Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 8, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 8, 2012



Dear Savvy Senior:

Where can I find help for depression? My husband, 
who’s 68, has become lethargic and very irritable 
over the past year, and I’m concerned that he’s depressed. 
Worried Wife

Dear Worried:

Depression is unfortunately a widespread problem 
among U.S. seniors, affecting approximately 15 percent of the 65-and-older population. Here’s 
what you should know, along with some tips and resources for screening and treatments. 

Recognizing Depression

Everyone feels sad or gets the blues now and then, but when these feelings linger more than a few 
weeks, it may be depression. Depression is a real illness that affects mood, feelings, behavior and 
physical health, and contrary to what many people believe, it’s not a normal part of aging or a 
personal weakness, but it is very treatable. 

It’s also important to know that depression is not just sadness. In many seniors it can manifest as 
apathy, irritability, or problems with memory or concentration without the depressed mood. 

To help you get some insight on the seriousness of your husband’s problem, here’s a rundown of 
the warning signs to be vigilant of. 

• A persistent feeling of sadness. 

• A lost interest in hobbies or activities that were previously enjoyed.

• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or hopelessness. 

• Trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions. 

• Feeling anxious, restless, or irritable. 

• Loss of energy or motivation. 

• Inability to sleep or sleeping too much. 

• Not eating or eating too much. 

• Thoughts about dying or suicide.

A good resource for identifying depression is Mental Health America, a national nonprofit organization 
that offers a free online depression screening test at This test 
takes just a few minutes to take and can help determine the severity of your husband’s problem. 

There’s also National Depression Screening Day which is coming up on Oct. 11. Sponsored by 
Screening for Mental Health, this is a completely free service that provides depression screenings 
by mental health professionals at hundreds of locations across the country. The test takes less than 
15 minutes to complete, and is available to people of all ages. To find a site near you visit helpyourselfhelpothers.

Also be aware that Medicare now covers annual depression screenings as part of their free Welcome 
to Medicare visit for new beneficiaries, and free annual wellness visits thereafter.

Get Help

If your husband is suffering from depressive symptoms, he needs to see his doctor for a medical 
evaluation to rule out possible medical causes. Some medications, for example, can produce side 
effects that mimic depressive symptoms – pain and sleeping meds are common culprits. It’s also 
important to distinguish between depression and dementia which can share some of the same 

If he’s diagnosed with depression, there are a variety of treatment options including talk therapy, 
antidepressant medications or a combination of both. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a particularly effective type of talk therapy which helps 
patients recognize and change destructive thinking patterns that leads to negative feelings. For 
help finding a therapist who’s trained in CBT, ask your doctor for a referral, check your local yellow 
pages under “counseling” or “psychologists,” or check with the Association for Behavioral and 
Cognitive Therapies (, or the Academy of Cognitive Therapy ( 

Another treatment worth mentioning is a relatively new procedure called transcranial magnetic 
stimulation (TMS). This FDA-approved treatment uses a small electromagnet placed on the scalp 
right behind the left forehead, and delivers a tiny electric current to the part of the brain linked to 
depression. TMS is currently available in about 420 psychiatrist offices around the country (see and is very effective for older patients.

Savvy tip: The National Institute of Mental Health offers a variety of free publications on depression 
that you can order at, or call 866-615-6464.

September Birthdays

Judie Cimino, Donna Anderson, Linda Knowles, 
Gwen Robertson, Nancy Shollenberger, Meegan 
Tosh, Geri Wright, Theresa Chaure, Esther Macias, 
Sheila Pierce, Denise Reistetter, Edwina Garcia, 
Yvonne Osti


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 



All seniors 60 years of age and up can take part in the 
YWCA Intervale daily lunch program held

at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Meals are 
served Monday through Friday at 12:00pm

(participants are encouraged to arrive no later than 
11:45am). Meals are a suggested donation of

$2.00 for seniors 60 and over or $3.75 for non-senior 
guests. Daily reservations are necessary, as

space is limited. Please reserve your lunch by calling 
626-355-0256 at least 24 hours in advance.


Free Tickets for Two!

On Saturday, September 29,2012 you and a 
friend can visit participating museums for free! 

To register for your free ticket for two go to 

Participating L.A. area museums include: Autry

National Center, California Science Center, 
Skirball Cultural Center, L.A. Museum of the 
Holocaust and more! 

You can stop by the Hart Park House for assistance 
signing up for free tickets. 

Call 626-355-7394 for more info.



Thursday, September 13, 2012

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

Lunch & Activities: 11:00am-2:00pm

Return: Bus will arrive back in Sierra 
Madre at approximately 3:30pm

Cost: $34 includes transportation, 
lunch and tip

For more information on Riley’s Farm 
please visit their website at http:// The deadline

for registration is Wednesday, 

September 5, 2012.



Friday, October 26, 2012

Departure: 9:30am from the Hart Park 

Lunch& Activities: 10:30am-2:00pm

Return: Sierra Madre approximately 

Cost: $10 (does not include lunch)

More Info: Call the Hart Park House at 

Graber Olive House tour highlights

the tradition of grading, curing and

canning of Graber Olives! For more

information on the Graber Olive 
House please visit www.graberolives.
com. After the tour lunch will be 
eaten as a group at Molly’s Souper, a

fantastic brunch restaurant in Upland. 
All participants are required to eat at 
the same restaurant. 

The registration deadline is Monday, 
October 22, 2012.


 No, I’m not writing about 
the 1994 flick, “Dumb and 
Dumber.” I’m talking about 
something nearer and dearer 
to all our hearts --traffic 
lights. Whether you’re the 
passenger or driver, you’ve 
encountered your fair share of dumb/
standard lights, and periodically experienced 
the welcomed joy of “smart lights.” 

 Traffic lights operate on timers or other 
sensors that detect changes in weight or 
other car properties (I’m 
just guessing at this; it’s all 
over my head, like long 
division). Smart lights, 
however, have some magical 
way of knowing when a lot 
of cars are waiting for a light. 
They can also tell when there 
are barely any cars passing 
through on a green light.

 Case in point: The 
intersection of Baldwin, 
Foothill, and the 210 freeway. 
(I hope an Arcadia traffic 
engineer is reading this!) For 
years, Arcadia had a “dumb” 
light there. Then, for a while, 
its intelligence shot up and 
the light became capable of 
knowing when to change 
signals to keep traffic flow 
smooth. All of us motorists 
were thrilled!

 Then, without warning, it 
dumbed down again. At first 
we thought it was merely 
dumb for certain, less-busy 
times of day. But waiting 
for the light at various hours 
confirmed its declined 

 The problem, you see, isn’t that there’s 
a dumb light there. The problem is that it 
was at one time smart, and now people hold 
it to a higher standard. (Sort of like “No 
Child Left Behind,” this is “No Lights Left 
Behind.”) People are disappointed, they 
grew accustomed to the light’s smartness 
and expect it to continue. Lights that just 
stay dumb their whole lives aren’t criticized 
the same way once-smart lights are. People 
excuse them saying, “Well, it’s always been 
that way.”

 But, as with most less-than-ideal 
circumstances, there’s a bright side to it. 
Would we really appreciate our smart lights 
if we didn’t have dumb ones to compare 
them to? Admittedly, waiting at the light 
means you’re either burning 
gas or expending electricity, 
(depending on your shade 
of greenness). However, 
waiting in traffic gives you 
the opportunity to have a 
meaningful conversation 
with your passengers, or 
to quietly reflect on the 
experiences of your day. 
Americans hate to wait. 
Technology has become 
increasingly intuitive. It 
anticipates and carries out 
our every want and need. 
Women can’t even wait 
to have their kids these 
days! Scheduling labor 
inducement or a C-section is 
SO much more convenient. 

 Waiting can be good for 
us. It forces us to live in the 
moment (for a moment), and 
encourages creative thinking. 
Hey, sometimes I even come 
up with a decent topic for 
articles while waiting at 
traffic signals. I hope I’ve 
given you some mental 
reprieve from whatever 
traffic signal anxiety you may be suffering 
from. So, take the time to appreciate your 
smart lights for being smart, and your dumb 
ones for inadvertently giving you a little 
break --you probably need one anyway.


Join the Senior Community Commission

at the HART PARK HOUSE for a FREE presentation. 
Lunch is available for a $2 donation. 
Call (626) 355-0256 by noon the day before. 

Fall Prevention Seminar • Sept. 5 @ 12:30pm 

September is Fall Prevention Month, and we are 
helping seniors “watch their steps” with a great fall 
prevention seminar by ComForcare Senior 

Services. We will look at personal risk factors for

falling and home safety issues that cause falls.

We will also discuss easy ways to correct these

problems so that our seniors can continue to live

actively and independently. This seminar will be

fun and interactive!

Kensington Q&A Session • Sept. 19 @ 12:15pm

Developer Billy Shields, a representative of the

Kensington Assisted Living Project, will be at the

Hart Park House to host a Q&A session. This is the

perfect opportunity to find out more about the

Kensington project that will be on the November

ballot which may impact Measure V. Kensington

proposes an assisted living facility at 33 N.

Hermosa Ave. and 245 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. in

Sierra Madre.


The Hart Park House Senior Center is 
expanding the monthly movie program 
to two movies in September. 

One classic and one contemporary

movie will be shown on the 2nd and 4th

Wednesdays of the month. As an added 
bonus, at the end of the movie the audience 
will get to choose the movies for the 
following month! All movies begin at 
1:00pm in the Council Chambers

and are absolutely free.

CHICAGO • Sept. 12

Sept. 26