Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, November 16, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:11




Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 16, 2013 



Dear Savvy Senior:

What can you tell me about creating a family health 
history? My doctor recently suggested that I make 
one as a way to predict potential health problems as 
I get older, but I could use some help.

Getting Old

Dear Getting:

It’s a smart idea! Even with all the high-tech medical 
tests and procedures that are available today, an accurate family health history remains one of the 
most important tools in keeping yourself healthy as you age. Here’s what you should know, along with 
some tips and tools to help get you started. 

Inheritable Diseases

Just as you can inherit your father’s height or your mother’s eye color, you can also inherit their genetic 
risk for diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more. If one generation of a family has 
high blood pressure, for example, it is not unusual for the next generation to have it too. Therefore, 
tracing the illnesses suffered by your relatives can help you and your doctor predict the disorders you 
may be at risk for, so you can take action to keep yourself healthy. 

Family Tracking

To create a family health history, you’ll need to start by collecting some basic medical information 
on your first-degree relatives including your parents, siblings and children. Then move on to your 
grandparents, aunts, uncles and first cousins. 

You need to get the specific ages of when they developed health problems like heart disease, cancer, 
diabetes, arthritis, dementia, depression, etc. If family members are deceased, you need to know when 
and how they died. If possible, include lifestyle information as well, such as diet, exercise, smoking 
and alcohol use. 

Some relatives may not want to share their medical histories or they may not know their family history, 
but whatever information you discover will be helpful. 

To get information on diseased relatives, get a copy of their death certificate. This will list their cause 
of death and the age he or she died. To get a death certificate, contact the vital records office in the 
state where your relative died, or go to

Helpful Resources

To get help putting together your family health history, the U.S. Surgeon General offers a free web-
based tool called “My Family Health Portrait” (see that can help you collect, 
organize and understand your genetic risks and even share the information with your family members 
and doctors. 

Another great resource that provides similar assistance is the Genetic Alliance’s online tool called 
“Does It Run In the Family.” At you can create a customized guide on your 
family health history for free. Or, if you don’t have Internet access, call 202-966-5557 and ask them to 
send you a free hardcopy of these booklets in the mail. 

And, if you’re adopted, the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search may be able to help you 
locate your birth parents to get their medical history. See or call 800-394-3366.

Managing Your Results

If you discover some serious health problems that run in your family, don’t despair. While you can’t 
change your genes, you can change your habits to increase your chances of a healthy future. By eating 
a healthy diet, exercising and not smoking, you can offset and sometimes even neutralize your genetic 
vulnerabilities. This is especially true for heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis. 

A family medical history can also alert you to get early and frequent screening tests, which can help 
detect other problems (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancers like breast, ovarian, prostrate 
and colon cancer) in their early stages when they’re most treatable. 

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

FYI: ELDERLY DRIVING: Cautions and Concerns

 To some extent, driving improves with age. Statistics show that young drivers aged 16 to 25 may 
be more aggressive, inexperienced, cause more accidents and receive more citations than other age 
group. However, studies also show that vision, hearing, reflexes and cognitive abilities may deteriorate 
as we age and accidents of drivers over 75 are comparable to that of young drivers. In addition, older 
drivers are more susceptible to injuries.-Some simple steps may prolong one’s time behind the wheel: 
Schedule periodic eye exams, update prescription glasses, increase the brightness on the instrument 
panel; keep the windshield and headlights clean and replace faulty windshield wipers. 2) Choose a 
car with automatic transmission, power steering, power brakes and easy to read instrument panel. 3) 
Reduce noise and distractions, e.g. limit conversations and turn down the radio and air conditioner 
or heater vents. 4) Use extra caution: Avoid driving in inclement weather, check traffic when changing 
lanes, look before backing up and use signals, mirrors and the horn. 5) Plan ahead, e.g. take easier 
routes, avoid rush hours and avoid driving in the dark. 6) Take a driving test to assess abilities, or take a 
course to sharpen skills and learn new strategies. Courses, such as AARP’s Driver Safety Program, may 
help an older person become a better driver and it may qualify the driver for an insurance premium 

( Next Week: It may be time to make some changes.


HELPFUL HINT: Wrap a piece of cardboard in fabric and put it at the back of a bookcase 
instead of painting or wallpaper. You can change it as often as you want.


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - While on a road trip, an older couple stopped at a 
roadside restaurant for lunch. After finishing their meal, they left the restaurant and resumed their 
trip. When leaving, the woman unknowingly left her glasses on the table and she didn’t miss them 
until they had been driving about twenty minutes. By then, to add to the aggravation, they had to

travel quite a distance before they could find a place to turn around in order to return to the restaurant 
to retrieve her glasses. All the way back, the man became classic grouchy old man. He fussed and 
complained and scolded his wife relentlessly during the entire return drive. The more he scolded her, 
the more agitated he became. He just wouldn’t let up for one minute. To her relief, they finally arrived 
at the restaurant. As the woman got out of the car and hurried inside to retrieve her glasses, the man 
yelled at her. “While you’re in there, you might as well get my hat and credit card.”

 ~ ~ ~

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … November Birthdays

Flo Mankin, Alberta Curran, Carmela Frontino, Kathy Wood, Lena Zate, Joe Pergola, 
Janice Kacer, Valerie Howard, “Mike” Ruggles, Joan Ruggles, Lois Stueck, Jean Wood, 
Shirley Yergeau, Kathi Jefferson, Pat Krok, Irene Nakagawa, Anna Ross, Mary Steinberg 
and Sue Quinn.

* 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: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the higher 
appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy


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. 

Get fit, Have Fun with Zumba Gold

Zumba Gold is a low impact fitness class based on Latin and World Music. The upbeat music creates 
a fun atmosphere with easy to follow dance moves that will have you toning your body and improving 
your stamina and balance from your very first class. No dance experience is necessary and all fitness 
levels are welcome. Class is held Mondays from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm.Next session begins in September. 
$30.00 class fee. For more information or to sign up call the Community Services Department 
at (626) 355-5278.

Free Blood Pressure Testing: Held Second Tuesday of the month from 11:00 am-12:00 pm: 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 Lem Makupson 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.


Wednesday, November 13th- 12:00- 1:00 pm Hart Park House Senior Center

 Are there too many choices with retirement living? What are the costs? Does one move, downsize, 
or stay in place? Come hear a very informative talk about the variety of choices available and what’s 
best for you, your budget and lifestyle. Paula O’Sullivan from Home Care Providers will be speaking 
to this topic.

 If you would like to have lunch during the talk, please make a lunch reservation with the Senior 
Lunch Café at 626.355.0256 or bring your own.

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.


JEOPARDY TAPING AT SONY STUDIOS - Sony Studios, Culver City, Ca.

Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Time: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Sr. Center Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch)

Join us as we head to the Sony Studios in Culver City for the taping of Jeopardy!, America’s favorite 
quiz show. The show is a winner of a 2012 Peabody award and 30 Emmy awards, including the 2012 
Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation. Participants will have the opportunity to see 
the tapping of three shows which takes approximately 2 hours. Following the tapings, at approximately 
1:15 pm, participants will lunch together at the Overland Café just down the street from the studio. It 
is recommended to bring $10-15 for lunch. Tickets are selling quickly so come in today and purchase 
yours. Last day to register is November 5th.

Level of walking: Minimal

Friday, December 13, 2013. “Because it’s Christmas” 

Show at Candlelight Pavilion (Claremont, Ca.) $67.00 (Lunch included) 10:00 am- 4:00 pm

*Registering for Excursions can be done in person at the Hart Park House Senior Center and the 
Community Recreation Center or online at Cash, checks, and credit 
cards are accepted. Make checks payable “City of Sierra Madre”. Payment must be made at the time of 
reservation. CALL (626) 355-7394


Senior Movie Program: 

FREE movies are chosen by the seniors themselves and shown on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the 
month (EXCEPT OCTOBER - see below) in Sierra Madre’s City Council Chambers, 232 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. ~ Start time is 1:00pm ~ 

November 20th : Squanto: A Warrior’s Tale (1994)

Loosely based on the actual historical Native American figure Squanto, and his life prior to and 
including the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620.

Rated PG (run time 101 minutes)

KATIE Tse.....................This and That


 Everyone wants to be young and 
beautiful forever. Cosmetics, wigs, 
corsets, and other means of disguise 
have been around since time began. 
I picture a cave woman spreading soot from the 
previous night’s barbeque around her eyes to give 
them that “smokey” look. Or maybe she stuffed extra 
fur in strategic places within her primitive clothing 
to appear more shapely. Somewhere there’s got to 
be a cave drawing or carving showing humans’ early 
attempts at making themselves more attractive.

 Though you’re probably captivated by my theory 
of the history of cosmetics, that isn’t what this article 
is about. No, this article is about a relatively new kid 
on the block as far as beautification goes --plastic 

 It seems like you can’t turn on the TV without 
seeing an ad for facelifts, tummy tucks, liposuction, or 
breast (or buttocks) implants. Apparently everyone 
is satisfied with the amount of fat they have; they just 
want it repositioned.

 While plastic surgery is, in itself, neither good nor 
bad, it’s hard to discuss it without bringing morality 
into the picture. Of course anyone disfigured from 
birth or by accident should be able to have their 
looks changed. Costly procedures purely for the sake 
of vanity are hard to justify --not to mention the danger of developing “surgery addiction.” This 
condition is evident in many celebrities and the contestants of the reality show, “Bridalplasty.” (Twelve 
brides compete to have the most procedures done on their personal wish lists.) Frankly, they should 
all have their heads examined before they go slicing and dicing other body parts.

 Yes, surgery addiction is a real thing --and not just in America. There was a story out of China 
about a man suing his wife after their child came out looking unbelievably ugly. The article didn’t 
include photos of the baby, so it’s hard to comment on the actual degree of ugliness. This child was 
so revolting, that the husband accused his wife of having an affair! (Personally, I think she should’ve 
kicked him to the curb at that point. But I suppose she had her reasons not to.)

 Paternity tests absolved the wife of this accusation, but she still had some explaining to do. She 
confessed to having had extensive plastic surgery (in the neighborhood of $100,000) done before she 
met the man she ultimately married. Hmm... So is the moral of the story that you should ask your 
prospective partner if they’ve had major cosmetic surgery along with other important topics like 
religion, politics, and child rearing? 

 In the end, the wife lost the suit and had to pay damages to the jerk. I don’t recall the details 
of the case, but I doubt the couple had any pre-nup agreements involving the authenticity of the 
wife’s appearance. If the guy married her with the intention that their children would become super 
models, I can understand his point of view. But that probably wasn’t the case.

 Who can benefit from this sad series of events? Laying ethical issues aside, this lady’s plastic 
surgeon has the publicity opportunity of a lifetime! “Let me give you the face and body you’ve always 
dreamed of! Your spouse will never know the difference!” But he should probably add, “Reproduce 
at your own risk.” 

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