Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 12, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, January 12, 2013 



What’s free, what’s not!

Dear Savvy Senior: What types of preventive 
health screenings does Medicare completely cover, 
and which ones require a coinsurance fee? I’m due 
to get some preventive tests done, but I want to find 
out how much I’ll have to pay before I proceed. 
Frugal Retiree

Dear Frugal:

Medicare covers a wide array of preventive services 
to help you stay healthy, but it’s important to know which services are totally covered, and which 
ones will generate some out-of-pocket costs. 

Free Services

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, original Medicare now offers many of their preventive health 
services completely free to beneficiaries. 

Preventive services include various exams, lab tests and screenings that help find health problems 
in their earliest stages when they’re easier to treat. They also include a number of vaccinations and 
programs for health monitoring, as well as counseling and education to help you take care of your 
own health. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the different Medicare preventive services that won’t cost you a cent, along 
with the eligibility requirements you’ll need to meet to get them.

• Wellness visits: All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for two types of preventive wellness 
visits – one when you’re new to Medicare and one each year after that. But don’t confuse these with 
full physical examinations. These are prevention-focused visits that provide only an overview of your 
health and medical risk factors and serve as a baseline for future care. 

• Colorectal cancer screening: The fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy 
is available to all beneficiaries age 50 or older.

• Mammograms: All women with Medicare ages 40 and older can get a free breast cancer 
screening mammogram every year. 

• Pap tests and pelvic exams: These cervical and vaginal cancer screenings are available every 
two years, or once a year for those at high risk.

• Prostate cancer screenings: Annual PSA blood tests are available to all male beneficiaries age 
50 and older.

• Cardiovascular screenings: Free blood test to check cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels 
are offered every five years to all Medicare recipients. 

• Diabetes: Screening available twice a year for those at risk.

• Bone mass measurements: This osteoporosis test is available every two years to those at risk, 
or more often if medically necessary. 

• Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: To check for bulging blood vessels, this test is available 
to men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked. 

• Vaccinations: An annual flu shot, a vaccination against pneumonia and the hepatitis B vaccine 
are all free to all beneficiaries.

In addition, Medicare also offers free smoking cessation counseling; medical nutrition therapy to 
help beneficiaries with diabetes or kidney disease; depression screenings; alcohol screening and 
counseling; obesity screening and counseling; annual cardiovascular risk reduction visits; sexually 
transmitted infection screening and counseling; and HIV screenings.

Cost-Sharing Services

Medicare also offers several other preventive services that require some out-of-pocket cost-sharing. 
With these tests, you’ll have to pay 20 percent of the cost of the service (Medicare picks up the other 
80 percent), after you’ve met your $147 Part B yearly deductible. The services that fall under this category 
include digital rectal exams for prostate cancer, glaucoma tests, and diabetes self-management 
training services. 

For detailed information on all Medicare preventive services see, or 
call Medicare at 800-633-4227 and ask them to mail you a free copy of “Your Guide to Medicare’s 
Preventive Service” (publication 10110). 

Medicare Advantage

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll be happy to know that all Advantage plans are also now 
required to cover the same free preventive services as original Medicare. 

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.

 By Pat Birdsall



“I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up…”


 Most people my age or older have already gotten several messages: Use it or lose it, or…A body 
in motion tends to stay in motion…etc. Not me…I have to be hit over the head, quite literally, to 
get it. Without the embarrassing details, suffice it to say, I can hear you now! I will never laugh at 
the aforementioned commercial again…at least not as boisterously as once did. I am having hip 
replacement surgery on Wednesday and I’m going to be ill-prepared as far as my muscle tone is 
concerned. I have none! I have literally sat like a lump in front of my computer giving my brain non-
stop nourishment but none to my limbs. There is really no excuse. In Sierra Madre we are lucky to 
have not just one, but two terrific volunteers who give free fitness lessons every week at the Hart Park 
House, Senior Center.

 On Wednesday, from 11:00 to11:45 am, Teryl Willis offers Chair Yoga. She focuses on senior 
yoga techniques that are geared toward gentle movements, breathing techniques and balance 
improvement. Hmmm? On Friday, longtime volunteer, Lisa Brandley, conducts a free Strength 
Training class from 1:00 to 1:45 pm. The class utilizes light weights (supplied), for low-impact 
resistance training. No excuses, right?

 I need to give my guardian angel a well-deserved rest…as it is, he or she is now sporting double-
strength support hose and has put in ads in the Penny Saver for several stand-by angels. Wish me well!


HELPFUL HINT: After boiling Pasta or potatoes, cool the water and use it to water your 
houseplants. The water contains nutrients that your plants will love. 



This is a true account as recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida. An elderly lady did her 
shopping and upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She 
dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, 
“I have a gun and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!” The four men didn’t wait for a second 
invitation. They got out and ran like mad. The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her 
shopping bags into the car and got in the driver’s seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her 
key into the ignition. She tried and tried and then it dawned on her why. For the same reason she did 
not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12 packs of beer in the front seat! A few 
minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags 
into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told her 
story couldn’t stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter where four pale men were 
reporting a carjacking by a mad, elderly woman carrying a large handgun. No charges were filed. If 
you’re going to have a senior moment, make it memorable!

 ~ ~ ~ 

 Did you hear about the scientists who crossed a sheep with a porcupine? They got an animal that 
knits its own sweaters. (Groaning is recommended) 



HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … January Birthdays…

Mary Tassop, Judy Webb-Martin, Mary Bickel, Marlene Enmark, Ross Kellock, Ruth Wolter, 
Sue Watanbe, Sandy Thistlewaite, Bobbi Rahmanian, Fran Syverson, Shirley Wolff, Judy 
Zaretzka and Becky Evans. *To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper 
at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required.


Quote of the Week: If you cannot be a poet, be the poem. ~ David Carradine


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 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: 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: 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 12:30- 3:30 pm. Only .25c per card… For more information 
call Pat at 626.355.7290.


Autry National Center-Guided Tour (Griffith Park, Los Angeles) 
Date: Thursday, January 31, 2013

 Time: 9:30 am- 3:00 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $20.00 (does not include lunch)

Don’t miss a visit to this historic museum which explores and shares the stories, experiences and 
perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. A one hour guided tour will be given upon 
arrival followed by lunch on your own at the Autry Café and/or independent exploring of the vast 
collections of art and artifacts. For more information please visit 

* And, “save the date” for the following excursions…more information on each is forthcoming…

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise Date: Friday, February 22, 2013

Description: View actual costumes from movies released in 2012, including 2012 Academy Award 
Winner for Best Costume, The Artist.

Jeopardy Taping at the Sony Lot Date: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Description: Attend a taping of America’s favorite quiz show. Test your knowledge while host Alex 
Trebek challenges the contestants.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are shown on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month. The 
films, one contemporary and one vintage, are chosen by the seniors themselves. January’s selections 

January 23- The Sound of Music (1965) In Rogers and Hammerstein’s greatest collaboration, a feisty 
postulant named Maria (Julie Andrews) is sent to care for the unruly, motherless Von Trapp children. 
She soon tames them…and finds herself falling for their stern father (Christopher Plummer). The 
Oscar-winning director Robert Wise used stunning Austrian locations to transform the popular stage 
musical into a cinema classic in which the hills truly seemed to come alive.

(Run time is 174 minutes) Start time: 1:00 PM 

All movies are shown in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 


 Merry Christmas and Happy 
New Year, again! Hope you had 
a great time. I can’t complain, 
which means I’m totally 
content. Amidst the holiday 
flurry, my husband and I were fortunate enough 
to get away for a weekend wine tasting trip in 
Paso Robles! We’d been to Paso a couple times 
before and, being the adventurists that we are, 
we always try to hit new places every time we 
revisit the region. This year, we got to explore 
some well known vineyards, and a few that were 
off the radar.

 I must admit that the GPS function on 
our phones was invaluable! But despite our 
technological advances, our initial attempts 
weren’t very successful. One of the first places 
turned out to be some creepy industrial building 
with signs “For Lease” and for “Free Wine 
Barrels.” We assumed they meant empty ones, 
but didn’t stop to find out.

 Rabbit Ridge was the first “real” winery we 
visited. I’d grown to adore their Allure de Robles 
Rhone red wine, sometimes sold at Trader Joe’s 
for $4.99 (can’t beat that!). We arrived a little 
before noon at something that looked like a massive, seemingly abandoned, mustard-colored 
castle. Paper signs taped to the walls led us around several corners in search of the tasting room. 
We ended up on a loading dock. Retracing our steps brought us to an unadorned door which 
opened into a very large warehouse with a bar in one corner.

 “Hey, whatever works!” A seated couple was already midway through their flight of wines. We 
tasted a series of reds, all of which I enjoyed. The next stop was Dunning. I’d had a bottle of a red 
(syrah?) from there before, and assumed the winery would be as wonderful as its wine. Needless 
to say, the GPS saved us from losing our way in the boonies of Paso Robles. At the end of a 
long, unpaved road, we reached Dunning vineyards and their vacation cottages. Unfortunately, 
it appeared to be abandoned. The tasting room was unlocked, and there were several corked 
bottles on the counter and a used wine glass. My husband checked for signs of life at the cottages, 
while I waited outside. The faint sound of a motor rose beyond the terraced hill. Eventually, a 
man drove up on a vehicle my husband later informed me was an ATV. The driver climbed off, 
introduced himself as the proprietor, and apologized for making us wait. Apparently he had to 
help out his neighbor with some shipment.

 No worries! I didn’t care if the owner arrived in a space ship, as long as the wine was good (and 
affordable). Over the next couple days we visited a variety of vineyards and met many interesting 
people. At one place, we were the only people at the bar when a young, well-groomed couple 
arrived. (The girl excused herself, and her fiancé hurriedly explained that he planned to surprise 
her by proposing at the next winery on their itinerary.) He had arranged for all their friends to 
“hide” at that vineyard until the moment he popped the question. 

 I was thinking that he must’ve been darn sure she was going to say “yes!” In view of the 
time constraint, he asked the tasting room attendant if she wouldn’t mind “hurrying through” 
their flight so that they’d make it in time for the main event. We were all happy for them, and 
pretended we knew nothing of his intentions. But I wondered if the girl realized that she and 
her fiancé skipped over at least three whites, and were poured only miniscule portions of the two 
last reds. No bother. We caught up with them at the more trendy winery an hour later. She was 
admiring her large diamond ring, so the proposal must’ve been successful.

 The other wineries and tasting rooms we visited had their share of memorable wines and 
company. The last one we visited had a couple cats sleeping dangerously close to the serving 
area. We knew it was time to head home. One thing I realized during this trip was that it’s better 
to pack in a hearty breakfast and lunch, in order to fortify yourself in case a winery has a long 
flight of wines to sample. Dinner, therefore, becomes an afterthought. But we were happy that 
our hotel was adjacent to many cheap, late-night eateries. Zinfandel pairs well with filet mignon, 
but also nicely complements items from Denny’s and KFC.