Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 4, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 4, 2017 



Dear Savvy Senior,

What tips can you recommend that can help me deal with 
my mom’s bad driving? At age 83, her driving abilities 
have declined, but I know she’s bound and determined to 
keep driving as long as she’s alive. 

Nervous Nelly

Dear Nelly,

There’s no doubt that giving up driving can be a tough 
step for many elderly seniors, as well as a difficult 
conversation for concerned family members. While 
there’s no one way to handle this sometimes touchy 
topic, there are a number of tips and resources that can 
help you evaluate and adjust your mom’s driving, and 
ease her out from behind the wheel when she can no 
longer drive safely.

Assess Her Driving

To get a clear picture of your mom’s driving abilities, 
your first step – if you haven’t already done so – is to 
take a ride with her and watch for problem areas. For 
example: Does she drive at inappropriate speeds, tailgate 
or drift between lanes? Does she have difficulty seeing, 
backing up or changing lanes? Does she react slowly, get 
confused easily or make poor driving decisions? Also, 
has your mom had any fender benders or tickets lately, 
or have you noticed any dents or scrapes on her vehicle? 
These, too, are red flags. For more assessment tips see 

 If you need help with this, consider hiring a driver 
rehabilitation specialist who’s trained to evaluate older 
drivers. This typically runs between $100 and $200. 
Visit or to locate a 
specialist in your area. 

Transitioning and Talking 

After your assessment, if you think it’s still safe for your 
mom to drive, see if she would be willing to take an older 
driver refresher course. 

 These courses will show her how aging affects driving 
skills, and offers tips and adjustments to help ensure 
her safety. Taking a class may also earn your mom a 
discount on her auto insurance. To locate a class contact 
your local AAA ( or AARP (, 
888-227-7669). Most courses cost around $20 to $30 and 
can be taken online or in a classroom.

 If, however, your assessment shows that your mom 
really does need to stop driving, you need to have a 
talk with her, but don’t overdo it. If you begin with 
a dramatic outburst like “mom, you’re going to kill 
someone!” you’re likely to trigger resistance. Start by 
simply expressing your concern for her safety. 

 For more tips on how to talk to your mom about 
this, the Hartford Financial Services Group and MIT 
AgeLab offers a variety of resources at TheHartford.
com/lifetime – click on “Publications” on the menu bar, 
then on the “We Need To Talk” guidebook. 

Refuses To Quit

If your mom refuses to quit, you have several options. 
One possible solution is to suggest a visit to her doctor 
who can give her a medical evaluation, and if warranted, 
“prescribe” that she stops driving. Older people will 
often listen to their doctor before they will listen to their 
own family. 

 If she still refuses, contact your local Department 
of Motor Vehicles to see if they can help. Or, call in 
an attorney to discuss with your mom the potential 
financial and legal consequences of a crash or injury. If 
all else fails, you may just have to take away her keys. 

Alternative Transportation

Once your mom stops driving she’s going to need 
other ways to get around, so help her create a list of 
names and phone numbers of family, friends and local 
transportation services that she can call on. 

 To find out what transportation services are available 
in her area, contact the Rides in Sight (RidesInSight.
org, 855-607-4337) and the Eldercare Locator (800-677-
1116), which will direct you to her area agency on aging 
for assistance. 


 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.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …February Birthdays*

Beatrice DaRe, Cathrine Adde, Hilda Pittman, Anne-Marie Stockdale, Susan 
Henderson, Peter Lippincott, Georgia Lippincott, Allie Attay, Ursula El-Tawansy, 
Gladys Moser, Sylvia Lorhan, Ana Ptanski, Winifred Swanson , Marian DeMars, 
Vickie Vernon, Mary Beth Knox, Sharon Lefler, Gordon Caldwell. 

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


ACTIVITIES: Unless listed differently, all activities are at the Hart 
Park House (Senior Center) 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre



Hawaiian & Polynesian Dance Class: Every Tuesday morning from 10a.m. 
to 11a.m. Join instructor Barbara Dempsey as she leads you in the art of 

Bingo: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome to 
join. May be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesday of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is 

Brain Games: Thursday, January 19th, 10:30a.m. - 11:30a.m., improve your memory and 
strengthen your brain. Activities facilitated by Senior Volunteers.

Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, January 25th from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem 
Makupson is available for legal consultation. He specializes in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, 
and Injury. Appointments are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Sing-A-Long: Music brings joy to the soul! Come join us Thursday, January 12th, 10:30a.m. to 
11:30a.m. No music skills needed! 

Senior Club: Every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 

Chair Yoga: Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:00 to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. Third Monday 
of each month, a variety of balance exercises are practiced. All ability levels are encouraged and 
welcomed. A suggested donation of $5 at one of the classes is requested, but is not required. 

Case Management: Case Management services are provided by the YWCA and provide assistance 
in a variety of areas. Appointments are required and can be scheduled by calling the Hart Park 
House Office at 626-355-7394.

Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday of the month at the Hart Park House, share some free 
birthday cake provided by the Sierra Madre Civic Club.

Game Day: Every Thursday starting at 12:00p.m. (Please note the time change.) A regular group of 
Seniors play poker. Other games are available for use. 

Free Strength Training Class: Every Friday from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. 
The class utilizes light weights for low impact resistance training. All materials for the class are 


 How are your New Year’s resolutions going? I set my sights small, and resolved 
to drink less creamy and sugary coffee at work. Instead, I mix an aspartame-laden 
“Crystal Light” knock off with water in a two-liter bottle and sip it throughout the 
day. Sure, it’s artificial and possibly carcinogenic, but at least it’s gotta be better than 
sugar with coffee --I mean coffee with sugar.

 So, I was filling my water bottle from the sink in the break room the other day when the boss burst 
through the door. “What are you doing?” she asked. Aghast, I sheepishly looked up from the faucet. 
“Uh, getting water?”

 “No, no, no!” she said, shaking her head. “Come on,” she motioned toward her office, “Use the 
‘Arrowhead’ in there.” I could feel water overflowing from my bottle into the sink, and nodded, 
“Okay, maybe next time.” I figured, why waste a perfectly good batch of flavored water? Luckily, 
some small crisis distracted my boss and I was able to retreat to my office with my substandard 
“faucet water” drink.

 For a while I wondered if I was the only tap water-drinking 
employee until last week, when the topic of tap vs. bottled water 
came up during lunch. “I was a hose drinker as a kid!” one of the 
senior workers joked with the boss. This prompted a number of 
us closet hose drinkers to “come out” and admit our tacky-”tap” 

 “Yeah,” one of my coworkers chimed in, “Nothing tastes better 
than cold water from the hose after playing outside all day!” A 
number of us reminisced about our own tap water childhood 

 I don’t know about you, but I never understood the purpose of 
bottled water. Talk about the antithesis of “green” living! Think 
about all the plastic used to store bottled water. Then consider the 
fuel needed to transport it from place to place. THEN consider 
the fact the most bottled water is drawn from municipal sources, 
not the babbling brooks of the Sierras, Andes, or any other pristine 

 The waste that goes into producing regular bottled water is bad 
enough, but then they’ve got to go and make even smaller bottles of water! What? You or your kid 
can’t commit to a 12 oz. bottle, so you go for the tiny 6 oz.? Yes, midget water bottles are cute, but 
really, can cute be justified at the cost of jeopardizing the environment?

 I understand that there are situations that demand bottled water. Anytime you’re traveling in the 
third world or a developing nation, by all means, stock up on Dasani or whatever brand you like. 
During a vacation to Michigan, we stayed at a relative’s house that was situated in the middle of a corn 
field. The water had an orange tint, and smelled like burning sulfur. I don’t recall whether or not I 
actually showered in it, but that was one time I was very grateful for a bottle of Arrowhead!

 So, if you’re traveling, take advantage of our wonderful advances in bottled water. But if you’re torn 
between filling up at the kitchen sink or paying $1 for a bottle of Dasani, I hope you choose the sink. 
It’s a heck of a lot cheaper. And remember --what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: