Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 11, 2024

MVNews this week:  Page 14


 Mountain Views NewsSaturday, May 11, 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-
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Beth Copti, Marilyn Diaz, Anne Schryver, Jo Ann Williams, Paul Hagan, Lenore 
Crilly Joann Serrato-Chi, Harriett Lyle, Jean Coleman, Birgitta Gerlinger, 
Luciana Rosenzweig, Linda Wochnik, Marian Woodford, Debbie Sheridan, 
Joanne Anthony, Carole Axline, Kika Downey, Shirley Hall, Janet Ten Eyck, 
Jane Thomas, Ray Burley, Bridget Flanagan,Donna Mathisen,Vicky Ryan,

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

Courtesy Safe Path For Seniors


Researchers from Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel 
Deaconess Medical Center's music and neuro-imaging 
department discovered that singing lyrics can be 
especially beneficial to those recuperating from a stroke 
or brain injury that has affected the left-brain region 
responsible for speech production. Because singing 
ability starts in the unaffected right side of the brain, 
people can learn to verbalize their thoughts by singing 
them first and then progressively losing the melody. 
Former Representative Gabrielle Giffords used this 
procedure to improve her speaking skills sufficiently to 
appear before a Congressional committee two years after 
a gunshot trauma to her head impaired her capacity to communicate. Singing has also helped healthy 
adults acquire words and phrases more quickly.

Listening to and performing music reactivates brain areas responsible for memory, logic, speech, emotion, 
and reward. Two recent studies, one in the United States and the other in Japan, discovered that music 
not only helps us access stored memories, but also helps us create new ones. In all trials, healthy elderly 
persons performed better on memory and reasoning tests after participating in numerous weekly lessons 
that included moderate physical exercise and musical accompaniment.

To witness therapeutic music practices at work, go to the website of the Music Heals Minds,, 
and get involved. And if you are caring for—or care about—someone with mild cognitive impairment or 
dementia, I guarantee it will inspire you to see how much music helps.

Attached are two photos of our signature program Music to Remember in action. This program combines 
music, physical movement, and cognitive skill building. 

Nandani Maria Sinha

Opera/Broadway/Session Singer

Executive Director | Music Heals Minds

Faculty | CSARTS & Citrus College 

Teaching Artist | LA Opera Connects




Dear Savvy Senior:

What gardening tips can you offer to older seniors? I love 
to putter around and work in the garden, but my back and 
knees have caused me to curtail my gardening activities, 
which I miss greatly. Older Gardner

Dear Older:

There’s no doubt that gardening can be hard on an aging body. Joints stiffen up, kneeling for 
prolonged periods hurts, and bending and reaching can strain muscles. But that doesn’t mean you 
have to give up your hobby. You just need to garden differently, add some special tools and know 
your limits. Here are some tips that may help you.

Limber Up

With gardening, good form is very important as well as not overdoing any one activity. A 
common problem is that gardeners often kneel or squat, putting extra pressure on their knees. 
Then, to spare their knees, they might stand and bend over for long stretches to weed, dig and 
plant, straining their back and spine. 

To help protect your body, you need to warm up before beginning. Start by stretching, focusing on 
the legs and lower back. And keep changing positions and activities. Don’t spend hours weeding 
a flowerbed. After 15 minutes of weeding, you should stand up, stretch, and switch to another 
activity like pruning the bushes or just take a break. 

It’s also important that you recognize your physical limitations and don’t try to do too much all 
at once. And, when lifting heavier objects, remember to use your legs to preserve your back. You 
can do this by keeping the item close to your body and squatting to keep your back as vertical as 

Get Better Tools

The right gardening equipment can help too. Kneeling pads can protect knees, and garden seats or 
stools are both back and knee savers. Lightweight garden carts can make hauling bags of mulch, 
dirt, plants or other heavy objects much easier. And long-handled gardening and weeding tools 
can help ease the strain on the back by keeping you in a standing upright position versus bent 

There are also ergonomic gardening and pruning tools with fatter handles and other design 
features that can make lawn and garden activities a little easier. Fiskars and Felco make a number 
of specialty tools that you can buy online or at local retail stores that sell lawn and garden supplies. 
Also check out and, two online stores that sell specialized 
gardening tools and equipment that are very helpful to older gardeners.

Make Watering Easier

The chore of carrying water or handling a heavy, awkward hose can also be difficult for older 
gardeners. Some helpful options include lightweight fabric or expandable hoses instead of heavy 
rubber hoses; soaker or drip hoses that can be snaked throughout the garden; thin coil hoses that 
can be used on the patio or small areas; a hose caddy and reel for easier hose transport around the 
yard; and a self-winding hose chest that puts the hose up automatically. There are also a variety 
of ergonomic watering wands that are lightweight, easy to grip, and reach those hard to-get-to 

To find these types of watering aids check with your local lawn and garden supplies stores or visit 

Bring the Garden to You

If your backyard garden has become too much to handle, you should consider elevated garden 
beds or container gardening – using big pots, window boxes, hanging baskets, barrels or tub 
planters. This is a much easier way to garden because it eliminates much of the bend and strain of 
gardening but still provides the pleasure of making things grow. 

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.


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder


Finally, those five sick weeks of being are over, and my life is getting back to 
normal. Whatever normal is.

Five weeks is a long time to be sick, spend time in bed, and not know if it’s 
morning or evening. There was a period when I was about ready to set up camp in the bath-
room. That would’ve been a lot easier for me and less stressful.

But getting back to normal is a great delight. I’m unsure what I lost during those five weeks, 
but you can be sure I won’t try to find out. What is behind me is behind me for good!

My first morning, I was in my office trying to figure out where I was and what project I was 
working on. Being at my desk behind my computer and working was a good feel-ing. I really 
didn’t know how much I enjoyed it until it wasn’t there anymore.

I guess being sick can have a positive as-pect. While I was sick, I wasn’t able to do the work 
that I wanted to do. That’s always a terrible place to be. But now that I’m over that, I’m sitting 
at my desk, looking around in my office, and looking at all the books I have on my shelves. 
Oh, it’s a wonderful feeling. Have my books missed me as much as I missed them?

But that’s behind me; now, I need to press forward.

Another aspect of getting back in the saddle again are the meals that The Gracious Mis-
tress of the Parsonage prepares. I’m not sure what she prepared while I was sick; I have very 
little recollection of what they were. At my first breakfast, I took a deep breath and realized 
how delicious my break-fasts actually were. I’m looking forward to lunch with a great deal of 

I was starting to get back into my production routine, which took me a little while. After a 
little time, I was back into my rou-tine. There is so much to do, and so much joy in doing it.

One afternoon I was sitting at my desk working on a project and a thought kept coming to 
mind. This thought just would not go away. I got up and got a cup of fresh coffee, hoping that 
would solve my little problem. I sat down at my desk and got back to work, and wouldn’t you 
know it, that thought was still bouncing back and forth in my mind.

I had enough to do to occupy my entire mind for the day, but for some reason, this little 
thought kept working its way into whatever I was doing at the time.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy thoughts that come to me whenever they come. I want something 
fresh and new to invade my mind. But this thought was a little bit of a rascal.

Finally, I had enough, so I sat back in my chair and focused on this thought: “Wouldn’t an 
Apple Fritter be a nice reward for getting back in my saddle?”

I will never know where that thought came from, but instead of rejecting it, like I should’ve, I 
embraced it. All I could think of for the rest of the afternoon was that Apple Fritter.

I couldn’t remember the last time I had an Apple Fritter, but I believe when I did have one, I 
got into trouble. According to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, Apple Fritters are not 
on my diet. According to her, I’m on a very strict diet.

I kept telling this thought, “You better not let The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage hear 
what you’re saying to me.” I don’t think that thought was listening to me; he was only listening 
to himself.

The idea of munching on a fresh, warm Apple Fritter was marinating in my mind. Nothing in 
the world can match that kind of deliciousness.

In a couple of hours, that thought bought me hook, line, and sinker. All I could think about 
was a fresh, warm Apple Fritter with a nice hot cup of coffee. That picture just glowed in my 
mind as I thought about it.

My problem was, how do I get an Apple Fritter? I’m sure The Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage would not be part of this kind of thing. She would rather I had a stalk of broccoli 
(yuck) than a nice Apple Fritter. The more I thought about this Apple Fritter, the more I 
yearned for it. After all, I spent almost five weeks with some kind of sickness, I should have 
something to reward me for getting through it all.

My project is, how do I present this to The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage? How do I 
present it in such a way that she will bite into it and let me have an Apple Fritter?

I hope this thought has friends who can help me think through this project.

That afternoon a Bible verse came to mind.

Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatso-ever things are true, whatsoever things are 
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatso-ever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, 
whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think 
on these things.”

Some thoughts just aren’t worth the time or energy. I need to control my thinking and think 
thoughts worthy of God.

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