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Alaska Elders as refugees [internally displaced persons]

I was wondering if anyone else * noticed the impact of the negative conditions in rural Alaska affecting older people? especially if this means older people have to move to Anchorage or Fairbanks. This topic came up recently among the groups that need to be (or should be) prepared to assist those folks, despite Gov. Palin’s and the Republican’s inaction.

If you know of someone else that can give a feel or better yet, actual numbers or examples, please ask them. Post your results in comments below or e-mail me.


*
Sarah Palin, the elderly, the disabled, older Americans and rural Alaska


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Sarah Palin, the elderly, the disabled, older Americans and rural Alaska

[revised]

naomidagenbloom 2008 September 2

Vuee, Vuee, We need to hear MORE from you now about the way Alaska has come into our consciousness via your governor–the believer in “stakeholders.”

Readers can’t get off that easy, Little Red Hen— what questions do folks have?

The reason I have been rather quiet, blogwise, is because the news from rural Alaska about living there isn’t good. There has been next to nothing improved since earlier posts, this includes the past 18 months of the personable Gov. Sarah Palin. I’ll give examples below, but they sound depressing. So readers, what do enquiring minds want to know? If nothing else, I can at least point you to some good sources of facts or commentary from Alaska perspective.

An older friend of mine (from Tucson) sends this musing upon the early photo of Sarah Palin and her caribou ( http://newsminer.com/photos/galleries/2008/sep/01/sarah-palin-growing-alaskan/1156/. It is the photo of the red-nosed caribou NOT a reindeer.)

>My deep reflections, caribou inspired::
1. Macho women don’t need to wear pantsuits to assert themselves.
2. Most currently popular female names go from my daughter Michelle to my mother Sarah.
3. Sarah definitely shoots better than Dick. How about Joe’s expertise with firearms?
4. Candidates should not be judged only on basis of age, gender, and looks.
5. Candidate’s children are given on-stage prominence. It should be unfair to have the youngest ones debate politics, but what about having a food fight?

————————————-

  • there’s the older gentleman who is resigning himself to move 400 miles away from home to be near his grandkids because his grown children had to move to Anchorage to find work to meet the utilities payments
  • there’s all the older people who need an assisted living arrangement or nursing home (a 400 mile trip, if one can afford to get into Bethel from the village to get on the jet)
  • there’s fuel oil at $6-15 a gallon
  • there’s the Bush-Cheney stimulus payments which only went to those who have taxable income. They don’t go to those who cashed in IRAs early to pay electricity or who struggle to make sense of their returns.
  • there’s electricity at 40 cents or more per kilowatt hour (with a subsidy for residences) in rural Alaska (Wasilla pays considerably less, without subsidy)
  • there’s gasoline, needed to go out and “grocery shop” on the tundra or out in the river, at $6 to $18 gallon.
  • there’s gaining grandmother status at 34
  • there’s raising grandchildren at 70
  • there’s having your one-time $1200 “energy check” from the state stolen by your children for smokes and booze

2008-09-04 Look guys, what someone else found
gov-sarah-palin-call-in-kyuk/

2008-09-04 Fact Check of Governor Palin’s Speech http://progressivealaska.blogspot.com/2008/09/saradise-lost-chapter-twenty-five-obama.html

PALIN: “Senator McCain also promises to use the power of veto in defense of the public interest – and as a chief executive, I can assure you it works.”
REALITY: PALIN OPPOSED CRUCIAL EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND SENIORS FUNDING […]

Andrew Halcro does a fine job at http://www.andrewhalcro.com/grading_palins_speech_a

Also: tech support has a listing of reasonable sources at Sarah Palin content

2008-10-27 Palin’s gaffe about her policy on “special needs” while her record shows she has none
http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/BlueOasis/~3/431498178/showDiary.do


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New elderblog available

New to me, at least. WordPress.com now has options for the corporate server to add links to other websites that it thinks may be relevant to a particular post. We bloggers have no control over what those links are, except to turn them off. However, an incoming visitor to here came from a linked web log that is interesting. Check it out. Global Ageing Network Blog http://iahsa.wordpress.com/

The International Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing, http://www.iahsa.net IAHSA is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
2519 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-1520
iahsa/AT/aahsa/DOT/org
Phone (202) 508-9468
Fax (202) 220-0041

IAHSA is an affiliate of AAHSA American Association of Homes and Services for the Ageing


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Amenities for those in LTC

Maya’s Granny (see sidebar) unfortunately had a heart attack recently and is struggling back. While she isn’t blogging as regularly as before, she does explain why. In addition, her children have also helped everyone keep up with news. This is an excellent although unplanned use of a web log.

Today she posted a list of items from the expert’s perspective (recipient) that we all too often forget or wished we knew when a friend or family is in care.

Amenities:
If you know anyone staying for a while in a hospital or extended care facility, among the things that will make life good for them, are: […]

I would add a flannel shirt or some other easy to use coverup. Add your suggestions to Maya’s Granny or below.


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Gov Sarah Palin call-in KYUK

Last Friday there was a brief news story about the governor maybe coming to Bethel. An even briefer notice on the radio today (but not in the news) said there would be a call-in program with the Governor on Thursday, January 10, 2008 from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM [deadline]

Call early as I’m sure there will be a number of people trying to get in.

local numbers for Bethel 543-KYUK (543-5985) and state-wide 1-800-478-5985 (double-check this)

Questions to ask–

  • why did elders not get their flu shots until the week before Thanksgiving? Older people are on the priority list. The state had vaccine available from mid-September.
  • why was all that huge state block grant money spent on reducing the size of the workshop at the senior center, a partial rain shelter for the bus, siding, but no accessible toilets and no way for anyone with a walker or wheelchair to get from the parking lot to the door?
  • why is the nearest nursing home or assisted living home 500 miles away? why must we continue to have elders die unattended (for hours sometimes) at these places?
  • why is there only one intake screener for the elder abuse “hot” line?
  • why don’t state grants for senior services require an active, effective, local senior advisory board at the recipent?
  • why aren’t elders involved in emergency, pandemic, and disaster preparedness, including emergency shelters? (that’s because there is no emergency shelter in Bethel)
  • what are the state’s plans for community relocation (environmental change) and how are elders involved?
  • why are there no housing standards so elders don’t have to spend their limited income on extra heating fuel?
  • why are there public water supplies with water so discolored and distasteful that elders spend their limted income on bottled water?

What’s your question to ask?


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Alaska Senior Care special session

Due to strong media attention and public pressure, legislators are calling themselves back to hold a special session focused on Senior Care to be held Tuesday, June 26th in Anchorage. This is a good indication that legislators intend to work towards finding a long-term authorization for the Senior Care program that benefits about 7,000 older Alaskans over the age of 65 who earn less than $16,133 for a single and $21,641 for a couple annually. Most Senior Care recipients use their benefits to help pay for food, rent, utilities, and other necessities. Without Senior Care, many recipients may slip through the holes of the social service “safety net.”

The House Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing this Wednesday, June 6th, at 4 pm at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. The hearing will be teleconferenced statewide and the public is invited to testify. Currently, SB4 is the only bill on the agenda. This bill reauthorizes the needs-based Senior Care Program with an eligibility limit of 150% of the Alaska poverty level, no asset test, and a tiered benefit program tied to income ($175 monthly for households at 100% FPL; $150 monthly for households 100 to 135% FPL; and $100 for households 135 to 150% FPL). Please testify at this week’s hearing and encourage others, especially those who are Senior Care recipients, to testify and tell why this program is important for them. The Senior Care Program is scheduled to sunset on June 30th, 2007. Please call your local Legislative Information Office and ask if they are open for this special hearing on June 6th.

Lastly, we are building a public awareness campaign to put a face on the Senior Care program that will be used to educate legislators and the public. We are in the process of collecting stories from Senior Care recipients – no names or other personal information will be disclosed. We want to impress upon legislators and the public that the Senior Care program makes a real difference for those who receive the benefit.

Please send us any stories you may have concerning persons receiving Senior Care benefits, their circumstances, how they use the benefit, what they plan to do if the Senior Care Program is discontinued. This special session is a golden opportunity for us to advocate together for the best Senior Care program possible for those most in need, hopefully to extend beyond what the current program provides. Please feel free to call me for more information. Thank you. Denise

Denise Daniello, Executive Director
Alaska Commission on Aging
150 3rd Street, Suite 103 / P.O Box 110693
Juneau, AK 99811-0693

907-465-4879 (phone)
907-465-1398 (fax)
email: Denise_Daniello AT health DOT state.ak DOT us
www.alaskaaging.org

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