Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 25, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, August 25, 2012



Dear Savvy Senior:

Do you know of any computer software that’s 
designed for seniors that I can download on an 
old computer that I have? I would like to set my 
grandmother up with a senior-friendly system for 
email and Internet access, but I don’t want to spend 
a lot of money. Searching Grandson

Dear Searching,:There are actually a number of 
companies and services today that offer simplified computer software that’s designed specifically for 
seniors who have little or no computer experience. 

These software packages can transform most Microsoft Windows personal computers (PCs) – some 
work with Macs and tablets too – into a much simpler computer experience that provides seniors easy 
access to most functions like sending and receiving email, browsing the Internet, making video calls, 
looking at photos, playing games and more. Here are some top options to check out.

Free Software

Since it’s completely free, a good place to start is at Eldy, an Italian nonprofit organization that provides 
simplified computer software in 25 different languages including English. Available to download at, this software works on PCs that use Windows and Linux systems, Macs and Android 

Once installed, Eldy converts the computer’s desktop into a simple six-button menu that has large text, 
color contrasts and simplified instructions (no confusing icons) that makes it easy to see, understand 
and operate. 

The six-button menu puts seniors literally one-click-of-the-mouse away from simplified versions of 
email, the Web, Skype for video calls, chat groups, a simple word processing program and more.

It’s also worth noting that Eldy software works on touch-screen computers too, and they also offer 
online tech-support. 

Fee-Based Services

If, however, you don’t mind spending a little money, there are also a number of companies that offer 
software similar to Eldy, but provide a few extra enticing features. One of the best deals is offered 
through SeeYouLink ( which has a three-month free trial and charges only $4.95 per 
month after that. 

SeeYouLink’s web-based software will transform any mouse-operated or touch-screen Windows-
based PC, into a simplified big-button operating system with large fonts and color contrasts. This 
will give your grandmother easy access to a host of functions that she can select from like email, Web 
browsing, video calling, brain-fitness games, movies, Facebook, a calendar that sends reminders and 
much more. 

In addition, this service also provides a “remote access” feature that will give you and other family 
members the ability to access your grandmother’s computer system from literally any computer 
anywhere in the world, so you can help her set things up, show her websites, scheduled appointments, 
or guide her through any other questions or problems she might have. And, when you or your 
grandmother needs help, SeeYouLink offers free tech-support both online and over the phone.

In addition to SeeYouLink, some other companies worth a look that offer similar services include 
InTouchLink (, which can be used on a PC, Mac or iPad and costs $13.75 per month 
or $150 per year. Pointer Ware (, which works on Windows PCs and costs a one-
time fee of $149, or you can subscribe monthly for $8 per month. And BigScreenLive (bigscreenlive.
com), that operates on Windows PCs and runs $9.95 per month for an annual membership. 

Senior-Friendly Computers

If you find that you would rather purchase your grandmother a new computer that’s designed for 
seniors and is ready to go right out of the box, you have options here too. 

Two of the most popular are the Telikin (, 800-230-3881) which costs between $699 and 
$999 – this same computer is also sold as the “WOW” computer through firstSTREET. And MyGait 
(, 866-469-4248), which runs $799 or $899 plus a $20 monthly service fee. 

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

August Birthdays

Harry Enmark, Marcia Bent, Phyllis Chapman, 
Beverly Clifton, Karlene Englert, Joan Spears, 
Barbara Godley and Jane Zamanzadeh, Phyllis 
Bugh, Mary Kay Gifford, Marjorie Peterson, Susan 
Poulsen, Genevieve Stubbs, Joseph Kiss, Patricia 


Senior Programs have returned to the Hart 
Park House enior Center, 222 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd. in Memorial Park - Come by and 
see the changes!!

Mondays: City Hall & Lunch Café 

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café: Come enjoy 
a hot meal with others. Donation for 
seniors (60+) of $2.00; visitors $3.75. Call 
355-0256 to make your daily reservation.


 FREE blood pressure checks by Methodist 
Hospital Nurse; 11 am to 12 noon.

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm 

BINGO; NEW TIME 1-3PM cards are 
only 25 cents each so stop by & play

5:15 pm to 6:45 pm: Yoga; $6.00 - 50 
& over. Please call 355-5278 for more 


11 –11:45 am: Balance Class with Teryl. 
FREE class designed to improve balance 
& refresh the joints

12 noon: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

2nd Wednesday of the month: FREE Legal 
Consultations: 10-11:30 am. Appointments 
call 355-7394

Wii Wednesday - 1:00 pm or call the senior 
desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No previous 
experience or skills required and it is 
great exercise.


1:00 to 3:30 pm: Game Day. Join us for 
Poker and more. Wii - 1:00 pm or call the 
senior desk at 355-7394 to arrange another 
time & day to learn how to play. No 
previous experience or skills required and 
it is great exercise. Please call for more 

Fridays: Intervale Lunch Café; daily reservations 
needed 355-0256

1:00 pm to 1:45 pm: Strength Training 
with Lisa Brandley. FREE class of stretching 
with light hand weights while you sit.

Saturdays: 11:30 am: Senior Club brown 
bag lunch and BINGO at 12:30 pm. 


Meals are delivered to home-
bound seniors by volunteer drivers 
through the YWCA Intervale 
Lunch Program M-F (with frozen meals for the 

 Call the YWCA at (626) 214-9460 for more 


Join the Senior Community Commission


 for a FREE presentation. Lunch is available 
for a $2 donation 

Call (626) 355-0256 by 

12 noon the day before. 


Tickets can now be purchased at:

Sierra Madre City Hall

Sierra Madre Library


Senior Movie Program

The Hart Park House Senior Center is starting 
a brand new monthly movie program beginning 
Wednesday, August 15. 

Each month a movie will be shown at no fee 
in the City Council Chambers located in City 

The movie for the month of August is, 

Invasion of the Body Snatchers, filmed in our 
very own Sierra Madre! 

All patrons are encouraged to join us monthly 
and it’s a great way to beat the summer heat.

Location: City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd.

Time: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Cost: Free, no charge.

*Food is not allowed in the Council Chambers



Thursday, September 13, 2012

Departure: Charter bus 
leaves at 9:30am from the 
Hart Park House

Lunch and Activities: 

Return: Bus will arrive back in 
Sierra Madre at approximately 

Cost: $34 includes transportation, 
lunch and tip

More Info: Call the Hart 
Park House Senior Center at 


 Ever since I had a series of beta fish die prematurely in my apartment, I’ve 
tried to keep the place “alive” with plants. Over the years I’ve cultivated a little 
“jungle” of avocado trees, oaks, succulents, and other flora. It’s certainly easier 
to take vacations when you don’t have to ask your friends or relatives to feed 
your pets. Not to say that I couldn’t care less whether or not my garden dies in 
my absence, but withered leaves aren’t as depressing as floating fish.

 So, you can imagine my astonishment and horror when I heard that some studies have found 
plants that have a consciousness rivaling our own! Admittedly, I first heard this while listening to 
Pastor Chuck Smith’s “Through the Bible” commentary, recorded in the 70’s. It’s not a “science” 
show. And I’m sure even if it was, that further research on the subject of plant consciousness has 
been conducted since then. However, it grabbed my attention.

 Pastor Chuck was commenting on verses 
in Psalms, such as “The heavens declare the 
glory of God; And the firmament shows His 
handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And 
night unto night reveals knowledge. There 
is no speech nor language where their voice is 
not heard.” (Psm. 19:1-3) He then told about a 
friend of his who was interested in polygraph 

 This man attached sensors to the leaves of a 
plant and hooked it up to a polygraph machine. 
At some point during his observations, he picked 
up the watering can, and the polygraph started 
to record the plant’s response. He thought it was 
a coincidence, so he put the watering can down, 
and then raised it again to see if the plant would 
react. It didn’t. He repeated this several times, but the polygraph needle didn’t budge. “Fine,” he 
thought. “I’ll water you already!” Immediately the needle went into action.

 On another occasion, the plant responded when a woman pinched one of its leaves. She then 
left the room for a while. When she returned, the plant reacted with violent movement of the 
polygraph needle.

 Well, not only do plants have “feelings,” but they also have memory and can interpret your 
thoughts! This opens up a whole new ethical can of worms. I’ve often written glowingly about 
my mom’s veganism. But now I worry that the field greens in a fresh salad are silently screaming 
as you pierce them with your fork. At least my diet consists mostly of frozen veggies. So if they 
suffered, they’ve been long dead by the time I get to them.

 There’s already so much guilt inherent in modern life. I feel guilty about buying the Ralph’s 
brand coffee when the product next to it (selling for twice as much) claims to be “fair trade, using 
sustainable farming techniques.” Should I buy a shirt for $10 at Target, wondering whether its 
makers in Bangladesh earned enough money to eat that night? Or should I buy a comparable 
American-made shirt for $30?

 And then there’s all the environmental guilt of driving a car, running air conditioning, and 
using plastic bags (at least that’s been somewhat alleviated by the recent super market reforms). 
I can only hope that when I die, my carbon footprint will be more the size of an gazelle than that 
of a camel. 

 Adding to my existing guilt, now I’m worried the plants are reading my mind! I don’t worry 
so much about my house plants, because I’m already trying my best to foster their well being. 
But my parents are considering taking out an ash tree because it has sapped the back yard of all 
its nutrients for the last thirty years. At first I was mildly sentimental about saying goodbye to a 
landmark I’ve known since childhood. But now I’m downright distraught wondering if it knows 
about their plans. It’s bad enough to cut down a tree, but to know that it knows you’re plotting its 
execution --that’s just too much. Hopefully the paper you’re reading this on is recycled. If not, 
please plant a sapling! 

(Editor’s note: Of course this paper is printed on recycled paper!)