Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, March 23, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 8


 Mountain Views News SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2024 




Discover the perfect assisted living community 
with Safe Path for Seniors. Our compassionate advisors 
specialize in assisting individuals with unique 
needs. Benefit from our extensive network and affordable 
options. Plus, we offer personalized tours 
to help you explore each community firsthand. Call 
(626) 999-6913 or visit 
for free assistance.



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 Ed Mervine and Dick Myers (Pasadena Village)

“The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up 
to 15 cigarettes a day,…(Surgeon General’s Advisory

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy released an advisory on May 3, 2023, that addresses the 
epidemic of loneliness and isolation negatively impacting the health of our nation, its people, and 
its institutions. A Surgeon General Advisory is a call to action. Past Advisories rallied national 
resources to combat tobacco use, obesity, and addiction.

In the May Advisory, the Surgeon General concluded that loneliness “is far more than just a 
bad feeling—it harms both individual and societal health. It is associated with a greater risk of 
cardiovascular disease, dementia, stroke, depression, anxiety, and premature death.”

The Village Movement founded in Boston in 2002 predates the Surgeon General’s Advisory and 
anticipated many of its findings, recommendations, and goals.

Challenged by a system that isolates and infantilizes older people, a healthcare industry that 
efficiently warehouses but is largely devoid of social connection, meaning or purpose, and a 
society focused elsewhere, seniors decided to do it themselves and thus the Village was born. 
Since that day in Boston in 2002, the lives of those who became Villagers changed. Many found a 
reason to get out of bed in the morning. Life became more fun, more meaningful, more fulfilling, 
and more purposeful.

Ten years later, when area seniors adopted the Boston example, the Village Movement reached 

Pasadena Villagers know that the Village model of self governance and mutual support delivered 
through the talents of its members works for them. It shows up at every gathering and on every 
page of Not only are Villagers living longer, healthier, richer, more 
rewarding lives but by building a model and opening it to others, they are helping establish 
healthy communities, mend loneliness and end isolation. Villagers are actively constructing a 
world they would like to inhabit. To learn more about how this nonprofit organization impacts 
the lives of local older adults, visit or call 626-765-6037.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


I’m unsure if this is a new phenomenon or I’m just starting to catch up 
on the culture. I know I have a lot to catch up on, and I’m slowly doing it.

Lately, there’s been a lot of activity at our front door.

That’s not to diminish the activity at the back porch door. That activity has to do with 
a variety of critters in the neighborhood. The food dish is out there, and the critters 
come throughout the day at their own discretion. It is an open invitation.

Two cats live on the porch, about three cats visit us to have something to eat, two 
possums show up regularly, and, last but not least, three raccoons show up nightly.

These critters come for the food I put out daily. I welcome them to the porch and to 
the food, unlike The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, who makes sure they never 
get inside the house.

But the front door is a different situation altogether. I’ve noticed lately that the activity 
and visitors to our front door has increased and that just frustrates me to no end.

When I answer the door, there will be somebody who has something for me that I 
just can’t turn away. If only he knew.

When anybody tells me they can do something for free and that it will lower some 
bills in the house, I know what they are saying is not true at all. If it was free, how in 
the world do they get paid?

Several of them talked about the idea of climate control. If we switch over to solar 
panel power, we will solve the climate control problems.

Once, when they were telling me how much money I could save, I interrupted them 
and said, “If you’re really interested in helping me save money, how about paying my 
electric bill for the year. That I would be interested in.”

He looked at me as though I was an idiot. I think he was seeing his reflection in my 

Another group of people that come to our front door has to do with our security 
system. They want to come in and examine our security system, and then they have a 
proposition for a brand-new security system that won’t cost me anything.

I may be a country boy, but I have two brain cells that are still working. I know why 
they want to come in and examine my security system. The purpose is to be able to 
understand what my security is, and then they can override that security system and 
rob me.

They want to go through my house to see all of the treasures I have that they can steal 
for their profit. I would pay them a finder’s fee if they found any money in our house. 
I’ve been looking for years and have come up empty.

If I let them in, and that’ll never happen, I will only let them see my library, where 
I have approximately 8,500 books. If they plan to steal some of my books, they are 
dumber than the dead possum up the street. I have nothing worth anything that a 
smart-minded person would want to steal.

I was sitting in my office doing work when I heard somebody at the front door. Before 
I could get up and go to the door, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage beat me 
and opened the door.

“Yes,” she asked, “can I help you?” I didn’t hear everything, but I listened to the guy 
at the door go into his spiel about the solar panel system he wanted to give her.

“I guarantee,” he said to her with the biggest smile I’ve seen in a long time, “that it 
will cut your electric bill in half or even more.”

At times like this, I wish we had a security camera to record this activity at the front 

The guy hardly finished his spiel before The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage 
jumped in.

“Do you have a permit for this?” She said with a great deal of authority in her voice. 
“You’re not allowed to come in our neighborhood and knock on our doors without a 
permit. Let me see your permit.”

He stammered and said, “No, ma’am. I don’t need a permit to do this.”

Looking at him as he had not been looked at for a long time, she said, “If I say you 
need a permit to do this, you better believe you need a permit to do this. Now show 
me your permit or I’m gonna call the cops.”

Can life get any better than this? If only I had the sense to turn a tape recorder on, I 
could at least get the audio of this interaction.

She talked to him very briefly, and as I looked at his face, I could see the blood 
draining out of his face; he didn’t say a word but turned and walked away as fast as 
he possibly could.

As he walked away, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage said, “And don’t you dare 
come back here ever again if you love breathing.”

I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 118, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put 
confidence in man.”

Man will fail me, but God will never fail me. I’m going to put my trust in God, not 


Dear Savvy Senior:

Can you recommend some good cell phones for seniors? 
My 79-year-old mother needs to get a new mobile phone 
and has asked me to help her find one that she would 
like. Searching Daughter

Dear Searching:

For older adults, choosing a cell phone is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Some seniors love 
the latest high-tech smartphones with high-megapixel cameras, while others prioritize simple 
phones with basic functions. So, the best cell phone for your mom will depend on her comfort with 
technology, priorities and budget. 

Best Cell Phones

To help identify the best cell phones for older adults, I consulted Wirecutter, a product testing and 
recommendation service from The New York Times who recently tested 18 cell phone models.

Their testing focus was on three different areas, including best phones for older adults who are 
comfortable with technology and want to upgrade to a full-featured smartphone with robust 
accessibility settings; best cell phones for seniors who are not tech-inclined or who prefer a 
smartphone with fewer features, as well as those who are experiencing vision, hearing, or dexterity 
issues; and best cell phones for elderly seniors who need specific accessibility features due to physical 
or cognitive issues. Here are their top choices based on their tests.

Apple iPhone 15 Plus: This is a great choice if your mom is comfortable with technology and willing 
to spend more for a top-tier smartphone with a range of accessibility, health, and safety features. The 
15 Plus has an easy-to-read, large (6.7-inch) screen and the most robust health and safety features, 
including an off-grid SOS, a personal-safety check, and plenty of customizable accessibility options 
that help seniors with vision and hearing loss, as well as with speaking and/or dexterity problems. 

Google Pixel 8: If your mom has been using an Android device and is more comfortable with this 
operating system, the Pixel 8 is a high-end, reasonably priced smartphone that tops their list for 
older adults. It too has a sharp, large (6.7-inch) screen with an excellent camara and many health, 
safety, and accessibility features that can help seniors with vision impairment, hearing loss, hand 
tremors and more. And it costs significantly less than the new Samsung Galaxy and iPhone models. 

Lively Jitterbug Smart4: If your mom wants a simplified smartphone that’s very affordable, she 
might prefer this model. Like the Apple 15 Plus and Google Pixel 8, the Jitterbug Smart4 also 
has a 6.7-inch screen, but this phone comes with a list-based menu (no icons) that provides easy 
navigation. It also offers voice commands capabilities, and a number of health and safety services 
including a 24/7 emergency monitoring service. This phone would also work well for people with 
memory or vision issues. ($150,

RAZ Mobility Memory Cell Phone: This phone is specifically designed for seniors with memory 
issues or more-advanced cognitive decline. Its uncluttered, simple functionality allows users to stay 
in touch with family and friends while also reducing common problems such as unnecessary calls 
to emergency services, spam, and fraud. It also has a dedicated SOS link on the screen that can alert 
up to three contacts; has 
GPS tracking capabilities; 
provides caregiver 
controls and more. ($349,

Snapfon ez4G: This is a 
non-smartphone if your 
mom doesn’t want or 
need all the functionality 
of a full-featured 
smartphone. This simple 
cell phone provides large 
buttons, big screen type 
and an SOS emergency 
button on the back of the 
phone that will alert up to 
five preselected contacts 
by call and text. ($100,

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.

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