Articles from the August 1, 2022 edition


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  • Legislation will raise awareness about dementia

    Sen. Mia Costello and Rep. Louise Stutes, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Alaska has the fastest growing senior population in the nation, which means an increasing number of Alaskans are living with dementia. Our state needs to be prepared to address the needs of aging Alaskans, and the passage of House Bill 308 was a big step in the right direction. HB 308 and its companion, Senate Bill 216, were introduced to create a statewide dementia awareness and healthcare capacity campaign and to direct the Department of Health to educate clinicians, health care professionals, and the public on the early warning signs of Alzh...

  • Senior Voice recognized in national awards contest

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2022

    Older Persons Action Group, Inc., earned honors for its monthly, statewide publication Senior Voice in the 31st 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 five awards: Merit Award in the Photograph category for photographer...

  • Anchorage joins AARP's "Age-Friendly" network

    AARP Alaska|Aug 1, 2022

    Anchorage, Alaska is officially the 678th community to enroll in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities (NAFSC). An AARP Age-Friendly Community is one where a city’s elected leadership has made a commitment to actively work with residents and local advocates to make their city a safe and fulfilling place to live for people of all ages. As an NAFSC member, Anchorage is now publicly recognized for its commitment to becoming age-friendly and will receive access to resources for identifying and assessing community needs, as well a...

  • I'm angry and you should be too

    Sheila Abbott Patterson, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    We are losing the 4th Avenue Theatre in Anchorage. Not next year. Now. The current owners/developers have already gotten a demolition permit to destroy the building and its facade. Guess what? According to several knowledgeable sources there is absolutely no rational or financial reason why demolition can't be stopped. How? Read on. Why am I writing this? How do I describe the importance of that Alaska icon without sounding like a stuck-in-the-past emotional old lady? Well, I can't. I worked...

  • Clinical trials and tribulations

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    I’ve been writing about the chance to participate in medical research by applying for clinical trials that could not only help oneself, but countless others. Being in the Chicago area, there are plenty of medical trials to choose from, so I decided on the osteoarthritis knee study at Northwestern University. For years, I’ve growled that we can put a man the moon but can’t make cartilage regrow or even replace it with another material. This study would involve a regular injection of a drug to do just that (or you get a placebo). I took the overh...

  • Spawned out salmon: A personal reflection

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    It gives me a good feeling to spend my final days surrounded by family, friends and lovers. We are a great generation. We all were out at sea for our five year migration and life cycle. Most of us didn’t make it back. But look around... We are the lucky ones. We made it back. And not only that, we successfully spawned. Now here we are in our last days, swimming to stay in one place, to stay with our community. We are elderly now. We’ve stopped eating but we have grown larger teeth. Ironic, isn’t it? In our final days we have large hooked noses...

  • In praise of pickling and fermenting your food

    Leslie Shallcross, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    This may be jumping the gun a bit for more northern latitudes, but Alaska gardens will soon give us plenty of vegetables for making crisp, brined pickles or tangy fermentations. Some may be wrinkling their noses at the very suggestion of these sour condiments and as a nutritionist, I can only cautiously promote pickles on the plate. At the same time, I love pickles and fermented foods. I love classic dills, I love sweet and sour, I love the complex salty, tangy flavors of fermented vegetables. C...

  • Follow these steps to make gardening easier

    Maureen Haggblom, Anchorage ADRC|Aug 1, 2022

    I have noticed the last few years that although I love gardening and working outside, it seems a little harder each year to lift watering cans, bend and kneel on the ground, and work compacted soil. Gardening’s positive effects include relieving stress and anxiety and providing exercise, plus gardening may reduce the risk of dementia by as much as 36% (quoted in the Dubbo Study of the Elderly), so how do we continue an activity we enjoy without relying on bending and having to be in peak fitness condition? We have found a few ways to garden s...

  • Services that Medicare does not cover

    Sean McPhilamy, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Our Medicare benefits were established under the Social Security Amendment of 1965, reflecting the restrictions and limitations of most health insurance at that time. This law excluded coverage for certain things, like dental care and routine vision services. Long-term care is also excluded because these services do not meet the definition of health care services in the law. Just because something is not covered by Medicare, though, does not mean that it isn’t needed. As I discuss some types o...

  • Don't overlook Medicare during your summer activities

    Lee Coray-Ludden, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Regardless of the area you live in, there are ‘must dos’ for the summer months for Alaskans. It is a time to plant, gather, harvest and, for many, fish. On the Kenai Peninsula, fishing is active with subsistence, dipnetting, setnetting, drift fishing and just plain fishing. And that is often followed by smoking, freezing and canning. All of this in preparation for the winter months, along with tending the gardens, and fighting with the birds as to who will get berries. It is also a time for building and repairing the structures we call hom...

  • Catch one of many Alaska health fairs this season

    Sharon Phillips, Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Aug 1, 2022

    Many of you have been out catching fish this summer, one of the healthiest foods that is found in our wonderful state. Others might have been catching up on household or honey-do projects, sleep, sunshine, family, vacations and more. Now, we want you to focus on catching up on your health needs, which might be considered a rare catch, indeed. We offer dozens of community events and a number of office events that are open to the public each health fair season. The fall 2022 community and office draw schedules are now posted on our website at www...

  • Benefits of walking for knee pain; acupuncture for chronic headaches; vitamin D for dementia

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Aug 1, 2022

    Walking away from knee pain It may be possible to combat knee pain with just a few walks around the block. A new study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology is suggesting that walking for exercise can reduce new frequent knee pain among adults age 50 and older diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis is the most common form of arthritis. The study found that walking for exercise may be an effective treatment to slow the damage that occurs within the joint. “Until this f...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2022

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program office is located at 35477 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 205 (located in the 4D Professional Building). You can call them at 907-262-1280 or email kpfcsp@soldotnaseniors.comkpfcsp@soldotnaseniors.com. The program will hold caregiver trainings and support group meetings in August at the locations below. Support meetings allow you to share your experiences as a caregiver, or support someone who is a caregiver. If you are helping a family member or friend by being a caregiver, learn what kind of...

  • Managing pain and fatigue from injuries

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Q: I was recently treated in the emergency room for falling when stepping out of a boat. One week later, my ankle is still painful to touch and I am tired. A: Thankfully you were treated by medical professionals in the ER soon after your fall. Rest, ice, compression and elevation should be applied up to 48 hours after an injury such as yours. An acute injury is defined as a sudden, sharp, traumatic injury that causes pain. Impact or trauma from a fall, strain, sprain or collision can cause an...

  • Combating chronic pain in a safer manner

    John C. Schieszer, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Dissolving implant to replace drugs For the first time, researchers have come up with a dissolving implantable device that relieves pain without drugs. The new device has the potential to provide an alternative to opioids and other highly addictive drugs. Researchers in Chicago, Illinois, have developed a small, soft, flexible implant that relieves pain on demand and without the use of drugs. The biocompatible, water-soluble device works by softly wrapping around nerves to deliver precise, targeted cooling, which numbs nerves and blocks pain...

  • It ain't your grandma's quilt bee anymore

    Sheila Toomey, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Unless you quilt yourself, or work for one of the city's help agencies, you may not know Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters (ALCQ). Created 43 years ago by a handful of women drawn to making art out of fabric, ALCQ is one of a dozen quilt guilds in Alaska. It lists 150 members, leases permanent workspace, and fosters every imaginable creative quirk, dream and fantasy of its community-focused membership. And, oh yes, members believe in having a good time doing it. They'll teach you to make a quilt if...

  • Alaska's amazingly resourceful raptors

    Lisa Pajot, For Senior Voice|Aug 1, 2022

    Alaska has a diverse range of habitats and ecosystems that support over 534 different species of birds. Most of these birds are migratory and travel great distances to spend the brief summers here to nest and raise young. But some birds live in Alaska year-round, despite our long winters and extremes in weather, including a few of our most visible and spectacular birds - raptors. There are 22 raptors that regularly make Alaska their home, all of them incredible in their abilities to survive....

  • Suburban outhouse has rustic lineage

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2022

    "I think I opened the wrong door and went into the 'men's'", her friend said to my sister, Shirley, after returning to their car, which was parked in the driveway of my house. "The one I went into had a urinal." Shirley laughed and said, "No, you found the right place...his and hers in the same outhouse." They had stopped at my house for a pit stop on their one-day trip from Glennallen to Anchorage a few months into COVID. Sometimes Shirley would call and give me a "heads up" first, but not...

  • Fall classes return for Alaska's lifelong learners

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2022

    In Fairbanks, OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program at University of Alaska Fairbanks, will begin registration in August for its fall semester classes and will use a new lottery system to accommodate high demand. Classes are offered to adults age 50 and older and topics cover films and photography, exercise and recreation, arts and crafts, foods and flowers, healthy living, science and mathematics, literature and languages, history, politics, other academics, and much more. The new registration system will allow students to sign...

  • Free at-home COVID tests for blind, low vision

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2022

    The government has launched a new initiative to expand the availability of at-home tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. The tests work with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone/tablet app to provide users with audible instructions, and audible test results. Order online at https://special.usps.com/testkits/accessible or by calling 1-800-232-0233. Each order will include two rapid-antigen tests that are more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Orders will ship free, while supplies last....

  • Ship Creek school oversight causes delay

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Aug 1, 2022

    When Land Office chief Andrew Christensen opened the auction for townsites above Ship Creek on July 10, 1915, bidding became so brisk that prospective lot owners couldn't hold down prices. After sales closed a week later, 655 lots had sold for almost $150,000 (more than $4 million in today's dollars). Christensen claimed the sale had "injected confidence in the people of the town" that soon would become Anchorage. But that confidence may have been tempered somewhat when the residents realized th...

  • Cynthia Geary heads to hospice in new TV series

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Aug 1, 2022

    Emmy-nominated actress Cynthia Geary was immediately drawn to her latest character Charley Copeland, a hospice nurse in the compelling new drama series "Going Home." Season one began streaming in June on Pure Flix, a faith and family-friendly media service (see www.pureflix.com). "The death of a loved one is something we will all experience, but I feel like the show sends a positive message in a sad but cathartic way," said Geary from Palm Springs while traveling from her home in Seattle. Set...

  • Social Security services for Hispanic community

    Social Security Administration|Aug 1, 2022

    For nearly 90 years, Social Security has provided financial protection to communities throughout the United States, including the Hispanic community. Today, our retirement, disability, and survivors benefits are an important source of income for Hispanics. Our Spanish-language website, www.ssa.gov/espanol, provides information for those whose primary language is Spanish. There, people can learn how to get a Social Security card, plan for retirement, apply for benefits, manage their benefits, and much more. We also provide many publications in...

  • Paying for long-term care without insurance or savings

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Aug 1, 2022

    Dear Savvy Senior: What types of financial resources are available to help seniors pay for long-term care? My 86-year-old mother will need either an assisted living facility or nursing home care in the near future, but she doesn’t have long-term care insurance and her savings are minimal. - Searching Daughter Dear Searching: The cost of assisted living and nursing home care in the U.S is very expensive. According to the Genworth cost of care survey tool, the national median cost for an assisted living facility today is over $4,600 per month, w...

  • How to sell unwanted burial plots

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Aug 1, 2022

    Dear Savvy Senior: How do I go about selling unwanted burial plots in my hometown cemetery? When my parents died about 25 years ago, my husband (at the time) and I bought two plots near them in the same cemetery. But we’ve gotten divorced since then and have both moved out of state. Besides that, I would like to be cremated instead of buried. - Looking to Sell Dear Looking: Life changes such as relocating, family disputes and divorce, along with the growing popularity of cremation in the U.S., is causing more and more people to sell p...

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