Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 13, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, July 13, 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 SavvySenior.
org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

By Pat Birdsall


 Overheated Home-Many seniors are unprepared to deal with hot weather because they lack a 
working air conditioner or cannot afford the electricity required to adequately cool their home. Places 
like libraries, shopping malls and movie theaters offer a climate controlled place to escape the heat. 
Heat Stroke-Temperatures can quickly rise and take a toll on the body. The elderly should stay indoors 
during the hottest part of the day. 

 West Nile Virus-West Nile Virus, transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitos, is now 
a common summer occurrence. The elderly are especially susceptible to West Nile Virus. Eliminate 
standing water which serves as a mosquito breeding ground. Use Commercial repellants or natural 
repellants to avoid mosquito bites. Food Poisoning- Summer celebrations mean picnics, parties 
and potlucks;This creates the opportunity for improperly stored foods. Avoid food poisoning by 
keeping foods piping hot or well chilled. Dehydration- Seniors can avoid dehydration by sipping cool 
beverages throughout the day. Sunburn-Using sunscreen and protective garments, such as a wide-
brimmed hat, will help prevent sunburn. Neglect- Make sure elderly relatives are cared for and have 
necessary medications and groceries before you leave on vacation. Also, stay in touch with neighbors 
who can look in on your relative. Overexertion-Hot weather can sap your energy faster than normal. 

 Limit physical activity during hot weather and schedule activities to avoid being outdoors during 
the hottest part of the day. Allergies-Summer greenery means more allergens in the air. The telltale 
symptoms are itchy, red, watery eyes and sneezing. Do not take any over the counter medication 
before you’re sure they are safe and compatible with any existing drug regimen or health conditions.


HELPFUL HINT: To dust a delicate pleated lamp shade, simply stroke it from top to 
bottom with a clean dry paintbrush.



 A guy was sitting quietly reading his newspaper when his wife walked up behind him and whacked 
him on the head with a magazine. “What was that for?” he asked. “That was for the piece of paper in 
your pants pocket with the name Laura Lou written on it,” she replied. “Two weeks ago when I went 
to the races, Laura Lou was the name of one of the horses I bet on,” he explained. “Oh, honey, I’m 
sorry,” she said. “I should have known there was a good explanation.” Three days later he was watching 
a ballgame on TV when she walked up and hit him in the head again, this time with the iron skillet, 
which knocked him out cold. When he came to, he asked, “What the heck was that for?” She replied, 
“Your horse called.”

 ~ ~ ~

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: “People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” 
~Anton Chekov


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, 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)


 Okay, more specifically: my parent’s bathroom, their kitchen. Finally in their 
retirement years, my parents have been blessed with the opportunity to do some 
major home improvements. Their house was built in 1950, and, other than paint 
and new linoleum here and there, nothing’s been done to it in the way of renovation. So, you can 
imagine their excitement as they planned a second story addition with a loft!

 My parents are blessed with an excellent contractor (Chuck Schutz, “Quiet Valley Building Co.,” 
highly recommended!). Some contractors have earned the dubious reputation of being unpunctual, 
unreliable, and generally flaky. Chuck is refreshingly 180 degrees opposite this norm. However, 
despite having the best contractor, we all know that remodeling comes with unexpected problems 
and delays; it’s just the nature of the beast. All you have to do is watch 15 minutes of reality shows like 
“Extreme Makeover: Home” or “Flip This House” to know that construction is spelled “D-R-A-M-A!” 

 Considering that my parents haven’t had a TV since the 1970’s (and therefore haven’t been exposed 
to reality TV), you can forgive them for a bit of home remodeling naïveté. Their project has shrunk 
from a second story to a one-story addition (a blessing in disguise, we all agree!) and stretched a 
bit beyond the projected six months. I try to empathize and remind them that this is a character-
building experience. And one area in which they’ve built remarkable character is in condensing their 
activity to four small rooms; a living room, two bedrooms, and the bathroom.

 But wait! There’s more! Not only is one bedroom a place 
for sleeping, it also stores their clothes, cooking utensils, 
packaged food, exercise equipment, arts and craft materials, 
and a small library of books. The other bedroom serves as 
an office, computer lab, dining room, fiber arts project center, 
silkworm hatchery, aviary, and entertainment den. (As if 
enough entertainment wasn’t provided by the preceding!) The 
living room doubles as an appliance warehouse and is where 
my parents meet with Chuck and the other professionals 
working on the project. (My parents are scared to show them 
the other rooms, for fear they’ll think they’re eccentric. Why 
would anyone think that?) And then there’s the bathroom, 
the only room with accessible outlets and running water. My 
parent’s ability to turn out semi-homemade food from a hot 
plate, food processor, Vitamix, microwave (in the computer 
room), and about two square feet of counter space amazes 

 There’s a constant rotation of cooking appliances being moved to and from the limited usable 
surfaces. If you want to use the hot plate, you’ve got to first remove the small coffee maker and find a 
place for it on the floor by the toilet. If you want to make more than four cups of coffee, you’ll need 
to get the big coffee maker. But you can’t leave the big coffee maker on the counter after you’re done 
with it because it’s an inch taller than the bottom of the medicine cabinet, which is constantly being 
opened. So, you pour a few cups and the rest goes into a thermos that stays on the floor until anyone 
wants a refill. 

 It took a while to get used to this back-and-forth movement, but now we do it automatically. My 
parents claim they even have a system for washing the dishes in the bathtub. I’ve never witnessed 
this, but the clean dishes are proof. Just the fact that they haven’t resorted to TV dinners and paper 
plates is commendable!

 Well, according to the latest calculations, my parents have about 130 more days of pioneer living. 
At least they’re still able to wash and dry their clothes in the machines in the garage. Doing laundry 
in the bathtub would be the final frontier. I’m sure they could manage, but I hope they won’t have to!