Articles from the August 1, 2021 edition


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  • Analysis: Is Aduhelm a new hope for Alzheimer's relief?

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2021

    If someone you love is suffering from Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, wouldn’t you do everything possible to help them? What about if the medicine you give them has questionable usefulness or potentially dangerous side effects and costs a fortune? That’s a question millions of people may face soon. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Aduhelm, also called aducanumab, in June, in one of its most contentious decisions. This came eight months after a harsh rejection of the treatment by an FDA advisory commi...

  • Senior Voice recognized in awards contest

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2021

    Older Persons Action Group, Inc., earned honors for its monthly, statewide publication Senior Voice in the 30th annual National Mature Media Awards Program. The program, presented by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior market, recognizes the nation's finest marketing, communications, educational materials and programs designed and produced for older adults. OPAG and Senior Voice won two awards: Gold Award in the Photograph category for photographer Michael...

  • Starting a discussion on voter, civic issues

    Beverly Churchill, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    Seniors are known nationally for being “super voters”. But many voters find it challenging to understand and evaluate the issues and candidates. Hence this series has been created to dive into civic issues to help our Alaskan seniors, friends and families become more familiar with some issues that should be considered when casting a vote. In this series, we will start by focusing on campaign finance. In the next few columns, we will identify some of the problems that currently exist in our political system, provide history about how these probl...

  • Family caregivers face severe financial strain

    Marge Stoneking, AARP Alaska|Aug 1, 2021

    New research from AARP shows that nearly 8 in 10 of those caring for an adult family member (78%) are facing regular out-of-pocket costs, with the highest burden falling on younger caregivers and those who are Hispanic/Latino or African American. The organization is launching a national campaign urging Congress to do more to support family caregivers. AARP tracked what caregivers pay for using their own money and found average annual spending totaled $7,242, and, on average, 26% of the caregiver’s income. Housing expenses like rent or m...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2021

    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, the monthly event currently meets virtually online via Zoom. The August meeting is Aug. 11, hosted by the Stone Soup Group. Begins at 8 a.m. RSVP by calling Older Persons Action Group,...

  • Know the signs of caregiver burnout

    National Hispanic Council on Aging|Aug 1, 2021

    Caregiver burnout—also known as caregiver stress or caregiver syndrome—was first described by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in 1974. The mental health professional worked in a clinic for drug addicts in New York and observed that most of the volunteers at the clinic had a progressive loss of energy, leading to exhaustion, symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as lack of motivation at work and aggressiveness with patients after a year of working. This is a disorder with serious implications both physically and psychologic...

  • What 'breakthrough' COVID cases mean for Alaska's seniors

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    Breakthrough. As in falling through thin ice? No, this one is different, and it may be more important to seniors than any other age group. Here’s how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put it: “COVID-19 vaccines are effective. However, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called ‘vaccine breakthrough cases.’ This means that while people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it will still happen in some ca...

  • Strategies to avoid, identify and resolve Medicare issues

    Heather Anderson, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    In the past, you may have had trouble navigating the maze of Medicare. Here are some helpful strategies to avoid, identify and solve Medicare issues that you may encounter. Know your coverage Medicare coverage rules can be complicated. My advice is to not become overwhelmed. Before receiving a service, you do not need to be a Medicare specialist. My recommendation is to check to make sure Medicare covers the service and if there are any steps you must take prior to receiving it. If Original Medicare, your employer-provided retiree benefits...

  • Your time and companionship are the best gifts

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    Q: How can I maximize time with my neighbor who is living with cancer? A: I am so glad we are talking about this important topic. It must be incredibly difficult for you. You have taken the first step of support by being there for your neighbor. In moments of crises sometimes the best source of reassurance is a hug or your gift of time. Often you don’t need to say much, but just sit with them, offer to fix food (if they are willing or able to eat), without offering platitudes. Fear and stress a...

  • How to buy the best blood pressure monitor for you

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Aug 1, 2021

    Dear Savvy Senior: I just found out I have stage 1 hypertension and my doctor recommended I get a home blood pressure monitor to keep an eye on it. Can you offer me any tips on choosing a good one? - Hypertensive Helen Dear Helen: It’s a smart idea. Everyone with elevated or high blood pressure (stage 1 and higher) should consider getting a home blood pressure monitor. Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure in a comfortable setting. Plus, if you’re taking medication it will make certain it’s working, and alert you to a...

  • Fall health fairs are coming right up

    Sharon Phillips, Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Aug 1, 2021

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc. will start holding fall health fairs later this month. We will also continue to offer blood draws by appointment in our office, but are planning to hold the majority of our events at community and worksite venues. Most fall events will require pre-registration online for a blood test appointment time slot. We will have exhibitors and screeners when space and safety permits. Our staff have returned to local offices and are available should you have questions about the fall season. Staying informed about Alaska Health...

  • Control headaches once and for all

    Suzy Cohen, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2021

    A “migrenade” is my term for substances that go off like a grenade in your brain, and trigger a migraine. It’s a made-up term that works well and is immediately understood. All the pain-causing cytokines in your body should be considered migrenades, because they are responsible for the pain and inflammation associated with headaches. One of them is NF Kappa B which is discussed below. But first of all, I suggest you minimize or eliminate these most powerful migrenades if you ever want to feel better: - Artificial sweeteners and dyes - Any c...

  • Better cancer detection, blood pressure control

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Aug 1, 2021

    Detecting cancer long before symptoms There may now be a way to find cancer before symptoms ever occur. A new blood test, which can detect more than 50 types of cancer, has been found to be accurate enough to be rolled out as a multi-cancer screening test among people at higher risk of the disease, including patients age 50 years or older. In a paper published in the journal Annals of Oncology, researchers report that the test accurately detected cancer, often before any symptoms arose, while ha...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2021

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program has moved into a new office located at 35477 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 205 (located in the 4D Professional Building). You can call them at 907-262-1280 or email dkebschull@soldotnaseniors.comdkebschull@soldotnaseniors.com. Caregiver support group meetings will be held at the following locations and times in August. Please join to share your experiences as a caregiver or to support someone who is a caregiver. Aug. 12, Sterling Senior Center, 1 to 3 p.m. The theme will be “Getting to Know E...

  • Hospice campaign to lift up our caregivers

    Amy Tribbett, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    Hospice of Anchorage understands that being a caregiver is an important job. You shoulder many responsibilities caring for a friend or relative who is seriously ill. This summer, we are celebrating the caregivers in our community with our Care for the Carer campaign. Each month we are giving out 100 Care for the Carer boxes, each filled with caregiving resources, an assortment of coupons, and various self-care items. Each month's packages are different, so we encourage caregivers to treat...

  • Your blood is needed, regardless of age

    Robert Scanlon, Blood Bank of Alaska|Aug 1, 2021

    The Blood Bank of Alaska (BBA), located at 1215 Airport Heights Drive in Anchorage, is just a stone’s throw from the Anchorage Senior Activity Center. Did you know that as a senior over 70 years old, you may still give blood? All you need is a written doctor’s acknowledgement that you are well and able to do so. Given the continuing need for all blood types, especially O-positive, O-negative, and A-positive, we welcome Alaska seniors to give blood, including seniors from rural parts of the state. The need for blood and blood products in our...

  • Kiss your last gas guzzler goodbye

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    A few weeks ago I asked my wife if she would like to go on a "date." I told her that it has two parts, and the second part is a picnic here in Anchorage featuring Arctic Roadrunner hamburgers. With some apprehension, I circled around to the first part of the date. "But first, let's go take a look at the free electric car charging station in the parking lot of Chugach Electric." During the previous few months I had been - perhaps obsessively - perusing the internet about electric vehicles, watchi...

  • A full day of people, stories at the Alaska State Fair

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2021

    Since 2014, I've enjoyed working each Wednesday and Thursday morning in the Flower Department in the Barn at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer. Wednesdays I fill the "vase" bottles with water and help exhibitors with their entries and Thursdays I'm one of the judges' helpers. For this volunteer work, I receive a free ticket for myself and one extra for each of those four days, as well as parking passes. But, after working my volunteer shift I'm usually too tired to take in many fair activities....

  • Video of 'Celebration 1986' now available online

    Sealaska Heritage Institute|Aug 1, 2021

    Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) has digitized and posted online video of its third Celebration, a dance-and-culture festival first held in 1982 that has grown into the world’s largest gathering of the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian people. The entire event, which was documented in 1986 on now-obsolete video tapes, is viewable on SHI’s YouTube channel for the first time. Go to the link https://bit.ly/2WmPAl0. Celebration 1986, held in Juneau November 20-22, featured dance performances from 19 different groups, speeches by prominent Elders and...

  • "Age Smart" forums return: Music is the August topic

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2021

    AARP Alaska, Older Persons Action Group and the Anchorage Senior Activity Center resume the “Age Smart – Let’s Talk” forums this month on Aug. 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Events are currently held virtually on the internet, using Zoom. This month’s topic focuses on the impact of music on brain health. Music is all around us. Learn how it can benefit us by decreasing depression, lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, elevating mood and much more, with presenter Ann Farris, Education Specialist at Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska. The...

  • Klondike discovery launched a gold rush

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2021

    George Washington Carmack and his two inseparable friends, "Skookum" Jim Mason and Tagish Charlie, had wandered up and down the Yukon for several years before their gold discovery electrified the world in August 1896. Carmack traveled over glaciers, through marshes, among forests, lakes, rivers and mountains in search of his destiny. He seemed a misfit in a land where every man was looking for gold. He only wanted to live like the Natives among whom he'd made his home since coming north in...

  • A tale of two Maldens - Carla and Karl

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2021

    Carla Malden credits her father, actor Karl Malden, for sowing the seeds of her writing career – first as a screenwriter then an author. "He used me and my sister to cue him quite often when he was learning a part," she recalled from her home in Los Angeles. "I think I learned a lot about writing as a result. If it was a heavily dialogued scene, he'd sometimes tell me to cross a line out of the script because he said 'I can act that.' It taught me the importance of seeing the actor's c...

  • Social Security: Applying online; scam prevention tools

    Social Security Administration|Aug 1, 2021

    Five ways to apply for Social Security benefits online Social Security continues to make it easier for you to access our programs and benefits. Our website offers a convenient way to apply for benefits online. You can apply online for: Retirement or Spouse’s Benefits. You must be at least 61 years and 9 months in age and want your benefits to start in no more than four months. Apply at www.ssa.gov/retireonline. Disability Benefits. You can use our online application, available at www.ssa.gov/disabilityonline, to apply for disability benefits i...

  • Oops, she did it again - Britney and conservatorship

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2021

    I usually start thinking about my next column at least a month ahead of time. But then sometimes events derail my plans, and I have to write about something else. The 2018 earthquake, the recent pandemic, and more than a few surprise elections, judicial decisions, or Congressional acts have caused me to re-rack everything and start over. This time, my plans were hijacked by Britney Spears. For the benefit of those of my readers who have been living in a cave for the last 20 years – because o...

  • Windows 11, teaching online, Apple Watch battery life

    Bob Delaurentis, Senior Wire|Aug 1, 2021

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