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  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Access Alaska seeks peer mentors for new program

    Access Alaska|Jan 1, 2024

    My name is Desiree Rodriguez, and I am the peer mentor advocate at Access Alaska. I happen to be in a wheelchair because of a spinal cord injury from cancer when I was age three. Although I grew up disabled, I have been fighting for my independence since I was 12. Today, I work full-time and live independently. My goal is to help people feel like they are part of a community and reach their goals. Access Alaska provides independent living services to seniors and people with disabilities. We are well known for our lending closet, where people ca...

  • Alaska attorneys provide free legal services on 2024 MLK Day

    Alaska Bar Association|Jan 1, 2024

    Editor's note: This press release was received on Jan. 9, 2024. On Monday, Jan. 15, the Alaska Bar Association, Alaska Court System and Alaska Legal Services Corporation will host their fifteenth annual MLK Day free legal services event in Anchorage, Juneau, Fairbanks and Bethel. “The Alaska Bar Association has followed the national lead of making this a ‘day on, not a day off’ as a powerful way of building community and providing service,” stated Krista Scully, Pro Bono Director of the Alaska Bar Association. “The need in Alaska for affordabl...

  • Social Security and scam awareness

    Social Security Administration|Jan 1, 2024

    Social Security impostor scams continue to be widespread across the United States. Scammers use targeted, sophisticated tactics to deceive you into providing sensitive information or money. If you receive a suspicious letter, text, email, or call, do not respond. We want you to know how to identify a scammer and avoid becoming a victim. We will never: Text or email images of an employee’s official government identification. Suspend your Social Security number. Threaten you with arrest or other legal action unless you immediately pay a fine o...

  • AARP and United Way launch 211 program for Alaska caregivers

    AARP Alaska|Jan 1, 2024

    AARP Alaska has partnered with United Way to provide a new resource for Alaska’s 94,000 family caregivers. AARP Alaska and United Way Worldwide are using the 211 helpline to connect residents with trained, compassionate navigators and available local resources. Through 211, a free health and human services information and referral helpline, caregivers can now talk to real people in their community to find local resources for themselves and their loved ones. The goal of this program is to identify family caregivers via 211 and match them with c...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Senior Voice Staff|Jan 1, 2024

    The Social Security Administration partners with locations throughout Alaska to offer a secure video service option. Video service is a convenient and no-cost way for people to talk directly to a Social Security employee through a secure computer link that includes two-way video and sound. The video service locations are available at: In Nome, Norton Sound Health Corporation, located at 1000 Greg Kruschek Ave. Video service is available for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis, on the second and fourth Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai...

  • Free legal assistance for landlords, tenants

    Senior Voice Staff|Jan 1, 2024

    Alaska Legal Services will operate a free landlord/tenant helpline in January, Monday through Thursday, 6 to 8 p.m. The helpline is staffed by volunteer attorneys who will answer rental-related questions from landlords and tenants alike on evictions, leases, deposits, legal responsibilities of landlords and tenants, and other matters. The attorneys will speak for approximately 20 minutes and callers can be helped regardless of their income or assets. The line does not have a message or call-waiting function, so if a caller gets a busy signal,...

  • Alaska Commission on Aging meets Dec. 5 via Zoom

    Senior Voice Staff|Dec 1, 2023

    The Alaska Commission on Aging will conduct its quarterly meeting Dec. 5, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., online via Zoom. The commission includes 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 link to participate via Zoom is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86109693669. Those wishing to call in via telephone should contact the commission office for the Zoom phone...

  • Tech support scams are surging

    Michelle Tabler, AARP Alaska|Dec 1, 2023

    Have you clicked on a website and suddenly a loud voice comes on at the same time as a warning fills your screen? The threatening voice advises that you have been infected with a computer virus, warns you not to turn off your computer, and urges you to immediately call the number on your screen. Or have you received an unsolicited phone call from someone who claims to be from Microsoft, Apple or a security software company to tell you they’ve detected a threat to your computer? These are both tech support scams, a surging category of fraud a...

  • Holiday parties with Access Alaska

    Senior Voice Staff|Dec 1, 2023

    Access Alaska is hosting Holiday Bash parties at its offices in Anchorage, Mat-Su and Fairbanks. Bring your family and friends and enjoy some snacks while participating in holiday crafts, games and an ugly sweater contest. The Anchorage party will be Dec. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Access Alaska office, 1217 E. 10th Ave. RSVP required by Dec. 11. Call 907-248-4777. In Wasilla, the party will be on Dec. 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Mat-Su Health Foundation location, 777 N. Crusey St. RSVP required by Dec. 11. Call 907-357-2588. The Fairbanks...

  • Smart home devices for aging in place

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Dec 1, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior: I’ve been talking to my mobility-challenged mother, who lives alone, about automating her house with some smart home products to make it more convenient. She’s very interested but we’d like to get your opinion as to which types of smart devices are most helpful for seniors aging in place. –Searching Daughter Dear Searching: If your mother is game, smart home products—such as smart lights, video doorbells and voice-activated speakers—can be very useful for aging in place. These devices can add safety and convenience to a home...

  • Senior Voice wins awards

    Senior Voice Staff|Nov 1, 2023

    Senior Voice has been recognized for excellence, winning seven awards in the annual contest sponsored by the North American Mature Publishers Association (NAMPA), a nationwide network of publishers focusing on boomer and senior readers. Awards were announced Sept. 21, 2023, at the annual NAMPA conference, held virtually online this year. Entries were independently judged by faculty of the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, Missouri, who gave awards in categories based on...

  • Should you use a debt consolidation app?

    Logan Hickle, Better Business Bureau|Nov 1, 2023

    If you are considering debt consolidation, you are not alone. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, household debt in the U.S. increased by more than $7,000 from 2020 to 2022. Many individuals have since started turning to debt consolidation apps and other credit relief options for help. Better Business Bureau recently released an investigative report on debt consolidation and credit repair companies. At the time of the report’s publication, BBB had received more than 11,000 complaints and nearly 900 negative reviews about debt a...

  • Social Security payments will increase in 2024

    Social Security Administration|Nov 1, 2023

    Editor’s note: This press statement was dated Oct. 12, 2023. Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for more than 71 million Americans will increase 3.2 percent in 2024, the Social Security Administration announced Oct. 12. On average, Social Security retirement benefits will increase by more than $50 per month starting in January. More than 66 million Social Security beneficiaries will see the 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) beginning in January 2024. Increased payments to approximately 7.5 million people...

  • New resource for Alaska veterans, military families

    AARP Alaska|Nov 1, 2023

    AARP Alaska, in partnership with AARP's Veterans and Military Families program, has formed a five-member volunteer Veterans Support Advisory Council. This group will connect Alaska veterans with important supports from AARP and local, statewide and national resources. AARP's Veterans and Military Families initiative honors service members and their families by providing timely information in four areas-Veteran Caregiver Resources, Fraud Prevention, Job Assistance, and service benefits and...

  • MASST offers job training for older Alaskans

    Jim Warren, For Senior Voice|Nov 1, 2023

    If you are reading this short piece, you are most likely a senior, like me, interested in continuing to play a role in the Alaska economy. I came to Alaska ten years ago, toward the end of a long career of college teaching. Now I'm coordinating the Northern and Interior regions of the MASST program. It is a challenging, rewarding job. I often say that nobody is learning more than I am in this program. It's also meaningful work, because I know that it is making a difference in Northern and...

  • A health savings account can boost retirement savings

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Nov 1, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior: I’m interested in contributing to a health savings account to help boost my retirement savings but would like to better understand how they work. What can you tell me? – Almost 60 Dear Almost: A health savings account, or HSA, is a fantastic financial tool that can help you build up a tax-free stash of money for medical expenses now and after you retire. But to qualify, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan. Here’s an overview of how they work and how you can open one. HSA rules HSAs have becom...

  • At home or on the go, Social Security is online

    Social Security Administration|Nov 1, 2023

    When you retire, if you become disabled, or if someone you depend on dies-Social Security is there when you need us. With your personal and secure my Social Security account, you can access your information, benefits and important services from just about anywhere. Having a personal my Social Security account allows you to: Compare future benefit estimates for different dates or ages when you may want to begin receiving benefits. Check the status of your benefits application or appeal. Review...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Senior Voice Staff|Nov 1, 2023

    The Social Security Administration partners with locations throughout Alaska to offer a secure video service option. Video service is a convenient and no-cost way for people to talk directly to a Social Security employee through a secure computer link that includes two-way video and sound. The video service locations are available at: In Nome, Norton Sound Health Corporation, located at 1000 Greg Kruschek Ave. Video service is available for walk-ins on a first come, first served basis, on the second and fourth Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon. Kenai...

  • Baby, it's going to be cold outside

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Oct 1, 2023

    If you face heating bills that are burdensome, the State of Alaska’s Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program could be your solution. LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. It can help you stay warm in the winter and reduce the risk of health and safety problems such as illness, fire or eviction. The program may be able to offer you one or more of the following types of assistance: bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, and weatherization and energy-related home r...

  • Celebrating Residents Rights in Long Term Care Settings

    Dr. Stephanie Wheeler, Alaska Long-Term Care Ombudsman|Oct 1, 2023

    October is National Long-Term Care Residents’ Rights Month, a time to acknowledge the contributions and sacrifices many long-term care residents have made to better our community and to call attention to the rights of residents in long-term care facilities. Residents’ Rights Month is celebrated each year to highlight residents living in all long-term care settings. This year’s Residents’ Rights Month theme, "Amplify Our Voices," emphasizes a community of long-term care residents coming together to make their voices heard. Amplifying your vo...

  • A mountain of debt: Can credit and debt assistance companies help?

    Logan Hickle, Better Business Bureau|Oct 1, 2023

    Millions of Americans are in debt, but debt relief companies have their own issues. American consumers hold more than $16 trillion of debt in the form of mortgages, credit cards, personal lines of credit, home equity lines of credit, student loans and personal loans. When emergencies strike or monthly paychecks don’t always cover bills, countless credit repair and debt relief companies offer to help. However, our Better Business Bureau team has received over 11,000 complaints and almost 900 negative reports about debt and credit assistance. T...

  • Webinars focus on brain health

    Senior Voice Staff|Oct 1, 2023

    AARP Alaska is sponsoring a webinar series, “Brain Health Across the Lifespan,” which will explore how the brain changes as we age, plus aspects of lifelong brain health including diet, exercise and sleep. Webinars will also discuss how to work through situations where brain changes may be non-modifiable. The University of Alaska Southeast will livestream and post the talks on the UAS YouTube page. The series runs through January, with one webinar per month except for October, when there will be two: Oct. 13 and Oct. 20. Both will be pre...

  • 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...

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