Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 30, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 9


Mountain View News Saturday, May 30, 2020 

How to Make the Most of 
Your Telehealth Appointment

Dear Savvy Senior:

I manage a large doctor’s clinic that treats hundreds 
of seniors each month. We are moving to 
more telehealth visits to help keep our patients safe 
at home during the coronavirus pandemic, but this new way of seeing a doctor is befuddling to 
many of our elder patients. Can you write a column educating patients on how to prepare for a 
telehealth appointment? Regular Reader

Dear Reader:

I’d be happy to help! To help keep patients safe and at home during the coronavirus crisis more 
and more doctors and other health care providers are turning to telehealth (a.k.a. telemedicine) 
appointments, which are remote e-visits using a digital communication device like a smartphone, 
tablet or computer.

Although telehealth has been around for a few years now, recent updates to regulations and a surge 
in demand has made it the easiest way to get many different types of medical care. Most telehealth 
appointments today tend to be primary care or follow-up visits that can assess symptoms or check 
on people who have had a medical procedure. Telehealth also works well for some specialties like 
dermatology or mental health care (counseling/therapy) services.

So, what can patients expect from a telehealth visit, and how should they prepare?

The first step is to call your doctor’s office to find out whether telemedicine visits are available and 
whether you will need to set up an account or install special software on your computer, phone or 

Until recently, doctors were required to conduct telehealth visits through platforms such as Doxy, 
Thera-Link or MyChart that were compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability 
Act, or HIPAA. But some of those requirements have been relaxed in the current crisis, so 
many providers are using popular apps such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom to conduct visits.

Once you know what technology you will be using, get familiar with it. You don’t want to spend the 
first 10 minutes of your visit trying to figure out how to unmute the audio.

For older patients that aren’t familiar or comfortable with technology, ask a relative or friend with 
a smartphone, tablet or laptop to assist you.

Take the time to clarify the purpose of the televisit before it begins. Prioritize a written list of three 
or four issues you want to discuss with your doctor and make a list of the medicines you’re taking, 
along with the dosages.

Also, have relevant medical devices or logs on hand, such as a penlight or smartphone flashlight 
for viewing a sore throat, a blood-pressure cuff and thermometer (or recent readings), blood-sugar 
logs if you’re diabetic or a food log if you have gastrointestinal problems.

If you’ve received medical care at different places, such as an urgent care facility or another doctor’s 
office, have your latest medical records with you during the telemedicine visit.

Wear loose clothing that will allow you to show your medical provider what is concerning you.

The length of the appointment may depend on the problem. A routine visit could be very quick, 
while others, such as a physical-therapy appointment, may last as long as a session at a clinic. Waiting 
rooms are sometimes replaced by virtual waiting rooms.

Before the visit ends, make sure you know the follow-up plan. Do you need to schedule an in-office 
visit, fill a prescription or get a referral to a specialist? 

Right now, Medicare and Medicaid are covering the cost of telehealth visits (see
coverage/telehealth for details), and most private insurers are following suit.

If, however, you don’t have a primary care physician or need urgent care, you can get help through 
virtual health care service like Doctor on Demand ( or TeleDoc (teladoc.
com). These services currently do not accept original Medicare, but they may be covered by private 
insurers including some Medicare Advantage plans – be sure you check.

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! …May Birthdays*

Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore 
Crilly Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, Donna 
Mathieson, Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie 
Sheridan, Joanne Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Annie Scalzo, 
Janet Ten Eyck, Jane Thomas, Ray Burley.

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


The City of Sierra Madre is following these procedures to provide current communication in light of 
COVID-19 and keep the Senior Community and families informed of essential information and resources. 
City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing 
direct engagement and practicing social distancing in the community, please note that voice messages, 
emails, and social media responses are being addressed in the most efficient and timely manner.

If at any moment additional information is needed, please contact City Hall Administrative Services at 
(626) 355-7135, Monday-Thursday from 7:30a – 5:30p, as they are taking messages and e-mailing the 
appropriate person.

For messages that may trickle in otherwise, please note our team is remotely checking voicemail daily at 
the Community Services Department, (626) 355-5278 x702.

Community Services Department will continue email communication with Senior residents and aging 
community members.

If you know of family members or neighbors who may benefit from accessing information electronically, 
and to receive the department’s Seniors Newsletter via email but may not otherwise have been included 
on an email group list, please send your request with email address to the following team members:

Lawren Heinz and Clarissa Lowe

Community Services Department will continue Electronic Seniors Newsletter on a weekly-basis 

Community Services Department will continue with mail drop-off of newsletters at the Sierra Madre 
U.S. Post Office Box (unless otherwise advised).

City Social Media will continue via Facebook as well as Instagram, and information sharing will include 
updates as details becomes available.

Mater Dolorosa - Sierra Madre Meal Pick-Up Program provides seal-packaged frozen meals, 5-per 
person every Thursday, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at Hart Park House Senior Center 222 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. 
Donations are accepted. Call (626) 355-5278; x702 or 704.

YWCA Intervale Meal Program - Effective Wednesday, April 1, 2020

YWCA has transitioned their distribution of take home meals at the Sierra Madre Hart Park House Senior 
Center to a home-delivery meal program. Participants previously reserved for meal pick-up as of 
Wednesday, 3/25/20 were informed that they would begin to have their meals delivered to their homes, 
beginning Wednesday, April 1, 2020 until further notice.

For any additional participants calling in that are at a high risk and need meals delivered to, please 
provide us their name, date of birth (they must be 60+), address and phone number and Community 
Services Department will for-ward this information to our County Contact.

Food Banks Support: Seniors & Families:

If someone is outside of our local area and in need of a food bank, they can find one nearest them by 
going to and typing in their zip code; or call from the list here:

First Church of the Nazarene-Pasadena 3700 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. 626-351-9631

Wednesday 10:30 am-12 pm 

Pasadena Senior Center 85 E. Holly St. Pasadena 626-685-6732

Foothill Unity Center 415 W. Chestnut Ave. Monrovia 626-358-3486 Monday 1 pm-3:30 pm, 
Wednesday & Friday 9 am-11:30 am

Lifeline Community Services & Economic Development 2556 N. Lake Ave Altadena

626-797-3585 2nd and 4th Wednesday 12 pm-2 pm & 8:15 pm-9 pm

Morning Star Outreach Ministry 1416 N. Mentor Ave Pasadena 626-794-4875

2nd & 4th Saturday 11 am-1



The pandemic is causing us to consider a lot of things that we 
may not have before, even if maybe we should have.

It brings to mind something a colleague of mine shared 
recently. One weekend last year, she left her small children with 
a babysitter and headed out to enjoy dinner at a restaurant with 
her husband. But as she sat there, a thought crept into her head 
and wouldn’t leave.

What would happen to her kids, she thought, if she and her 
husband got into a car accident on the way home?

And even though my colleague is a lawyer herself, and she had a will at home naming guardians 
for her kids, she didn’t have a definite and clear answer that provided the comfort she wanted. 
Her will was in a vault, and her named legal guardians lived on the other side of the country. It 
was that thought that spurred her to take action.

Chances of COVID-19 Infection in the Family

If you are young and healthy, it might be hard to imagine that you won’t be there to care for your 
kids. But if the COVID-19 pandemic is showing us anything, it’s that even a healthy person can 
contract a serious illness that leaves them incapacitated and unable to care for their children. 

If there is more than one adult in the house, that may alleviate some of your worry. While naming 
legal guardians for your kids usually feels especially urgent for a single parent, parents with 
partners aren’t off the hook. You should take precautions too, especially since there are high 
infection rates among people who live in the same household. 

A professor at the University of Florida has found a more than 19% chance that someone else in 
the household of a person infected with COVID-19 will also contract the disease. Researchers 
estimate the average incubation time is about four days and could be infectious for up to two 
weeks. That means it’s not outside the realm of possibility that you and your partner could both 
contract the illness, possibly at the same time.

An Easy Way to Find Guardians for Your Children

Even if you never contract COVID-19, you are of course still human, and vulnerable to accidents 
and other dangers that could separate you from your kids—either temporarily or permanently.

If you haven’t already done so, there’s no better time to decide who would care for your children 
in the immediate term if something happens to you, even on a short-term basis. 

And, if you are having a difficult time deciding who to name as legal guardians for your children, 
we can even help you make the right decisions. 

Officially answering the question of who will care for your kids if you can’t—even for a short 
time—is one of the best things you can do right now. It is a real, concrete way you can protect 
your kids during this scary time. 

If you need help with the process, please do give us a call and we’ll be glad to walk you through it.

Dedicated to empowering your family, building your wealth and defining your legacy,

A local attorney and father, Marc Garlett is on a mission to help parents protect what they love

most. His office is located at 55 Auburn Avenue, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Schedule an

appointment to sit down and talk about ensuring a legacy of love and financial security for your

family by calling 626.355.4000 or visit for more information.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I must admit that I do gravel 
a lot in thinking about my 
thoughts. It has been a habit of 
mine down through the years. 
Thinking is what really makes life worth living, or 
so I believe.

My father had a saying whenever he saw me staring 
off into the distance, “A penny for your thoughts, 
son.” Then he would smile, and I knew he really was 
not interested in what I was thinking he was just 
trying to set some kind of trap for me. Fortunately, I 
never fell into that trap, whatever it was. Of course, 
at the time I could’ve used an extra penny.

One of my favorite writers, when I was young, was 
a man by the name of James Thurber. He was blind, 
but he was one of the great writers of his day. He 
would think his thoughts about the story he was 
working on all day long, then sit down with his secretary, 
tell her the story from memory, and write it 

On one occasion, Thurber and his wife were having 
dinner with some friends. Mrs. Thurber looked at 
her husband and saw that stare that was so familiar 
to her and she said, “James, stop writing and join us 
here on earth.”

I am afraid I can relate to Mr. Thurber along these 
lines. When working on a project, it is tough for me 
not to think about that project all the time. What 
is most disturbing to me is that I get a brilliant 
thought for the project I am working on when I am 
with a company of people, maybe having lunch or 
something. A thought I cannot afford to lose. On 
several occasions, I excused myself and went to the 
men’s room to jot down those thoughts.

Some thoughts are worth the effort.

In thinking about this, I remember a story that 
Frank W. Boreham (an Australian pastor and author) 
once told. He was referring to one of the elderly 
women in his church and described her as, 
“Someone who never had an unexpressed thought 
in her life.” Meaning, of course, she talked all the 

I have discovered two kinds of people in this world; 
one who talks all the time and one who listens. Of 
course, there is that third category of people who 
don’t do either.

I have tried to balance this throughout my life. I 
have tried to talk when necessary and listen when 
necessary. However, my biggest flaw is that I listen 
when I should be talking, and I talk when I should 
be listening. If this isn’t frustrating, I do not know 
what is.

Since I have an MR degree in marriage, I have tried 
to work on this.

The big challenge is to know when to listen and 
when to talk. As I get older, I find myself talking 
more than I’m listening. This, in and of itself, gets 
me into more trouble than I can handle.

The other day, my wife and I were watching a little 
television, and she was telling me about an incident 
that day. She paused and then said, “Are you listening 
to me?”

No matter how long you’ve had that MR degree try 
never to not listen when your wife is talking. She 
may have a quiz later on.

“Are you listening to me?” She said somewhat 

Stuttering a little bit, I said, “Why, yes, I’m listening 
to you.”

“Okay,” she said, “what was I talking about?”

At that point, I knew I was in trouble because I may 
have been listening to her, but I did not really hear 
what she had to say.

We have in our society today something called 
“Social Distancing,” but in my house, I am infected 
with “Hearing Distancing.” This has gotten me into 
more trouble than anything else has.

It is not that I do not want to listen to my wife; I 
sometimes forget to pay attention. After all, when 
you are as broke as I am, paying attention is very 
difficult. I do try to save pennies on rainy days so 
that I can occasionally afford to pay attention.

The other day I got caught in a trap. I should know 
better, but sometimes I let my guard down, and 
there it is, I am stuck.

We again were watching a little television, and I, for 
some reason, was staring off into outer space. My 
wife noticed that, and then she said, “A penny for 
your thoughts.”

Without thinking, and I do this quite a bit, I replied, 
“You don’t have enough pennies for what I’m thinking.” 
I don’t know why I said it. Maybe I was trying 
to make a joke. Regardless of the reason, I was in 
deep trouble.

She stared at me for a few moments, and then both 
of us broke down in laughter. I will not reveal what 
she said next, but it was appropriate.

In my quiet time this morning, I thought about that 
incident. I thought about how important thoughts 
are. Then I thought about what David said, “How 
precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! 
how great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17).

However important my thoughts may be, the most 
important thoughts are the thoughts God has concerning 
me. Searching the Scriptures, I begin to see 
what God thinks about me.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. e-mail jamessnyder2@ The church web site is www.

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