Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, August 1, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, August 1, 2020 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Can you recommend any services or technology that 
help me monitor my elderly mother who lives alone? 
Since the coronavirus pandemic started last March, 
my sister and I have noticed that my mom’s health 
has slipped a bit, so we would like to find something that helps us keep tabs on her when we’re not 
around. Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned:

Depending on how closely you want to monitor your mother, and what she’s comfortable with as well, 
there are check-in call services along with some new monitoring technology devices you can turn to 
for help. Here are several to consider.

Check-In Calls

If you just want a simple check to make sure your mom is OK every day, consider signing her up with 
a daily check-in call service program. These are telephone reassurance programs run by police or sheriff’s 
departments in hundreds of counties across the country and are usually provided free of charge.

Here’s how they work. A computer automated phone system would call your mom at a designated 
time each day to check-in. If she answers, the system would assume everything is OK. But if she didn’t 
pick up or if the call goes to voice mail after repeated tries, you (or her other designee) would get a 
notification call. If you are not reachable, calls are then made to backup people who’ve also agreed to 
check on your mom if necessary.

The fallback is if no one can be reached, the police or other emergency services personnel will be 
dispatched to her home.

To find out if this service is available in your mom’s community, call her local police department’s 
nonemergency number. If it’s not offered, there are other organizations or companies you can turn to 
that provide similar services.

One that I love that’s completely free to use is Mon Ani (, 650-267-2474), which offers a 
volunteer phone bank that provides phone or video calls daily, weekly or anything in between. The 
volunteer will connect with your mom, provide companionship and make sure everything is OK. And, 
they’ll let you know if they detect a problem.

Monitoring Technology

Technology also offers a variety of new ways to help you keep an eye on your mom when you can’t be 

One nifty new option is the Electronic Caregiver’s ( “Premier” product, 
which is a wearable wrist device that provides activity monitoring, a 24/7 emergency help button, 
medication reminders and a GPS locator so you can determine your mom’s whereabouts when she’s 
away from home.

It’s also linked to a family caregiver app to keep you and other loved ones in the loop. The device is 
free with a monthly subscription that costs $40 to $60 a month, depending on the level of monitoring.

If your mom is primarily homebound, another option to consider is a sensor-monitoring system 
like Caregiver Smart Solutions ( This uses small sensors (not cameras) 
placed in key areas of your mom’s home to track her activities – everything from whether she used the 
coffee pot to how much she’s watching TV – and will let you know if something out of the ordinary is 
happening. For instance, if she went to the bathroom and didn’t leave, it could indicate a fall or other 

You can also check up on her patterns anytime you want through the system’s website or app. And for 
additional protection, it offers emergency call buttons that can be placed around the house. Caregiver 
Smart Solutions starts at $99 for their activity sensors, plus a $29 monthly service fee.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …August Birthdays*

Nancy Beckham, Karlene Englert, Juanita Fernandez, Jeanette Francis, Joseph 
Kiss, Jacquie Pergola, Pat Miranda, Jerry Burnett, Margaret Aroyan, Phyllis 
Burg, Beverly Clifton, Rosemary Morabito, Susan Poulsen, Joy Barry, Marcia 
Bent, Joan Spears, Ruth Torres, Jane Zamanzadeh. Helen Stapenhorst, Chandy 
Shair,Heidi Hartman, Erma Gutierrez, 

 * 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



If you’re counting 
down the days 
to your wedding, 
divorce is probably 
the last thing you 
and your fiancé 
want to be thinking 
about, and yet you 
might be rightfully 
concerned about 
what would happen 
to your assets in the 
event of a divorce—
or your death. You may also be worried that suggesting 
a prenuptial agreement could hurt your future spouse’s 
feelings by making him or her think you don’t trust 
them, thereby creating friction before the marriage 
even begins. 

I do recommend talking with your future spouse about 
your assets, what would happen in the event of your 
death, and also making plans in advance so you can 
feel confident that any children from a prior marriage 
(or an expected inheritance) are well-planned for no 
matter what happens. But introducing the topic of a 
prenup during that conversation is a hugely personal 
decision. To help you make the best decision for you I 
have put together a list of prenup pros and cons.

Prenup Pros

Sets clear financial expectations: For many couples, 
not openly discussing money and the partnership’s 
financial expectations can lead to big problems down 
the road. In fact, money problems are one of the 
leading reasons that marriages end, right up there with 
infidelity. A well-counseled prenuptial agreement could 
be an opportunity to start your marriage with complete 
transparency and clearly establish the financial and 
property rights of each spouse should a divorce occur 
or in the event of the death of either spouse.

Helps protect your separate assets: If you have any 
tangible or intangible assets you are bringing into the 
marriage that you don’t want to risk losing, a prenuptial 
agreement can help shield that property from divorce 
proceedings or from a future “elective share” of a 
spouse upon your death. This can be vital if you have 
significant assets like a business, real estate, intellectual 
property, vehicles, or family heirlooms. And, if you 
know you’ll want to ensure your assets go to children 
from a prior marriage, a prenuptial agreement can 
protect those assets for your children. 

Helps prevent a lengthy, contentious, and expensive 
divorce: Divorce is never fun and can often be both 
emotionally and financially painful, but putting a 
prenuptial agreement in place could make it less so. 
Clearly establishing the financial and property rights 
of each spouse when the relationship is at its most 
loving—and putting those parameters in a legally-
binding document—can greatly reduce the chances of 
you two duking it out in court later if your marriage 
doesn’t work out. A long, expensive court battle is 
the last thing you need when dealing with the painful 
emotions and often-hefty legal fees associated with a 

Helps prevent disputes over debt: Not everyone is equal 
in their ability to manage their money. As I mentioned 
earlier, disagreements over finances are a frequent 
reason marriages fail. Therefore, it could be a good idea 
to use a prenup to identify who is responsible for taking 
care of specific debts and liabilities. You don’t want to 
be stuck paying for your ex-spouse’s credit card debt 
when you had nothing to do with racking it up.

Prenup Cons

It’s not exactly a romantic gesture: People often 
perceive creating a prenuptial agreement stems from 
an expectation the marriage will fail or that it indicates 
a lack of trust. Such concerns should be respected 
and addressed as tactfully as possible. But the reality 
is marriage involves lots of issues that aren’t romantic, 
and dealing with such delicate matters up front could 
bring the two of you closer (or expose hidden red 
flags), regardless of whether an agreement is actually 
created or not. Whatever you do, however, don’t wait 
to have the discussion until right before the ceremony. 
It’s not only extremely rude, but it could lead a court to 
invalidate an agreement put in place at the last minute 
as being created with undue pressure. 

It might not be necessary: What a prenuptial agreement 
can cover depends on what kind of assets you have and 
where you live. Given this, existing divorce laws might 
already split your assets up in a way you think is fair. 
For example, in community-property states, the court 
will divide the property you and your spouse acquired 
during the marriage in an equal 50/50 split, while each 
spouse gets to keep his or her separate property. 

It can’t resolve issues of child custody, support, or 
visitation: It’s important to note that prenups can’t 
address certain issues related to children and divorce. 
For example, though prenups can help ensure your 
children from a prior marriage are able to inherit assets 
you want to leave them, these agreements cannot be 
used to address child support, custody, or visitation 
rights. Those issues must be resolved by the court, so 
a prenup would be useless if that’s all you’re hoping to 

It may require two lawyers to be valid: Prenuptial 
agreements may be invalidated if both parties are 
not represented by independent legal counsel. And 
depending on the lawyers you each work with, lawyers 
who are not well-experienced with counseling, care, 
and conflict resolution can inadvertently escalate or 
intensify conflicts, rather than supporting you and 
your future spouse to get on the same page.

Alternative options

If you plan ahead, certain estate planning vehicles can 
be used to protect your assets from divorce settlements 
and ensure that assets pass to your children from 
a prior marriage in the event of a divorce. There are 
different types of trusts, for instance, that can be set up 
to allow you to protect assets for yourself in the event 
of a divorce, and for your children in the event of your 
incapacity or death. 

In fact, such planning vehicles may prove much more 
effective at protecting your assets and providing you 
with more control over how your assets are distributed 
than a prenup. Next week I’ll cover the various ways to 
use estate planning vehicles to proactively protect your 
assets as an alternative to having multiple attorneys 
draft a prenup or risk losing assets to a new spouse in 
the event of divorce or death. 

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


Because of the situation we are 
in these days, the Gracious Mistress 
of the Parsonage and I have 
spent some significant time 
watching mysteries. We enjoy a mystery movie.

I have always loved mysteries. I have read all of the 
Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle. I 
have read the Father Brown stories by G. K. Chesterton. 
And, don’t forget Agatha Christie with Hercule 
Poirot and Miss Marple. What wonderful mysteries 
created by these authors, and I have enjoyed 
reading the books as well as watching the movies 
based on these books.

I especially like those stories where the mystery is 
a challenge to figure out until the very end. That 
keeps me on edge as I follow the story. Usually, I 
figure out wrong. I would never make a great detective; 
that is for sure. The person I think is guilty is 
often the most innocent person at the end of the 

However, I keep trying, and I enjoy figuring out 
who the guilty person is.

That is not the case with the Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage.

Yes, she enjoys these mysteries as much as I do, and 
we enjoy watching them together. Only there is one 
difference between us.

When people say everybody is equal, they obviously 
have not met the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. 
If there is ever a day, I thought I was equal 
to her, that was the worst day of my life.

No matter what the problem, she can solve it. She 
solves problems while I, on the other hand, have a 
talent for creating problems.

A few nights ago, I got up in the middle of the night 
to go to the bathroom, as I normally do 150 times a 
night. As I left the bathroom, I slipped and grabbed 
hold of the towel rack on the wall. I do not have to 
tell you what happened.

There was this loud noise, I crashed to the floor, and 
then the voice from the bedroom said, “What have 
you broken now?”

It certainly was not a mystery because she knew 
exactly what had happened before it happened and 
how she does that; I am not sure.

She went to the bathroom, saw the mess I had made, 
simply shook her head, and went back to bed. The 
next day, of course, she fixed it—no mystery about 

If my wife cannot fix it, our house's motto is, it cannot 
be broken.

Getting back to those movie mysteries.

For example, the other night, we watched this fascinating 
mystery, "The Midsomer Murders,” a British 

The program began with a murder. The murderer 
is not revealed at the beginning, and the rest of 
the program is trying to solve that mystery of who 
murdered that person.

When we start watching these kinds of mysteries, I 
try to get ahead of the story and guess who the murderer 
is. I want to get it before my wife figures it out.

As soon as I think I have figured it out, I present it 
to my wife. "That man right there is the one who 
committed the crime."

No sooner do I say this when across the room 
comes a mysterious little chuckle. I know where it's 
coming from, and so I look at her and say, "Do you 
think I'm right?" Of course, I'm waiting for an affirmative 

"No," she says, chuckling, "it's that lady there in the 
blue dress."

There was just no way possible that that person 
could have been the one to commit the crime. None 
of the evidence in the story pointed to her.

I laughed at her and said, “Oh, you got that one 

"Do you want to bet," she said, staring at me?

I laughed and said, “I sure do, because I’m right this 

“What do you want to bet?” She challenged me.

“How about a quarter?”

She looked at me, slowly shook her head, and then 
put forth this proposal.

"If I win, you will have to give up eating apple fritters 
for a whole month." That was her proposal.

“And if I win,” I said back to her, “I get to eat an 
apple fritter every day.”

We both agreed to those terms, and both of us were 
smiling. I think she thought she had her wager in 
the bag. Whereas I knew, I had it down pat.

As we continued watching this mystery, the lady in 
the blue dress seemed to be out of the picture. The 
man I picked out seemed to collect more evidence 
to put him in a sure place of conviction.

I was smiling, and I would glance at her and see she 
was smiling back at me.

In the last scene, everything seemed to turn. All the 
evidence that pointed to my person fell through the 
floor. Suddenly, the lady in the blue dress appears 
to be the murderer. Evidence after evidence piled 
up in her direction until finally, she was arrested.

"Well," my wife said a little more dramatic than I 
appreciated, "I guess you’re giving up your apple 
fritters for the next month." Then, she laughed.

I thought about what Solomon said, “Whoso boasteth 
himself of a false gift is like clouds and wind 
without rain” (Proverbs 25:14).

I believe the biggest mystery in life is with the person 
who thinks they know everything.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Silver 
Springs Shores. Call him at 352-216-3025 or e-
mail The church web site is

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