Articles from the September 1, 2015 edition


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  • Expanded Alaska Medicaid coverage begins Sept. 1

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    Editor’s note: Staying on top of breaking news can be challenging in a monthly newspaper. Here’s the most recent information available when this edition went to press. The Alaska Legislature announced Aug. 18 it will sue the governor to block Medicaid expansion, calling the decision the Legislature’s to make. Legislators also said they want more time to study the issue. Governor Walker has said he plans to expand Medicaid in September for two main reasons: 1) to meet the health care needs of Alaskans without coverage, and 2) to bring milli...

  • September is a good time to clean out the medicine cabinet

    Mackenzie Stewart, Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2015

    This year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is set for September 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. nationwide. The DEA-sponsored program has collected hundreds of pounds of leftover medications from Alaskans alone since the program’s premier in 2010. “By 2014, we were collecting between 800 and 1,000 pounds a year,” says Jim Penor, Solid Waste Coordinator for Juneau Borough. However in 2014, the DEA declared that funding for the popular program would be cut. “We didn’t like that,” Penor says. “The program was doing so well that we decided to s...

  • Alaska Commission on Aging to meet in Soldotna, Girdwood

    Alaska Commission on Aging|Sep 1, 2015

    The Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) will hold a quarterly meeting September 15 and 17, 2015, in the Kenai area and in Girdwood. The meeting will start in the Soldotna Senior Center, September 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. and will continue on Sept. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. in Girdwood at the Public Library Conference Room. Public comment is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, from 2:30 to 3 p.m. at the Soldotna Senior Center. You can provide public comment in person or by teleconference by calling 1-800-315-6338 using code 53250#. ACoA’s business m...

  • Alaska's children are overdosing on heroin

    Sen. Johnny Ellis|Sep 1, 2015

    Heroin is killing Alaskan children and grandchildren at alarming rates, and unless we do something to address the problem now, it will only get worse. Heroin-related deaths in Alaska tripled between 2008 and 2013. In 2012, the rate of heroin overdose deaths was 42 percent higher than the national rate. Alaskans are no strangers to the heroin and opiate abuse crisis killing Alaskan’s children and grandchildren. We read reports weekly of heroin seizures, ruined lives, overdose deaths and grieving families. Recently, we read that heroin is t...

  • Free forum on Medicaid and long term care, Oct. 13

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    SENIOR VOICE STAFF Come or dial-in to hear the facts at Older Person Action Group’s educational forum, “Medicaid 101: Understanding the Medicaid Rules for Long Term Care,” Oct. 13 from 6 to 7 p.m. The location and call-in telephone number (toll-free) will be provided upon registration. The presenter will be Ilona Bessenyey, an Elder Law and Estate planning attorney, who focuses on the unique needs and issues facing the elderly, the disabled and their families. She is a 25-year member of the Alaska Bar Association and is the chair of the Elder L...

  • Leave your family what's most important

    Eric L. Weiner|Sep 1, 2015

    Typical estate planning techniques involve bequeathing wealth and valuables from one generation to the next. Many people, however, view wealth as something more than money and possessions. Their view is that some of the most valuable items one can pass on can not be measured financially. Wealth, for them, includes passing on guiding principles, blessings, spiritual beliefs, and family stories. If this is true for you, consider the benefits of writing an ethical will in addition to a traditional will of inheritance. Ethical wills have a long...

  • RSVP volunteers wanted for Anchorage, Mat-Su

    Aleutian Pribilof Islands Assoc., Inc.|Sep 1, 2015

    The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) is resuming service in the Anchorage/Mat-Su region through the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. (APIAI). RSVP is one of the largest volunteer networks in the nation for people age 55 and older. In joining RSVP, you join 500,000 volunteers across the country who are tackling tough issues in their communities. When you volunteer, you are not just helping others – you are helping yourself. Volunteering leads to new discoveries and f...

  • Fall health fairs are heading your way

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc. kicks off their fall series of health fair around the state this month, featuring 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. The test results give you and your health care provider important information about your physical condition and vital organ functions. A complete and comprehensive chemistry/hematology test is available for only $45 and...

  • Ghosts walk among us and they have credit cards

    Teresa Ambord, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2015

    They’re not real ghosts, but sadly it’s true that thieves are able to steal the credit of people who are gone. They open accounts, run up bills, and get away with it for a while. That’s called ghosting. According to security firm ID Analytics, 2.5 million people every year are running up charges after they are deceased. While Aunt Sally may have passed on, as far as creditors know she’s out shopping for designer boots or high-rolling in a Las Vegas casino. And you may not find out about it `til collectors come looking for payment from Aunt Sall...

  • Too much, too little: It's usually about the money

    Rita Hatch, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2015

    September, what a terrible month with the loss of the David Letterman and Jon Stewart shows. Well, now I can get to bed an hour earlier. We could be paying much less Why do Americans pay a lot more for prescription drugs than people in other advanced countries or even those with certain private insurance plans? In case you don’t know, Medicare is not allowed to negotiate with drug companies to get lower prices, according to the Part D prescription drug program. This is one of the reasons I w...

  • Functional fitness training is ideal for better balance

    Bonnie Murphy, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2015

    You are probably asking yourself, what is functional fitness and how does that differ from any other type of fitness program? Functional fitness by definition is: movements and programs that lead to greater enhancement in performance or human function. If you compare functional movements with traditional weight training, you’ll find that they are entirely different and functional fitness can and will enhance your everyday activities because in functional fitness training we do things that simulate daily tasks. Traditional weight training r...

  • Medicaid expansion will be at the expense of seniors, veterans

    Major Mike Dryden AVN USAR Retired, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2015

    Much has been written about the governor’s attempt to expand Medicaid in Alaska and the debate has yet to be settled. While I am sure some of the stakeholders like the working poor, social service non-profits, medical providers, and small businesses are in support of the expansion, seniors and veterans are the big losers. I have been admonished that it is selfish of me to deny coverage to someone who cannot afford health insurance when I have coverage. This line of justification does not wash w...

  • Iodine is essential for your body, not something to fear

    Suzy Cohen, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2015

    Iodine is not just for your thyroid and there’s mass confusion on this topic. Iodine is used all over your body, in all of your organs, especially your breasts and prostate (if you have those). The truth is trillions of cells have a receptor site for iodine and need it, and sadly, many of you are starving yourself of iodine because you assume it is radioactive. Natural iodine is not radioactive, that is silly. It is as natural (and needed) as other minerals like magnesium, lithium, potassium, selenium, etc. Natural iodine is not the same as r...

  • Finally, a health benefit to getting older?

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Sep 1, 2015

    You are not getting older, you are getting better New research is suggesting that blood vessels can actually get better with age and arteries adapt to oxidative stress caused by aging. These new findings contradict earlier theories and they may point to new ways to improve heart health and extend successful aging. Oxidative stress is thought to be the main cause of many age-related diseases. It has been linked to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases including diabetes, hypertension and...

  • Free training and support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in September. This month’s topic is “Medication Management.” Sept. 1, Caregiver support meeting at Sterling Senior Center, 1 p.m. Sept. 8, Caregiver support meeting at Soldotna Senior Center, 1 p.m. Sept. 10, Caregiver support meeting at Caregiver Support Program in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna, 5 p.m. Sept. 15, Caregiver support meeting at Kenai Senior Center, 1 p.m. Sept. 15, Caregiver support meeting at Anchor Point Senior Center, 3 p.m. Sept....

  • These are the worst places to hide money in your house

    Teresa Ambord, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2015

    Everyone keeps a little cash for emergencies, right? We do our best to hide it, but the trouble is, most of us hide it in places that burglars can easily find. Chris McGoey, a Los Angeles based security expert lists a couple of the worst places to hide cash. In your bedroom. This is where most of us hide cash, jewelry and easily-grabbed valuables. McGoey says this is the first place crooks look. Forget the dresser, the night stand, under the mattress, in the closet. “Burglars will flip the bed over almost every time,” he says. McGoey also say...

  • Anchorage interfaith group brings back hunger walk

    Dianne Barske, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2015

    "The community missed the event last year. We were sure of it." Penny Goodstein, president of the Anchorage Interfaith Council, is referring to the CROP Walk, a hunger walk with a long history in Anchorage and across the United States. "I think there had been 20 walks in Anchorage, with the last one here in 2013. When the possibility of resurrecting the Walk this fall was brought up at a council meeting a few months ago, the members were genuinely excited." This year's Walk will be held on...

  • Register today for the 2015 Great Alaska ShakeOut

    Julie Baker, Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management|Sep 1, 2015

    The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management invites Alaskans to join millions of people worldwide in the world’s largest earthquake drill by registering for the 2015 Great Alaska ShakeOut. Participating is a great way for your family or organization to be prepared to survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes. The Great Alaska ShakeOut Drill is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. on October 15, 2015. This means that wherever you are at that moment—at home, at work, at school, anywhere—you should “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” as...

  • Author Dianne Barske awarded for children's book

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    Alaskan author (and Senior Voice contributing writer) Dianne Barske will receive a first place national award at this year's National Federation of Press Women Communications Conference, to be held Sept. 10-12 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage. She is receiving the award for her non-fiction children's book, "Saving Katie, Pipeline Employees Rescue a Baby Musk Ox." She is both the writer and illustrator of the book, created as a contract with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, whose...

  • Elder Mentor program is looking for volunteers

    Dianne Barske, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2015

    The Elder Mentor Program – also known as Foster Grandparents – is looking for Alaska seniors who have a passion for working with children. Program Manager Jan Abbott says, “We have about 80 Elder Mentors currently, helping in schools across the state, but our goal is to have 150.” She adds that this goal is especially important as schools have reopened this September. Elder Mentors are people who are age 55 and older, from a lower income background. They volunteer about 15 to 20 hours a week in a local school or preschool, and earn a small, tax...

  • Join the forum on Alaska's fiscal future

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    What are the realistic possibilities for fixing Alaska’s budget deficit? What will happen to government services like education? What happens to taxes, the Permanent Fund and the PFD? What about the economy and the real estate market? These are some of the questions and discussions that will be taken up at a free public forum, “Alaska’s Fiscal and Economic Future: Moving Our Conversation Forward,” to be held Sept. 19 at UAA’s Wendy Williamson Auditorium, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is being organized by Alaska Common Ground and UAA’s Ins...

  • Heart Walk fundraiser Sept. 26 in Anchorage

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2015

    Join hundreds of walkers to recognize those who have survived cardiovascular disease, remember those we have lost, celebrate our own pledges to live a healthy lifestyle and support a meaningful cause, Sept. 26 in Anchorage. Participation is free; donations welcome. The event takes place downtown on the Delaney Park Strip (near N Street). Registration begins at 9 a.m.; the Walk begins at 10. Other activities will include health checks, a concert with a live band, scavenger hunt, Kids Zone, more. Call the American Heart Association, 865-5300 or...

  • Muktuk Marston: A human dynamo

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2015

    Many of those who came to Alaska during World War II liked what they saw and decided to set down roots in the Last Frontier. Among them was a true visionary who created one of Anchorage's premier recreational facilities, organized the Alaska Territorial Guard and built the first subdivision in the town once known as "Ship Creek." Born in Tyler, Washington, in 1890, Marvin "Muktuk" Marston found himself mining copper and gold from the bush country of Northern Ontario and Quebec in the late...

  • Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels remember 9/11

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Sep 1, 2015

    Laughter is often cited as a key ingredient for a successful marriage. Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels would agree. In 1974, Shirley was leaving an art exhibit at Michael Landon's home when Marty bumped into her. Literally. "I was getting into my car and as Marty was arriving, he knocked me over onto a chaise lounge," laughed Jones from the couple's home in Encino, Calif. "That's how we met." Marty, however, didn't hit and run. The two actors became friends and were married 3 years later. "That...

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