Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 24, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, November 24, 2012 



Dear Savvy Senior:

My husband and I are both in our 60’s and are interested in making some modest changes to our home 
to make it more practical and senior-friendly, but aren’t sure what to do. What resources can you recommend 
to help us figure this out? Homebodies

Dear Homebodies:

Most seniors, like you and your husband, want to 
stay living in their own home. But being able to 
do so often depends on how easy it will be to get 
around the house if you develop physical limitations. 
Here are some helpful resources you can 
turn to, to get an idea of what types of improvements 
you should make that will make your home 
safer and more convenient as you grow older.

Get Informed

A good first step in making your house senior-friendly is to do a home assessment. Go through your 
house, room by room as if you’ve never set foot in it before, looking for problem areas like potential 
tripping or slipping hazards, and areas that are hard to access. To help you with this, there are various 
organizations that offer published lists of questions to ask, and things to look for to identify problems. 

The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence (see, for example, offers a number of online 
checklists including one called “How Well Does Your Home Meet Your Needs?” that you can 
access directly at Or, download and print off the National Caregivers Library 
“Home Modification Checklist” at – click on “Checklists & Forms,” then 
on “Housing” to get there. 

AARP also has an excellent resource called “The AARP Home Fit Guide” that provides a checklist and 
tips to keep your home safe and livable as you age. You can access it at, or if you’re 
an AARP member, call 888-687-2277 and ask them to mail you a free copy. 

Personalized Advice

If you want more personalized help, consider getting a professional in-home assessment with an occupational 

An occupational therapist, or OT can evaluate the challenges and shortcomings of your home, make 
modification recommendations and refer you to products and services to help you make improvements. 
Ask your doctor for a referral to an OT in your area. Your local Area Agency on Aging (call the 
Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116 for contact information) can also help you find nearby therapists.

Many health insurance providers, including Medicare, will pay for a home assessment by an OT if 
prescribed by your doctor. However, they will not cover the physical upgrades to the home.

Another good option is to contact a builder who’s a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. He or she can 
suggest ways to modify your home that will fit your needs and budget. To find one, go to the National 
Association of Home Builders website at where you can search by state and zip 

Home Modifications Ideas

There are dozens of small, simple things you can do to make your home more user-friendly as you 
age, such as securing throw rugs with double-sided tape to avoid tripping, installing brighter full-
spectrum bulbs in existing light fixtures to improve visibility, and adding grab bars to the bathroom 
for support. There are also a number of bigger more extensive projects like installing a stair-lift or 
elevator for multi-floor access, and replacing the tub with a walk-in shower for easier entry and exit.

To get a list of more senior-friendly home improvement ideas and illustrations, see the National Aging 
in Place Council website at – click on “Practical Advice” then on “Making Your 
Home Senior Friendly.” 

Another good resource that’s loaded with tips and universal design ideas is the “AARP Guide to Revitalizing 
Your Home.” It’s available in book stores nationwide as well as online at sites like amazon.
com for around $16.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit 

 By Pat Birdsall


 This past Wednesday, our city lost a very special lady…Loyal America Camacho. I honestly 
have never met anyone more interesting or more entertaining. She could regale you with tales of 
her early beginnings and then segue into being in Hawaii during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She 
came to Sierra Madre after her twin sister Gloria’s husband died just over 25 years ago. She hit the 
ground running immediately. She volunteered for myriad clubs and organizations. She was on the 
Green Team at the Women’s Club, faithfully watering the grounds. She also volunteered at the local 
library where her sister worked as the children’s librarian. However, where Loyal really excelled was 
volunteering at the Sierra Madre Senior Center helping the YWCA Intervale lunch program. I have 
never seen a person work as hard as Loyal did, never. I don’t think the words rest and relaxation ever 
entered her mind. She really enjoyed calling the City’s Bingo game on Tuesday afternoons and the 
Senior Club’s Bingo games every Saturday. She was president of that club so often, one loses track. She 
was Sierra Madre’s Older American of the Year in 2005. 

 Loyal and Gloria weren’t identical twins either by birth or by personality…Loyal could tell the 
bawdiest jokes ever and tell them well. She was a favorite of the maintenance workers, hmm…??? 
Whether all her stories really happened or were embellished didn’t matter. She enjoyed the telling 
and everyone enjoyed the listening. She loved children and animals, not necessarily in that order. 
I remember her getting on her knees and rolling a ball back and forth with my then, two year old 
grandson, Tully, at the Senior Center. I think she enjoyed it as much as he did. 

 One of the things she said will always remain with me and bring a smile to my face. The pods from 
the Liquid Amber trees were all over the place just outside the Center. She picked one up and said, 
“Porcupine eggs.”

 There are many spaces left for new plaques at the Veteran’s Memorial Wall. If you or a friend, 
family member or neighbor served in any of the United States military branches the criteria for 
inclusion is simple: You must have lived in Sierra Madre for at least one year sometime in your life 
and have a picture of yourself in uniform. Please call Dave Loera, Commander of VFW Post 3208, 
to be included and for more information: (626) 355-3382. We’d be proud to have you!

You can help: This week the Veteran’s group is one that former Senior Commissioner, Joan Spears, is 
personally involved with, it is: Soldiers’ Angels. They provide aid and comfort to the men and women 
in the military and their families. Please visit their website because the opportunities to help are vast, 
there is something doable for you. their credo is: “May No Soldier Go 




HELPFUL HINT Murphy’s Oil Soap is not just for floors. It’s a great stain remover for fabrics 
too. From “ring-around-the-collar” to melted butter and various food stains…especially around the 
holidays. Just pour directly on the stain, let stand for a few minutes and then wash as usual.



One busy Saturday, a friend of mine was standing in a long line at a local feed store, watching in 
astonishment as a woman pushed past other customers to get up to the counter. “A one hundred 
pound bag of pig chow,” she demanded. “Sure,” the clerk snapped back. “For here or to go?”


The husband and wife go to a marriage counselor after 20 years of marriage. The counselor asks them 
what the problem is and the wife goes into a tirade listing every problem they have ever had in the 20 
years they’ve been married. She goes on and on. Finally, the counselor gets up, walks around the desk 
and embraces the wife and kisses her passionately. The woman shuts up and sits quietly in a daze. The 
counselor turns to the husband and says, “This is what your wife needs at least three times a week. 
Can you do this?” The husband thinks for a moment and replies, “Well, I can drop her off here on 
Mondays and Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I golf.” 




 Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Lena Zate, Joe Pergola, Janice Kacer, Flo Mankin, 
Valerie Howard, “Mike” Ruggles, Lois Stueck, Joan Ruggles, Jean Wood, Shirley Yergeau, 
Kathi Jefferson, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary Steinberg, Christine Durfort, 
and Sue Quinn. To add your name to this list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737 YEAR 
of birth not required.


Quote of the Week: Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 
minutes. Half-time takes 12 minutes. This is not a coincidence. ~ Erma Bombeck~


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart Park House (Senior 
Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

YMCA San Gabriel Valley Intervale Senior Café: Monday-Friday at 12:00 Noon

(Participants are urged to arrive no later than 11:45 A.M.) 

 All seniors 60 and up can take part in the lunch program. There is a suggested donation of $2.00 

for those 60 and over and $3.75 for non-senior guests. Daily reservations are necessary as space is 
limited. Please call 24 hours in advance...626.355.0256


Free Blood Pressure Testing: On the 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: A nurse 
from Methodist Hospital, Arcadia volunteers to do the readings. No appointment necessary.


Bingo: Every Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm- 3:00 pm Cards are only .25c each! 

Free Chair Yoga: Every Wednesday morning from 11:00 am-11:45 am. Volunteer Teryl Willis offers 
this class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. It is geared toward gentle movements, breathing 
techniques and balance improvement. No reservations are necessary.

Free Legal Consultation: Pasadena attorney Geoffrey Chin volunteers on the 2nd Wednesday of 
the month. He focuses on estate planning, trusts, wills, probate, conservatorships and business law. 
*Appointments are a must. Please call 626.355.7394 to make yours. 

* Conflicting court schedules can occasionally cause cancellations.

Birthday Celebrations: The 2nd Thursday of the month the Senior Center celebrates the birthdays of 
our patrons at 12:30 pm. Please join us for free cake and ice cream and “celebration.” (The cakes are 
provided due to a generous donation from the Sierra Madre Civic Club.)

Game Day: Game Day: Every Thursday at 1:00pm. Poker is usually the game of choice, or should 
I say chance? Board games and other card games are also available. Outside, on the patio, a beautiful, 
one-of-a-kind chess table is anxious for players.

Free Strength Training Class: Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 1:00 pm -1:45 pm

Conducted by long-time volunteer Lisa Brandley. The class utilizes light weights for low-impact 
resistance training. Weights are provided by the Sierra Madre Senior Center. It’s a great way to stay in 
shape and to socialize with your peers. (Gossip included) 

Senior Citizens Club: Every Saturday-at the Hart Park House (Senior Center) Brown bag lunch 
at 11:30am; Club meeting at Noon; Bingo at 12:30- 3:30 pm. For more information call Pat at 


Date: Friday, December 14, 2012

Departure: 9:00am from the Hart Park House

Lunch and Activities: 10:00am- 2:00pm

Return -Hart Park House: 3:30 pm (time approximate)

Cost: $32.00 (does not include lunch)

Come discover more than 150 priceless Egyptian artifacts from nearly 2,000 years ago. For more information 
visit Reservations or more info call the Park House at (626) 355-7394 


 Did you have a nice 
Thanksgiving? I did. (Actually 
I’m writing this Tuesday 
night, but I anticipate a good 
Thanksgiving.) One of the 
things I’ve enjoyed about recent 
Thanksgivings is the casual attitude my family 
and in-laws have developed. This means we can 
come wearing tee shirts and tennis shoes if we 
want. We can drink beer with the hor dourves 
and eat $2 Ralph’s pumpkin pie for dessert. And 
we’re freed from the bondage of turkey.

 Yes, turkey is bondage. Any dish that requires 
weeklong prepping or gallons 
of frying oil is a form of 
culinary slavery. An animal 
that comes with an implanted 
pop-up timer is a sure sign of 
freak farming. Unless you’re 
a die-hard foodie, turkey is a 
daunting trial you should only 
have to experience once, if at 
all, in a lifetime.

 I’ve never grasped why some 
people expend so much effort 
on something that typically 
tastes bland at best, and bland 
and dry at worst. I take that 
back. At worst, you’ll harbor a colony of bacteria 
in the stuffing crammed up your bird’s body cavity, 
and sicken your whole family. If you manage to 
avoid food poisoning, you’ll still most likely have 
a LOT of turkey left over. Sure, you can try to 
pawn it off on visiting relatives. “Kyle can take 
sandwiches on the plane back to Pittsburg.” But 
Kyle will counter with a sly comeback, “I’d love 
to,” (liar!) “But they’re really strict about what you 
can take on board these days.”

 So, you’re stuck with more than half of the 
carcass. What to do, what to do? Of course 
there’s a plethora of recipes online for those 
experiencing turkey overload. But at the end 
of the day, you’re going to have to doctor up the 
bird somehow because, let’s face it --turkey just 
doesn’t taste good by itself.

 Some good sports use up all their turkey bits 
in sandwiches, burritos, soups, and salads. But 
a lot of people take the easy, wasteful way out 
and chuck the remaining bird with the rest of 
the week’s trash. I recently read a Los Angeles 
Times article stating that about a third of the 
turkey meat purchased in the U.S. will end up in 
the dump.

 This rampant waste is unconscionable, 
particularly because we’re supposed to be in a 
huge economic recession! I understand throwing 
it away if this is your first turkey venture and 
you’ve made everyone in your family sick. 
Perhaps just mustering the strength, in your 
weakened state, to lug the bird to the trash is a feat 
in itself. In that case, you’ve done the right thing; 
contain the contamination. But if this is the third 
bird you’ve tossed, or if you just can’t stand the 
thought of eating turkey for one more meal, you 
should consider broadening your Thanksgiving 
main entrees. Try including something you 
either know everyone will finish or something 
that translates well into multiple meals.

 It was while I was considering the great 
American turkey waste that I experienced an 
epiphany! There is so much meat thrown away, 
while there are so many 
hungry mouths to feed. Why 
not send turkey trucks into 
neighborhoods the Saturday 
after Thanksgiving to collect 
everyone’s discarded turkey 
meat? (Friday wouldn’t 
work, because they’re all 
killing each other at the mall 
on Black Friday.) Collecting 
homemade turkey presents 
the hazard of spreading 
infection and disease. But 
don’t worry, I’ve accounted 
for that, too!

 A few months ago, “Beef Inc.” shut down many 
of its “pink slime” factories in response to pubic 
outrage about the quality of “beef” being fed to 
school children and the public at large. Many of 
these factories remain dormant, silently waiting 
for a new protein to fill their tubes and vats.

 Behold --”White Slime!” Mechanically 
separated and disinfected for your dining needs! 
What better way to recycle everyone’s leftover 
turkey than to turn it into turkey nuggets, turkey 
sticks, and whatever other sick products Beef Inc. 
produced? The danger of cross contamination 
and other food borne pathogens will be dealt with 
during the “meat’s” ammonia baths. Only it won’t 
be beef-pink this time, it will be turkey-white. In 
the spirit of Thanksgiving, charity, and fairness, 
“white slime” products should be donated to 
those in need or sold at discount prices. 

 If this humble brain child should come into 
being, I’m sure it would soon go the way of most 
American products. It would suffer graft and 
corruption, and ultimately there’d be some cover 
up about the dangers of ammonia and whatever 
other noxious chemicals would be used in its 
production. But until then, this viable use for 
the nation’s trashed turkey remains. Remember, 
when you see an ad for “turkey nuggets,” you read 
it here first!

SENIOR MOVIE PROGRAM: Free Movies are shown on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday 
of the month. The films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors 
themselves. This month’s selections are:

November 27- The Odd Couple (1968) Written by Neil Simon, this is the hysterical 
tale of two men separated from their wives who try sharing an apartment; one is 
a neurotic neat freak and the other is a fun loving slob. Jack Lemmon and Walter 
Matthau star.

Movies are shown in the Sierra Madre Council Chambers (222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.) at 1:00 PM.