fad?; Windows Copilot

    Bob Delaurentis, Tech Talk|Jul 1, 2024

    Q. Sometimes my smartphone shuts off suddenly. The screen goes dark, and none of the buttons work. After a few minutes, it works again. Should I look for a replacement? A. Modern smartphones take their internal temperature continuously. These modern computing miracles still have to obey the laws of physics, and when they get too hot, bad things happen. As a result, smartphones are smart enough to hibernate instantly when they feel a little toasty. The causes are many, everything from laying in open sunlight to processing photos or videos....

  • Exploring the rich culture and habitat of Ecuador and the Galapagos

    Laurel Downing Bill, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2024

    Part three in a four-part series. After enjoying the first leg of our 50th wedding anniversary trip in Peru, my husband and I moved on to Quito, which marked the beginning of an adventure that immersed us in the rich history and vibrant culture of Ecuador. We were met by an English-speaking driver and guide, which Smithsonian Journeys and Audley Travel had arranged. They whisked us away to La Casona De La Ronda, a charming boutique hotel housed within a Spanish colonial mansion dating back to 17...

  • Community Events Calendar

    Jul 1, 2024

  • Older Persons Action Group, Inc.

    Jul 1, 2024

    Established in 1968, OPAG is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving services, developing programs, educating, promoting and implementing changes to help Alaska seniors live healthy, productive lives. Current programs: - publish the monthly Senior Voice newspaper - publish and distribute the Directory for Older Alaskans senior resource directory - provide information and referral services for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Health Care Act and other senior issues - organize monthly Providers' Breakfast...

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