Articles from the September 1, 2020 edition


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  • The 2020 census still needs your participation

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2020

    Have you been counted? The more complete and accurate the 2020 U.S. census can be, the more it will ensure appropriate levels of funding for services and programs for Alaska’s seniors. Census sources report that, so far, Alaska census response has been among the lowest in the country. The census is conducted only once every 10 years, so results from the data collected this year will determine federal funding levels through 2030. Let’s be sure our population count is accurate and receives adequate funding for the next decade. Anyone can par...

  • Senior Voice recognized in national awards contest

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2020

    Older Persons Action Group, Inc., earned honors for its monthly, statewide publication Senior Voice in the 29th 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 four awards: Merit Award to Erin Kirkland for her articles in the monthly travel column, “Going Places” Merit Award to Macken...

  • Where the two presidential candidates stand on senior issues

    Alan M. Schlein, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2020

    Major-party presidential candidates Trump and Biden have dramatically different visions for the future on health care issues. So in assessing their policy positions, it's also important to look at actions versus talk. Trump has been president for almost four years; Biden had eight years as vice president under Barack Obama, and before that 36 years in the U.S. Senate. So both have actual records with which we can look at what they've tried to do, versus what they say they plan to do. Here's a...

  • Time to celebrate: International Day of Older Persons

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Every day Christy and I take a walk around our quiet Anchorage neighborhood. We regularly bump into other older folks out for a stroll, gardening, maybe playing with pets or grandkids on the front lawn. A sense of wellbeing infuses the air. It’s nice. It’s comfortable. It’s our world, but it is not the rest of the world. Well then, what is it like for older people in the rest of the world? Enter stage left...the United Nations. The United Nations is the largest intergovernmental organization in the world. It was founded in October 1945. Its o...

  • How does unemployment affect Social Security's solvency?

    The Senior Citizens League|Sep 1, 2020

    Social Security’s finances depend largely on payroll taxes, tying the strength of Social Security to the strength of the U.S. economy. The U.S. unemployment rate was more than 13.3% through May. That was worse than the 2009 Great Recession, when the unemployment rate reached a peak of 10.6% in January 2010. With 20.5 million people out of work, combined with a higher number of new claims for benefits as older unemployed workers turn to Social Security, there will be a significant impact on the finances of the Social Security Trust Funds. The d...

  • MASST program benefits both senior job hunters and agencies

    Laurie Cowgill, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Older workers play an increasingly important role in Alaska’s economy. The Alaska Department of Workforce Development in partnership with the Alaska Commission on Aging are launching “Strengthen Alaska Workforce by Employing the Older Worker” to raise awareness of the valuable resource older workers provide. Together with Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training (MASST), these agencies develop innovative strategies that assist seniors in obtaining employable skills and finding suitable work in today’s job market. Governor Dunleavy has proclai...

  • Older adults show resilience during the pandemic

    John Schieszer, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Older adults may be doing better during this pandemic than many people may realize. A new study involving older adults with pre-existing major depressive disorder has found no increase in depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers from five institutions, including UCLA, found that the older adults, who were already enrolled in ongoing studies of treatment-resistant depression, also exhibited resilience to the stress of physical distancing and isolation. “We thought they w...

  • Alaska Health Fair is testing by appointment

    Sharon Phillips, Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Sep 1, 2020

    Alaska Health Fair remains open to provide the most affordable, comprehensive and private blood tests in the state, currently by appointment only. Do you have email or web access? Visit www.alaskahealthfair.org for easy, online appointment scheduling. Pick a preferred date that fits your schedule, under your region’s program. Select the “Make Your Appointment” button (on that date) and then pick a time. Type your name, email and cell phone, answer three quick questions and you will immediately receive an appointment confirmation by email...

  • There is lots to talk about regarding mymedicare.gov

    Nila Morgan, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Are you restlessly awaiting your Medicare Summary Notice to arrive in your mailbox so you can verify that Medicare paid for a service or product? Are you anticipating the upcoming annual Open Enrollment Period for Part D and want to make sure that your prescription list is current? Have you lost your Medicare card and need to get a new one? Do you want to review what preventive services are available to you? How about getting an “On the Go Report” that summarizes your medical information for you...

  • Don't let your Senior Farmer's Market coupons go to waste

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2020

    The Alaska Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for fresh Alaska-grown fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut herbs and honey at farmers’ markets, and authorized farms and roadside stands. Each eligible senior receives six $5 coupons that may be used through October 31. Details, including income guidelines, a list of locations for getting the coupons and a recently-updated list of authorized sales locations is available online at https://bit.ly/1Uylb86. Or call your local sen...

  • Is there an age limit for organ donation?

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Sep 1, 2020

    Dear Savvy Senior: I never thought about becoming an organ donor until my brother died of kidney failure last year. But at age 78, I would like to know if I’m too old to be a donor, or if they would even use my organs if I were to die from COVID-19. What can you tell me? - Potential Donor Dear Potential: There’s no cutoff age for being an organ donor. Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up. In fact, there are many people well up into their 80s that donate. The decision to use your organs is based on health of the organ, not a...

  • COVID-19: New testing, medications, insights

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Sep 1, 2020

    Developing a multi-drug cocktail against COVID-19 A new study has identified 21 existing drugs that stop the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Scientists analyzed one of the world’s largest collections of known drugs for their ability to block the replication of SARS-CoV-2. They identified 100 molecules with confirmed antiviral activity in laboratory tests. Of these, 21 drugs were determined to be effective at concentrations that could be safely achieved in patients. N...

  • Using oxygen to speed and enhance healing

    Carrie Luger Slayback, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2020

    Rick emailed me, “I’m sitting here with my leg propped up.” Last month, Rick, 68, climbed Mt. Baldy — California’s 4,000-foot-elevation peak — so his next sentence surprised me. “Broke my femur on a little walk with our dog, Mookie. She crossed in front of me, and BOOM! Now my most exciting moment is going for hyperbaric treatment.” Really? Another friend with a slow-healing radiation wound spent several sessions in the hyperbaric chamber. I’d never heard of hyperbaric treatment for a broken bone, so looked up approved uses of hyperbaric oxy...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2020

    Editor’s note: This schedule may change, due to coronavirus safety measures. Be sure to confirm with the host agency prior to visiting. With senior centers still closed, the Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold all September peer support meetings on Tuesdays, 1 p.m., at its new office location, 44539 Sterling Highway, Suite 202 in the Blazy Mall in Soldotna. Social distancing will be respected, and masks will be worn at the meetings, and virtual attendance via Zoom can be arranged for those who can’t make it in per...

  • Downsizing, money, Craigslist and you

    Karen Telleen-Lawton, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2020

    The uncertainty of the pandemic has brought to mind a name from my young adult years: Howard Ruff. Do you remember reading his 1978 sensation, “How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years”? It was a survival guide for personal and financial decisions. “How to Prosper…” advocated storing a year’s worth of food and water while eschewing stocks and bonds in favor of investments in precious commodities. My husband and I didn’t follow his advice to the letter, but the book greatly influenced our outlook as a young couple. Whenever we suffered roug...

  • Staying home doesn't have to be boring – for you or your cat

    Laura Atwood, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Although staying inside may be new, and a bit challenging, to us, it isn't new for our house cats. They know that inside your home is the safest place to be. While finding ways to keep yourself amused at home, how about finding new ways to keep your cat entertained too? Cat trees. An oldie but a goodie, cat trees give cats options and they love options, especially when it comes to feeling safe. A cat tree allows cats to get away from dogs or over-anxious grandkids. Plus, cats like to sit up...

  • Broadcasting, podcasting and breaking down stereotypes

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2020

    Jon Scudder is a Michigan native and has lived in Alaska since 1997. He is a retired 20-year Air Force enlisted member and presently works in civil service at 673d Civil Engineer Squadron, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. He is married to Sharon, has four adult children and seven grandchildren, the majority of whom reside in Anchorage and Girdwood. His interests in technology, broadcasting and podcasting belie the typical stereotypes of older people, and we sent him a few questions for his...

  • Fall educational opportunities abound for Alaska seniors

    John Schieszer, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    If you would like to improve your computer skills or take an art class, now is the perfect time. In Alaska, never before has there been such an opportunity to learn online and expand your mind by signing up for educational courses. OLÉ! Anchorage In Anchorage, seniors can sign up for fall session classes offered by OLÉ! (Opportunities for Lifelong Education). Although there is no minimum age requirement, classes are geared to adults age 50 and older. Courses begin September 28 and they are a...

  • Ladies' nights out were rare, memorable

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2020

    Every woman needs a ladies night out once in a while. I experienced one such evening in the fall of 2004 during the years my husband and I operated Nabesna House Bed and Breakfast out of our home in Slana. To prepare for my time away, I came in from weeding the strawberry patch, took a shower, and carefully remembered not to apply deodorant. Then I drove four miles to my friend's house, parked my car and rode with her to Mentasta Lodge. We looked around and spotted the Mobile Mammogram Unit...

  • Coming through the Canada border is still not a sure thing

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    While a Mi'kmaq friend has crossed into Canada to access his reserve in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia, Canada, it has been difficult for a member of the Skagway Traditional Council. The council is a federally recognized Tribal Government for Skagway Tlingit and Haida Indians, Alaska Natives, and American Indians located in the Skagway Traditional Council service area. Tribal Administrator Sara Kinjo-Hischer said that a member had a moose hunting tag to use in Fairbanks, but was turned away at the...

  • Alaska targets criminals running amok

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2020

    Criminals dabbling in everything from prostitution to bootlegging to gambling flourished in the Alaska territory during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Believing that gold miners and other citizens easily could be parted from their hard-earned income, thugs crossed the border into Alaska when law enforcement in the rest of the United States cracked down on their criminal enterprises. A January 1921 newspaper article from Juneau captured the flavor of the situation: "In anticipation of an influx...

  • Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020) – the end of an era

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Sep 1, 2020

    It's a sobering thought for fans of classic film. The passing of Olivia de Havilland in late July, just three weeks after her 104th birthday July 1, represents the loss of the last surviving big-screen legend from Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s. While other actors are still with us who were indeed active in film during the 30s, Ms. de Havilland was truly the last A-list star from that era whose name could be bundled with the likes of Bogart, Gable, Hepburn and so many others. They are simpl...

  • Social Security Hispanic resources

    Social Security Administration|Sep 1, 2020

    Learn to identify Social Security scams The most effective way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams. You should just hang up on any call you’re uncertain of and ignore suspicious emails. Scammers are always finding new ways to steal your money and personal information by exploiting your fears. One common tactic scammers use is posing as federal agents and other law enforcement. They may claim your Social Security number is linked to a crime. They may even threaten to arrest you if you do not comply with their instructions. J...

  • Will the estate tax be an unwelcome 'comebacker'?

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2020

    Baseball fans love to nickname things. A home run can be a simple “homer” but it can also be a “tater,” a “dinger,” a “jack” or “going yard”. In fact, there are dozens of nicknames for the baseball fan’s favorite play. One thing nobody in baseball likes to see, however, is a “comebacker”. That’s when the ball is hit directly back at the pitcher. Because the pitcher is off-balance after throwing the ball, he may not have a chance to get his glove up and protect himself, so a comebacker ca...

  • Printer woes, backup settings, Facebook 'news'

    Bob Delaurentis, Senior Wire|Sep 1, 2020

    Q. I can’t print from my laptop computer. When I checked if my HP5255 was connected, I found a printer email address that ended with @hpprint.com. I also do not understand why that address is different than my regular email address. A. I feel your pain. Troubleshooting printer problems is one of the toughest aspects of home computing. Moreover, helping to fix printer problems is hobbled by the fact that everyone’s setup is slightly different. Keep in mind that there are two connections that must both work. The first is the “hardware” connection...

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