Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 30, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, January 30, 2021 


Dear Savvy Senior:

I am interested in getting my mom, who lives alone, a 
medical alert system with a wearable pendant button 
that will let her call for help if she falls or has a medical 
emergency. What can you tell me to help me choose one? 
Too Many Choices

Dear Too Many:

A good medical alert system is an effective and affordable 
tool that can help keep your mom safe and living in her own home longer. But with all the different products 
and features available today, choosing one can be challenging. Here are some tips that can help.

Three Key Questions

Medical alert systems, which have been around since the 1980s, provide a wearable help button – usually in 
the form of a neck pendant or wristband – that would put your mom in touch with a dispatcher who could 
summon emergency help or contact a friend or family member as needed.

To help you narrow down your options and choose a system that best fits your mom’s needs, here are three 
key questions you’ll need to ask, along with some top-rated companies that offer these products.

1. Does your mom want a home-based or mobile system?

Medical alert systems were originally designed to work inside the home with a landline telephone, which is
still an option. But since fewer and fewer households have landlines these days, most companies today also
offer home-based systems that work over a cellular network. With these systems, pressing the wearable help
button allows you to speak to a dispatcher through a base unit located in your home.

In addition, many companies offer mobile medical alert options, too. You can use these systems at home, but 
they’ll also allow you to call for help while you’re out and about.

Mobile alerts operate over cellular networks and incorporate GPS technology. They allow you to talk and 
listen to the operator directly through the pendant button, and because of the GPS, your location would be 
known in order for help to be sent.

If your mom doesn’t leave the house very often, she may not need a mobile system, but if she is still active, 
she may want added protection outside the home.

2. Should her system be monitored or not?

The best medical alert systems are monitored, meaning that the help button connects you with a trained
operator at a 24/7 dispatching center.

But you also have the option to choose a system that isn’t monitored. With these, when you press the help 
button, the device automatically dials a friend or family member on your programmed emergency call list.

These products can often be set up to call multiple people and to contact emergency services if you don’t get 
an answer from someone on your list.

3. Should you add a fall-detection feature?

Most medical alert companies today now offer the option of an automatic fall detection pendant for an additional 
fee of $10 to $15 per month. These pendants sense falls when they occur and automatically contact
the dispatch center, just as they would if you had pressed the call button.

But be aware that this technology isn’t full proof. In some cases, this feature may register something as a fall 
that isn’t. The alarm might go off if you drop it or momentarily lose your balance but don’t actually land on 
the ground.

Top Rated Systems

Here are four top companies, rated by Consumer Reports, that offer home and mobile monitored medical 
alert systems:

• Bay Alarm Medical: Fees range between $20 and $40 per month;;

• GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus: The device costs $50 plus a $25 to $40 monthly service fee; GreatCall.
com; 800-650-5921.

• MobileHelp: Monthly fees run $20 to $45;; 800-809-9664.

• Phillips Lifeline: $30 to $50/month, plus a onetime device/activation fee of $50 to $100;; 855-681-5351.

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


Although you likely won’t need to have an entirely new estate plan prepared for 
you, upon relocating to another state, you should definitely have your existing plan 
reviewed by an estate planning lawyer who is familiar with your new home state’s 
laws. Each state has its own laws governing estate planning, and those laws can differ 
significantly from one location to another. 

Given this, you’ll want to make sure your planning documents all comply with the 
new state’s laws, and the terms of those documents still work as intended. Here, we’ll discuss how differing state 
laws can affect common planning documents and the steps you might want to take to ensure your documents are 
properly updated.

Last Will and Testament

The good news is, states will generally accept a will that was executed properly under another state's laws. However, 
there could be differences in the new state’s laws that make certain provisions in your will invalid. Here are a 
few of the things you should pay the most attention to in your will when moving:

Your executor: Consider whether or not the executor or administrator you’ve chosen will be able to serve in that 
role in your new location. Every state will allow an out-of-state executor to serve, but some states have special 
requirements that those executors must meet, such as requiring them to post a bond before serving. Other states 
require non-resident executors to appoint an agent who lives within the state to accept legal documents on behalf 
of the estate. 

Marital property: If you are married, give special consideration to how your new state treats marital property. 
While a common-law state might treat the property you own in your name alone as yours, community-property 
states treat all of your property as owned jointly with your spouse. If your new state treats marital property differently, 
you might need to draft a new will to ensure your wishes are honored.

Interested witnesses: Another important role under your will to consider when moving to a new state is an interested 
witness. An interested witness is someone who was a witness to your will who also receives a gift from your 
will. Some states allow interested witnesses to receive the gift, while other states do not allow such gifts. And still 
other states allow such gifts provided the witness is a family member.

Revocable Living Trust

A valid revocable living trust from one state should continue to be valid in your new state. However, you need to 
make certain that you transfer any new assets or property you acquire, such as your new home, to your trust, so 
that those assets can avoid the need to go through probate before being distributed to your heirs upon your death.

Power of Attorney

A valid power of attorney document, such as a durable power of attorney, medical power of attorney, or financial 
power of attorney, created in one state is likely to be valid in your new state. However, in some cases, banks, financial 
institutions, and healthcare facilities in your new state may not accept a power of attorney document if it’s 
unfamiliar to them. Also, simply as a practical matter, it may be a good idea to have your power of attorney agent 
live in the same state you do, so keep that in mind as well.

Beneficiary Designations

If you have accounts with beneficiary designations, such as 401(k)s, life insurance policies, and payable-on-death 
bank accounts, these should be valid no matter which state you live in. That said, you should still review these 
documents when you move to ensure that your address and other personal information is updated.

Keep Your Plan Current

As with other major life events, such as births, deaths, marriage and divorce, moving to a new state is the ideal 
time to have your plan reviewed by a professional. 

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 

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.


When I was young, my mother was quite a fan of a soap opera called “The Days of Our 
Lives.” I remember the title but I never would watch something like that. However, my 
mother enjoyed it and so what’s there to complain about.

As I was thinking of it, I felt that I should remember the days of my life. But, instead of 
"days," I need to put in the word "daze," which more clearly represents my life.

At times, I wish I was 16 again because I was the smartest person in the world. I knew everything; all you had 
to do was just ask me. Of course, back then, nobody asked me anything.

When I got older, I realized that there were a lot of things I did not know. Like one of the FBI directors said, 
"I don't know what I don't know." I relate to that statement. How my life would change if I knew what I didn’t 

Looking back, I must confess that my life has been primarily in a daze. At the time, I did not realize it. It wasn't 
until recently that I realized how much of my life was in a daze.

As a veteran husband, I’ve come to know how much of a daze I have been living in. It does not bother me what 
I don’t know. It has never been an issue with me as far as I can remember. Then, of course, my memory is in a 

It occurred to me this past week. The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage asked me a question when I came in 
the door from a day at the office.

“Have you seen how much my pineapple tree has grown?” I did not know where to start with this one. I just 
muttered something like, "that's really amazing, isn't it."

When I said that, she stared at me with one of "her stares." I'm quite familiar with that stare, and so I knew I 
was in trouble, but I did not know the trouble I was in or why. I just flashed a smile in her direction and tried 
to walk past her, but nothing of the sort happened that way.

“You didn’t know,” she said with both hands on her hips, “that I planted a pineapple tree in our front yard. Did 
you?” Well, she got me there. I could not tell a pineapple tree from a tomato plant when it comes right down 
to it. That’s how much of a daze I am in.

With that information, she took me outside to where the pineapple tree was and showed it to me.

"See," she said, pointing at the pineapple tree, "there is the pineapple tree."Now my daze is getting cloudier.

I need to understand what to do when my wife catches me in such a dazed position. How in the world do I get 
out of such a predicament?

"That's a pineapple tree," I said with as much glee in my voice as possible. "That is an amazing tree. You've done 
a great job with that tree. You must be thrilled."

I stopped to catch my breath because I didn’t know where to go from there. I had no idea what I was saying and 
no idea if she understood what I was saying. I paused and glanced in her direction and got my answer.

She said, "That is my favorite plant that I've ever planted. It looks so wonderful. I can't wait to see it grow even 
bigger." With that, she smiled one of those smiles that told me I was out of trouble, at least for this moment. 
We then walked back into the house, and both of us were happy but for different reasons.

I'm not sure how long she had that pineapple tree planted in our front yard, and I was afraid to ask because 
it may have been weeks or months. I wasn't going to spoil a moment by expressing the level of my dazement. 
Later on, as I was drinking coffee in my chair, I got to thinking about something very serious. What other areas 
of my life are a daze?

I could ask my wife, but then I would learn more about my daze then I needed to know at the time. One daze 
at a time is enough for me to handle. I'm really not ready to find out how much I don't know at this point in 
my life. It may be too overwhelming.

Or, I could start paying attention to my life each day. That is a challenging task, but maybe it is something I 
need to do. Every day I should ask my question, “What don’t I know today?”

Maybe I shouldn't do it every day; maybe I should do it once a week. Or thinking more along that line, maybe 
I should do it once a month.

If I could learn once a month what I don't know, I think my life would increase in a positive direction.

In my Bible reading for the evening, I read what David said. "Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure 
of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am” (Psalm 39:4).

If I know myself from God's perspective, that will be one step in receiving from God what he wants me to 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He 
lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. 

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