Articles from the September 1, 2023 edition


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  • Home modification proposal will benefit everyone

    Karla Zervos, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    A proposal to help Alaska seniors fix their homes so they can live at home longer is on its way to the legislature. Current state statutes provide a minimum $150,000 property tax exemption for Senior Citizens/Disabled Veterans. If approved by legislators, modifying a home would add an additional $20,000 to the property tax exemption at no cost to the State of Alaska. The home modifications incentive is a way to motivate older Alaskans who think about adding grab bars, raised toilets or roll-in showers with hand-held showerheads. Often...

  • Passport delays, what's the deal?

    Logan Hickle, Better Business Bureau|Sep 1, 2023

    Airlines are seeing international travel peak this summer with families feeling comfortable traveling internationally with the COVID pandemic slowing down. Many countries have reopened in 2023, including the tourist hot spot of Japan. With these compounding factors, the U.S. State Department is experiencing a higher demand for passports which is causing delays and heartache for would-be travelers. As with anything in high demand, someone will find a way to take advantage. What’s led to this influx in passport applications? During the COVID p...

  • Anchorage's Jeanne Ashcraft

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    Jeanne Ashcraft started out as a school librarian, but for the last 10 years she has been operating Ashcraft Historical Transcription in Anchorage. She's 80 years of age now, and periodically thinks about stepping back from the work, but hasn't yet. She seems to be having too much fun. When and why did you come to Alaska? Oh, my. I came in 1998, about 25 years ago. My daughter and I drove up. I had three sons up here and a new grandchild, so I came up temporarily to see the grandchild, but then...

  • Anchorage Age-Friendly team talks community livability at block party

    AARP Alaska|Sep 1, 2023

    The AARP Alaska Anchorage Age-Friendly team hosted a booth at the 2023 Annual Fairview Block Party July 22 and enjoyed the opportunity to collect feedback about making Anchorage and Fairview more Age-Friendly. The event was lively, fun-filled and featured live music, good summer weather along with several other community service organizations, AARP partners and many engaging community members. The AARP booth centered around what it means to be an Age-Friendly community, shown by the “8 Domains of Livability”. The Domains are Outdoor Spaces and...

  • I'm divorcing at age 77. What can I do?

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    Q: My wife recently moved out, and I am unsure how to begin life over at age 77. She wants a divorce and I cannot imagine my life without her. A: While not knowing the details of your situation, I acknowledge your predicament. Life transitions pose difficulties for many reasons. First, the emotional havoc of that news is tough to digest. It creates pain, anxiety or possibly guilt, then drains a person’s vitality. And people often see change as a problem rather than an opportunity. Further, it w...

  • Robotic glove custom made for stroke survivors

    John C. Schieszer|Sep 1, 2023

    A first-of-its-kind robotic glove currently is lending a hand and providing hope to piano players who have suffered a disabling stroke. After suffering a stroke, everyday tasks can be extremely challenging due to decreased coordination and strength in one or both upper arms. These problems have spurred the development of robotic devices and now Florida investigators have come up with a new robotic hand that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve hand dexterity. The developers claim this...

  • New coordinator at Alaska Center for the Blind

    Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired|Sep 1, 2023

    My name is Pete McCall and I’m excited to introduce myself as the new Older Blind Coordinator at the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. I was born and raised in southwest Louisiana and worked over 20 years as an administrator and teacher in the New Orleans catholic school system. Six years ago, I came to Alaska to teach in one of Alaska’s villages, Kotlik. I met my wife in Anchorage and have been in Alaska ever since and now call it my home. It is my goal to help build a close-knit, vibrant blind and low vision community at the...

  • Medigap policies help cover out-of-pocket costs

    Sean McPhilamy, Alaska Medicare Information Office|Sep 1, 2023

    As you may know, Original Medicare (Parts A and B) covers approximately 80 percent of the cost of most services. But what about the remaining 20 percent, or even the other out-of-pocket costs like deductibles or inpatient copayments? You may want to obtain a Medicare Supplement Insurance (also known as Medigap) policy as a companion to your Medicare coverage. But how to know which one? My first recommendation is to obtain a copy of the Consumer Guide to Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap),...

  • Medicare counseling available by phone

    Lee Coray-Ludden, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    Hi, my name is, Lee Coray-Ludden, I am a Certified Medicare Counselor serving Southeast Alaska and the rest of the state as needed through referrals by SHIP (State Health Insurnace Program). I am available Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. My office is in the Soldotna Senior Center. You can contact me directly by calling 907-262-2322. The phone will be answered ‘Soldotna Senior Center’— it’s a small staff, just ask for Lee or ‘the Medicare person’. Thanks and have a good day....

  • Fall health fairs return around the state

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Sep 1, 2023

    September is a bustling month for Alaska Health Fair, with numerous opportunities to participate in health education and affordable blood and health screenings. We invite you to join us at these events across various communities, whether you attend to receive services, volunteer to help serve the public or share a mission by exhibiting. Southcentral Sept. 9 Valdez Valdez Civic Center, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 9 Anchorage St. John Methodist Church, 1801 O’Malley Road, 8 a.m. to noon. Sept. 15-16 Palmer Palmer Depot, 610 S. Valley Way, 2 to 6 p...

  • Prostate cancer and the Alaska Men's Run

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Sep 1, 2023

    September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Alaska Health Fair, Inc. is dedicated to educating our community and supporting early detection and intervention. Here’s what you need to know. Understanding prostate cancer Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men in the United States. The cause is not entirely understood, but risk factors may include age, family history, and race. Early symptoms may include difficulty in urination, blood in the urine or semen, and pelvic discomfort. Early detection of prostate cancer g...

  • New guidelines for latest Alzheimer's medications

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Sep 1, 2023

    Olive oil packs powerful punch against dementia Switching your cooking oils to olive oil may have important hidden brain benefits. A new study is suggesting that incorporating olive oil into your diet may help reduce the risk of dying from dementia. As many countries face rising rates of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, the study offers hope that healthy lifestyle factors such as diet can help to prevent or slow the progression of brain deterioration. “Our study reinforces die...

  • Make a difference in seniors' lives

    Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman|Sep 1, 2023

    Do you care deeply about improving seniors’ quality of life? Join us in speaking up for Alaska seniors living in long term care facilities. As a Long Term Care Ombudsman volunteer, you’ll advocate for residents of assisted living homes and skilled nursing facilities across Alaska. We need compassionate volunteers statewide who want to defend seniors’ rights and dignity. Free training is provided, and you’ll be supported every step of the way. No previous experience required —just bring your empathy, patience and drive to help vulnerabl...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2023

    Family Caregiver Support Programs offer free support meetings to 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 help is available. There is no charge for these services and everyone is invited to attend. Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska (ARA) organizes caregiver support meetings around the state, including Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau/Southeast, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Mat-Su Valley, Seward, Sitka, S...

  • Virtual assistive technology expo Sept. 12 and 14

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2023

    Assistive Technology of Alaska (ATLA) will host its second annual virtual expo Sept. 12 and 14, with speakers and presentations on topics related to accessibility such as increasing home safety; Microsoft Office accessibility features; reminders and other memory aid tools and technologies; low-tech technologies and tools for low vision; even a session on assistive technologies for agricultural work. Sessions are conducted online, from 9 a.m. to noon each day, and free for everyone. For schedule information and registration, visit...

  • Farmer's Market checks for fresh produce

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2023

    Still haven’t used or picked up your Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program checks, worth $35 toward fresh produce? The booklets are available at local senior centers and other agencies and may be used through Oct. 31. Links to program information and a downloadable application are at https://bit.ly/3BfGvLV. Or call your local senior center or meal program for details. There’s also a proxy application form that allows someone to apply on behalf of someone else....

  • Stay on the road with better driving skills

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    As people age, it becomes more important for them to match their driving habits to their abilities. Safe driving habits ensure everyone’s well-being on the road, not just the driver. While aging does not necessarily mean a decline in driving abilities, certain changes in vision, reaction time and strength may require adjustments. By adopting specific habits, the more experienced drivers can enhance their driving skills and reduce the risk of accidents. Start with maintenance Schedule regular h...

  • Back to school with Grandma Rosemary

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Program|Sep 1, 2023

    Hello there! My name is Rosemary Havens and I am a longtime Elder Mentor volunteer in Anchorage. I am 91 years old, and I was born in New York City. I love music, all kinds of music. When I was 14, I worked in the movie theater sorting the candy for sale then moved to cashier. I heard the music and I was so drawn to it. That's where I saw my first opera on film. Beacon Theatre in New York. It's still there. I came to work early one day just so I could see the opera. It was "La Traviata."...

  • Small birds, big preparations for winter

    Lisa Pajot, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    As we near the end of summer, many of us are planning for the winter months ahead: hunting, picking berries, canning vegetables, and freezing summer's food bounty. And the birds who will spend the winter with us are doing the same. Many birds that live in Alaska year-round have clever strategies for ensuring they have enough food to get them through our long, cold winters. If you watch closely, you can see them gathering and caching food at this time of year. Some are scatter hoarders, hiding...

  • Class reunion is a town reunion in Glennallen

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2023

    After making the 140-mile drive from Palmer to Glennallen, I parked my car, gathered the coleslaw I'd made from cabbage from my garden, and I walked with anticipation to the picnic area of the Pinneo Ballpark. Fifty years ago in May, 22 other classmates and I had graduated from Glennallen High School, and I was curious as to who I might find to visit with at this class reunion. There had been no communication between me and any of my classmates about marking this milestone year, so I could only...

  • Anchorage's not-so-different quilter

    Sheila Toomey, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    There was something different about one of the quilters at the monthly Guild meeting. There among all the women oohing and aahing at a "show and tell" presentation. It was pretty obvious. It was a guy. The Anchorage Log Cabin Quilters Guild has about 150 female members-and George Taylor, who seems puzzled when you ask him why he wants to hang out with a room full of women. Well, OK. That's probably a stupid question. George, now in his 70s, just smiles. In the public imagination, "quilters" are...

  • Alaska Commission on Aging to meet Sept. 19

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2023

    The Alaska Commission on Aging will conduct their quarterly meeting Sept. 19, in-person in Seward and online via Zoom. Held at Seward Senior Center, the meeting is open to the public and will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. The commission includes a roster of advocates from around the state with the mission to ensure the dignity and independence of all older Alaskans, and to assist them to lead useful and meaningful lives through planning, advocacy, education and interagency cooperation. The meeting will be open for public comment at 1:15...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 1, 2023

    Interested in learning more about fellow 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, sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, Inc., is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, the event begins at 8 a.m., second Wednesday, at a different host location each month. Breakfast provided. The next date is Sept. 13, hosted by the Palliative Care Alaska Network. Call Older Persons Action Group, Inc. at...

  • From bankruptcy to Skagway elite

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Sep 1, 2023

    Harriet Smith Pullen left her children with friends in Seattle, and a bankrupt farm in Cape Flattery, and arrived broke in Skagway on Sept. 8, 1897. Although husband Daniel came with her, their marriage ended after he continued on to the Klondike and later died in Seattle in 1910. Earning $3 a day (about $108 in 2023 dollars) as a cook for Capt. William Moore, one of Skagway's founders, the enterprising 37-year-old soon opened a tent restaurant to feed Skagway's hungry stampeeders. She also...

  • When and how to 'reset' play in pickleball

    Jim Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Sep 1, 2023

    So, you're out there banging away at your opponents and they're banging it right back at you. Something's got to give as the speed of the ball and the pace of the return continues to climb. You see that your returns to your opponents also continue to rise in the air and you know that it's only a matter of seconds before they are able to hit down on the ball and win the point. What can you do as the frenetic energy builds, and before you're overwhelmed? It's called "resetting" the point. Selkirk...

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