Articles from the November 1, 2022 edition


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  • How could your community be more age-friendly?

    Senior Voice Staff|Nov 1, 2022

    “Age Smart – Let’s Talk,” the series of forums sponsored by AARP Alaska, Anchorage Senior Activity Center and Older Persons Action Group, returns Nov. 1, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This free event will be in-person at the senior center, with appetizers and refreshments provided. This month’s program is a listening session with AARP Alaska on the Age Friendly Livable Communities initiative. Share your thoughts on what makes Anchorage inclusive for seniors and community members of all ages and abilities. Prior to the forum, there will be a presentati...

  • Social Security COLA increase a mixed blessing

    The Senior Citizens League|Nov 1, 2022

    A Social Security cost–of–living–adjustment (COLA) of 8.7% is rare — enjoy it now. This may be the first and possibly the last time that beneficiaries today receive a COLA this high. There were only three other times since the start of automatic inflation adjustments that COLAs were higher (1979-1981). You can find a history of the COLA at https://www.ssa.gov/oact/cola/colaseries.html. Without a COLA that adequately keeps pace with inflation, Social Security benefits purchase less over time, and that can create hardships especially as older A...

  • Is it a scam? Alaska seniors are targeted

    Alaska Div. of Banking and Securities|Nov 1, 2022

    The Division of Banking and Securities’ mission is to protect consumers of financial services and promote safe and sound financial systems. We have seen multiple instances of elder fraud and scams involving different approaches: Purchasing investments – gold and silver; online shopping; business impostors; tech support; government impersonation; romance scams. Most recently, the financial circumstances of some older Alaskans have been negatively impacted by a scam involving precious metal trading. The Division of Banking and Securities adv...

  • The season of remembrance and giving thanks

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    One of the most poignant exercises I have experienced was during hospice training in which participants envision, and write down, four favorite people, four favorite places, four favorite activities and four favorite objects. In the exercise, we strike off these precious parts of our life one at a time, saving the most well-loved until last. The objective is to understand the process of loss, which is an inevitable part of life, and certainly of aging. Most of you reading this will acknowledge that, in the grand scheme of things, we are the...

  • What to do with your unneeded items

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    Q: I own too much stuff, and it is daunting when deciding what to do with everything. None of my children nor grandchildren want my memorabilia, collections, furniture, or vintage kitchenware. Any suggestions? A: For many of us, our homes are full of things we do not need or use anymore. As we get older, it’s not uncommon for our living spaces to start feeling a bit cluttered. From clothes to trinkets to outdated electronics, it can be tough to let go of things we once held dear. We hang onto t...

  • Leftovers: The holiday blessings that keep giving

    Leslie Shallcross, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    With the fall and winter holiday season already upon us, we are planning menus and stocking up on ingredients to make family favorites. You may already intentionally plan for leftovers, using "cook once, eat all week" strategies, or you may just know that there will be more potatoes, peas or pie than your nutritionist recommends consuming at one meal. In either case, storing and creatively using the excess may daunt a weary cook. Studies on food waste in America suggest that most households...

  • Long COVID, vaccines and antibody tests

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

    Here is some good news for older adults who are worried about long COVID. A new study has found that most people infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus recover within 12 months, regardless of the severity. The study showed that 75% recovered at the 12-month mark after becoming ill with the virus, and 25% of patients still had at least one of the three most common symptoms (coughing, fatigue and breathlessness). Researchers found that patients with persistent symptoms also had antibodies associated with autoimmune illnesses, as well as raised levels...

  • Review and update your Medicare Part D plan

    Sean McPhilamy, Alaska Medicare Information Office|Nov 1, 2022

    Medicare Part D, the prescription drug benefit, is the part of Medicare that covers most outpatient prescription drugs. Part D is offered through private companies as a standalone prescription drug plan (PDP) for those enrolled in Original Medicare. Sometimes a Part D plan's costs change or the plan no longer covers your medications. Today I will discuss how you can review your current plan, or choose to enroll in a new Part D plan. The goal is to ensure you have the lowest cost coverage that...

  • Easy lifestyle changes combat breast cancer, stroke

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Nov 1, 2022

    Walking away from breast cancer Boosting physical activity levels and curbing sitting time are highly likely to lower breast cancer risk, according to a newly published study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The findings were generally consistent across all types and all stages of breast cancer. Observational studies show that physical inactivity and sedentary behavior are linked to higher breast cancer risk, but proving they cause breast cancer is another matter. The researchers used...

  • Assistance paying rent, utilities in Anchorage

    Maureen Haggblom, Anchorage ADRC|Nov 1, 2022

    Have you ever found yourself, a friend, or a family member in a situation that makes it difficult to pay the rent on time? Or maybe struggling with paying a utility bill? Life happens. And sometimes not in a good way. Dealing with the unexpected such as a decrease in work hours or loss of income, an urgent medical need, an increase in expenses, providing financial help to a loved one, emergency travel – are all part of life, and can also threaten a family’s housing stability when the unexpected makes it difficult to pay the bills. If you are...

  • Bonanza for at-home medical studies

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    PicnicHealth is a business with a new approach to medical studies. It will take the information from your medical history through an online portal and share it with researchers. All of your records, no matter how many times you move, will be organized for your, your doctors’ and researchers’ convenience. The researchers will only receive records stripped of any information that could be used to identify you personally. Outside of that, no one—including your doctor or insurance company—will be able to see your medical records unless you choose...

  • Free training, support for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Nov 1, 2022

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following peer support meetings in November. 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. Call with suggestions and ideas for upcoming trainings or follow on Facebook, @KPFCSP. The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program office is located at 35477 Kenai Spur Highway, Suite 205. You can call them at 907-262-1280 or email kpfcsp@soldotnaseni...

  • Fall health fairs wrap up this month

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

    Alaska Health Fair is approaching the end of our fall event schedule with our final community events. Nov. 1 and 15, There are two Fairbanks Office Draw dates that are filling fast for Nov. 1 and 15, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., by appointment only. Nov. 5, Talkeetna Community Health Fair at Upper Susitna Senior Center, 16463 E Helena Dr. Covid boosters and flu shots available at Talkeetna, and the Providence Mobile Mammogram available by appointment. Call 907-212-4184 and mention Talkeetna. Nov. 5, Fairbanks University Park Community Health Fair,...

  • Electric vehicle was a good choice, says Alaskan

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

    Richard Sewell came to Alaska in 1981 for a job at the Municipality of Anchorage as Regional Economist. He owned a couple of seafood businesses, and subsequently went to work in 2004 for the Dept. of Transportation Division of Statewide Aviation. Recently, he was hired as the Merrill Field Airport Manager in Anchorage. Interested in buying an electric vehicle, like many Alaskans, Richard had questions about how it would work in our cold, remote location. Quite nicely, it turns out. Here are...

  • Denali Fault Earthquake, 20 years later

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Nov 1, 2022

    Upon feeling a familiar "swirling" motion that Sunday afternoon of Nov. 3, 2002, I left the kitchen and walked to the living room of our Slana home. I'm always a little jumpy during earthquakes, remembering the 1964 quake at age nine. Gary, my husband, agreed he felt it, but continued to sit in his recliner in another room. A few seconds later after a hard jolt, he joined me in the center of the house where there were no windows and many doorframes. We held on to each other as the jerking and...

  • Improving your recreational pickleball play

    Jim Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    We can all get stuck in a comfort zone. Trying new things and changing old habits can be a challenge at any age, but as we get older our attitude can become inflexible. Like continuing to try to hit the pickleball like a tennis ball. Or stepping into the receiving box before the second bounce. Or aways being late on your backhand. All of these errors are the result of lack of movement on the court. And every pro player will tell you that the ability to move is key to better play. So, what does...

  • Early Miners' code ruled in the Last Frontier

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

    As hordes of prospectors streamed into Alaska and Canada in the 1880s and 1890s, crime like thefts and claim jumping became more common. The Canadians had not yet established a law and order presence in their remote territory and the Americans' only established civil government was hundreds of miles away in Sitka. In 1893, miners in the camp of Fortymile formed the fraternal Yukon Order of Pioneers to enforce correct moral behavior. The order's motto was "Do unto others as you would be done...

  • A front-row seat to entertainment history

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Nov 1, 2022

    Aside from the songwriters, imagine being the first person on the planet to enjoy the words and music of some of the greatest classic songs to ever appear in Broadway and Hollywood productions. Nancy Olson Livingston did not have to imagine. As she writes in her new November autobiography, "A Front Row Seat," her lyricist husband Alan J. Lerner and composer partner Frederick "Fritz" Loewe would regularly serenade her with their latest compositions throughout the 1950s. "We were living in New...

  • The wild life and death of Anne Heche

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2022

    Here we go again: another celebrity estate mess. You have probably heard of Anne Heche. Even I knew who she was, and I don’t follow celebrity gossip or go to the movies that often. But even I have seen “Men in Trees”. And anybody who has been to the movies in the last 20 years has probably seen her on the screen. And if you don’t remember seeing her on TV or in the movies, you can’t help but have heard about her stormy personal life. She had significant mental health issues, including one very p...

  • Home automation, Nest Thermostat, Stable Diffusion

    Bob DeLaurentis, Tech Talk|Nov 1, 2022

    Q. I want to add home automation devices to my house. What is the best way to get started? A. When the topic of home automation has come up in previous columns, my advice has been to hold off investing in expensive hardware. Most of the devices you can buy today are likely to disappoint you in fairly short order. This has not changed, but there is good news on the horizon. The good news is Matter. A new industry standard that allows devices from different manufacturers to talk with one another. This is the technology that I hope will transform...

  • Whales, eagles, nutcrackers take center stage

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Nov 1, 2022

    November brings a flurry of seasonal salutes to the whales and eagles that enhance our life here. In Haines, thousands of bald eagles gather to chase the late chum and coho salmon run, while in Sitka the annual migration of humpback whales is saluted with several days of delving into the science of marine life that supports life on our planet. Sitka Whalefest This annual celebration of science and everything marine life occurs in Sitka for three days, November 3 to 6. This year's theme is "How...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Nov 1, 2022

    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, sponsored by Older Persons Action Group, Inc., is an opportunity for all the above. Informal, early and free, the monthly event has been meeting virtually online via Zoom, but is resuming in-person meetings on site for select months. The November meeting is Nov. 9, hosted by the Palliative Care Alaska Network. Breakfast provided. Begins at...

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