Articles from the August 1, 2017 edition


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  • States lag in keeping Medicaid enrollees out of nursing homes

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2017

    Every day, 10,000 people turn 65 and the eldest baby boomers will begin to turn 80 in 2026, so the demand for long term care services is about to explode in the near future. Already 1.4 million seniors live in nursing home facilities in the U.S. But states are only making lukewarm progress helping millions of seniors on Medicaid avoid costly nursing home care by arranging home or community services for them instead, a new AARP report finds. Overall, AARP says states have made “incremental improvements” since its 2014 Scorecard, but calls the...

  • Sha Na Na celeb promotes activism

    Barbara Gazaway, Bartlett Political Forum|Aug 1, 2017

    Members and guests of the Bartlett Political Forum, aka the Bartlett Club, in Anchorage were entertained by none other than Jon "Bowzer" Bauman during a presentation July 20. Yes, he is still around and continues to entertain. He parodied "Good Night Sweetheart," singing "Goodnight Trumpcare, well it's time to go," and played a piece by Schubert that he said his mother enjoyed hearing. Most in the audience remembered Bauman's popular Sha Na Na character, "Bowzer," a gangly, slender-armed...

  • Letters to the editor

    Aug 1, 2017

    Editor, I read your July edition. As usual, there were many articles on Medicare, most apparently talking down to recipients. Have you ever considered an article from the recipients’ viewpoint? First off, please remember that most of the people enrolled in Medicare pay premiums for Medicare and D and Supplements. Medicare is not free. Are statistics available on the total paid to Medicare? Supplements are quite expensive but they must be profitable to insurance companies or the companies would not offer them. Often, medical practitioners s...

  • Diabetes hits Hispanics, Latinos especially hard

    Dr. Yanira Cruz, Diverse Elders Coalition|Aug 1, 2017

    This is an ongoing series from the Diverse Elders Coalition, looking at different segments of the senior population. Hispanics and Latinos make up the fastest-growing demographic of the U.S. population. In 2015, the Hispanic population reached 56.6 million, making Hispanics the nation’s largest ethnic/racial minority, constituting 17.6 percent of the US population. It is projected that by 2060, the Hispanic population will reach 119 million, or 28.6 percent of the U.S. population. In addition to rapid population growth, Hispanics and Latinos a...

  • How safe are my favorite Alaskan restaurants?

    Lawrence David Weiss PhD, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    Going out to eat at your favorite restaurant can be a very pleasant experience – unless you get food poisoning. Eating at home or eating out is an important distinction because Americans are twice as likely to get food poisoning from food served in restaurants compared to food prepared at home, according to a 2014 study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Here in Alaska we have easy access to a lot of health information about most restaurants, but first a little background. Food poisoning is common and often quite serious. The F...

  • Medicare vs. the Marketplace insurance plans

    Nila Morgan, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    What is a Health Insurance Marketplace plan? If I have a Marketplace plan and I become eligible for Medicare should I switch? What are the advantages of Medicare over the Marketplace? How do I disenroll from my Marketplace plan? What if I didn’t switch to Medicare when I could have? What is Time Limited Equitable Relief and do I qualify for it? These are a few of the questions many people turning 65 are asking and we will try to answer for you. What is the Health Insurance Marketplace? First o...

  • Seniors are getting caught up in opioid addiction

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Aug 1, 2017

    Dear Savvy Senior: I’m worried about my 72-year-old mother who has been taking the opioid medication Vicodin for her hip and back pain for more than a year. I fear she’s becoming addicted to the drug but I don’t know what to do. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned: The opioid epidemic is a national problem that is hitting people of all ages, including millions of older Americans. Here’s what you should know and do to help your mother. The cause The main reason opioid addiction has become such a problem for people over age 50 is because over th...

  • Upcoming Hospice of Anchorage events

    Hospice of Anchorage|Aug 1, 2017

    Hospice of Anchorage has several upcoming events that we would like to share with the community. In August, we hope you’ll join us for “A Walk to Remember,” which is a memorial walk, and in September, we host Camp Erin, a bereavement camp for kids and teens ages 6 to 17 years old. These events are at no charge to the community. In recognition of people who have experienced pregnancy loss, including miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, fetal deaths, and neonatal deaths, as well as those who have lost a child, we gather for “A Walk to Remembe...

  • A new flu patch and an update on olive oil

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Aug 1, 2017

    A painless microneedle patch for the flu Researchers have now come up with a dissolvable vaccine patch for combating influenza. It has been tested in a large number of volunteers and it fared well. A team of investigators has found that delivering the flu vaccine via a dissolvable microneedle patch appears to be safe and preferred over conventional injection in a new phase 1 trial involving 100 people. The study is the first randomized trial to test a self-administered, dissolvable microneedle...

  • Free training and support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2017

    The Kenai Peninsula Famiy Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in August. This month’s meetings will highlight National Immunization Month, reviewing what shots are needed and when to get them since they can prevent serious diseases like the flu and pneumonia. Aug. 1, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. Aug. 8, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. Aug. 15, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center,1 p.m. Aug. 16, Caregiver support meeting at Anchor Point Se...

  • Learn about plants as food and medicine

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2017

    Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium is presenting two “Alaskan Plants as Food as Medicine” events in September, one in Kotzebue and one in Kenai. The events promote traditional plant knowledge and ethical harvesting and last year featured a conference in August at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage. That event will not take place this year, with efforts instead focused on supporting rural Alaska communities by holding smaller, regional symposiums, according to the organization’s website, www.alaskanplants.com. So far, two of these event...

  • Online studies in traditional Native health practices

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2017

    The Trust Training Cooperate will offer an online class, “Traditional Health-Based Practices,” this fall on three different days. Course material will focus on traditional lifestyles and health practices of people living in Alaska prior to Western contact. Trainees will be introduced to beliefs, attitudes and knowledge of health promotion and maintenance that were practiced, and will examine major changes leading to the current health status of the Alaska Native community. A special emphasis will be placed on potential strategies for imp...

  • Serious fun and games in Fairbanks

    Mackenzie Stewart, Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    The 2017 Alaska International Senior Games (AISG), held Aug. 11 through 21 in Fairbanks, will kick off with the Opening Ceremonies and Gala Games at Pioneer Park Civic Center on Aug. 11, 6 p.m. The annual torch lighting ceremony sets the tone for AISG's 65 events, including 20 different sports ranging from team sports like basketball and tennis to individual sports like track and field and cycling. "The Opening Ceremonies will also have puzzles, thinking games and fabulous food," added Diann...

  • Anchorage seniors stretch their minds at Socrates Cafe

    Linda Cooper, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    It's 10 a.m. on Friday at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center and time for Socrates Cafe, a weekly discussion group assembled to do some serious thinking and have fun doing it. This week 10 people have gathered for a philosophical discussion designed to get their creative juices flowing and to tackle some age-old questions. Participants follow the Socratic method for discussions. The Socratic method is a form of cooperative dialogue between individuals. It's based on asking and answering...

  • State fairs are on the way

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2017

    Tanana Valley State Fair is from Aug. 4-13 in Fairbanks. Senior admission (age 60 and older) is $20 for a Senior Season Pass and $5 for a Senior Daily Pass. Free admission for seniors on Senior Day on Aug. 9. Events include a horse show, a senior luncheon, Giant Cabbage Weigh-In, rodeo, performances by Vocal Trash, Ukulele Mike's Super Fun Sing Along and Fairbanks Community Jazz Band, Superhero Costume Contest, Magic by Robbie and much more. For a full schedule of events visit...

  • Painting pachyderm starts Alaska Zoo

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2017

    A pachyderm named Annabelle, who became prolific with a paintbrush and easel, is responsible for the creation of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage. It all started when Jack Snyder saw a tongue-in-cheek come-on for a Chiffon toilet paper contest for grocers in 1966. The Crown Zellerbach company ad announced: "$3,000 or a baby elephant" to the winner. The Anchorage grocer won the contest. Snyder then startled the tissue paper executives when he said, "I'll take the elephant." One can just imaging the...

  • Singer Judy Collins is still vocal on social issues

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2017

    Whether singing her own words or those of others, the sublime vocal talent of pop/folk singer Judy Collins has been drawing audiences for over 50 years. But it almost never happened. "I contracted polio as a child and later tuberculosis when I was in my early 20s," recalled Collins from her home in New York. "My school teachers told me I was suffering from growing pains but when I was around 11 and the pain became severe, I went to the doctor who said I had polio. Of course, there was an...

  • OLLI offers fall classes for Fairbanks lifetime learners

    OLLI|Aug 1, 2017

    The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at University of Alaska Fairbanks (OLLI) is a program of UAF Summer Sessions and Lifelong Learning. OLLI provides learning opportunities for adults age 50 and older in the Fairbanks area. Led by its membership, OLLI offers stimulating courses, lectures and special interest groups. Members explore academic and general interest courses in an atmosphere that is intellectually stimulating, but without the stress of tests and grades. Members from all backgrounds are welcomed. They share the common bonds of intel...

  • Can I keep this Social Security benefit payment?

    Robin Schmidt, Social Security Alaska|Aug 1, 2017

    Social Security is with you through life’s journey, securing today and tomorrow for millions of people. We know that reliability and dependability is an important part of your financial security. We use the same throughout the month eligibility rules for the first month’s Social Security check through the last month’s check, so it’s easy to know when checks are payable. If you meet all the requirements to receive benefits, Social Security pays your benefit after you have lived throughout the month. At 62, the first month many people are eli...

  • Trust me, it ain't a trust if it ain't a trust

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    “I’m just gonna leave everything to Bubba,” says the gent across from me. “That's certainly doable,” I tell him. “But what's the reason you’re disinheriting your other kids?” “I’m not really disinheriting them,” he says. “Johnnie has some alcohol problems. Dolly is fine, but if her no-good husband gets his hands on the money, he’ll spend it all. So I’ll just leave it all to Bubba, and he’ll take care of the other kids.” “So... when you say you’re leaving it to him, I take it you mean, he’ll b...

  • Social Security experts answer your questions

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2017

    Staff from Alaska’s Social Security office will be available for questions via videoconferencing at the following locations and times: Kodiak Job Center, on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month (Aug. 8 and 22), 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai Senior Center, on the first and third Wednesday of each month (Aug. 2 and 16), 9 a.m. to noon. Ketchikan Job Center, every Thursday (Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31), noon to 3 p.m. Social Security provides toll-free telephone service to all of Alaska. Residents in Alaska’s Southeast communities can call the Jun...

  • Disposals, repairs and quiet evenings

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2017

    Q. How do I dispose of a smartphone? A. These guidelines apply to most electronic devices, everything from smartphones to PCs. There are two concerns, protecting your privacy and proper recycling. If the device is only a few years old and still operates, you could sell it, extend its life by passing it along to a family member, or donate it to a charitable organization. The longer the device can be used, the less impact there is on the environment. Eventually, every smartphone reaches the end of its useful life. No matter what, do not d...

  • Recreational passes for seniors will cost more

    Erin Kirkland, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2017

    Nearly 331 million people set foot inside a national park last year, thanks in part to the agency's 100th birthday and a societal push to spend more time in the great outdoors. America's public lands may be the best idea our government ever had, but they are now in need of financial support to keep up their natural beauty and a level of access expected by an ever-growing number of visitors. In 2016, Congress passed Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289, giving public land agencies authority to...

  • Health fairs start early this year

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Aug 1, 2017

    Alaska Health Fair’s fall 2017 health fair season is kicking off a month earlier than normal, so check out the August event dates and/or make it to one of the fall events in your local community by checking the Senior Voice monthly edition or the Alaska Health Fairs website. Alaska Health Fair, Inc. offers free health screenings and education, low cost blood tests and more. These tests can help you learn about your health and detect potential problems early, when treatment or changes in personal habits can be most effective. So take time out o...

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