Alaska Senior Fall Prevention Week

September is designated as National Fall Prevention Awareness Month, a time when many agencies serving older Americans acknowledge this with special events and educational programs throughout the nation. In our state, the Alaska Commission on Aging and the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services have joined with private agencies and individuals to make fall prevention information readily available to the public.

Governor Sean Parnell recognized the importance of falls prevention by proclaiming the week of Sept. 16-22, as “Senior Fall Prevention Week” in Alaska. The proclamation acknowledges that accidental — and usually preventable — falls are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries for Alaskans 65 and older, and are the leading cause of fatal injury for those older than 75.

To prevent falls, seniors are urged to begin a program of regular exercise, to discuss their medications (including over-the-counter drugs and alcohol use) with their health care provider, to have their sight and hearing checked, and to review their homes for hazards such as loose rugs, clutter on the floor, puddles of liquid, steps in ill repair, dark hallways or stairwells and loose electrical cords.

In Juneau, on Sept. 22, senior citizens, their friends and families are invited to stop by the Nugget Mall from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to learn practical ways to prevent slips, trips and falls, before they happen. The event will include video clips, a talk with a physical therapist, a Tai Chi demonstration, as well as information on medications, assistive equipment, home safety and a program called A Matter of Balance that has been shown to prevent falls and increase confidence. Persons age 60 and older will be eligible for a special drawing.

Also, to celebrate and educate Alaskans about the importance of preventing falls, Southeast Senior Services is kicking off this year’s family caregiver training series with “Practical Tips to Prevent Falls;” on Sept. 26 at noon, in KTOO’s first floor conference room, health educator Nancy Jamieson of Alaska Senior and Disabilities Services will discuss why fall prevention is so important and those things seniors and caregivers can do to improve their chances of not falling. The training is free and open to all unpaid family caregivers and senior citizens.

For those outside of Juneau, the region-wide Senior Information and Caregiver Resource Center has information on falls prevention, including a library of pamphlets, books and videos available to all caregivers and seniors. Call the Resource Center at 463-6177 or 1-866-746-6177 to learn more.

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Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:39

Communications scholarship open

Alaska Professional Communicators are offering two $1,000 scholarships for students planning a career in communications and majoring in any phase of public communications, including public relations, advertising, radio-television, video and print.

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Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:39

Thank you from Big Brothers Big Sisters

Thanks to the City and Borough of Juneau tax revenue and the CBJ Activities Grant, five big and little matches in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program enjoyed an afternoon of free skating at the Treadwell Ice Arena!

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Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:38

Thank you from the American Red Cross of Alaska

On Feb. 17, 2017 we celebrated our 100-year anniversary as the American Red Cross of Alaska. It was very important to us to kick-off the year in Juneau as the original Red Cross of Alaska Charter was in Juneau. We are so happy we did! We have so many people to thank for making the evening not only fun, but heart-warming as well. We first have to thank the volunteers that worked so hard. Thank you to Buddy Custard, board member extraordinaire, for all of your guidance, humor, and hard work. Thank you Teresa Maria Abella for asking Senator Egan to be our Honorary Chair, for plastering the town with posters, for your fundraising efforts, your excitement, your photography, and just in general for being such a blessing to the Red Cross team. Senator Egan and Jesse Keihl, what can we say? You were amazing and helpful and patient. I will miss our meetings and the laughter that always ensued. We would be very remiss if we did not thank Governor Walker for giving us your time and for sharing your Red Cross story. Your commitment and support are deeply appreciated and we were touched beyond measure by your decision to attend and speak at our celebration. Lt. Governor Mallott and Mrs. Mallott, thank you for attending and supporting our mission. You bring such a sense of calm and grace wherever you go, we are humbled that you shared that with us. Last, but most definitely not least, we must thank all of our volunteers. The American Red Cross is a volunteer-run organization with only 14 staff for the entire state of Alaska. We could not help the hundreds of Alaskans that we do without volunteers. Our volunteers are the ones that get up at 2 a.m. when we receive a call about a house fire. They leave their homes and families to help others if there is a large disaster either in Alaska or in some other part of the country. I have said it many times, and will continue to say it: Red Cross volunteers are the best in the world. They are selfless, kind, generous people who only want to help. For this celebration there are a few in particular we need to thank: Karen Petersen, Peter Chaille, June Johnson, Joyce Levine, Michelle Brown, Carolyn and Dan Garcia, Chip Wagoner, Rebecca Trude, Rick Janelle, Patricia and Kyle Lamson, Bob Bassett, and T Iputi! Thank you Juneau and Southeast Alaska for supporting the American Red Cross of Alaska’s first 100 years; we look forward to the next 100!

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Mon, 02/27/2017 - 08:38

Planetarium presents ‘Aurora’

The Marie Drake Planetarium will present “Aurora” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, followed by “The Sky Tonight” on the Spitz projector. The event is free and for all ages.

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