Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 16, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, January 16, 2021 



Dear Savvy Senior:

Is acupuncture a viable treatment for pain and is 
it covered by Medicare? Since the pandemic hit, 
I have a lot of lower back and neck pain and am 
wondering if it’s worth trying. What can you tell 
me? Looking for Solutions

Dear Looking:Many studies over the years – 
funded by the National Institutes of Health – 
have found acupuncture to be very effective in 
easing pain and can help with a variety of other 
ailments too. Here’s what you should know.

Acupuncture Treatment

First used in China more than 2,000 years ago, 
acupuncture has become increasingly popular in 
the United States over the past decade.

While acupuncture isn’t a cure-all treatment, 
it is a safe, drug-free option for relieving many 
different types of pain including low back pain, 
neck pain, osteoarthritis, migraine headaches, 
fibromyalgia, postoperative pain, tennis elbow, 
carpel tunnel syndrome, dental pain and more. 
Studies have also shown that it can be helpful in 
treating asthma, depression, digestive disorders, 
menopause symptoms like hot flashes, and nausea 
caused by chemotherapy or anesthesia.

Exactly how or why acupuncture works isn’t fully 
understood, but it’s based on the traditional 
Eastern theory that vital energy flows through 
pathways in the body, and when any of these 
pathways get blocked, pain and illness result. 
Acupuncture unblocks the pathways to restore 

However, today most Western practitioners believe 
that acupuncture works because it stimulates 
the nerves causing the release of endorphins, 
which are the body’s natural painkiller 
hormones. It’s also shown to increase blood circulation, 
decrease inflammation and stimulate 
the immune system. 

What to Expect

During acupuncture, practitioners stimulate 
specific points on the body by inserting thin 
needles through the skin. The needles are solid, 
sterile and disposable (used only once), and as 
thin as a cat’s whisker.

The number of needles used for each treatment 
can vary anywhere from a few, up to a dozen or 
more. And where the needles are actually stuck 
depends on the condition being treated, but 
they are typically inserted about one-quarter 
to 1-inch deep and are left in place for about 
20 minutes. After placement, the needles are 
sometimes twirled or manipulated, or stimulated 
with electricity or heat.

You may feel a brief, sharp sensation when the 
needle is inserted, but generally it’s not painful. 
Once the needle is in place, however, you may 
feel a tingling sensation, numbness, mild pressure 
or warmth.

How many treatments you’ll need will depend 
on the severity of your condition – 12 treatments 
done weekly or biweekly is very common. 
It’s also important to know that acupuncture can 
be used in conjunction with other conventional 
medical treatments, or by itself.

Cost and Coverage

The cost per treatment typically runs anywhere 
from $40 to $150, depending on where you are 
in the country and what style of treatment you 
are receiving.

Today, an increasing number of private insurance 
plans, including some Medicare Advantage 
plans, and policies provided by employers offer 
some type of acupuncture coverage.

You’ll also be happy to know that last January 
(2020), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid 
Services announced that original Medicare will 
now cover up to 12 acupuncture sessions in 90 
days for patients with chronic lower back pain. 
Eight additional sessions can be added if patients 
show improvement.

But in order to receive Medicare coverage, you 
must use a licensed acupuncturist who is supervised 
by a medical doctor, physician assistant or 
nurse practitioner trained in acupuncture, who 
will need to process the acupuncture claim. Currently, 
licensed acupuncturists can’t directly bill 

To find an acupuncturist in your area ask your 
doctor for a referral, or you can do a search online. 
Two good resources are the National Certification 
Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental 
Medicine (, and the American 
Academy of Medical Acupuncturists (medicalacupuncture.
org), which offers a directory 
of MDs and DOs who are certified to practice 

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! … 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


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

We had a long, hard week with 
problems and difficulties that 
took time to solve if they even 
were solved. It is quite interesting 
to me that when I solve one problem, two 
other problems appear. I think they’re all waiting 
in line.

In particular, one day was rather difficult and 
zapped both of us of energy. I ordered a new desk 
for my office, and there were so many problems 
getting it delivered that I almost gave up. Along 
the way the desk was damaged and they returned 
it back to the store without even telling us. We 
had to reorder it all over again and wait for it. But 
then it came. Problem solved.

That evening the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
and I sat down after supper to watch a 
little TV news and drink our evening coffee. We 
like to get caught up on the news of the day so we 
know what's happening.

There is nothing like relaxing after a hard day's 
work and just getting a little bit of energy back 
into the system again, and at our age, that takes 
time of which we have little.

As we were watching the news, the Gracious 
Mistress of the Parsonage sighed very deeply 
and said, “Why does the news always have to be 

She had a point there. Every story on the news 
that evening was negative and left you just a little 
more depressed than when you started watching 

We discussed some of the negative news being 
broadcast. None of it made sense to either of us. 
My opinion is simply, if it doesn't make sense to 
the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, I'm not 
going to try to find any sense for myself.

Each story was worse than the one before it. I felt 
the attitude in the room was going further south 
than I wanted it to go. Nothing on the news in 
any way sparked any bit of inspiration in my life.

For every negative story the news presents, there 
should be at least five positive stories that counter 
the negativity.

I looked over at my wife, smiled one of my gregarious 
smiles, and said, “I’m going to be riding 
the hallelujah train to the end. You want to join 

Looking at me quizzically, she said, “What in the 
world does that mean?”

I chuckled, and when I got control of my chuckling, 
“Do you remember good old uncle Ned?”

She shook her head and said that she never met 
him, so she did not know who I was talking 

So I told her the good old uncle Ned story. He 
was the kind of guy that if you could discourage 
him, you were the only person that could do that.

He always had such a happy demeanor that 
when you were depressed, you just wanted to get 
around him to give you a little bit of cheer along 
with one of his nonsensical stories.

Uncle Ned went through trouble in his life, 
probably more trouble than the rest of the family 
knew, but if you talked to him, you wouldn't 
know he had a single trouble in the world. He 
was the most positive person I've ever known. I 
think he was more positive than Norman Vincent 

When everything was going against him, and 
it didn't look like there was any solution to the 
prob-lem, uncle Ned would say, "I'm just gonna 
ride the hallelujah train to the end." Then he 
would break into one of his infamous hallelujah 

It took me a long time to understand what he 
meant by that. If there is anybody who didn't 
have a reason to be happy, it was uncle Ned. But, 
you would never be able to find anybody happier 
than uncle Ned.

It wasn’t until after he had passed that I begin to 
understand what he was talking about.

The “hallelujah train” that he talked about was 
simply him taking control of his attitude at the 
time. He never allowed an incident, person or 
even family member to take away his happiness.

I begin to understand that he deliberately chose 
to ride the "hallelujah train," which made him in 
charge of his life.

As I told my wife the story, she leaned back and 
smiled one of her gracious smiles. Then she said, 
"I think I understand what he meant by that hallelujah 

I can't remember anything that uncle Ned really 
did or accomplished in life. I'm sure there were 
things, but nothing came to my attention as I 
thought of him. The only thing was his attitude 
of happiness that nothing or no one could take 
away for him.

Walking into the house the next day, my wife 
looked at me and said, "Well, I'm riding the hallelu-
jah train today."

I didn't have to ask her to explain, I knew exactly 
where she was going with this.

Troubles come and go, but if I allow them to control 
me in any regard, I am the loser. Therefore, 
each day I'm going to ride the hallelujah train to 
the end.

That evening I thought of one of the wise sayings 
of King Solomon. “He that handleth a matter 
wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the 
Lord, happy is he” (Proverbs 16:20).

The door into the hallelujah train is simply trusting 
in the Lord.

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 
1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472.



With people living longer 
than ever before, 
more and more seniors 
require long-term 
healthcare services in 
nursing homes and assisted 
living facilities. 
However, such care is 
extremely expensive, 
especially when it’s needed for extended periods of 

 Traditional healthcare insurance doesn’t cover such 
services, and though Medicare does pay for some 
long-term care, it's quite limited, difficult to qualify 
for, and requires you to deplete nearly all of your assets 
before being eligible (though proactive estate 
planning can help shield your assets). To address 
this gap in coverage, long-term care insurance was 

Intensive Care

First introduced as “nursing home insurance” in the 
1980s, this type of insurance is designed to cover 
expenses associated with long-term skilled nursing 
services delivered in a nursing home, assisted living 
facility, or other senior care setting, though some 
of today’s policies cover care delivered in your own 
home as well.

 Such intensive care is required when you are no longer 
able to care for yourself, often in the later stages 
of your life. These policies cover the cost of skilled 
nursing services that support you with basic self-care 
tasks, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, walking, 
and using the bathroom. These are known as activities 
of daily living (ADLs).

 Before your coverage kicks in, most policies require 
that you demonstrate you have lost the ability to engage 
in at least two or three ADLs. Most policies also 
have a deductible, or elimination period, which is 
a set number of days that must elapse between the 
time you become disabled (eligible for benefits) and 
the time your coverage kicks in. 

Many policies offer a 90-day elimination period, but 
others can be longer, shorter, or even have no elimination 
period at all. Of course, the shorter the elimination 
period, the more expensive the premium.

Additionally, long-term care policies typically come 
with a predetermined benefit period, which is the 
number of years of care it will pay for. A benefit period 
of three to five years, for example, is a quite common 
duration for such policies. Most policies also 
come with a cap on the dollar amount of coverage 
that will be paid for care on a daily basis, known as a 
daily benefit amount.

Getting Covered

Obviously, the younger and healthier you are when 
you buy the policy, the cheaper the premiums will 
be, so the sooner you invest in coverage, the better. 
In fact, most policies exclude certain pre-existing 
conditions, so if you wait until you become ill, it can 
be impossible to find coverage. 

Increasing Premiums, Decreasing Benefits

With the elderly population booming, there has been 
a surge in demand for long-term care services, which 
has led to a marked increase in the cost of such policies. 
At the same time, many insurers have been cutting 
back on the benefits their policies offer. 

 If you are looking to purchase long-term care insurance, 
you should speak with multiple insurance providers 
and compare their benefits, care options, and 
premiums. Different companies may offer the same 
coverage and benefits, but they can vary dramatically 
in price. Always ask about the insurance company’s 
history of rate increases, including the amount of the 
most recent increase.

Choose Wisely

For the best chances of success when shopping for 
a policy, get help from a fee-only planner, who is 
not compensated based on your choice of coverage. 
When meeting with an insurance provider, you must 
get answers to following three questions about your 

1. How long is the elimination period before
the policy begins paying benefits?

2. What capacities, or ADLs, must you lose before 
coverage kicks in?

3. How many years of care are covered?

Buying long-term care insurance should be a family 
affair, because you are going to need your family 
members to advocate for you and file a claim for the 
policy when you need to use it. Given this, make sure 
your family knows what kind of policy you have, 
who your agent is, and how to make a claim.

 What’s more, you should pre-authorize the right 
person to speak to the insurance company on your 
behalf, and not just rely on a power of attorney. That 
said, you should definitely have a well-drafted, updated, 
and regularly reviewed power of attorney on 
file as well.

Keep Your Policy Updated

Once you are in your 40s, your long-term care policy 
should be reviewed annually to evaluate new insurance 
products on the market and update your policy 
based on your changing needs. And whatever you 
do, once you have a policy in place, make sure you 
don’t miss a premium payment, because if you stop 
paying, even for a short period of time, you’ll lose all 
of the money you invested and will have no access to 
the benefits when you need them. 

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 

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