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  • Health information: Reliable, free, easy to understand

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

    Would you go to your doctor to find out why the brakes on your car are making so much noise? Would you go to your friendly neighborhood mechanic for diagnosis and treatment of a serious heart problem? I’ll just crawl out on a limb here and say, “probably not.” And that begs the question, “why not?” Really. Why wouldn’t you see a doctor about your car problems? Because smart as your doctor is, he or she has little if any training or experience fixing cars. Same for the mechanic. Great with cars. Doesn’t know squat about heart problems. See...

  • More couples are living apart together

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    Q: My neighbor and their spouse reside in separate homes. This is the third couple I have heard of living this way. Why do some people choose to live apart? A: Living Apart Together (LAT) is a modern relationship arrangement where couples choose to remain in separate residences while maintaining a committed romantic relationship. This phenomenon has been gaining popularity, challenging traditional notions of cohabitation and partnership. Let us explore the concept of LAT couples, examine the...

  • Making health care decisions in advance

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

    This month’s article begins with a recommendation to prepare documentation of your personal desires as related to your medical situation and future health care needs. These can help convey your intentions should you not be able to voice them yourself. Next, a reminder that Medicare only provides coverage for services and equipment deemed medically necessary – you might find yourself in need of additional help with activities in your daily life. Finally, a mention regarding how hospice care pro...

  • Guide your caregiving into a journey of hope

    Dani Kebschull, Kenai Peninsula Family Caregiver Support Program|Jun 1, 2024

    “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” – Albert Einstein That seems like such a simple quote, not much to it, but for family caregivers it can mean a lot. There can be moments, or even days, when a caregiver may feel hopeless—like nothing will ever change for the better. Our sense of identity can get confused. “Who am I if I am no longer connected to the things that gave me purpose and joy?” Our future feels uncertain. Rather than feel hopeful, we feel hopeless. We wonder, “how long will this be my life?” The question pr...

  • First-aid basics: Knowing how to treat minor injuries

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

    As the weather warms up and people become more active, keeping first aid in front of our minds is important. Whether you are enjoying a hike, playing sports, or working in the garden, accidents can happen when you least expect them. By knowing basic first aid, you can treat common injuries and prevent more serious complications. One of the most common injuries during outdoor activities is falls. If you or someone you know experiences a fall, remember to stay calm. Check for any signs of injury...

  • Lead tackle is killing Alaska's wild birds, and only anglers can save them

    J.K. Ullrich, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    The loon drifts in lethargic circles, its white-collared neck drooping into the water. Fish dart below, but the bird cannot eat. Paralysis spreads from its broad webbed feet to the lungs that once sustained five-minute dives. As its organs shut down, the loon will slowly suffocate or starve. Every year, an estimated 16 million birds suffer this torturous death from lead poisoning. Accidental ingestion of lead fishing tackle causes up to half of all adult loon deaths. But with a few small...

  • Maintaining prized garden cart becomes a saga

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|Jun 1, 2024

    In the early 2000s when my husband, Gary, and I lived in Slana, we would take turns going to Anchorage in the summer to buy groceries and other supplies. One of us always stayed home to mind our bed and breakfast business and the generator. Gary returned one trip with a surprise gift for me-a shiny yellow metal garden cart. Although I was delighted with his thoughtfulness, I wasn't excited about the color. I must have made some comment, because the next thing I knew, he'd painted it green. What...

  • Mulcahy, aka Mr. Baseball, comes to town

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

    The infant town of Anchorage, only a few years old, had always been interested in America's favorite pastime when William F. Mulcahy, later known as "Mr. Baseball," blew into the lusty, young railroad town in 1922. Everyone turned out to watch the games played evenings after supper and weekends. As far back as 1916, Anchorage had a regulation baseball diamond, built by the Bridge Engineers, located in what was known as Recreation Park in the railroad yards north of Ship Creek. A press box, with...

  • Paula Poundstone loves to work an audience

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|Jun 1, 2024

    As Paula Poundstone continues her 2024 U.S. tour, audiences can be assured of an evening of hilarity as the comedian launches into a string of humorous stories typical of most observational stand-up comics. But at some point into her routine, the sharp-witted Poundstone will seamlessly morph into her trademark banter with audience members-a part of the show fans have come to expect and adore. It's a style that evolved out of necessity. "I've been doing stand-up for over 40 years, but have a...

  • Mr. Monk and the survivorship clause

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2024

    I love the old detective show “Monk”. The comedy/drama/mystery still delights me when I see it on the back channels, and Tony Shalhoub gave the defective detective just the right dose of humanity and humor. I always wait in eager anticipation for the “here’s what happened” moment at the end. One particular episode, titled “Mr. Monk Is At Your Service,” featured an estate planning twist. A wealthy couple each had children from prior marriages, a son in his case and two daughters in hers. They ha...

  • Child-proofing, cleaning and sturdy cases for smartphones

    Bob Delaurentis, Tech Talk|Jun 1, 2024

  • Older Americans Month: In celebration of seniors everywhere

    Stephanie Wheeler, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    Older Americans Month is an annual celebration that serves as a platform to honor and appreciate the vital contributions that older persons play in our communities and in our society as a whole. Established in 1963, Older Americans Month is celebrated every May. It is also an opportunity to highlight aging trends and reaffirm commitments to serving the older adults in our communities. The federal agency, the Administration for Community Living (ACL), typically provides us with an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Powered by Community,” which...

  • Creating a better doctor-patient experience

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    Q: When I see the doctor, I give them my symptoms over and over, but they are dismissive of my pains and concerns. What can I do? A: As adults age, it is crucial to take control of one’s health and wellness. By being consistent about preventive care, prioritizing medical issues, and actively engaging with healthcare providers to avoid ageism, one can optimize outcomes and quality of life. Prioritize healthcare First, stay informed about age-related health concerns, medications and treatment o...

  • Medicare and federal employee benefits

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

    This month’s article will focus on how Medicare may work with health benefits for federal employees, retirees and annuitants. Employees and retired employees of the federal government are eligible for Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage, subject to those positions that are excluded by law or regulation. Currently this includes employees of the U.S. Postal Service. The Office of Personnel Management administers the FEHB program. When someone becomes eligible for Medicare, most c...

  • AI-powered chatbots are changing medicine

    John Schieszer, Medical Minutes|May 1, 2024

    A chatbot app to quit smoking Researchers in Seattle, Wash. have now developed an artificial intelligence (AI) -powered chatbot app called QuitBot to help more people successfully quit smoking cigarettes. The app is available for free on Apple and Android devices and is a comprehensive app that provides users personalized support. Developed using scientifically backed answers vetted by scientists and experienced smoking cessation clinicians, QuitBot combines evidence-based structured conversatio...

  • Quick tips for pickleball improvement

    The Alaska Club, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    Amy Poehler said "Nobody looks stupid when they are having fun". In addition to improving your balance, coordination, cardiovascular health and strength, pickleball is fun and along the way you can make new friends and enjoy some friendly competition. But in addition to all that, who doesn't want to improve their game? Here are some basic tips for doing just that. Pick a couple of these to concentrate on in your next game. Get your serves in. You can't score any points if your serves land outsid...

  • Household tips for a safer spring

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

    Spring has sprung and the blooming flowers, buzzing bees, biting mosquitoes and trip hazards abound as you can finally get out of the house more often. With a few simple preparations, you can enjoy the summer months while minimizing potential risks to your health and well-being. One aspect of summer home safety is ensuring your air conditioning system is in good working order if you have one. Before the heat arrives, schedule a professional to inspect and maintain your AC unit. This will help...

  • The garage sale to end them all

    Maraley McMichael, Senior Voice Correspondent|May 1, 2024

    For three days in mid May 2022, I held my seventh and final garage sale. (The first was in 1975 in Fairbanks, before we moved to California.) My husband, Gary, and I conducted all the previous ones together, but this time, he had been living in the Palmer Pioneer Home for two and a half months. Our son Patrick and his girlfriend, Brandi, flew up from Denver a few days prior to help and Patrick's long time local friends, Gary and Kim, provided help beginning in early April. Gary and Kim were...

  • Strange sight soars over Teller

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

    The people of Nome were planning a grand celebration in mid-May 1926. They'd decorated their fine city, set up committees, arranged receptions and lined up wagon teams to take school children to the airfield to see the landing of the dirigible Norge N-1. Slated to be the event to top all events, Nome residents were none too pleased when they learned that the huge craft-which had left Norway to fly over the North Pole a few days earlier-had missed their beautiful town and landed in Teller instead...

  • Actor David Selby's mom was a big fan

    Nick Thomas, Tinseltown Talks|May 1, 2024

    Born and raised in West Virginia, David Selby's extensive film, television and stage career included prominent roles in two very different TV shows in different generations: ABC's gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows" in the 60s and the prime-time soap "Falcon Crest" on CBS in the 80s. "My mother (Sarah) loved that I was an actor," said Selby from Los Angeles, but she had no background in the entertainment world. Her upbringing in a coalmining town was a tough one, being responsible for raising her...

  • Why is it so hard to find a lawyer in Alaska?

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2024

    In the movie “War of the Roses”, a lawyer (played by Danny DeVito) mentions that he charges $450 per hour. This was in 1989, but even then, as a young attorney just starting out, the number seemed startling. “Why,” I thought to myself in the darkened theater, “do lawyers cost so much?” I learned part of the answer pretty quickly. The lawyer doesn't get to put all of that money right into his pocket. There are a lot of expenses that go with running a law office, such as rent, secretarial...

  • Two-factor authentication explained

    Bob Delaurentis, Tech Talk|May 1, 2024

    Q. What is two-factor authentication? A. The most common authentication method uses an account name and a password. That has been true since the earliest days of computing. The account name/password combination is considered a single factor authentication method. The problems created by passwords are well documented, and two-factor authentication is a technique developed to enforce security in the event a password falls into the wrong hands. The second authentication factor typically requires the user to enter a second code in addition to the...

  • Fountain pens will make you smarter

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

    Yes, using fountain pens will make you smarter. Also, it turns out that using pencils and ballpoints will make you smarter too. However, I want to talk about fountain pens in particular because they are nostalgic, creative, fun and comfy to write with. As to the "smarter" assertion, we'll just drag in some scientific findings here. According to an article published earlier this year in Psychology Today: Handwriting stimulates complex brain connections essential in encoding new information and...

  • Understanding the phases of Part D coverage

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

    Prescription Drug Plan coverage is a valued element within Medicare. Known more commonly as Part D of Medicare, these policies are offered by privately managed insurance companies, and regulated both by the State of Alaska’s Division of Insurance along with the national Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The cost of your Medicare Part D-covered drugs may change throughout the year. If you notice that your drug prices have changed, it may be because you are in a different phase of...

  • Empowered responses: Dealing with condescending remarks

    Karen Casanovas, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2024

    Q: How do I handle rude, hurtful or condescending comments by family members or people who are part of my care team? A: In our daily interactions, we occasionally encounter individuals who seem to thrive on making demeaning and condescending remarks. These remarks can be hurtful, frustrating, and overwhelming, leaving us searching for ways to respond and maintain our dignity. Let us explore some strategies and empowering approaches to handle condescending remarks and regain control over such sit...

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