Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 6, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 6, 2013 


Dear Savvy Senior:

Can you write a column alerting seniors to the dangers 
of summertime heat? I manage a number of 
urgent care clinics, and last summer we had more 
than 200 cases of heat-related illnesses, most of who 
were seniors. I would like to reduce that this year. 
Concerned Citizen

Dear Concerned:

 I certainly can. Most people don’t realize that extreme summer heat causes thousands of heat-related 
illnesses in the U.S. each year, and kills more people than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods and 
earthquakes combined, and seniors are among the most vulnerable.

The reasons behind this are because of the body’s ability to regulate temperature through blood circulation 
and sweat glands tends to decline with age. Bodies of older adults also contain far less water 
than a younger person, and older brains don’t recognize thirst as easily, making them more likely to 
get dehydrated. 

In addition, many seniors have certain health problems that can increase their risk of hyperthermia 
(when the body overheats). These include:

• Underlying diseases like congestive heart failure, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary 
disease or COPD.

• Trouble walking or moving around.

• Being overweight.

• Having dementia or other problems with thinking skills.

Medications that some seniors take, like diuretics and other high blood pressure drugs, can also cause 
dehydration or affect the ability of their heart, blood vessels or sweat glands to respond to the heat. 

Signs of Danger

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. The signs to watch for include a body temperature 
above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, a rapid pulse rate, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, 
and hot, dry skin with the absence of sweating. If you, or someone you know is experiencing these 
symptoms, call 911 immediately because heat stroke is a medical emergency. 

Heat exhaustion is milder and can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures. The 
warning signs are heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, fainting, dizziness, 
headache, and nausea or vomiting.

What to Do

If you think you may be suffering from a heat-related condition, cool yourself down by going indoors 
into air conditioning, remove or loosen any tight-fitting or heavy clothing, drink plenty of water (but 
avoid alcohol and caffeine), take a cool bath or shower, or apply cold water, ice packs or cold compresses 
to your skin. 

And when you do go out in the heat, be sure to dress in lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing, 
avoid extended periods of sun exposure and drink plenty of water even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Seniors who live without air conditioning should go to public places that have it like shopping malls, 
senior centers or public libraries. Your local health department can also refer you to an air-conditioned 
shelter in your area.

For those who can’t afford to run their air conditioning at home, there’s the federal Low-Income 
Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), along with many utility companies and charitable organizations 
that may be able to help you with your utility costs. To find out about the programs 
available to you, along with their eligibility requirements and how to apply, call the National Energy 
Assistance Referral project at 866-674-6327 or visit

For more extreme heat-related safety tips, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website 

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

FYI - Ronald McDonald House Program

 The Ronald McDonald House program provides a “home-away-from-home” for the families of 
seriously ill or injured children who often have to travel great distances for treatment. Families are 
stronger when they are together, which helps in the healing process of the child who would otherwise 
be frightened without the love and support of mom and dad. As you may already know, one way they 
raise funds for their houses is by collecting pop tabs. Why? The pop tabs are more hygienic and the 
collection and storage is much easier. They are also worth more than the entire can because they are 
made from higher quality aluminum.

 The Sierra Madre Senior Citizens Club is collecting pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House 
in Pasadena…please help them. The tabs can be brought to the Hart Park House, Senior Center in 
Memorial Park, or dropped off at City Hall in whatever vessel you have them in, from baggies to empty 
milk cartons. We will be glad to deliver them along with ours to the Pasadena Ronald McDonald 
House. 1,267 pop tabs equals one pound…but, who’s counting? 

 If you have any questions, please call me: Pat Birdsall, (626) 355-7290.Thank you in advance on 
behalf of the children and their families! 


HELPFUL HINT: Every time you change the bulb in the light fixture on your front porch, 
you find the rust has “glued” the piece in place. Next time, rub about a tsp. of petroleum jelly over the 
metal threads of the new bulb. It acts like a sealant to stop water from seeping in and keeps the internal 
surface slick for easy removal.



 When the patrolman saw the man speed past, he pulled him over and asked for his license and 
registration. “I lost my license after my fifth DWI,” the guy replied calmly. “I’ll give you the registration, 
but don’t freak out when I open the glove box because I’ve got a couple of guns in there. And if you 
search the car, don’t be surprised if you find some drugs in the trunk.” Alarmed, the cop called for 
backup. Moments later a SWAT team swept down on the car. The driver was handcuffed as the team 
searched the vehicle. “There are no drugs or guns in this car buddy,” the SWAT leader said to the 
driver. “Of course not,” the man replied. “And I suppose that cop told you I was speeding too.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … July Birthdays

Nina Bartolai, Mary Lou Caldwell, Louise Neiby, Eunice Banis, Betty Hansen, Christine 
Durfort, Shahrzad Azrani, Betty Barlow, Cindy Barnard, Jeanne Borgedahl, Janet Cox, 
Dorothy Montgomery, Bess Pancoska,Janice Swanson, Linda Thunes, Barbara Watson, Pat 
Alcorn, Karma Bell, Alice Clark, Dorothy Jerneycic, and 

Betty DosRemedios.

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


Quote of the Week: Some of the best memories are made in flip flops”~ Kellie Elmore


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: New Hours: 11:00 to 11:45 Every Wednesday morning. 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.


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 ~

July 17 : West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story is an American musical directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an 
adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which was in turn inspired by William 
Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It’s a musical about two youngsters from rival NYC gangs who fall 
in love. Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris. 
Not rated. Start time: 1:00 PM (run time is 152 minutes)

 The story of Beatrix Potter, the author of the beloved and best-selling children’s book, “The Tale of 
Peter Rabbit,” and her struggle for love, happiness and success.

 Rated PG Start Time: 1:00 pm (run time is 92 minutes)


 At 15 years of age, my parent’s zebra finch recently died. We knew he was old, 
but he had gone on so long, even after murdering two of his cage mates before we 
recognized this violent streak in him. He seemed invincible. We affectionately 
called him “Killer.” Killer never really sang like other finches or canaries. He had 
two audio “tracks” that he would vocalize for minutes on end. Track one consisted 
of two notes, repeated over and over. Track two was a series of four descending notes, repeated over 
and over. In addition to Killer’s longevity, his volume was amazing. How something with lungs the 
size of raisins could project such a loud sound is beyond my understanding. 

 I don’t know if my parents will get another pet anytime soon. Over 
the years we’ve had an interesting variety of pets and have enjoyed 
swapping odd and funny stories with other pet owners. 

 Hands down, the most loving, intelligent, devious, and even 
empathetic pet we’ve had was an umbrella cockatoo named Bob. Unlike 
most birds, Bob would never “relieve” himself on you. He would start 
to appear nervous, which was our cue to put him on his perch or over 
a trash can to do his business. Unlike a lot of humans, Bob could tell 
if any of us were upset, demonstrating his empathy by becoming upset 
as well. But most of all, Bob loved playing mind games. Once my dad 
screwed a ring holding a bird toy to one of the bars in Bob’s cage. After 
demolishing the toy, Bob thought it would be fun to unscrew the ring 
and hide it from my dad.

 Now, there aren’t many places to hide things in a bird cage. Over the 
next few days, my dad turned that cage upside down trying to find the 
missing ring. After a week or so, Bob decided he’d teased Dad enough, 
so he re-screwed it on a bar, square in the middle of the cage, where my 
dad originally hung it. That was Bob’s sense of humor.

 Speaking of parrots, one of our neighbors told us about a time he 
stayed over at the house of one of his friends who owned an African 
gray parrot. In the middle of the night, he woke up to the sound of 
the front door being opened! He went downstairs and found the door 
securely locked. A few minutes later --the same sound again. The next day he told his friend who 
laughed, and told him the African gray was the source of the sound!

 It may have been this same parrot, or someone else’s (so many birds, so many stories), that made 
a habit out of torturing the family dog. The parrot learned to imitate its owner’s voice perfectly, and 
would call the dog’s name until the dog came. Then, in the owner’s voice, the parrot would chide 
“Bad dog! Bad dog!” 

 Although many birds are very intelligent, there are those who’ve earned a reputation for being a 
bit dense. Every time I visited the L.A. Zoo as a child and watched the bird show, a trainer would 
bring out an emu and say “This is George. Every day George makes a new friend, because he can’t 
remember the same trainer who works with him daily. So, it’s like meeting someone for the first time 
--every time.” I was later reminded of this whenever I had to take a math class involving algebra. Yes, 
I supposedly “learned” it just the year before, but I swear it was new every time!

 One of my funniest recent animal encounters occurred at a pet shop in Montrose. My mom and 
I had finished lunch and were strolling along, looking at the different shops. After commenting 
on how cute the bunnies and puppies were, we happened upon the “Robo Hamsters!” These guys 
were smaller than regular hamsters and apparently had high octane caffeine coursing through their 
veins. There were about 20 of them in a cage and they were all shooting around like pin balls. Some 
of them were racing to nowhere on the exercise wheel, with a couple others hurling themselves on 
top of, and under, the whirling wheel. Others jumped over each other, the squashed ones seemed 
totally oblivious. Another was flinging away wood chips in determination to dig a hole out of the 
clear plastic corner. To say I was cracking up would be an understatement. I tried to smother 
my convulsive laughter as a pair of children approached the cage. They seemed interested in the 
hamsters, but I think this crazy laughing lady frightened them off.

 We should all be grateful for the animals who make our lives brighter. And that day, I was grateful 
for the most laughter I’d had in a while! Although the Robo hamsters were entertaining, I doubt my 
parents are going to consider them as possible pets. For one thing, they’d have to have a sedative 
ready for me whenever I came over to visit!