Articles from the August 1, 2019 edition


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  • Full impact of budget cuts remains to be seen

    Mackenzie Stewart, Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    On June 28, Governor Dunleavy shocked the state by cutting $440 million from the legislature’s proposed operating budget for FY20, a 182 line item veto that devastated funding for crucial social services and programs such as the Senior Benefits Program, the Homeless Assistance Program, Medicaid and Dental Services, a host of Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery grants in addition to cutting 40% of funding for the University of Alaska system. Starting July 1, funds promised to Senior Benefits beneficiaries disappeared without warning and p...

  • Learn and talk about healthy aging at Anchorage forum

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2019

    “Age Smart – Let’s Talk”, the series of forums sponsored by AARP Alaska, Older Persons Action Group and the Anchorage Senior Activity Center, returns Aug. 13, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. What does it mean to “age healthy?” And what does it take to be healthy as we age in the Last Frontier? Join UAA professor of Population Health Science, Dr. Britteny Howell, and her research assistants for this discussion on the challenges and opportunities for aging healthily in Anchorage. This engaging presentatio...

  • More seniors in Alaska and more in the workforce

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    “The number of Alaskans who are 65 or older is growing rapidly in all regions of the state. This shift to larger senior populations across Alaska will play an important role in shaping our communities and households in the coming years.” These are the first two lines in an important new report, “Alaskans 65 and Older,” published in Alaska Economic Trends, a monthly publication of the Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce. My inner tabloid journalist wants to use a screaming headline for this article like “Seniors Overrun Alaska!” or maybe “L...

  • Successful aging and community engagement

    Jordan Lewis, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    The school classroom is filled with children eager to hear stories from Marge, who is volunteering in the classroom. Marge speaks fluent Yup’ik and was raised in the community where she has lived her entire life. In both Yup’ik and English, Marge shares the history and language with the school kids, what life was like when she was a little girl, and words of wisdom and advice she wants the children to remember as they grow up. Even though she has a hard time walking and uses a walker for support, she makes her way to the school twice a week to...

  • Public assistance allowed my refugee family to build a better future

    Elaine Sanchez Wilson, Diverse Elders Coalition|Aug 1, 2019

    Born in Santa Ana, Calif., to two Muslim refugee survivors of the Cambodian genocide, Hatefas Yop wasn't aware of her family's use of public services when she was a young girl. After all, her peers in her elementary school all hailed from the local neighborhood, where many immigrant and refugee families had to live in one-bedroom apartments subsidized by Section 8 housing. She didn't understand the melancholy in an elder whom Hatefas referred to as "Grandma," when she said her food stamps...

  • Genetic testing is promising, but beware fraud

    Nila Morgan, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    Genetic testing has certainly become a phenomenon in the last few years. This amazing new type of medical test, also known as DNA testing, has diverse applications. It can determine bloodlines of familial relationships, can rule out or confirm certain genetic conditions, or determine the likelihood of passing on genetic disorders. There are some conditions or diseases caused by mutated genes that genetic testing can confirm, such as Down Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, or Huntington’s Disease. DNA t...

  • New online service for replacing Social Security cards

    Social Security Administration|Aug 1, 2019

    Editor’s note: This press release was received on July 18, 2019. The Social Security Administration has introduced expanded online services for residents of Alaska available through its my Social Security portal at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Andrew Saul, Commissioner of Social Security, announced that residents of Alaska can use the portal for many replacement Social Security number (SSN) card requests. This will allow people to replace their SSN card from the comfort of their home or office, without the need to travel to a Social S...

  • Training covers care coordination basics

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2019

    The Alaska Training Cooperative presents “Basic Concepts of Care Coordination,” a training designed for new care coordinators not yet certified. This training is required prior to taking Care Coordination Core Units offered by Senior and Disability Services. “Basic Concepts of Care Coordination” is a fast, five-hour course designed to be interactive and provide attendees the opportunity to participate in discussions. Topics include Ethics, How to Serve Someone with a Disability, Skills of Interaction, Advocacy and Person Centered Plannin...

  • Dementia screening: Should I or shouldn't I?

    Carrie Luger Slayback, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2019

    Recently I interviewed Dr. Ahmad Sajadi, at University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders, a nationally recognized Alzheimer’s research center. Running out of time, here’s the question he never answered: Why be diagnosed with dementia early if there’s no cure? At 88, my friend Marilyn’s doctor suggested a cognitive assessment diagnosing the possible onset of dementia. Marilyn told him, “I don’t do that test.” As my aging father’s caregiver, I learned to agree with Marilyn. In 2001, I took my dad t...

  • Smart glasses, marijuana for sleep, benefits of CPAPs

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Aug 1, 2019

    Smart glasses may help replace need for progressive lenses Just as motion-detection technology is changing how cars are designed, the same is occurring with eyeglasses. Using eye-tracking technology, engineers now have created a prototype for ‘autofocals’ designed to restore proper vision in people who ordinarily would need progressive lenses. Presbyopia plagues many adults starting about age 45, as the lenses in our eyes lose the elasticity needed to focus on nearby objects. For some peo...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2019

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in August. This month’s meetings will include discussion on anticipatory grief and ambiguous loss issues in caregiving. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver. Aug. 6, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. Aug. 13, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. Aug. 20, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m. Aug. 27, Open house at Kenai P...

  • Elder mentors create positive change for youth

    Ted Irvin, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    Like many transplants from the Lower 48, a job offer lured me up to Alaska. No, you won't find me welding on a pipeline or commercial fishing on the Bering Sea, but as a program coordinator for a large nonprofit, I've gotten to do a bit of traveling during my first year here. From Homer to Fairbanks, Bethel to Tok, Glenallen to Haines, Palmer to Dillingham, and at all the stops along the way, I've gotten to meet and work with many remarkable seniors – not just from Alaska, but from all over t...

  • State fairs are around the corner

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2019

    Tanana Valley State Fair is Aug. 2-11 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, Aug. 7. Events include a senior luncheon, pie eating contests, rodeo, cake decorating, Alaska Heritage Day, community wellness events and more. For a full schedule of events visit http://www.tananavalleyfair.org. The Kenai Peninsula Fair takes place Aug. 16-18 in Ninilchik. Senior admission is $10 for a three Day Pass and $5 for a Day Pass. This year’s t...

  • Discovering Alaska's many mushrooms

    Mackenzie Stewart, Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    Late summer and early fall mean mushrooms abound across Alaska. With over 97,000 identified species, mushrooms are second to insects in species diversity. From science and discovery to crafting and photography, mushroom hunting in National Forests, state parks and even your own backyard allows anyone to foster a greater appreciation for Alaska's natural fungi. Getting started To become a seasoned mushroom hunter, one must first do their research, says Kate Mohatt, an ecologist for the Forest...

  • The discovery day that started the Klondike Gold Rush

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2019

    Three men found a large deposit of nuggets on Aug. 17, 1896, which started the famed Klondike Gold Rush. George Washington Carmack, who came north in 1885, James Mason, better known as Skookum Jim, and his nephew, Charlie – often called Dawson or Tagish Charlie – left Fortymile during that summer to go fishing. The Natives and Carmack found what they thought might be a good fishing spot and set their nets. They hauled in a few king salmon, but the fishing was poor so they gave up and cut tim...

  • Celebrating Ernie Kovacs' birth centennial

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2019

    Opening last summer in Jamestown, New York, the National Comedy Center will launch an exhibition honoring comedian Ernie Kovacs beginning with a Festival on August 7-11 (see www.comedycenter.org). "It's the centennial of Ernie's birth this year, so a great time to recognize this influential comedian," said Laura LaPlaca, the Center's Director of Archives. "The Kovacs' exhibit will remain until summer 2020." Though he died tragically in a single car accident at just 42, Kovacs would leave his mar...

  • Think you're covered? Not so fast

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2019

    I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say “I don’t need to do any estate planning. I have a will and it does what I want”. Oh, I wish it was that easy. A will is a good and important thing to have, but it doesn’t do nearly what people think it does. For one thing, the will only controls assets that go through probate. So anything that does not go through probate, isn’t affected by the will. What doesn’t go through probate? For one thing, assets that have a designated beneficiary (...

  • Disk recovery, lost keys, TV tracking

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2019

    Q. My computer was crushed in an accident. I was able to rescue the drive from the wreckage, but how do I copy my files onto a new computer? A. This can be a surprisingly complex task. Simply installing the old drive into a new computer will not work. The contents have to be migrated onto the new drive. Assuming you have a bare drive from the original computer, the first thing you will need is a new enclosure. These are typically inexpensive and can be found easily online. Check the ports on your new computer and choose an enclosure that has a...

  • On the trail of Japanese snow monkeys

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Aug 1, 2019

    We've all seen people who remind us of animals, like turtles or owls, but I once saw an elderly lady in a bank and she looked just like a snow monkey. I couldn't stop staring and decided that some day I'd go to Japan to see them. Snow monkeys live in Jigokudani, which means "Hell's Valley" in Japanese, in Yamanouchi, Nagano Prefecture along the Yokoyu River, downstream from Shiga Kogen. Shiga Kogen is a ski resort and hiking spot, located in the Jōshin'etsu-kōgen National Park in the highlands o...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2019

    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 (formerly known as the Interagency Breakfast), sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, Inc., is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, with breakfast provided. The August meeting is Aug. 14, hosted by attorney Connie Aschenbrenner. Begins at 8 a.m. RSVP by calling Older Persons Action Group, Inc. for more information...

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