Articles from the February 1, 2024 edition


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  • Meet your Older Persons Action Group board of directors

    Eileen Hosey, Older Persons Action Group, Inc.|Feb 1, 2024

    After a long and varied career in Juneau, I retired in 2006. By 2009 I was back at work, and this time I had found my niche. I went to work for Southeast Senior Services, a division of Catholic Community Service and began work as a care coordinator for seniors on the Medicaid Waiver, then transitioned to case manager. I intended to work for at least two years and have actually just begun my 15th year in this field. I've done hundreds of home visits and helped people put together a plan to help...

  • AARP Alaska legislative priorities in 2024

    Marge Stoneking, AARP Alaska|Feb 1, 2024

    AARP 2024 legislative priorities focus on sustainable funding for senior safety net programs, adequate healthcare access, improved public services, and financial security. Senior safety net programs While most older Alaskans are self-supporting, some need financial assistance or no-cost services to remain independent. Senior safety net programs like Meals on Wheels, senior transportation, and the Senior Benefits Program provide foundational support to help low- and moderate-income elders remain in their homes and communities. Senate Bill 170...

  • Beau Bassett: Outward bound to a full life of service

    Lawrence D. Weiss, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Beau Bassett is 74 years old. He spent the past 27 years training over 1,000 students in community leadership across Alaska through the Points of Light Youth Leadership Institute (PYLI). visit: www.alaskapyli.org What made you think about coming to Alaska? I came up with this idea that I would combine my law background and adventure education, and I would aspire to create an adventure-based program. It all came together with setting off for Alaska. That was part of my sort of 10-year plan. I...

  • Find the music in you

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Q: Singalongs and musical performances are offered at my community center. I don’t normally participate in group activities, but am thinking about going to an event for something to do. A: Yes! You should go. From prehistoric times, music has served as entertainment, a practical function, or part of religious rituals. Historical sites have uncovered bones or carving implements used to create instruments. Horns and conch shells were some of the first wind instruments. Pipes, whistles and clay d...

  • 5 basic steps to improving digestion

    Dr. Emily Kane, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    1. I know you’ve heard this before, but it is so important that it bears repeating: Chew, chew, chew. This means both slowly and thoroughly. To be totally graphic about it, you want anything you swallow to be a soupy consistency. Especially meat. For starters, digestion starts in the mouth. There are thousands of tiny neuro-receptors in the mouth that send messages to the brain about what is about to come down the pike. These messages “prep” the entire digestive system to gear up for the meal or snack that’s on the way. Fatty foods will tr...

  • Boosting brain health and mood with chocolate

    John C. Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Feb 1, 2024

    If you would characterize your relationship with chocolate as complicated, you're not alone. Sweet, velvety and smooth, chocolate thrills the senses, making it very popular, especially at Valentine's Day. There is mounting evidence that a few nibbles of dark chocolate can not only satisfy a craving, but can also be beneficial for your health. Lee S. Berk, an associate dean of research affairs at the School of Allied Health Professions and a researcher in psychoneuroimmunology and food science...

  • What's new in Medicare benefits for 2024?

    Sean McPhilamy, Alaska Medicare Information Office|Feb 1, 2024

    Medicare coverage and costs change each year, so it’s important to understand and review your benefits. Here’s an overview of what’s new in 2024. Medicare Part A and Part B costs in 2024 Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility services, home health care, and hospice. Most people don’t owe a premium for Part A, but if neither you nor your spouse have 10 years of Social Security work credits, you may owe a monthly premium. If you’re admitted to the hospital...

  • Embracing simple steps for a healthier heart

    Alaska Health Fair, Inc.|Feb 1, 2024

    February, the month of love, is also an opportune time to show some love to your heart. As we observe Heart Health Month, we're reminded of the critical role heart health plays in our overall well-being. Here are some simple, actionable steps you can take right now to embark on a journey toward better heart health. Step it up with walking. A stroll might seem mundane, but it's a powerhouse of heart health benefits. Walking is a wonderfully accessible form of exercise that bolsters heart strength, aids weight management and uplifts your mood....

  • Center for the Blind events in Fairbanks

    Senior Voice Staff|Feb 1, 2024

    Staff from the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired will be in Fairbanks Feb. 6 and 7 to conduct support group meetings and conduct home visits. A support group meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 6, at the Southhall Manor building, 401 7th Ave., from 10 a.m. to noon. Another support group meeting will be held in the afternoon at the Golden Towers building, 330 3rd Ave., at 2 p.m. Staff will be available for home visits throughout the day. Home visits include an assessment of the living space to eliminate falling dangers and...

  • New research on brain health and lower back pain

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|Feb 1, 2024

    Improving brain health through exercise A new study is suggesting a fascinating link between regular exercise and better brain health. Researchers looked at 10,125 Individuals with MRI brain scans and found that being physically active is related to increased size of brain areas important for memory and learning. The study revealed that those who regularly engaged in physical activities such as walking, running or sports had larger brain volumes in key areas. This includes the gray matter,...

  • Free support, resources for family caregivers

    Senior Voice Staff|Feb 1, 2024

    The Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program will hold the following support group meetings in February: Feb. 2, Soldotna Senior Center, with a training on transfers, by Annett Brookshire from Nettie’s Care Coordination, 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 6, Tyotkas Elder Center, round table discussion, 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 15, Sterling Senior Center, “Alzheimer’s and Diet,” with Cindy Harris from the Alzheimer’s Association, 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 20, Kenai Senior Center, “All About Medicaid,” with Valerie Flake from Val’s Care Coordination, 1 to 2 p.m. Feb. 21,...

  • Options for assistive devices for mobility

    Christian M. Hartley, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Getting around and maintaining our independence gets more challenging every year. During some times of the year, it gets worse by the hour and the weather forecast. Fortunately, there is equipment to help people of all levels of mobility. These items, called assistive devices, are available through insurance or self-pay and can often be found in pharmacies. They range widely in price and upkeep needs, so here is some information on several types. Canes ($15-$75) are the most affordable option....

  • Anchorage Community Theatre remembers "Our Town" in 1964 with a new production 60 years later

    Anchorage Community Theatre|Feb 1, 2024

    Since fall of 2023, Anchorage Community Theatre (ACT) has been making quite a big deal about its 70th year of creating community theatre in Anchorage, Alaska. Born out of The Anchorage Little Theatre in the 1940s and a significant Alaskan Armed Forces production of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific in 1952, ACT has gone through much to still remain-leadership changes, economic ups and downs, a worldwide pandemic, and the second largest recorded earthquake in the world. The premise behind...

  • Patience, enjoyment are key for local bonsai group

    Michael Dinneen, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Robert Fowlkes, 75, has been an Alaska resident since 1975 and is a member and past president of the Anchorage Bonsai Study Group. Fowlkes has some 20 trees he maintains. It can take years to create a successful bonsai tree, he says. With 18 years of leadership, past club president Paul Marmora says people have been doing bonsai in Alaska for many years. The bonsai group became a club in 1998, and membership exploded since that time. Anchorage resident Tim Pack is in his second year as current c...

  • Library is a vital community and personal asset

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Feb 1, 2024

    In August 2023, I was listening to my kitchen radio one morning as usual, when the Wasilla Mayor's weekly information blurb came on. Near the end, she said people who had a library card could read the Frontiersman, as well as other newspapers, for free, to check out additional local activities. My ears perked up. Read the Frontiersman for free! Several years ago, when the yearly subscription came due (with notice of a rate increase) my husband Gary decided the Frontiersman would no longer be...

  • MASST opens doors for Fairbanks advocate

    Jim Warren, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    Linda Webb escorted me into a conference room at Access Alaska in Fairbanks. There were photographs on the walls and a Christmas tree in the corner. Outside, it was still an hour before sunrise; the temperature hovered at -15 degrees, and ice fog hung above the roads. Inside, Linda talked warmly and easily about her journey from Georgia to Alaska. She came to Fairbanks in late summer of 1999 to help her daughter-in-law while her son was on military duty in South Korea. She decided to stay...

  • Lifelong learning with OLE and OLLI

    Senior Voice Staff|Feb 1, 2024

    Spring semester is here for older (aka “lifelong”) learners, with registration underway both in Fairbanks, through the OLLI program, and in Anchorage’s OLE. OLE stands for “Opportunities for Lifelong Education” and while courses are open for all ages, they are designed for learners age 50 and older. Members pay $200 per year, which allows them to register for as many courses as they like. Spring semester classes begin the week of Feb. 12. A full catalog with course descriptions is available on the OLE website. There truly is something...

  • Japanese Alaskans interred during WWII

    Laurel Downing Bill, Senior Voice Correspondent|Feb 1, 2024

    Following the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and six months later at Kiska and Attu, wartime hysteria and fear of sabotage and espionage ran rampant across the country. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in February 1942. It ordered the removal of more than 112,000 Japanese Americans – also called Nikkei-from the West Coast. Those with Japanese ancestry were taken from their homes, businesses and schools and put in internment camps. Alaskans were n...

  • Carole Wells remembers 'Oomph' actress Ann Sheridan

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Feb 1, 2024

    Born 109 years ago this February, glamorous actress Ann Sheridan (1915-1967) was destined for branding as the "Oomph Girl" following a mock contest organized by the Warner Brothers publicity department in 1939. Stunning on-screen and becoming a favorite pin-up girl of World War II troops, Sheridan could play any character-tough or tender, funny or flirty, sassy or seductive. She delighted audiences with her witty wisecracks and clever comebacks. While she certainly possessed an abundance of...

  • Romance and dating scams are booming

    Michelle Tabler, AARP Alaska|Feb 1, 2024

    Romance scams are big business for criminals because millions of people are using dating sites. According to the Federal Trade Commission, $547 million was lost to romance scams, up 80% from 2020, with much of that money paid with gift cards and cryptocurrency. And this is just the tip of the iceberg-many people never report scams because they are too embarrassed, or because they don't know where to report the theft. Both men and women are susceptible to these types of scams. It's estimated...

  • The dreaded CTA is here

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Feb 1, 2024

    What’s your favorite dystopian fiction? Can you imagine a future like 1984, where the government watches and controls every aspect of your life? Or more like Brave New World, where the government uses sex, drugs and entertainment to keep the populace docile? Maybe Mad Max is more your style, with a barren post-apocalyptic landscape? Or do you go for Idiocracy, in which the world has just become dumber and dumber? Why am I asking these questions? Because I just went through filing my initial r...

  • Cookies, private browsing, Apple Notes

    Bob Delaurentis, Tech Talk|Feb 1, 2024

    Q. When I am online, I frequently see a message that asks me to accept cookies. What are cookies? A. A cookie is a small bit of data that a website stores on your computer. The name itself dates back to the earliest days of the web, when names were chosen by programmers. The original job of a cookie was to make web surfing easier. Unfortunately, they have become one of the primary ways that you are tracked online. Tracking people online is a big business. Surveillance is nearly invisible to users, but it can have a profound impact on...

  • Now is a great time to go to Hawaii

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Feb 1, 2024

    Hawaii is the perfect place to go in February- only six hours out of Anchorage, to a nearby time zone just one hour behind, where you land with nary a hint of jet lag and ready to again experience the warmth of the sun. Islands with distinctive differences While Mokoka'i is quiet and not very touristy, Kaua'i bustles with tourist shops and excursions, O'ahu is home to the state's capital Honolulu with its royal palace and of course the famous Diamond Head commanding the harbor, Lāna'i has a...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area providers

    Senior Voice Staff|Feb 1, 2024

    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 Feb. 14, hosted by the UAA Trust Training Cooperative. Call Older Persons Action Group, Inc. at...

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