Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, December 16, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 16, 2017 10 THE GOOD LIFE THE GOOD LIFE 


Dear Savvy Senior,
Since retiring a few years ago, my husband hasbecome increasingly irritable and apathetic. I’mconcerned that he’s depressed, even though he maynot admit it. Where can we turn to get help withthis, and what, if anything, does Medicare pay for? 

Concerned Spouse 

Dear Concerned, 
Depression is unfortunately a widespread problemamong older Americans, affecting approximately15 percent of the 65-and-older population. Here’swhat you should know, along with some tips andresources for screening and treatments, and howMedicare covers it. 

Identifying Depression

Everyone feels sad or gets the blues now and then,
but when these feelings linger more than a fewweeks, it may be depression. Depression is a realillness that affects mood, feelings, behavior andphysical health, and contrary to what many peoplebelieve, it’s not a normal part of aging or a personalweakness, but it is very treatable.

It’s also important to know that depression isnot just sadness. In many seniors it can manifestas apathy, irritability, or problems with memory orconcentration without the depressed mood.

To help you get a handle on the seriousness ofyour husband’s problem, a good first step is forhim to take an online depression-screening test.

He can do this for free at Mental Health 
America, a national nonprofit organizationthat offers a variety of online mental healthscreening tools at –
click on “Take a Screen” in the menu bar. Or at, which is offered byScreening for Mental Health, Inc.

Both of these tests are anonymous and 
confidential, they take less that 10 minutes tocomplete, and they can help you determine theseverity of your husband’s problem. 

Get Help

If you find that he is suffering from depressivesymptoms, he needs to see his doctor for a medicalevaluation to rule out possible medical causes.
Some medications, for example, can produce sideeffects that mimic depressive symptoms – painand sleeping meds are common culprits. It’s alsoimportant to distinguish between depressionand dementia, which can share some of the same 


If he’s diagnosed with depression, there are avariety of treatment options including talk therapy,
antidepressant medications or a combination ofboth. 

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a 
particularly effective type of talk therapy, whichhelps patients recognize and change destructivethinking patterns that leads to negative feelings.

For help finding a therapist who’s trainedin CBT, ask your doctor for a referral, check 
your local yellow pages under “counseling” or 
“psychologists,” or check with the Association forBehavioral and Cognitive Therapies (FindCBT.
org), or the Academy of Cognitive Therapy 

And to search for therapists that accept Medicare,
use Medicare’s Physician Compare tool. Go and type in yourzip code, or city and state, then type in the typeof profession you want locate, like “psychiatry” 
or “clinical psychologist” in the “What are you 
searching for?” box. 

Medicare Coverage

You’ll be happy to know that original Medicarecurrently covers 100 percent for annual depressionscreenings that are done in a doctor’s office or otherprimary care clinic. They also pay 80 percent of itsapproved amount for outpatient mental healthservices like counseling and therapy services, andwill cover almost all medications used to treat 
depression under the Part D prescription drugbenefit. 

If you and your husband get your Medicarebenefits through a private Medicare Advantageplan, they too must cover the same services asoriginal Medicare but they will likely requirehim to see an in-network provider. You’ll need tocontact your plan directly for the details. 

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 Todayshow and author of “The Savvy Senior” book. 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! ….December Birthdays* 

Pat Karamitros, Joan Hufnagel, Mary Alice Cervera, Carol Horejsi, Shirley Anhalt, 
Mignon Grijalva, Helen Reese, Levon Yapoujian, Toni Buckner, Lottie Bugl, Pat 
McGuire, Sheila Wohler, Nan Murphy, Eleanor Hensel, Sylvia Curl, Elizabeth Levie, 
Gayle Licher, Cindy Barran, and Melissa Stute. 

* To add your name to this distinguished list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. 
YEAR of birth not required but you must be over 60. 
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 Hula. 
Bingo Time: Every Tuesday beginning at 1:00p.m. Cards are only $0.25 each! Everyone is welcome 
to join. Activity may be canceled if less than five people. 

Free Blood Pressure Testing: 2nd Tuesdays of the month from 11a.m. to 12p.m. No appt. is necessary. 
Brain Games - *New Activity*: Join us on Thursday November 16th, at 10:30a.m. to 11:30a.m for 

Scattergories. A creative thinking game by naming objects within a set of categories. Everyone is 
welcome, and no experience is needed. What a great way to strengthen your brain and make new friends.
Activities are facilitated by Senior Volunteers. 
Free Legal Consultation: Wednesday, November 15th from 10:30a.m. to Noon. Attorney Lem Makupson is
available for legal consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. Appointments
are required by calling 626-355-7394. 

Senior Club: Meets every Saturday at the Hart Park House Senior Center. Brown Bag Lunch at 11:30a.m. 
Chair Yoga: Mondays & Wednesdays from 11:00a.m. to 11:45a.m. with Paul Hagen. Classes 

include yoga and balance exercises. All ability levels are encouraged and welcomed!* A voluntary
donation of $5.00 per week is suggested but not required. 
Birthday Celebrations: Every 2nd Thursday monthly 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. Come join this group of Seniors in their poker game.
Other games are offered to all. 

Free Strength Training Class: Fridays from 12:45p.m. to 1:30p.m. with Lisa Brandley. This energetic class
utilizes light weights, low impact resistance and training conditioning. Class equipment is provided. 




 Date: Friday, December 15, 2017 
Time: 2:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. 
Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center 
Cost: $20 (Does not include dinner) 

The day begins with a 75-minute late afternoon guided tour on the art, architecture,
and history of the Mission Inn. Guests will have time for dinner, shopping, and the annual 
Festival of Lights with the nice Christmas Tree decor in the hotel lobby.
Due to the historic nature and character of the Mission Inn, tours involve significant
amounts of walking and standing; you may encounter areas of uneven ground, sidewalks 
and flooring; stairways, steps and slopes. You will be asked to sign a waiver and
release of liability by the Mission Inn. Dinner will be on your own and there are many
dining options along Main Street or at the Mission Inn Hotel.
Participants should bring money for dinner and souvenirs. Level of Walking: High.
Please call the Hart Park House 626-355-7394. 

CALL PATRICIA 626-818-2698
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: