Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 2, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 12


 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 2, 2024 




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with Safe Path for Seniors. Our compassionate advisors 
specialize in assisting individuals with unique 
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Cathy Flammer, Clare Marquardt, Karen Blachly, Carla Duplex, Ella 
Guttman, Viky Tchatlian, Mary Cooper, Sun Liu, Helen Wallis, Nancy Fox, 
Martha Cassara, Rita Johnson, Sharon Murphy, Heather Sheets, Mercedes 
Campos, Dorothy Webster,Terri Elder, Carol Cerrina, Amy Putnam, Sally 

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


(By Steven Galindo Courtesy of Safe Path For Seniors)

The invaluable contributions of caregivers often go unnoticed or 

As we resume our daily routines post-pandemic, it's vital to 
acknowledge that some of our loved ones still rely on caregivers 
for unwavering support and hope. While many are returning 
to normalcy, these individuals face unique challenges and 
uncertainties, highlighting their ongoing need for support and 

Primary recipients of care often suffer from Non-Communicable 
Diseases (NCDs) and other serious illnesses, significantly limiting 
their ability to self-care and necessitating caregiver assistance. 
Examples include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, 
chronic kidney diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Caregivers provide not only physical aid but also crucial emotional 
support, laying a foundation of love and hope for their families. Post-
pandemic life serves as a reminder of the continued importance of 
caregivers, showcasing the resilience of both caregivers and their 
charges in the face of life's challenges.

While immediate family members may serve as caregivers in fortunate cases, others rely on 
hired aides or external helpers. The sacrifices made by caregivers, regardless of their relationship 
to the recipient, often entail immense dedication and selflessness, involving physical, emotional, 
and financial challenges.

Acknowledging the vital role of caregivers is essential, as it underscores their contribution 
to enhancing the well-being of those in need. In some cases, dedicated siblings step up as 
primary caregivers, driven by familial duty and love, highlighting the delicate balance between 
professional obligations and family responsibilities.

It's imperative for all siblings to actively participate in caregiving responsibilities to support 
the primary caregiver. Implementing a rotational approach ensures shared duties, allowing 
necessary breaks for the primary caregiver to focus on personal and professional aspects.

In a heartfelt example, my cousin diligently cares for our elderly mother, despite her own 
demanding career and family responsibilities. This illustrates the resilience and commitment 
required in caregiving, emphasizing the importance of a robust support network.

In conclusion, maintaining strong relationships between caregivers and recipients, as well as 
within the family, is paramount. Prioritizing self-care doesn't diminish strength; rather, it ensures 
caregivers can effectively support their loved ones while maintaining their own well-being.


Estates Agent | Senior Real 
Estate Specialist


Lic# 01002784


Dear Savvy Senior:

Does Medicare offer any financial assistance programs to help seniors with their medication costs? 
I recently enrolled in a Medicare drug plan, but I take some expensive medications that have high 
out-of-pocket costs and need some help.

Living on a Shoestring

Dear Living:

Yes, there’s a low-income subsidy program called ‘Extra Help’ that assists Medicare beneficiaries 
on a tight budget by paying for their monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments 
related to their Medicare (Part D) prescription drug coverage. 

And, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that was passed by Congress and signed into law 
in late 2022, this program has expanded and gotten easier to qualify for in 2024. Even if you’ve 
applied and didn’t qualify before, you may be eligible now.

The Extra Help benefit is estimated to be worth about $5,300 per year. Currently over 13 million 
people are receiving this subsidy, but there’s around 3 million more who may qualify for it but 
don’t realize it. 

The amount of financial assistance you would receive depends on your income and assets. If 
you qualify, you’ll pay no premium or deductible (unless receiving a partial subsidy), and no 
more than $4.50 for each generic drug or $11.20 for each brand-name drug your plan covers in 

To get the subsidy, your resources must be limited to $17,220 or $34,360 for married couples 
living together. Bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and IRAs count as assets, but your 
home, vehicle, personal belongings, life insurance and burial plots do not.


Also, your annual income must be limited to $22,590 for an individual or $30,660 for married 
couples. If you support a family member who lives with you, or you live in Alaska or Hawaii, 
your income can be higher. In addition, the government won’t count any money if you receive 
help for household expenses like food, rent, mortgage payments, utilities and property taxes.


How to Apply

There are three ways to see if you qualify and apply for Extra Help: online at
part-d-extra-help; by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213; or by visiting your local Social 
Security office.

The application form is easy to complete, but you will need your Social Security number and 
information about your bank balances, pensions and investments. Social Security will review 
your application and send you a letter within a few weeks letting you know whether you qualify.

If you don’t qualify for Extra Help, you may still be able to get help from a state pharmacy 
assistance program or a patient assistance program. Visit to search for these 

Other Medicare Assistance

If you’re eligible for Extra Help, you may also qualify for help with your other Medicare expenses 
through your state’s Medicare Savings Program.

State Medicaid programs partner with the federal government, so income and asset qualifications 
vary depending on where you live. Medicare Savings Programs will pay your entire Medicare 
Part B premium each month. And in some cases, they may also pay your Medicare deductibles, 
coinsurance and copayments, depending on your income level. To find out if you qualify, 
contact your state Medicaid office. 


You can also get help through your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which 
provides free Medicare counseling in person or over the phone. Visit or call 877-
839-2675 to locate a counselor in your area.

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.



I must confess that I do have 
a liking for critters of all 
kinds. I enjoy feeding them 
out on the back porch, and 
boy, do they come hungry for 
their treats.

Two cats born in our garage are still hanging 
around. They come morning, noon, and 
night for their treats. In the morning, they 
like to come and have me scratch their 
head. I’m not sure what that has to do with 
anything, but I’m willing to scratch their 
head if that’s what they want.

Unlike me, The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage is not very fond of critters of 
any nature. The only critter she likes is 
Yours Truly. I guess I’m enough of a critter 
to satisfy any longings like that. I hope she 
doesn’t try to scratch my head.

When she goes to the door and opens it, the 
cats run in like they are crazy. As soon as 
they see that it’s her, they turn around and 
race outside as fast as possible.

For me, it’s fun to watch all these critters 
gather around as though they were friends.

We have about five cats, four raccoons, two 
possums, and lately, our newest critters are 
chickens from our neighbor next door.

For some reason, these chickens have found 
the kitty food on our porch and like coming 
over and enjoy a snack. I enjoy watching 
them dance around on the porch, eating 
the snacks. Also, the cats are sitting on the 
rocking chairs on the porch and over these 
chickens as they come for their daily treats.

If The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
sees these chickens, she immediately opens 
the door and chases them away. She will 
often throw water at them to keep them 
from returning.

Obviously, they’re not that frightened of her 
and return on a regular schedule. To them 
it’s Treats over Fear. Out on the porch, we 
also have a bunch of birds, and at times 
hummingbirds. We have a lot of wasps 
and bees flying around. Then we have ants 
galore. Somehow, they found the bowl of 
kitty food and try to come as often as they 
can. The biggest obstacle, of course, is The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

A few years ago, we had foxes that came in 
the evening, but I haven’t seen them for a 

And then we have lizards. For some reason, 
they came to our back porch and moved in. 
They act like they own the place and do all 
kinds of lizardly things, much to the chagrin 
of The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

I’ve heard a rumor about some black bear 
in our neighborhood. It would be a delight 
some night to see a black bear coming on 
our back porch eating some kitty treats. 
Of course, The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage would have an absolute meltdown 
if that ever happened.

I’m not sure who would be worse off, the 
black bear or The Gracious Mistress of the 

One morning, I was in the bathroom getting 
ready for the day when I noticed in the 
shower a little lizard. He climbed halfway 
up the wall and just stared at me. I think he 
thought I was the intruder.

I stared back, talked to him a little bit, and 
told him to be careful of the other person in 
the house. He just stared at me and blinked 
his eyes.

I had forgotten that incident, and later in 
the day, as we were drinking coffee together, 
I happened to remember it. I looked at my 
wife and said, “I had a special visitor in the 
bathroom this morning.” She stared at me 
and said, “Who was that special visitor?”

I laughed very heartily and said, “That 
visitor was Henry.” Looking rather strange 
and confused, she said, “Who is Henry?”

“Ah, my dear, it was a lizard. I just call him 
Henry because we’re friends.” “In your 
bathroom?” She gasped.

With that, she jumped up and ran to the 
bathroom looking for Henry. I could hear 
her frantically calling his name for well over 
an hour. Finally, it grew silent, and she came 
out from the bathroom and sat down.

“Well,” I said with a smile, “did you meet my 
friend Henry?”

Scowling at me, she said, “I flushed your 
friend down the toilet.”

I didn’t know if I should have a memorial 
service for Henry or not. I’m pretty sure The 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage would 
not show up at that service.

I’m patiently waiting for the next Henry to 
show up in my bathroom. Maybe the next 
time, I won’t tell The Gracious Mistress of 
the Parsonage. Or, perhaps I should catch 
one of those lizards, put it in her bathroom, 
and see what happens.

It might be a memorial service for me.

With that in mind, I thought of an important 
Bible verse. “And God said, Let us make 
man in our image, after our likeness: and 
let them have dominion over the fish of the 
sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over 
the cattle, and over all the earth, and over 
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the 
earth” (Genesis 1:26).

From God’s perspective, we who have been 
created in His image and likeness, have a 
responsibility to care for the animals God 
has created. He has authorized us to care for 
them in obedience to His Word.

Dr. James L. Snyder lives in Ocala, FL with the 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Telephone 
1-352-216-3025, e-mail jamessnyder51@gmail.
com, website

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