Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, March 29, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views News Saturday, March 29, 2014 
10 THE GOOD LIFE Mountain Views News Saturday, March 29, 2014 

Dear Savvy Senior:
What types of amplification products can you 
recommend to help people with hearing impairment? My 62-year-old husband has some hearing 
issues, but doesn’t think he needs a hearing aid, so I’m looking for some alternative devices that can 
help. Shouting Spouse 

Dear Shouting:
If your husband is reluctant to get a hearing aid, there are dozens of “personal sound amplification 
products” (PSAPs) that can help him hear better at a lower cost than most hearing aids, which can 
run up to $3,000 each. 

PSAPs are over-the-counter electronic products (they are not FDA approved medical devices like 
hearing aids) that come in many different shapes and sizes that will give your husband the ability to 
adjust the volume and tone so he can hear better in different situations. 

It’s also important to know that PSAPs work best for people with mild to moderate hearing impairment, 
you don’t need a prescription to buy them, and they usually aren’t covered by insurance or Medicare. 

Before you look into PSAPs, your husband should probably get tested by an audiologist who can 
rule out any medical issues that could be affecting his hearing like excessive ear wax, an infection, 
abnormal bone growth or inner-ear tumor. Audiologists are also familiar with the different PSAPs 
and can help your husband choose the best products to meet his needs, or let him know if a hearing 
aid would be a better option. 

Here’s a breakdown of some of the different PSAPs that can help. 

TV and Telephone Amplifiers: To hear the television better, there are a number of TV listening 
devices on the market that will let your husband increase the volume and adjust the tone to meet his 
needs, without blasting out you or the rest of the family. 

The best options available today are wireless infrared or radio frequency systems that come with 
standard or stethoset headphones. Sennheiser (, 877-736-6434) makes some of the 
best TV listening products sold today with prices running between $250 and $350. 

If hearing over the telephone is a problem, a handset or in-line amplifier can be added to your phone 
for a few dollars, or you can purchase an amplified telephone. Most amplified phones allow you 
to adjust the volume and tone for better clarity and they usually come with extra loud ringers and 
flashing ring indicators to alert you when a call is coming in. 

Some top makers of these products are Clarity (, 800-426-3738), ClearSounds 
(, 800-965-9043) and Serene Innovations (, 866-376-9271), 
with prices ranging anywhere from $30 up to around $300. Or, see if your state has a specialized 
telecommunications equipment program (see, which provides amplified telephones for 

Personal Sound Amplifiers: For better hearing in noisy environments, your husband should get a 
personal sound amplifier that’s designed to amplify hard to hear sounds (like voices), while reducing 
background noise. Able Planet (, 877-266-1979) offers two excellent products that fit 
the bill that are worn either in-ear or behind the ear, and run $475 or $500 for one, or $850 or $900 
a pair. 

To help improve hearing at home or in quieter settings, or if your husband has high-frequency hearing 
loss, check out the Bean Quiet Sound Amplifier by Etymoyic (, 888-389-6684). This 
product, which is worn in the ear, provides amplification to high frequencies more than low ones, 
making speech easier to hear and understand. Cost: $700 a pair or $375 for one. 

If these are too pricy, there are also a number of small hand-help amplifiers that come with a small 
microphone and ear buds that can increase volume without all the other features. These products 
typically run around $100 or less, and are available through companies like Sonic Technology 
Products (, 800-247-5548), Sonic Alert (, 800-566-3210) and 
Harris Communications (, 800-825-6758). 

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. 

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

 What was the most 

embarrassing thing 

that happened to you in 

elementary school? Did 

spaghetti come out of you 
nose when you laughed too hard at lunch? 
Did you get car sick on a field trip and throw 
up on the bus? Did you experience a loud 
episode of flatulence in the library? 

 Even if the embarrassing thing didn’t happen 
to you, there’s still the collective horror of just 
witnessing someone else getting mortified 
before your eyes. It’s kind of like watching a 
friend sing badly onstage. You wince at every 
sour note and unconsciously grip the edge of 
your seat. Throwing up is bad. Farting is bad. 
But without a doubt, wetting your pants has to 
be up there with the most embarrassing things 
that could happen to you at school.

 So, you’ll understand my mom’s shock when 
a friend of hers who teaches second grade 
divulged that she has an entire class of habitual 
pee-ers! I had to scoop my chin off the floor 
when I hear this the first time. Roughly 20 
students, who are all about eight years old, are all cool and fine with each other urinating in the 
classroom. And they won’t be shamed into holding it until they get to the bathroom. One kid even 
had the audacity to scoot his bottom to the side of his chair to pee on the floor! So, they must know 
this is wrong, but figure that they have strength in numbers. To make matters worse, the classroom 
is carpeted! That nasty sanitary sand the custodians use to soak up vomit is now being employed for 
an entirely different purpose. 

“How did this happen?” I asked incredulously. Of course my mom didn’t know. She reconnects 
with this friend when they (current and retired teachers) get together for dinner once a month. I 
suppose if you’re in a crowded restaurant it’s okay to say that most of your students pee on the floor, 
but going into graphic detail would put your friends off their food.

 But I couldn’t just let this go. Obviously the kids didn’t just start doing this in second grade! They 
must’ve been doing this in first and K, too! Isn’t potty training an early developmental milestone? 
These kids are reading at grade level, but haven’t mastered their bladders! What does the first grade 
teacher say? Goodness, what do their parents say? I could only imagine how the parent conferences 

 “Johnny is doing well in math and reading. Have you considered talking with his pediatrician 
about toileting?” “Suzy has great speaking and listening skills, but she tends to pee in the corner after 
recess. Maybe she has a salt deficiency...” Shoot, I don’t know how you could talk about such things 
with a straight face. Second grade teachers must make great poker players.

 I couldn’t listen to this sad tale without trying to come up with some possible solutions. (It also 
took a while to think of something to draw to go with this article!) The best idea I thought of was for 
the teacher to keep plus-size diapers on hand in the classroom. At the fist sign of pee, the offending 
student would have to put on the diaper on top of their regular clothing. Of course, diapers probably 
aren’t cheap, and I can’t imagine the teacher writing up a requisition order for a shipment of Pampers. 
And whenever you have disciplinary action applied to children, there will most likely be a parent 
or two who will claim that the teacher is unfairly singling out their child. However, I don’t think 
they’d be able to make that argument when all their classmates are sporting soggy diapers as well. So, 
remember to thank any second grade teachers you know --they’re tougher than you think. 

We’d like to hear from you! 
What’s on YOUR Mind? 
Contact us at: or www.facebook. 
com/mountainviewsnews ANDTwitter: @mtnviewsnews 


 Aging can be defined as: “progressive changes related to the passing of time.” While physiological 
changes that occur with age may prevent life in your 70s, 80s and beyond from being what it was in 
your younger years, there’s a lot you can do to improve your health and longevity and reduce your risk 
for physical and mental disability as you get older.

 Research shows that you’re likely to live an average of about 10 years longer than your parents—
and not only that, but you’re likely to live healthier longer too. According to the U.S. Department of 
Health and Human Services, 40.4 million Americans (about 13 percent) were 65 years of age or older 
in 2010 and by the year 2030, almost 20 percent of the total U.S. population will be 65+.
So how do you give yourself the best possible chance for a long, healthy life? Although you aren’t able 
to control every factor that affects health as you age, many are in your hands. Some keys to living a 
long, healthy life include:

Make healthful lifestyle choices—don’t smoke, eat right, practice good hygiene, and reduce stress in 

your lifeHave a positive outlookStay as active as possible—mentally and physicallyTake safety precautionsSee your health care provider regularly and follow his or her recommendations for screening 
and preventative measures

 One of the most important things you can do to stay healthy in your golden years is to maintain your 
sense of purpose by staying connected to people and things that matter to you. However, this isn’t 
always easy—especially in a society that all-too-often views older people as a burden.

 Visit your local senior center. Spend time with at least one person—a family member, friend or 
neighbor—every day. Volunteer in your community, attend a local event, join a club or take up a new 


HELPFUL HINT: Natural Insect Repellent - Mix 2 drops of oil of peppermint or lavender 
with 2 teaspoons of almond or sweet oil and dab on the skin 

FOR YOUR FUNNY BONE - There was a farmer who planted apples. He was 
disturbed by some local kids who would sneak into his farm at night and eat the apples. He came up 
with a clever idea that he thought would scare the kids away for sure. He made up a sign and posted it 
in the field. The next day the kids showed up and they saw a sign hanging that read, “Warning!! One 
of the apples on these trees has been injected with cyanide.” So the kids ran off, made up their own 
sign and posted it next to the sign that the farmer made. The farmer showed up the following week. 
He looked over the field and he noticed that no apples were missing, but a new sign hung next to his. 
He drove up to the sign and read: “Now there are two”.

 ~ ~ ~ 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! … March Birthdays 

Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella Guttman, Viky Tchatlian, Mary 
Cooper, Georgina “Snooky” Greger, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Joan Crow, Nancy Fox, Nan 
Carlton, Martha Cassara, Rita Johnson, Mercedes Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, 
Carol Cerrina, Amy Putnam, Sally Contreras and Lori Cooper. (Thanks Pat Birdsall for 
putting this list together.) 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 more. 


Quote of the Week: Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we 
fall. - Confusious 

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. 


Whale Watching (Long Beach, Ca.) Date: Saturday, March 22, 2014 

Time: 10:00 am-3:30 pm Meeting Location: Community Recreation Center 
Cost: $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.