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  • Age 70 or older and not yet receiving benefits?

    Social Security Administration|Sep 1, 2023

    Retirement is not one-size-fits-all. It can mean different things to different people. Perhaps you have not applied for Social Security retirement benefits because you’re still working or are delaying applying so you can get the higher benefit. If you’re age 70 or older, you should apply now for the benefits you’re owed. Your benefits will not increase if you continue to delay applying for them because you are 70 or older. Did you know that you can receive benefits even if you still work? Your earnings can increase your monthly benefit amoun...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Senior Voice Staff|Sep 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...

  • Playing "password" must be taken seriously

    Roseann Freitas, Better Business Bureau|Aug 1, 2023

    In the 1960s, many Americans tuned into the game show “Password,” where contestants were paired with celebrities to guess words from verbal clues. While that word, “password,” might have once brought to mind giddy TV contestants playing for cash, we’re much more likely to think about passwords nowadays in the context of online security. And why wouldn’t we? Passwords are required across the internet to pay bills, log in to social media, subscribe to streaming services and more. We’ve become quite familiar with the need to create usernames and...

  • Farmer's Market checks buy fresh produce

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 1, 2023

    Senior Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program check booklets are available at local senior centers and other agencies. Each booklet includes $35 worth of checks that can be used to buy fresh Alaska-grown fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut herbs and honey at participating farmers’ markets, authorized farms, and roadside stands within Alaska. Applicants must be at least 60 years old and meet low-income eligibility guidelines. Links to program information and a downloadable application are at https://bit.ly/3BfGvLV. Or call your local senior center or mea...

  • Teleconference will focus on senior services grants

    Jon Haghayeghi, Alaska Commission on Aging|Aug 1, 2023

    The Alaska Commission on Aging (ACoA) is hosting a teleconference focusing on Nutrition, Transportation and Support Services (NTS) grants. Subject experts Ellen Hackenmuller and Kristin Cox of Senior and Disabilities Services will explain the mechanics of NTS grants in Alaska. Grant recipients have been invited to participate in regional focus groups alongside our experts to assist the commission in understanding the growing needs of the state. The efforts made during this teleconference will assist ACoA commissioners in gathering information...

  • Social Security and people on the autism spectrum

    Social Security Administration|Aug 1, 2023

    Social Security is committed to reducing barriers and ensuring people who are eligible for our benefits receive them. We provide income security for the diverse populations we serve. This includes people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Many parents and caretakers of children with disabilities lose work hours and income because of their children’s care needs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides monthly financial support to low-income families with children who have developmental and behavioral disabilities. T...

  • Retirement planning tips for single women

    Jim Miller, Savvy Senior|Aug 1, 2023

    Dear Savvy Senior: What retirement planning tips can you recommend to single women? I’m a divorced 58-year-old woman with a teenaged son and have very little saved for retirement. — Financially Vulnerable Dear Vulnerable: It’s an unfortunate reality, but many single women – whether they’re divorced, widowed or never married – face much greater financial challenges in retirement than men. The reasons behind this are women tend to earn less money, about 82 cents for every dollar that men make, on average, and they have shorter working car...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Senior Voice Staff|Aug 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...

  • Networking for Anchorage, Mat-Su area provider businesses and agencies

    Senior Voice Staff|Jul 1, 2023

    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 July 12, hosted by Anchorage Senior Activity Center. Call Older Persons Action Group, Inc. at...

  • 'All the lonely people' includes many of us

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

    "Ah, look at all the lonely people." -The Beatles You hear him talk or you read his words and you think, "Now, this guy's a real mensch." It's all the more amazing considering that Dr. Vivek Murthy has served as the 19th and 21st surgeon general of the United States under Presidents Obama, Trump and Biden. That's right, a high-level bureaucrat and a good soul. Dr. Murthy just released a ground-breaking study entitled, "Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation." Just plug that title into your...

  • Relax and let the driver take you to your destination

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

    First, I'm going to tell you a true story. Then we'll talk about how your public transit driver can pick you up and take you where you want to go for free, or sometimes for just a buck or two. In the late 1990s Christy (my wife) and I lived for nearly a year in Huntsville, Alabama, while I did research for a book I was writing. On weekdays she took our car to her job, and I took a city bus to the law office where I was doing the research. After a few months I got to know the bus drivers pretty...

  • New name, same support for Alaska's LTGBTQ+ seniors

    Alaska Rainbow Elders|Jun 1, 2023

    The LGBTQ+ organization, SAGE Alaska, is now Alaska Rainbow Elders, or ARE for short. This change was made at the request of the national organization, SAGE USA, hoping it would encourage all its partners to concentrate on issues unique to their area. Under the new structure, ARE continues to partner with SAGE USA but will no longer use its name or logo. It will retain access to SAGE USA’s many resources. Alaska Rainbow Elders was created after using community input to guide the rebranding. ARE joined the national SAGE USA in 2016, having opera...

  • Beware scams around 'new' Medicare cards

    Alaska Medicare Information Office|Jun 1, 2023

    In 2018, Medicare updated the Medicare card from containing a person's Social Security number to a random identifier that includes numbers and letters. That was the last time the card was updated and there is no plan to update it again. What does the card look like? The card from Medicare is a paper card that has a blue banner on the top, a white middle, and a red banner on the bottom. However, you can print your own in black and white. Examples of Medicare card scams Someone calls you...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Social Security Administration|Jun 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...

  • MASST supports Alaska senior jobseekers

    Monica Wafford, For Senior Voice|Jun 1, 2023

    Are you 55 or older and seeking work? Mature Alaskans Seeking Skills Training (MASST) is a community service and work-based job training program. In Alaska, there are MASST programs covering the state by region: Anchorage, Northern and Interior, Gulf, Southeast and Mat-Su. Learn while you earn Through MASST, subsidized community service assignments are provided in public and non-profit agencies, allowing these agencies to enhance and provide needed services to the community while older workers gain job skills. Program participants work an...

  • Retiree benefits for Alaska veterans and their families

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

    There is a vast array of benefits for retired veterans and their families, but “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Not to worry, we will point you in the right direction. I recently interviewed three Alaskan experts on the topic and here’s a sample of what they had to say. First up, Verdie Bowen, Director of the Alaskan Office of Veterans Affairs: “I’m probably the only director in the nation that actually will take and file a claim. I’m Alaskan and I’m from the bush. When you go into a community, you’re the only expert there. “We are here...

  • What is an ADU? Why do we need them?

    AARP Alaska|May 1, 2023

    An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a self-contained, compact residence with all the basic necessities for day to day living that is on the same property as a single-family home. ADUs come in many forms: backyard cottages, above-garage suites or apartments attached to the main house. Essentially, they are modest but complete living spaces paired with a primary house on the same lot. ADUs typically have a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and a separate entrance. ADUs can be a way for older residents to age in place and maintain the social connections...

  • Volunteer hospice is a community resource

    Summer Johnson-Thomas, Hospice of Anchorage|May 1, 2023

    In February, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter decided to spend his remaining time at home with his family and receive hospice care. Despite his remarkable longevity and vitality until the end, President Carter still faced the inevitability of aging and the need for end-of-life care. After hearing this news, many people in the U.S. began wondering: what is hospice care? Hospice provides compassionate care to people nearing the end of their lives. It is a form of specialized healthcare that...

  • Video assistance with Social Security questions

    Social Security Administration|May 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...

  • Commission on Aging: Thank you for your feedback

    Jon Hagheyaghi and Bob Sivertsen, Alaska Commission on Aging|Apr 1, 2023

    On behalf of the Alaska Commission on Aging, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your outstanding participation in the recent Senior Survey. Your response rate was double that of the Commission’s previous survey, demonstrating that your voices are being heard and that your opinions matter. By sharing your opinions, you have helped us to identify key areas where we can improve the lives of Alaska seniors. The results of the Senior Survey indicate that maintaining physical health, access to healthcare, and financial security are t...

  • Palmer lunch cancellation hard to swallow

    Dimitra Lavrakas, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    When Palmer Senior Center, a facility under the Mat-Su Senior Services, announced on Feb. 17 that its on-site lunch program would end Feb. 21, seniors expressed anger, sorrow and understanding on its Facebook page. The center’s page disabled comments, so they weren’t visible, but people sharing the announcement posted plenty of their own reactions: “For most Alaska-bound seniors like myself, it’s about the only socially significant thing to do to get out of the house in winter,” wrote one. “I don’t qualify for Medicaid but that doesn’t mean...

  • Technology for wellness and independence

    Tori Gingras, For Senior Voice|Apr 1, 2023

    Assistive technology can increase an individual’s independence, enhance their quality of life, and give them control over their well-being. While that may seem like a big promise, it is easily achievable. Almost everyone uses assistive technology, but often it’s seen as a gadget, tool, device or piece of software that makes things easier for the user. However, for someone that experiences a barrier because of an impairment or disability, it can be life-changing. Examples of assistive technology include: personal listening devices for amp...

  • AGEnet lists top legislative priorities

    Marianne Miller, AGEnet|Mar 1, 2023

    AGEnet stands for Alaska Geriatric Exchange Network, primarily made up of private non-profit organizations founded in Alaska. AGEnet’s goal is to help older Alaskans age in place, supporting them to live safely in their own homes and communities for as long as possible and avoid costly institutional care, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Community grants help Alaska’s seniors to age in place. Not only do older Alaskans prefer to stay in their own homes, it is also the least costly type of care. Last year, 19,000 older Alaskans ben...

  • Safely walking in wintry weather

    Katey Redmond, Center for Safe Alaskans|Mar 1, 2023

    We want it to be spring, but Alaska will continue experiencing icy sidewalks and slick roads for weeks. However, you can still get excellent exercise by walking safely and making yourself more visible to drivers. Wearing items that make you more visible, such as reflective tape, helps drivers see you in the dark. Center for Safe Alaskans is giving out free reflective tape by mail. To request reflective tape, call 907-929-3939 or visit the center's website at https://safealaskans.org/reflectivetape/. A grant from the Alaska Highway Safety Office...

  • Can new Medicare patients find a doctor in Anchorage?

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

    We feature here selections from two interviews. The first is with Deborah Bear, Anchorage senior activist, who presents her experiences and views regarding access to primary health care as a senior with Medicare. The second is with Tamara Brown, chief executive for Providence Clinical Network, who explains how Providence is responding to the need. These interviews have been edited for length and clarity. Weiss: Deborah Bear, how did you get started as an activist about the issue of access to pri...

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