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  • Become a Long-Term Care Ombudsman volunteer

    Alaska Long Term Care Ombudsman|Dec 1, 2023

    Do you want to improve the lives of older adults in long-term care facilities? We need caring people like you to advocate for Alaska seniors. As a Long Term Care Ombudsman volunteer, you’ll speak up for residents of assisted living homes and nursing facilities across our state. We’re seeking compassionate volunteers to protect seniors’ rights and dignity. No experience required—just bring your empathy, patience and desire to help. Free training provided so you feel completely supported. Volunteer in Anchorage, Bethel, Eagle River, Fairban...

  • Series: Working past retirement in Alaska

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

    This interview was conducted on Oct. 8, 2023, at Village Inn in Anchorage. Wilson Justin, please tell us a bit about your early history. Everybody calls me Justin, but it doesn't make much difference. It's Wilson Justin. I turned 73 on August 2, this year. I was born in Nabesna, Alaska, which is part of the Nabesna Valley, which is an old traditional homeland. I was born about six miles from the original village, 1950, mid-century. How about some high points of your work history? The guiding...

  • The intriguing life of Fairbanks Elder Mentor and children's book author Judy Miller

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor team|Nov 1, 2023

    Hello there! My name is Judy Miller. I am 80 years young, and published my first book at 80 years old. I've always believed that older people have an influence on the lives of younger people. That's why I believe the Elder Mentor Program works. You can share with the next generation some of the things you learned and saw growing up, and at the same time, you also find a way to relate to their generation and their time, too. For example, if you bring kids into a nursing home, the residents love i...

  • Mat-Su thrift store charity has long history

    Randi Perlman, Valley Charities, Inc.|Nov 1, 2023

    Valley residents are familiar with turn-A-leaf Thrift Store in Wasilla. It's a warm and welcoming treasure trove of gently used wonders. From kitchen utensils to sporting goods, electronics to stylish jeans, artwork to furniture, or that one-of-a-kind collectible you haven't seen anywhere else, you're likely to find whatever you're looking for and then some at very reasonable prices. But did you know that Valley Charities, Inc., the umbrella organization under which turn-A-leaf operates, has bee...

  • Improving crosswalk safety near Anchorage senior center

    AARP Alaska|Oct 1, 2023

    For the last year, the Anchorage Age-Friendly Leadership Team has been gathering input from Anchorage residents on how to make Anchorage a better place to live for people of all ages, including seniors. After considering comments from the Anchorage Senior Citizens Advisory Commission, the Anchorage Senior Activity Center and several residents of Chugach View and Chugach Manor senior housing, the team decided to look at pedestrian safety near the senior center. On Aug. 23, the Team conducted a walk audit of the area around the Anchorage Senior A...

  • Grandma Thea makes waves in Wasilla classroom

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team|Oct 1, 2023

    Did you know I'm a mermaid? I'd like everyone to know that, first and foremost. My name is Thea Whitehead. You can call me Grandma Thea. I was born in upstate New York, but grew up in Florida. I never really liked it there-it's too hot and too humid. One of my kids and grandchild were living in Alaska, and I would come visit them. In December 1999, I made the move up and I have loved it ever since. I adore the mountains. When I'm out of the state, my stomach actually twitches and aches because...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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....

  • 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."...

  • 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...

  • Age-friendly work in Anchorage and Juneau moves to year two

    Age-Friendly Leadership Team|Aug 1, 2023

    Alaska’s work creating “Age-Friendly Communities” is thriving, making the places we live better able to support people of all ages. The age-friendly program process began with Anchorage’s enrollment in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities as the 678th community nationwide, with Juneau following shortly thereafter as the 734th member. As AARP Alaska enters the second year of membership in the Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, efforts are focused on community needs assessments in both Anchorage and Juneau....

  • Camping with Elder Mentor Anna Mae Andrew

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team|Aug 1, 2023

    Hi, my name is Anna Mae Andrew and I am 76 years old. My maiden name is Anna Mae Walcott. I have lived in New Stuyahok for more than 50 years-I moved here in 1968. I grew up in Ekook, where it is beautiful all year long. I got married in New Stuyahok to a local named Moxie S. Andrew. My hobbies include sewing, knitting and crocheting cultural things, and also artwork. I love to travel on a boat to my fish camp and camp outdoors up the river, and I love subsistence fishing. Splitting fish during...

  • Senior Voice recognized in national awards contest

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2023

    Older Persons Action Group, Inc., earned honors for its monthly, statewide publication Senior Voice in the 32nd 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 three awards: Merit Award in the Best Newspaper/Newsletter category for the April 2022 edition; Merit Award in the Best N...

  • Age-friendly ideas abound in Juneau

    Linda Kruger, For Senior Voice|Jul 1, 2023

    In May, the Juneau AARP Community Action Team (CAT) and the Juneau Commission on Aging (JCOA) joined forces to celebrate National Older Americans Month with three listening sessions to gather information for Age-Friendly Juneau. Earlier this spring Juneau became the second Alaska Age-Friendly community, joining the AARP Age-Friendly Network shortly after Anchorage. Co-chairs of Age-Friendly Juneau, Dr. Emily Kane (cChair of the Juneau Commission on Aging) and Linda Kruger (lLead for the AARP Juneau Community Action TeamAT), announced the...

  • State's Elder Mentors come together in Anchorage

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team|Jul 1, 2023

    Last month, fifty Elder Mentors from all over Alaska gathered in Anchorage for the annual Elder Mentor conference. This year's theme was "Connecting Through Service". Returning Elder Mentor volunteers were celebrated for completing another year of service as new volunteers were welcomed into the program, all the while preparing for another upcoming school year mentoring youth. Elder Mentors participated in several workshops and presentations, sharing their stories, learning and growing together...

  • Age-Friendly Anchorage: One small park

    AARP Alaska|Jun 1, 2023

    What does it mean to be a Livable Community? As defined by the AARP Livable Communities project, a Livable Community supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and rural areas to be great places for people of all ages. Communities should supply safe, walkable streets, affordable housing, safe transportation options, access to needed services and opportunities for residents of all ages to take part in community life. How does that translate to life in Anchorage? This is the first in a...

  • Tree swallows return with the summer to Alaska

    Rachel Gingras, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    With the arrival of summer, you will begin to catch glimpses of a small but speedy bird in flight, looping through the sky, searching for insects to eat. Its underside is white, and it sports a dark iridescent back that flashes varying hues of blue as the sunlight passes through its feathers. The tree swallows are back! The tree swallow is one of several swallow species that come to Alaska to breed. This small songbird, weighing around 20 grams, arrives from regions as far south as Cuba, Costa...

  • New Stuyahok Elder Mentor Anna Neketa

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Program|Jun 1, 2023

    The Elder Mentor Program is pleased to continue our monthly feature in Senior Voice, each article highlighting an Elder Mentor who has generously offered their time, support, wisdom and care to their local communities throughout Alaska. For the next three months, our New Stuyahok Elder Mentors will be sharing their stories and recipes. Elder Mentors volunteer in school with students, serving as role models, tutors and, often, also Culture Bearers. Culture Bearers pass down their knowledge to...

  • How Rick Mystrom found his groove

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Nothing seems to stop Rick Mystrom. From the quest to hold the Olympics in Anchorage, to building an ad agency, to running for mayor of Anchorage, to facing the scourge of Type 1 diabetes, Mystrom has not backed down. Born in Minnesota in 1943, he moved to Alaska in 1972 and three years later established Mystrom/Beck Advertising, now the Nerland Agency. He's contributed a lot to the life of Alaska. "I started Big Brothers Big Sisters after doing it in Los Angeles," he said. "I called the...

  • Get ready for the 2023 Alaska Senior Games in Fairbanks, Aug. 5-13

    Senior Voice Staff|Jun 1, 2023

    Registration is open for this year’s Alaska International Senior Games, taking place Aug. 5-13 in Fairbanks. The online registration portal is at www.alaskaisg.org. The annual event brings together athletes and recreation enthusiasts age 50 and older from all around the state and beyond. This year’s events include archery, basketball, bocce, bowling, cycling, golf, horseshoes, ice hockey (co-ed), indoor shooting, mini golf, pickleball, power walk, road race, swimming, table tennis, team toss, tennis, track and field and triathlon. Com...

  • Anchorage Elder Mentor Leeta Topps loves her service

    RurAL CAP Elder Mentor Team, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2023

    My name is Leeta Topps, and I moved to Alaska from Chicago and have lived in Anchorage for a long time. I enjoy reading, walking and volunteering. I love my neighbors because we live in a beautiful community. I have a lot of fun playing games with my grandkids and the kids at school. I have been an Elder Mentor for about five years. I love my service in the community and have made great friendships and connections. At Mountain View Elementary last year, I supported children with special needs,...

  • Ribbon cutting at Mid-Valley Adult Day Service in Houston

    Melissa Sonnek, For Senior Voice|May 1, 2023

    Wasilla Area Seniors, Inc. (WASI) will hold a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, Friday, May 5 at 2 p.m., to celebrate the new WASI Mid-Valley Adult Day Services, located at 11975 W. Mid-Valley Way in Houston. All are welcome. WASI’s mission is to help seniors live as independently as possible for as long as possible. As the number of seniors continues to increase dramatically in the Mat- Su Valley, families, friends and professionals are seeking out more specialized care and support services for a vulnerable adult. The WASI Adult D...

  • Fairbanks library closure

    Senior Voice Staff|May 1, 2023

    Noel Wein Library in Fairbanks will close for renovations starting May 1, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough Libraries website. The renovation work is expected to last about 10 months. During that time, library services will continue at other locations in town, including North Pole, and a new location will open temporarily on June 1 at Joy Community Center, 24 Margaret Ave. The book mobile will continue service at its regularly scheduled times and locations. Books on hold will continue to be picked up at the Noel Wein location...

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