Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 19, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 11


Mountain View News Saturday, December 19, 2020 


Dear Savvy Senior:

I recently read an article about robotic pets being a great 
substitute for pet-loving seniors who can’t have or take 
care of a pet any longer. What do you think of this? My 
mother, who has some dementia, is living in an assisted 
living facility that doesn’t allow pets. And because of COVID, 
we haven’t been allowed inside the facility to visit her since March. I’ve been thinking about 
getting her a robot pet to help cheer her up but would like to know if they are worth buying, and if so, 
where can I go to find one. Locked Out Daughter

Dear Locked Out:

There have actually been several studies on this topic that has shown that robotic pets – which are 
lifelike interactive pets – can have a positive impact on many lonely, socially isolated seniors, especially 
those who have dementia. This is particularly important now as the pandemic has caused 
millions of high-risk, vulnerable seniors to isolate as a means to protect themselves from the coronavirus. 
Here’s what you should know. 

Robotic Pet Studies

In 2018, the New York State Office for the Aging was the first state in the U.S. to test the robotic pets 
with isolated seniors and results showed that using pets to lower social isolation was highly successful, 
with 70 percent of pilot participants reporting a decrease in isolation after one year. Subsequent 
programs done in aging agencies in Alabama, Florida and Pennsylvania have also shown positive 

Other clinical studies conducted by AARP, UnitedHealthcare, and other clinicians and have also 
found that robotic pets can help to enhance the well-being and quality of life of lonely or isolated 
individuals and those living with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline, by providing a 
level of interaction and comfort from a lifelike companion.

Where to Look

If you’re interested in getting your mom a robotic pet, a top option is Ageless Innovation’s Joy for All 
Companion Pets – see

They offer cats, a kitten and a pup that look, feel and sound like the real thing – minus the feeding, 
watering, litter box or backyard cleanup, and the vet bills. With prices ranging between $65 and 
$130, these soft, plush animals have built-in sensors, “vibrapurr” or “barkback” technology, and 
brushable fur, making them surprisingly realistic.

Insert four batteries, and the cats, which come in four different shades to mimic real breeds, can 
open and close their eyes, lift their paws, and move their head and body. If you pet them in the right 
spot – like on their belly or back side – they’ll let out a purr.

If your mom is more of a dog person, you can also buy a stuffed golden puppy, accessorized with 
a red bandana, that will bark if he’s feeling happy, sad, or needy. At only four pounds, the stuffed 
pup is easy to play with and won’t weigh down even the most fragile frame.

Some other robotic pet options you should look into include Tombot’s Jennie ($399;, 
a lapdog that barks on command and has realistic facial features; AIBO ($2,900; by 
Sony, which is a plastic puppy that has lifelike expressions and a dynamic array of movements; 
and Paro the Seal ($6,120;, which is marketed as a “carebot,” designed specifically 
for people with dementia.

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 Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” 


HAPPY BIRTHDAY! …December Birthdays*

Maria Decker, Nancy Dorn, Prudence Levine Pat Karamitros, Joan Hufnagel, 
Mary Alice Cervera, Carol Horejsi, Shirley Anhalt, 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, Prudence Levin, Sheila Woehler. * To add your name to this distinguished 
list, please call the paper at 626.355.2737. YEAR of birth not required


CHAIR YOGA Every Monday and Wednesday, 10-10:45 am Chair yoga with Paul is coming back! Class will 
begin on Monday, August 10th and will be held in the Covered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior 
Center. Please join us for some gentle stretching, yoga, balance exercise and overall relaxa-tion. Class size is limited 
so please call 264-8923 to reserve your spot. 

HAWAIIAN AND POLYNESIAN DANCE CLASS Every Friday, 10-10:45 am Class will also meet in the Cov-
ered Pavilion in Memorial Park in front of the Senior Center. Join the class with instructor Barbara as she leads 
you through the art of Hula. Please call 264-8923 with any questions. 

Classes will maintain a distance of 6 ft between participants. ALL participants must be wearing masks for the 
duration of the class. All equipment used will be sanitized after each use before it is stored. Each participant is 
responsible for providing their own water, masks and needed equipment or sup-plies for each class. Please call the 
Community Services Department at 355-5278 with any questions or concerns.


Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 am. Please join me as we try our hands at making Wooden Owl Orna-ments. This 
will be a new type of program as we create our masterpieces via Zoom to ensure all of our safety. I will have all the 
supplies individually packaged and ready for pickup on Monday, October 19th pickup will be between 10:00 am-
2:00 pm. I will have enough supplies for 10 participants. Reservations are required so please call 355-5278 x 704 
to secure your spot. Please note that this is an ONLINE class that will be held via Zoom. We will not be meeting 
in the Hart Park House Senior Center.


 Do you have any ideas for programming? Is there a class or club you would like to see in our Senior Community? 
Please call or email Lawren Heinz with ideas or questions. 626-355-5278 x 704

 City staff are monitoring email communication daily, and although employees are minimizing direct engagement 
and interfacing less with 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 time 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 per-son. 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.


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 

 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 Lheinz@ and Clarissa Lowe

 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.




A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder

Since you’ll be 
discussing topics like 
death, incapacity, and 
other frightening life 
events, hiring an estate 
planning lawyer may 
feel intimidating or 
morbid. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Instead, it can be the most empowering decision 
you ever make for yourself and your loved ones. 
The key to transforming the experience of hiring 
a lawyer from one that you dread into one that 
empowers you is to educate yourself first. This 
is the person who is going to be there for your 
family when you can’t be, so you want to really 
understand who the lawyer is as a human, not just 
an attorney. Of course, you’ll also want to find out 
the kind of services the lawyer offers and how they 
run their business.

 To gather this information and get a better feel 
for who the individual is at the human level, we 
suggest you ask the prospective lawyer five key 
questions. we listed the first two of these questions, 
and here, we cover the final three. 

3. How will you proactively communicate with me 
on an ongoing basis?

The sad truth is most lawyers do a terrible
job of staying in regular communication with
their clients. Unfortunately, most lawyers don’t
have their business systems set up for ongoing,
proactive communication, and they don’t have the 
time to really get to know you or your family.

 If you work with a lawyer who doesn’t have 
systems in place to keep your plan updated, ensure 
your assets are owned in the right way (throughout 
your life), and communicate with you regularly, 
your estate plan may be worth little more than 
one you could create for yourself online—and it’s 
likely to fail when your family needs it most. 

 Think of it this way: Yes, your estate plan is a 
set of documents. But more importantly, it’s who 
and what your family will turn to when something 
happens to you. You want to work with a lawyer 
who has systems in place to keep your documents 
up to date and to ensure your assets are owned in 
the right way throughout your lifetime. Ideally, the 
lawyer should get to know you and your family 
over time, so when something happens, your 
lawyer can be there for the people you love, and 
there will already be an underlying relationship 
and trust.

4. Can I call about any legal problem I have, or just 
about matters within your specialty?

Given the complexity of today’s legal world,
lawyers must have specialized training in one
or more specific practice areas, such as divorce,
bankruptcy, wills and trusts, personal injury,
business, criminal matters, or employment law.
You definitely do NOT want to work with a lawyer 
who professes to be an expert in whatever random 
legal issue walks through the door.

That said, you do want your personal lawyer to 
have broad enough expertise that you can consult 
with him or her about all sorts of different legal 
and financial issues that may come up in your 
life—and trust he or she will be able to offer you 
sound guidance. Moreover, while your lawyer 
may not be able to advise you on all legal matters, 
he or she should at least be able to refer to you to 
another trusted professional who can help you.

Trust me, you wouldn’t want the lawyer who 
designed your estate plan to also handle your 
personal injury claim, settle a dispute with your 
employee, and advise you on your divorce. But 
you do want him or her to be there to hear your 
story, refer you to a highly qualified lawyer who 
specializes in that area, and overall, serve as your 
go-to legal consultant.

5.What happens if you die or retire?

This is a critically important—and often
overlooked—question to ask not only your lawyer, 
but any service professional before beginning a
relationship. Sure, it may be uncomfortable to ask,
but a truly excellent, client-centered professional
will have a plan in place to ensure their clients
are taken care of no matter what happens to the
individual lawyer managing your plan.

Look for a lawyer who has their own detailed plan 
in place that will ensure that someone warm and 
caring will take over your planning without any 
interruption of service. If your lawyer prepared a 
will, trust, and other estate planning documents 
for you, or if you are in the middle of a divorce 
or lawsuit, you want to make certain your lawyer 
has such a contingency plan in place, so you 
won’t be forced to start over from scratch should 
your lawyer die, retire, or become otherwise 

A Lasting Relationship

Although hiring the right estate planning lawyer 
may not seem like a super important decision, it’s 
actually one of the most critical choices you can 
make for both yourself and your family. After 
all, this is the individual you are trusting to serve 
on your behalf to protect and provide for your 
loved ones in the event of life’s most traumatic 

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


It’s that time of the year when 
the conversation around the 
dinner table in the Parsonage 
has to do with naughty or nice. 
I must admit it's not my favorite conversation because 
what is naughty, and what is nice? That all 
depends on who you're talking to. The Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage has a different definition 
of these words than I do. According to my 
wife, nice has to do with broccoli, and naughty 
has to do with Apple fritter. At least I can’t.

I'm afraid I have to disagree with this because as 
far as I'm concerned, nice has to do with Apple 
fritter and naughty has to do with broccoli. I'm 
not sure that you can get any naughtier than 

But this time of the year, the definition of naughty 
and nice is determined by some overweight guy 
living in the North Pole abusing reindeer. If you 
think I'm going to listen to his definition, you 
don't know me. I don't want Santa to determine if 
I'm naughty or nice because I don't trust that guy.

Why would I want to trust a guy who only works 
one day out of the year and the rest of the time 
live somewhere in the North Pole? He's almost, 
but not quite, as bad as politicians. But at least 
Santa works one day out of the year.

“So,” my wife began, “do you think you’ve been 
nice this year?” As a husband for almost half a 
century, I know a trick question when presented 
to me. I can't tell you how many times I have been 
tricked with one of these questions. 

“Well,” I stuttered, “how do you think I fared during 
the year?”

I was open to put it back on her shoulders and let 
her go away with it. My wife is an expert in many 
things and, in particular, in interrogation. Me, I'm 
an expert in failing interrogations.

Throughout life, I have learned that it is not what 
I think that really matters but what other people 
think particularly about me. It's not if I think I 
was nice this past year, but did my wife think I 
was nice.

Looking very thoughtfully as she usually does 
when interrogating me, she said, “Well, there was 
that incident at the beginning of the year about a 
lizard on my pillow.”

It was all I could do to hold back a chuckle. I remember 
that incident very well in a motel over in 
St. Augustine. I still can see that lizard staring at 
my wife.

“You have to admit,” I explained, “that lizard was 
rather a nice little critter.”

“If that’s your definition of nice,” she said most 
adamantly, “then you have failed the test.”

I wouldn’t say this out loud so that she could hear 
me, but that was one test I enjoyed failing.

After pausing for a moment or two, she said, 
"Then there’s the incident about the bug on my 
leg while I was driving."

Although I tried to withhold any outward expression 
of laughter, it was beyond my control.

"So, you think it was nice for that bug to be on 
my leg, causing me to bump into the car in front 
of me?"

I had almost forgotten that, but nobody was hurt 
in the incident.

“What does nice have to do with that kind of bug 
on my leg?”

Then, much to my surprise, she broke out laughing 
as well.

To some people, what is nice is not nice to other 
people. What is naughty is not necessarily naughty 
in someone else's estimation.

All these things she brought to my attention was 
not something I worked at. It was something that 
came without any influence on my part. My part 
was laughing at the incident and enjoying it for 
weeks to come.

As the room quieted down, I finally raised my 

“So,” I began, “do you think you’ve been nice this 

The tables were turned now, and I wanted to press 
her with some of my interrogations.

I’m not a very good interrogator, particularly 
when it comes to issues concerning my wife. But I 
thought since she brought up the subject, I would 
carry it through and see where it took us.

She stared at me for quite some time and then 
said, “I think I have been overly nice because I 
have given you so much material to write about.” 
Then she glared at me with one of “those glares.”

First, I didn't quite know how to take it. I was afraid 
that her NICE was turning into her NAUGHTY, 
and I would not be able to handle that.

Following a few silent moments, she then burst 
out laughing. I was relieved, to say the least.

We enjoyed a few moments of shared laughter, 
which greatly lightened up our day. As I was 
thinking about it, there was another nice aspect 
of our relationship.

That nice aspect is, my wife is not a writer, or I 
would be in trouble.

Later that day, I thought of the Bible verse. “But 
if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we 
have fellowship one with another, and the blood 
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” 
(1 John 1:7).

Our relationship is not based on nice or naughty 
but rather on the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior.

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