Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 22, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 
10 THE GOOD LIFE Mountain Views News Saturday, February 22, 2014 

Dear Savvy Senior:
What resources do you recommend that offer help to 
caregivers? I’ve been taking care of my 82-year-old 
mother, and it’s wearing me to a frazzle. 
Exhausted Daughter 

Dear Exhausted: 
Taking care of an elder loved one over a period of time can be incredibly taxing, both physically and 
mentally. Fortunately, there are a number of tips and services you can turn to that can help lighten the 
load. Here are several to consider. 

Assemble a care team: A good first step is to put together a network of people (family, friends and 
even neighbors) that you can call on to help out when you can’t be there or need a break. 

Tap local services: Most communities offer a range of free or subsidized services that help seniors and 
caregivers by providing things like home delivered meals, transportation, senior companion services 
and more. Also, look into respite services (see that can provide short-term care to 
your mom so you can take some time off. Your Area Agency on Aging (call 800-677-1116 for contact 
information) can refer you to services available in your community. 

Use financial aids: If you’re handling your mom’s financial chores, make things easier by arranging 
direct deposit for her income sources, and set up automatic payments for her utilities and other routine 

If you need help, hire a professional daily money manager (, 877-326-5991) who can 
come in once or twice a month to pay bills, make deposits, decipher health insurance statements and 
balance her checkbook. They charge $25 to $100 per hour. Or, if your mom is low-income, a similar 
service is offered by AARP ( in select communities for free. is another excellent resource you should use to look for financial assistance programs 
for lower-income seniors. 

Get insurance help: If you have questions about Medicare, Medicaid or long-term care, your State 
Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a great resource that provides free counseling on all 
these issues. Call 800-633-4227 or visit to locate a nearby counselor. 

You can also get help online at, and through the 
Medicare Rights Center, which staffs a hotline at 800-333-4114 to help answer questions. 

Use technology: If your mom lives alone, consider renting her a medical alert device, which is a small 
pendent-style “SOS” button that she wears, that would allow her to call for help if she falls. These are 
available through companies like and for about $1 per day. Or, check out 
home monitoring systems at, or 

There are also a number of great websites you can draw on for caregiving information and support 
like, and, along with, and for caregivers of dementia patients. And, if you’re sharing care responsibilities 
with others, sites like, and can help you coordinate 

Hire help: Depending on your mom’s needs and budget, you may want to hire a part-time “home-care 
aide” that can help with things like preparing meals, doing laundry, bathing or dressing, or if she needs 
health care services, a “home health aid.” Costs can run anywhere from $12 up to $40 per hour depending 
on where you live and the qualification of the aide. To find someone, ask for referrals through 
friends, doctor’s offices or hospital discharge planners, or visit 

If you need additional guidance, consider hiring a geriatric care manager ( who can 
help you manage and facilitate your mom’s care. Care managers generally charge between $100 and 
$200 per hour. 

Take care of yourself: Make your own health a priority. Being a caregiver is a big job that can cause 
emotional and physical stress and lead to illness and depression. The only way you can provide the 
care your mother needs is to make sure you stay healthy. 

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. 

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

FIBER NUTS - 2014! 

What’s more fun than three 

days of fiber-filled creativity and 

excitement in the San Bernardino 

Natural Forest? Why, three 

days of fiber-filled fun in Rancho Cucamonga, of 

course! (This is fiber ,as in yarn and thread, not 

the kind you eat.)

 You may recall an article I wrote around Mother’s 

Day last year about my mom’s excursion to “Studio 

66,” a three-day workshop hosted by her weaving 

group. If you do remember this, you’re probably 

one of my mom’s friends with whom she’s shared 

this story. For all other readers, I’ll refresh your 


 Last year I was lucky enough to accompany 

my mom as she and her friends spun, dyed, wove, 

knit, and crocheted all imaginable fibers at the 

picturesque Forest Home retreat center. Being 

unskilled in everything but the most basic dyeing 

(submerging fabric in colored liquid) I got a lot of 

use out of my kindle!

 I would’ve loved to go with her up there again 

this year, but since that retreat is somewhat costly 

and requires months of planning, it’s only offered 

biannually. On the off-years, “Studio 66” is more 

locally based, with attendees making the daily 

commute from their home. There’s no cabin in 

the forest or meals crafted by aspiring culinary 

students. Since there isn’t the same wide variety of workshops available, the event usually revolves 

around a specific theme. This year the focus was spinning. (And no, this doesn’t refer to a bunch of 

ladies pedaling stationary bikes.)

 For three days my mom and her classmates worked with cotton (white, brown, and green), linen, 

hemp (to spin, not to smoke), and ramie. I knew the first two were used in clothing, and the third in 

industrial-strength items, like sacks, ropes, wallets, and shoes. Ramie, however, was new to me. (Not 

that it takes much for something to be “new to me!”)

 The first day went fine for my mom, but the second was a serious study of cotton’s transformation 

from boll to thread. Now, cotton is very different from wool, my mom’s spinning material of choice. 

Wool (from sheep, that I do know!) is composed of long fibers that easily wrap around each other to 

form a nice, long strand of uniform thickness.

 Cotton (regardless of its color) is made up of short fibers that tend to break apart or clump together. 

At least that’s what my mom’s experience was with them. So, my poor mom spent much of the second 

day feeding a hank of cotton onto her spinning wheel, only to have it snap in two or bunch up. She 

came home with a few bobbins of cotton thread resembling diseased intestines, with some sections 

pinched off and others bulging. 

 She spent the whole day attempting the same action over and over, knowing that it wasn’t working, 

but unable to do anything to improve her results. The instructor came by from time to time, smiled 

sympathetically, and encouraged my mom to keep on trying. It was frustrating, to say the least. As a 

retired third-grade public school teacher, my mom discovered a new understanding of the kids who 

struggled with learning disabilities. If being the only one who couldn’t master a seemingly simple 

technique was discouraging enough for one day, spending an entire elementary experience like that 

must be torture. Coming home, she suggested that every educator spend at least one day being the 

only one who doesn’t “get it” in order to appreciate what these kids feel on a daily basis.

Happily, the workshop didn’t end on a sour note. On the third day, the instructor showed my mom 

how to wrap the hank of hemp around her finger to “spin off the fold.” This method was much easier 

for my mom, and she also realized that the rest of her classmates were seasoned cotton-spinners, not 

a novice like her.

 So, my mom enjoyed another “Studio 66” retreat. Granted, the strip malls of Rancho Cucamonga 

pale in comparison to the pines and lakes of the San Bernardino Forest, but it’s all fiber, so it’s all good! 


FYI: Tips for Talking with Your Pharmacist 

Your pharmacist can help you learn how to use your prescription and nonprescription (over-thecounter) 
medicines safely and to increase the benefits and decrease the risks. You can also use these 
tips when talking with your other healthcare professionals. 

Tell your pharmacist...

 Everything you use. Keep a record and give it to your pharmacist. Make sure you put all the 
prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, herbals, and other supplements you use. 
Your pharmacist will use this to keep his/her records up-to-date and help you use medicine safely. 

 If you’ve had any allergic reactions or problems with medicines, medicines with dietary 
supplements, medicines with food, or medicines with other treatments.

 Anything that could affect your use of medicine, such as, if you have trouble swallowing, reading 
labels, remembering to use medicine, or paying for medicine. 

Ask your pharmacist...

 What are the brand and generic (non-brand) names? What is the active ingredient? Can I use 
a generic? What is this for, and how is it going to help me? How and when should I use it? How 
much do I use? How long should I use it? Can I stop using the medicine or use less if I feel better?
What should I do if I …miss a dose? ….use too much? Will this take the place of anything else 
I am using? When will the medicine start working? How should I expect to feel? Are there any 
special directions for using this? Should I avoid any other medicines, dietary supplements, drinks, 
foods, activities, or other things? Is there anything I should watch for, like allergic reactions or side 
effects? What do I do if I get any? Will I need any tests to check the medicine’s effects (blood tests, 
x-rays, other)? When will I need those? How and where should I keep this medicine? Is there a 
medication guide or other patient information for this medicine? Where and how can I get more 
written information? 
After you have the medicine, and before you leave the pharmacy 

 Look to be sure you have the right medicine. If you’ve bought the medicine before, make sure this 
medicine has the same shape, color, size, markings, and packaging. Anything different? Ask your 
pharmacist. If it seems different when you use it, tell your pharmacist, doctor, or other healthcare 
professional. Be sure you know the right dose for the medicine and you know how to use it. Any 
questions? Ask your pharmacist. 

For more information on this topic go to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
Food and Drug Administration • 1-888-INFO-FDA 


HELPFUL HINT: Keep your mind active. Try something new - Puzzles, riddles, and 
Chess are all good brain teasers but the key is to try something new to fire up the neurons. If you’re 
a crossword puzzle or Sudoku fanatic, try bridge. 


FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - A little known fact.... The first testicular guard, the 
“Cup”, was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 
years for men to realize that their brain is also important. 

~ ~ ~ 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … February Birthdays 

Ray Baran, Hilda Pittman, Anne-Marie Stockdale, Ann Luke, Susan Henderson, Jan Reed, 

Peter Lippincott, Georgia Lippincott, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, Gladys Moser, Sylvia 

Lorhan, Jan O’Day, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Marian DeMars, Vickie Vernon, Mary 

Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler, and, a very special 90th Birthday to a very special guy… GORDON 
CALDWELL! Happy Birthday my friend. * To add your name to this distinguished list, please 
call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required, however you must be 60 years old or 

Quote of the Week: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” - Dalai Lama 


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: Monday, January 27th 11:00 to 11:45 with Shannon Vandevelde. A variety of 
balance exercises are practiced; all ability levels are encouraged and welcomed. 

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: 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 

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. 

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. 

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. 

Lunch and Learn- “The Story of Old Pasadena”
Wednesday, February 26th- 12:00- 1:00 pm Hart Park House Senior CenterPresentation by The Pasadena Heritage will give an overview of the original downtown, which is now 
listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Pasadena was incorporated in 1886.During the 
next 14 years the population of Pasadena exploded to more than 30,000 inhabitants. Learn why many 
of old Pasadena buildings have split personalities, hear the story of the Castle Green and the snake 
oil salesman who built it. And experience the real Old Pasadena with its fascinating array of historic 
buildings. Mark your calendars and don’t miss this great presentation. 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. 


Feline Conservation Center (Rosamond, Ca.) Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014 

Time: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center

 Cost: $15.00 (does not include lunch)
Home to over 70 of the world’s most endangered felines; the Feline Conservation Center is a breeding 
zoo and research facility. Cat lovers of all ages are fascinated by the cats (and the peacocks) and unlike 
a zoo, the Conservation Center has no moats so visitors can get as close as 5 feet away from these 
beautiful (but dangerous) cats. Following the one-hour tour is a visit to the gift shop and lunch at a 
nearby restaurant. It is recommended to bring $10-15 for lunch. Last day to register is Wednesday, 
February 19th. Level of Walking: Light to Moderate 

Whale Watching (Long Beach, Ca.) Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014 
Time: 10:00 am-3:30 pm Meeting Location: Community Recreation CenterCost: $31.00 (does not include lunch)
Don’t miss the Community Services Department’s annual whale watching excursion. The 2014 
excursion will visit the same whale watching Charter Company as 2013, which features a narrated 
cruise by Aquarium of the Pacific staff and with indoor and outdoor seating. Participants can bring 
their own lunch to enjoy on the boat, or purchase snack items on board. Children 2 and under are 
free. Last day to register is Tuesday, March 11th. 
Level of Walking: Minimal 

*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. 


Senior Cinema: FREE movies are shown every month, on the 3rd and 5th Wednesdays. ~Shown in 
Sierra Madre’s City Hall Council Chambers 

Call Patricia at 626-818-2698 Today!