Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, February 25, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 25, 2017 



Dear Savvy Senior,

What tips can you offer for choosing a quality assisted 
living facility for my mom? Her health and mental 
abilities have declined to the point that she can’t live 
alone anymore but isn’t ready for a nursing home either. 

Looking Around

Dear Looking,

If your mom needs some assistance with daily living 
activities like bathing or getting dressed, managing 
her medications, preparing meals, housekeeping, 
laundry or just getting around, an assisted living 
facility is definitely a good option to consider. 

 Assisted living facilities are residential communities 
that offer different levels of health or personal care 
services for seniors who want or need help with daily 

 There are around 40,000 assisted living facilities 
(also called board and care, supportive-care or 
residential-care facilities) in the U.S. today, some 
of which are part of a retirement community or 
nursing home. Most facilities have between 25 and 
125 suites, varying in size from a single room to a 
full apartment. And some even offer special memory 
care units for residents with dementia. Here are 
some steps you can take to help you choose a good 

 Make a list: There are several sources you can turn 
to for referrals to assisted living facilities in your area 
including your Area Agency on Aging (call 800-677-
1116 to get your local number), family doctors or local 
senior centers, or online search services like Caring.

 Call your ombudsman: This is a government official 
who investigates long-term care facility complaints 
and advocates for residents and their families. This 
person can help you find the latest health inspection 
reports on specific assisted living facilities, and can 
tell you which ones have had complaints or other 
problems. To find your local ombudsman, visit

 Call the facilities: Once you’ve narrowed your 
search, call the facilities you’re interested in to find 
out if they have any vacancies, what they charge and if 
they provide the types of services your mother needs. 

 Tour your top choices: During your visit, notice 
the cleanness and smell of the facility. Is it homey and 
inviting? Does the staff seem responsive and kind to 
its residents? Also be sure to taste the food, and talk 
to the residents and their family members, if available. 
It’s also a good idea to visit several times at different 
times of the day and different days of the week to get a 
broader perspective.

 On your visit, get a copy of the admissions contract 
and the residence rules that outline the facilities 
fees, services, and residents’ rights, and explains 
when a resident might be asked to leave because their 
condition has worsened and they require more care 
than the facility can provide. 

 Also find out about staff screening and training 
procedures, and what percentage of their staff leaves 
each year. Less than 30 percent annually is considered 
good. More than 50 percent is a red flag. To help 
you rate your visit, offers a checklist of 
questions that you can download and print at Caring.

 Paying for care: Monthly costs for assisted living 
ranges anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more, 
depending on where you live, the facility you choose 
and the services provided. Since Medicare does not 
cover assisted living, most residents pay out-of-pocket 
from their own personal funds, and some have long-
term care insurance policies. 

 If your mom is lower-income and can’t afford this, 
there are many states that now have Medicaid waver 
programs that help pay for assisted living. Or, if she’s 
a veteran, spouse or surviving spouse of a vet, she 
may be able to get funds through the VA’s Aid and 
Attendance benefit. To find out about these programs, 
ask the assisted living facility director, or contact her 
local Medicaid office (see or regional 
VA office (800-827-1000). 

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 

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