Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 22, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 22, 2013 


Dear Savvy Senior:

My wife is having an increasingly difficult time going 
up and down the stairs in our house. We are interested 
in purchasing a stair lift, but aren’t sure what 
to get or where to look. Can you help us? Need a Lift

Dear Need:

A good home stair lift is a wonderful solution for 
seniors with mobility issues who have trouble with 
steps. A stair lift will carry your wife up and down the stairs in a safe seated position, giving her easy access 
to the second story or basement level of your home. But with so many options available how do you choose 
one that best meets your needs and budget. Here are a few shopping tips along with some good companies 
that offer them.

Types of Lifts

There are two basic types of stair lifts that are sold today: straight and curved. The type you need will depend 
upon the design of your staircase. 

A straight stair lift is one that travels in a straight line up a flight of stairs uninterrupted by landings, bends or 
curves, and costs between $3,000 and $5,000 installed. Curved lifts, however, are much more elaborate and 
will go around corners, bends and changes in direction. Curved lifts are also much more expensive typically 
running between $10,000 and $15,000 or more depending on the complexity of the installation.

Also available through certain companies are weatherproof lifts for outdoor steps, and standing stair lifts 
(also called perch lifts) for those who have trouble bending their knees. 

You also need to know that all stair lifts mount to the stair treads, not to the wall, so they are very sturdy and 
can be installed in almost any home. 

If your wife is a large person, you may need to get her a heavy-duty lift with a wider seat and bigger lifting 
capacity – all companies offer them. Or, if she’s tall, find out about raising the seat height during installation. 

Most stair lifts available today also have seats, armrests and footplates that fold up out of the way, and swivel 
seats that make getting into and out of the chair easier. They also come with standard safety features like 
seatbelts, breaking systems and footrest sensors, push-button or rocker-switch controls located on the armrest 
for easy operation, and “call send” controls which allow you to call or send the unit to the other end of 
the stairs. Make sure the lift you choose has all these features.

Depending on the company, you may also have the option of choosing between an electric (AC) and a battery 
powered (DC) stair lift. Battery powered units charge at the base station (some recharge anywhere on 
the track) are quieter, smoother and better than electric lifts, and will work even if there’s a power failure in 
the home.

Where to Shop

While there are many companies that make, sell and install stair lifts, the most respected in the industry are 
Bruno (, 866-345-7537) and Stannah (, 800-877-8247), followed by Harmar 
(, 800-833-0478) and Sterling (, 866-276-5438). 

Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover stair lifts, but many states offer Medicaid waivers that will pay 
for lifts to those that qualify, and the VA offers cash grants to veterans with disabilities for home safety 

To save some money, you may want to consider purchasing a used or refurbished model. Or, if you need a 
stair lift for only a short period of time, consider renting one. Most companies offer these options, and many 
offer financing programs too.

To get started, contact some stair lift companies who will put you in touch with a dealer in your area. All 
dealers provide free in-home assessments and estimates, and can help you choose an appropriate lift. 

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


By Pat Birdsall


1) Tote Your Shade: Parasols are making a comeback, this time with added UV protection. Even an 
umbrella can block more than 75% of the UV light. 

2) Blow Bugs Away: Mosquitos are drawn to your breath. To deflect them, create a patio breeze with 
an electric fan. 

3) Shun Pesticides: Herbs such as dill, cilantro and mint, and flowers like zinnias and cosmos, keep 
garden pests at bay. 

4) Lose the Straw: Pina Coladas are delightful, but pursing your lips too often as you sip can exaggerate 
fine pucker lines. 

5) Sweeten up Naturally: Summer’s fresh fruits make this the perfect season to cut back on unhealthy 
levels of sugar. 

6) Undo Sun Damage: Cell-repairing veggies like tomatoes and broccoli “can help counteract the 
effects of ultraviolet rays” on your skin, says dermatologist Ava Shamban, M.D., author of Heal Your 


HELPFUL HINT: Ladies, short on closet space? Line up shower curtain hooks on a closet 
pole to hang your handbags. Gentlemen, need a Flathead Screwdriver and you can’t find one? Basic 
power plugs usually fit medium and large-sized screws.



 A man walks into a restaurant with a full-grown ostrich behind him. The waitress asks them for 
their orders. The man says, “A hamburger, fries and a Coke, and turns to the ostrich, “What’s yours?” 
“The same says the ostrich.” A bit later the waitress returns with the order. “That will be $9.40 please,” 
and the man pulls out the exact change for the payment. The next day, the man and the ostrich come 
in again and the man says, “A hamburger, fries and a Coke.” The ostrich says, “The same.” Again the 
man reaches into his pocket and pays with the exact change. This becomes routine until the two enter 
again. “The usual?” asks the waitress. “No, this is Friday night, so I’ll have a steak, baked potato and a 
salad,” says the man. “Same,” says the ostrich. 

 Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, “That will be $32.62.” Once again the man pulls the 
exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table. The waitress can’t hold back any her curiosity 
any longer. “Excuse me, sir. How do you manage to always come up with the exact change every 
time?” “Well, says the man, several years ago I was cleaning up the attic and found an old lamp. When 
I rubbed it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes. My first wish was when I had to pay for 
anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would be there.” 
“Brilliant!” says the waitress. “So what’s with the ostrich?” The man sighs, pauses and answers, “My 
second wish was for a tall chick with a big rear end and long legs who agrees with everything I say.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … June Birthdays

Nellie Haynes, Dorothy McKay, George Enyedi, Theresa Daley, Ann Dugerian, Marilyn 
McKernan, Pat Fujiwara, John Shier, Beth Smith-Kellock, Mary Carney, Ann Disbrow, Joan 
Ellison, Ruth Kirby, Irene Kudirka, Anne Montgomery, Trini Ornelas, Martha Spriggs, Pat 
Starkey, Kathleen Coyne, Suzanne Decker, Halcyon Koerber, Jacque Persing and Jeanne 
Peterson and Grace Sanders.

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not 


Quote of the Week: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~ Milton Berle


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 Balance Class: Every 3rd Monday for 11:00 am to 11:45 am with Shannon Vandevelde. A 
variety of balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

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 110:30 am to 11:15 am. Join Paul Hagen for this 
free class that focuses on senior yoga techniques. No reservation is 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.

Lunch and Learn: Wednesday, June 26th, 12:15 to 1:00 pm

Come listen to the great services offered by Humana, a widely known company throughout 
our community and the country. Their motto entails: “Healthy People, Healthy Planet, Healthy 
Performance.” They promote seniors and their well-being.

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. 

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 Birdsall at 626.355.7290.


Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles)

 Date: Friday, June 28, 2013

 Time: 10:00am -2:30 pm

 Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $25.00 (does not include lunch)

Founded in 1979, MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted to exclusively to contemporary 
art and is committed to the collection, presentation and interpretation of work produced since 1940 
in all media. The educator-led guided tour highlights the various exhibits in a fun and exciting way 
as well as provides the most information about MOCAA’s collection and current exhibitions. It is 
recommended to bring $10-$15 for lunch.

Save the Dates!

Friday, July 12, 2013- Pageant of the Masters (evening excursion)

Friday, August 16, 2013- USS Iowa (San Pedro)

Registration can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center & Community Recreation 
Center or online at Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted. Make 
checks payable to “City of Sierra Madre.” Payment must be made at the time of registration.


Senior Movie Program: FREE movies are chosen by the seniors themselves and shown on the 
1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra Madre 
Blvd., Sierra Madre. ~ Start time is 1:00pm ~

June 19th: Age of Champions (2011)

Sponsored by Humana: This is the award-winning documentary follows five competitors who sprint, 
leap and swim for gold at the National Senior Olympics. You’ll meet a 100 year-old tennis champion, 
86 year-old pole vaulter and rough-and-tumble basketball grandmothers as they discover the power 
of the human spirit and triumph over the limitations of age. Not Rated Start time: 1:00 pm (run time 
is 75 minutes)

“Fish!” and Other 
Advances in 

 I have no complaints about 
my job. Heck, I’m grateful just 
to be employed! There are 
many people on staff, and quite a few I hardly know 
because we rarely work together. Although no one 
has a particularly bad attitude, there isn’t really 
much camaraderie between coworkers. Since our 
boss is retiring and a new guy is coming in, two of 
my coworkers and I decided now would be a great 
time to introduce a plan to improve the emotional 
climate of our workplace!

 We didn’t have a real “plan,” but Bruce (not his 
real name) offered to bring in a book he’d received 
at a professional development training. Oh no, I 
thought! There are few experiences more boring 
than staff development trainings! Granted, there’ve 
been the exceptional few speakers 
who’ve inspired me to give a shot at 
whatever they were suggesting. But 
those were the exceptions. 

 I recalled my mom telling me 
about when her school attempted to 
adopt Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of 
Highly Effective People. Don’t get 
me wrong, I totally agree with the 
habits he recommends, such as taking 
responsibility for your actions rather 
than blaming others, being proactive, 
and communicating respectfully. 
Covey is essentially marketing basic 
manners of civility your parents should have taught 
you. It’s kind of like another “breakthrough” literacy 
program they adopted that included a diagram of 
two intersecting circles called “The Double Bubble 
Map.” I’m sorry, but that’s a Venn diagram. If you’re 
going to use it, at least give Venn credit!

 Such thoughts were running through my mind 
when Bruce let me borrow his copy of Fish! A 
Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve 
Results by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul, and 
John Christensen. And I must say, reading it was 
a pleasant surprise. The Fish! “philosophy” started 
with the fishmongers at Pikes Place Market in 
Seattle. Could you imagine a more laborious, 
mundane existence than lugging around heavy, 
frozen fish? Yet, in this unlikely environment, the 
workers decided to rise above their circumstances 
and treat the customers, and each other, with sincere 
respect and compassion -- and they even have fun 
doing it! Other businesses asked them what made 
their fish company so exceptional. The fishmongers 
distilled their philosophy down to four principles: 
Be there, Make their day, Choose your attitude, and 
Play. The first two principles stress the importance 
of selflessness, thinking of the other person first. 
You respect others by making time to give them 
your undivided attention. You also empathize with 
others by striving to encourage them, even if that 
means just holding the door open and smiling. 

 Like Covey, these concepts are nothing new. 
Also, I really can’t critique Covey’s work, because I 
haven’t read it. I’m only going off my mom’s account 
of practicing the 7 Habits. One of their exercises 
involved sitting in a circle and passing around a 
“talking stick.” Each staff member was given one to 
keep. They looked like small, ornately carved totem 
poles (talk about marketing!). 
I’m sure Covey’s 7 Habits 
are all admirable, but one 
of the beauties of Fish! is its 
brevity (the film is only 18 
minutes long) and simplicity 
(4 principles versus 7).

 In the end, any “training” 
of this sort is going to be, at 
least partially, “preaching 
to the choir.” The people 
who are already putting 
others before themselves 
and showing compassion 
will feel validated. For others, if they didn’t learn 
basic manners as children, no amount of educating 
is going to change them. And then there are the 
people who will adopt these principles almost by 
osmosis when they see others doing so. Thank God 
that there usually aren’t very many people in the 
second group!

 Really, an even simpler version of all this can be 
summed up in “Do to others what you would have 
them do to you.” This may sound similar to older 
spiritual teachings such as to not cause harm, steal, 
or do anything you wouldn’t want someone to do to 
you. Living by those principles, you would not steal 
or do hateful things to others. In contrast, living by 
the former principles, you would give to others and 
find ways to show your love for them. Jesus had it 
right the first time.


 The Sierra Madre Farmer’s Market hours have changed to 3:00pm through 8:00pm 
every Wednesday in fall and winter. Vendors include Dry Dock which has fresh 
and wild caught fish, Rustic Loaf with artisan breads, Cutie Pie with fresh pies and 
much more!

 For those interested in being a vendor contact Melissa Farwell with Raw 

Inspirations at 818-591-8161 ext. 806.