Mountain Views News, Pasadena Edition [Sierra Madre] Saturday, January 27, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 27, 2018 10 THE GOOD LIFE 

Dear Savvy Senior,
I’ve heard that hearing aids will soon be available 
over-the-counter and will be much cheaper than theycurrently are. What can you tell me about this? Myhusband desperately needs hearing aids but we simplycan’t afford them. 

Searching Spouse 

Dear Searching,
Unfortunately, for many years the high cost of hearingaids has kept millions of Americans with hearing lossfrom getting hearing aids because they can’t affordthem. 

Hearing aids – typically sold through audiologists’offices – are expensive, usually ranging between $1,000and $4,000 per ear, and are not typically covered byprivate insurance or traditional Medicare.

But there’s good news on the horizon. Last summerPresident Trump signed the Over-the-Counter 
Hearing Aid Act of 2017 into law. This will allow peoplewith mild to moderate hearing loss to buy hearing aidswithout consulting an audiologist, and the devices 
could sell for between $250 and $300 at drugstores andother retailers. 

The only problem is that it will be a couple moreyears before these OTC hearing aids are available toconsumers. So in the meantime, here are some tips thatcan help you find some affordable options. 

Check Your Insurance 

While most private health insurance companies do notcover hearing aids, there are some that do. For example,
Aetna members can purchase aids at a discount throughcertain suppliers, and United Healthcare offers hearingaids to their beneficiaries through HealthInnovationsfor $799 to $999 each. 

You should also know that some federal workers, 
as well as residents of Arkansas, Connecticut, New 
Hampshire, and Rhode Island can get their hearingaids covered by health insurance, as can eligibleveterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Or, if your husband is a Medicare recipient, abouthalf of all Medicare Advantage plans offer at leastpartial coverage or discounts on hearing examsand devices. So, be sure you check your husband’s 


If you’re anything like me, you’rethat goes with this picture could easily be anything

guilty of wasting a shamefulfrom “Avoid Common Retirement Mistakes” to 

amount of time scrolling though“Finding Love After 50.”

the news. Years ago, when Yahoo Seriously, it’s a kick to just look at the pictures and

was my home page, I’d often find try to guess the topic, or to come up with alternate

myself drawn to the revolving titles. As I wrote this (originally close to a decade 
headlines. They were so formulaic. A handful ago) I was looking at a photo of a man with his flipof newsworthy current events were cushionedflopped feet propped up on a desk, getting readybetween fluffy commentary about “Which Celebrityto launch a paper airplane. Just by looking at it, IWore this Iridescent Ines di guessed the story mightSanto Gown Best?” and “5 

have been about “RetiringFoods to Make You Sleep

by 45” or “Scoring the DayBetter!” Although I could

Job You’ve Always Dreamedusually guess at least two of

Of.” The article’s actual 
the foods, I still click on it 

topic is “10 Reasons Yourin vain hope of discovering

Co-Workers Hate You.” 
something new and 

Hmm... I suppose I mightfascinating.

have seen that one coming?
Their attraction was 

Maybe some scowling co-
similar to TV news 

workers would’ve better tied 
programs that bait viewers

this picture to its article, butwith teasers like, “Recent 

then it couldn’t be used for 
studies prove that chocolate 

articles about retiring at 45, 
cures chronic diseases!” 

You wade through 45 

 It must be a hard task to 
minutes of banal chatter 

purposely create photosbefore they come to the

broad enough to relate to 
anticlimactic revelation 

a wide variety of topics. 
that chocolate contains 

You have to wonder what 
antioxidants which, in 

the photo shoots are likemoderate (tiny) amounts, 

for these images. Does the 
help reduce free radicals,

camera man instruct the 
therefore lessening the 

models to look worried, as 
aging process by a very

if they could be suspectingsmall degree. Woopty Doo!

their spouse of infidelity 
Yes, a sizable portion of

while equally suggestingthose Yahoo articles were 

the anxiety one experienceslame. (Of course I can’twith an upcoming 
be too rough on them, seeing as a lot of my stuffcolonoscopy? (I didn’t intend to use that pun,
isn’t exactly Hemingway quality either.) Despitebut it kind of works!) I could go on, but I thinktheir lameness, I was always amazed at the totalI’ve contributed more than enough fluff for thisirrelevancy of the photos accompanying them! I week! (Bonus challenge! Look at the rabbit and 
speak of the “stock images” that appeared on thetry to come up with a few likely titles. I actuallyYahoo headline loop. You know what I’m talking couldn’t find the picture I originally used with thisabout. There’s a photo of a silver haired, healthyarticle, but I figured this one would provoke somelooking couple smiling into the camera. The article interesting responses!) 


insurance coverage to see if it offers any type of hearingaid benefit. 

Shop Around

To help you save money, consider shopping at Costco,
which offers no-cost screenings at certain locations,
as well as very competitive prices. Hearing aids thererange between $500 and $1,500 each. You can alsoshop online at websites like, which can save you up to $2,000 perpair. Then visit a local specialist to make any necessaryadjustments.

Another option worth a look is over-the-counterpersonal sound amplification products (or PSAPs).
Unlike hearing aids, the Food and Drug Administrationdoes not regulate PSAPs. And PSAP manufacturersare not allowed to call these products hearing aidsor claim that they help hearing. But these devicesare very effective for people with mild to moderatehearing impairment, and typically cost between $350and $450 each. To find a wide variety of PSAPs seeassistive listening sites like Harris Communications(, or call 866-476-9579). 

Look For Assistance 

If your income is low, there is a number of national,
state and independent groups that can help you payfor hearing aids or offer discounts. To find them, 
visit the American Speech-Language-HearingAssociation website at
audfundingresources. Or, call the National Instituteon Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at 
800-241-1044, and ask them to mail you their list offinancial resources for hearing aids.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show andauthor of “The Savvy Senior” book. 

by Ari LazarusConsumer Education Specialist, FTC

Your Social Security number is an important keyfor an identity thief. Scammers want it, and theythink of all sorts of ways to trick you into giving it 
Here at the Federal Trade Commission, we’re gettingreports about calls from scammers claiming to befrom the Social Security Administration. They saythere’s been a computer problem, and they need toconfirm your Social Security number.

Other people have told us that they have comeacross spoof websites that look like the place whereyou would apply for a new Social Security card –
but these websites are actually a setup to steal yourpersonal information.

If you get a phone call or are directed to a websiteother than that is claiming to be associatedwith the Social Security Administration, don’trespond. It’s most likely a scam.

Here’s some tips to deal with these government 


• Don’t give the caller your information. Never giveout or confirm sensitive information – like your bankaccount, credit card, or Social Security number –
unless you know who you’re dealing with. If someonehas contacted you, you can’t be sure who they are.
• Don’t trust a name or number. Con artists use 
official-sounding names to make you trust them. Tomake their call seem legitimate, scammers use internettechnology to spoof their area code – so althoughit may seem they are calling from Washington, DC,
they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
• Check with the Social Security Administration. TheSSA has a warning about these scams and suggestsyou contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verifythe reason for the contact and the person’s identityprior to providing any information to the caller.
If you come across one of these scams, please report itto the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotlineat 1-800-269-0271/1-866-501-2101(TTY) and thentell the FTC about it. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …January Birthdays*

 Gerald Day, Mary Tassop, Judy Webb-Martin, John Johnson, Mary Bickel, Marlene 
Enmark, Shirley Wolf, Ross Kellock, Ruth Wolter, Sue Watanabe, Sandy Thistlewaite, 
Bobbi Rahmanian, Fran Syverson, Shirley Wolff, Judy Zaretzka and Becky Evans. 

* 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 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 isavailable for legal consultation. Specializing in Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Estates, and Injury. Appointmentsare 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 voluntarydonation 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 cakeprovided 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 classutilizes light weights, low impact resistance and training conditioning. Class equipment is provided. 


Whale Watching Tour (Long Beach) 

Date: Friday, February 16, 2018 
Time: 10:30a.m. – 4:00p.m. 

Meeting Location: Hart Park House Senior Center Cost: $30 (Does not include lunch)
Join Harbor Breeze Cruises on an exciting California Whale watching journey to viewsome of the largest mammals on the planet! The experienced Long Beach crew and knowledgeable 
Aquarium of the Pacific educators will guide onboard guests and spectators asthey search all types of awe-inspiring marine life. Participants can bring their own lunch 
to enjoy on the boat or purchase snack items on board. Level of Walking: Low/ MediumRegistration for Sierra Madre Residents starts now through Monday, February 5th. Non-resident registration 
starts online or in person on Tuesday, February 6, 2018. 


February 7th at 1:00 p.m.
Lion (2016)

A traumatizing true story of a five year old, Saroogets lost on a train which takes him thousands of milesacross India, away from home and family. Saroo mustlearn to survive alone in Kolkata, before being adopted by his AustralianParents. Twenty-five years later, with his unwavering determination and arevolutionary technology, Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family.
Rated PG-13. Run Time: 2h. 

February 21st at 1:00 p.m.
Hell or High Water (2016) 

Toby is a divorced father who’s trying to make a better life for his son. Hisbrother Tanner is an ex-convict with a short temper and a loose trigger finger.
Together, they plan a series of heists against the bank that’s about to foreclose ontheir family ranch. This film received four nominated Academy Awards, including 
Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Jeff Bridges. Rated R. Run Time:
1h 42m. 


Valentine’s Day Crafts with Instructor Kt Boyce
Monday, February 5th 12:30 – 1:30p.m. 

Come share your poems or hear beautiful love stories in history. Kt will also demonstrate card-makingwith collages, drawings, stencils and calligraphy. Materials and supplies will be provided, but rememberspaces are limited! 

Call for reservations at 626-355-7394. 

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