Issue 85 April 2022
Featured Stories

Do dogs get depressed? Yes they do and if you have a dog, you'll want to read "Why Dogs Get Depressed And What You Can Do" by Kimberly Blaker.

You also don't want to miss reading "A Cautionary Tale"--a personal, heartbreaking story about Illene Powell, 75, and the struggles and frustrations she went through after the passing of three members of her family including her husband. Many caveats.

Remember Don Mankin?
Our award-winning adventure travel writer is back on the road after
a two year hiatus due to Covid travel restrictions. After reading his latest adventure--"Philly Flaneur"--you may want to add Philadelphia to your bucket list--Mankin's home town and the birthplace of our nation.

If you are a long time CA homeowner enjoying the benefits of Prop 13, don't miss reading "Going. Going. Gone" by Evelyn Preston. Good and bad things in Prop 19 that you need to know.

Keep Smiling!

And let me know what kind of stories you prefer to read in this publication. Feel free to forward to your family and friends.

--Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher

Do Dogs Get Depressed?

Here's Why And What
You Can Do

By Kimberly Blaker
As most dog owners will attest, dogs do feel a range of emotions. They may not experience sadness quite the same as humans because dogs lack self-consciousness.
But they can experience anxiety and depression, says Dr. Carlo Siracusa at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, in "Do Dogs Feel Sadness?" by Kate Hughes. 
The development of dogs' emotions is equivalent to that of a two or two-and-a-half-year-old child, according to researchers so, the sadness they experience is less complex than that in human adults.
For example, human adults can feel sad or depressed as a result of ruminating about their failures, imperfections or something they did or didn't do.

Since dogs, like very young children, lack self-consciousness, they don't experience this type of sadness. Nonetheless, dogs can experience sadness or get depressed for a variety of other reasons.

"A Cautionary Tale"

By I. G. Powell

"Negotiating The Medical And Legal Establishments Will Wear You Down Like The Sun Melts A Block Of Ice On A 100 Degree Day"

The experiences in the following narrative are my own personal ones. Hopefully, you will be more prepared than I was. If the following observations and suggestions help one person to confront a health crisis or legal issue, it was worth the time and trouble to sit down and sort out my feelings. 

The decisions l made were ones that were wrought with angst and stress. Were they the best? Who knows? Hopefully, you will be able to make more informed decisions because the more knowledge you have in these issues, the better. So my decisions might not be the best ones for you. To make matters worse, the world was embroiled in a life-sucking pandemic.

A perfect storm of circumstances put me in a most precarious situation. The death of my mother-in-law, a brother-in-law and husband in less than three years catapulted me to position of
personal representative for the brother–in-law and my husband.

Who knew that the death of a woman almost 99 years old would set off a chain of events that could be so fraught with tension and so costly? My mother-in-law had a life estate to a property. When she died, my husband and his brother retained ownership since she had sold them the property twenty years prior.

The younger son, my husband’s brother, was in a nursing home and had been there for over one year and owed the nursing home over $80,000 making it impossible to sell the property without Medicaid’s approval. My spouse had done all the right things, retained a lawyer to sift through the paperwork involved, and, then the unthinkable happened. My husband who had been diagnosed with AFIB ended up in the emergency room two days in a row.

 He was in dire straits and needed help. This occurred in the throes of the pandemic.


By Evelyn (Evie) Preston, The Money Lady

Thanks to the South Bay’s “Next Door” community for practically writing this month’s most important column on the pending Recall Initiative of Nov. 2020 ballot’s Prop. 19, that some have dubbed the “Death Tax Act.”
Part of this new law (Home protection for disabled seniors and wildfire victims/natural disasters act) also allows seniors to keep current property tax rates when moving within CA, BUT raises the property tax rate on inherited property upon the owner’s death—no more parent to children transfers of homes, farms and businesses.

Initially sponsored by the real estate industry to help, many resent
that realtors will also prosper from forced sales by heirs due to
sudden huge property taxes. 
For longtime property owners, this change wipes out the 1986 Prop. 58 (approved by 75% of CA voters,) that allowed the current (lower) property tax base passed on to family. Prop.19 now reassesses that same property at current rates as in a direct sale. It only allows a convoluted and minimal exclusion for a child who chooses to live in the home.
Gracious Palo Alto volunteer, Kimberly Sweidy, provided one of many petition venues for “wet” signatures, names handwritten on an official county form before the recent cut-off date that allows time for June verification. Her impetus to action, she said, was to promote “honesty and transparency in politics!” Her enthusiasm worked!
The extensive pushback and discussion of this contentious change to long-held family properties proves its impact. Many feel it’s the sneakiest assault to date on Prop.13. But whether pro or con for raising property taxes on heirs, the subject has literally and figuratively hit home!
Q: Why did seniors vote for Prop.19 if it’s so
bad for them?

That’s the rub…and the reason for recall:

1) Voters often don’t take the time to carefully read and question what they’re voting for, especially with little discussed, complicated ballot propositions

2) Voters have long complained that CA shouldn’t be governed by special interest propositions yet legislators too often duck their responsibilities to closely assess initiatives.

3) This tax change was a hastily written, last minute addition to Prop.19 by Assembly Speaker Pro Tem K. Mullin (D-San Mateo)
that many see as a legislative tactic to obscure its content and intent.

When Prop.19 fully came to light, a majority of voters said, “I would never vote for that!” But most did, because if read at all, the first parts helped wildfire victims and some seniors. All good! Only the final, poorly conceived section of the long initiative robbed heirs.

Why Should I Work With a Senior
Real Estate Certified Realtor?”
A Senior Certified Realtor works with Seniors and their families in determining their housing needs and guiding them as they navigate through the home sale process. Providing support and
the resources necessary for a smooth transition.
 If you are thinking about selling your home and asking yourself,  
"where do I start?" Or, if you are looking forward to downsizing
and no longer wanting to maintain a home due to cost or the constant upkeep, a Senior Real Estate Certified Realtor can help.
Letting go of a beloved home where years of happy family memories were built has to be one of the most difficult decisions one has to make in one's lifetime.
“Mercedes not only beautifully represented me as we went through the process but she made the journey with me in every way. She did everything right leaving no detail overlooked from staging, pricing, timing and negotiating."
“Thus, leading to a multiple offer sale and sold in a week. In choosing Mercedes I not only found the perfect agent but a caring, lifelong friend."--Wille L.
Feel free to call me today if you have any questions or would like a
no obligation consultation and Property Valuation. I can help! 
Call 650.766.3910. Email: Visit:
Mercedes Roses is a Gerontologist and Realtor® at Compass. 
DRE 01748726.
"Philly Flâneur"
By Don Mankin,
The Adventure Geezer

What is Philadelphia known for? Brotherly Love? Hardly, if you’ve ever attended a Philadelphia Eagles football game and rooted for the other side. Cheese steaks? Yes. History? Of course. And if you didn’t already know it, walkability. Philly is one the most walkable cities in North America.
All three came together in my recent visit to Philly in November, the city I grew up in and reluctantly left when I moved to Los Angeles over 45 years ago.
A Flâneur Is Born
Philadelphia is where I learned to become a flâneur, a French word for someone who strolls, wanders, rambles or saunters, almost randomly, through city streets observing people and places, looking for the novel, the interesting, and the unexpected.
Flâneurs will peek down a street and change course pulled in by the architecture, the layout of the streets, the look of the people, the hidden parks, the stores that support the neighborhood, or a cafe where other flâneurs take a break from their own explorations and perambulations.
Or sometimes it’s simply the way the sunlight filters down through the leafy trees overhead. The keys to successful flânerie are spontaneity, serendipity, and discovery. As the feet wander, so does the mind, revealing observations, memories and insights.
While I was growing up, my father, a great flâneur in his own right, would lead me through the narrow streets of what is now known as Old City, the historic district near the Delaware River where in 1681 William Penn founded the “greene country town” now known as Philadelphia. This neighborhood is arguably the birthplace of American independence and our country’s most historic square mile.
Since then, whenever I visit a city I spend a day or two exploring it on foot. But my favorite place to explore is Philly, especially the Old City and the Society Hill and Queen Village neighborhoods to the south. Their narrow tree-shaded streets, many of them cobblestone, lined with restored 18th and 19th Century townhouses, small parks and squares, hidden courts and mews, and a restaurant scene that is as creative and lively as it gets.

Seeking Mental Help

May Is Mental Health Awareness Month!

Seniors who live at home have had, like many others, an unusually difficult couple of years with regard to their mental health. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic downturn have left many feeling anxious, depressed or unusually stressed.
However, as a result of the negative stigma placed on mental health issues, seniors are less likely to reach out for help. Even so, nearly half of seniors reported that the pandemic had a negative effect on their mental health. That’s why there has perhaps never been a more apt time to commemorate Mental Health Month. 
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and several other organizations are sponsoring programs to help seniors recognize
and seek help for their mental health challenges.
Signs of Mental Health Issues in the Elderly

It’s important for seniors and caregivers to recognize the signs of declining mental health. Some of these can be subtle and attributed
to other causes, while others are more obvious, such as:

• Changes in eating habits, especially a lack of appetite
• Changes in personal care
• Mood changes that last longer than two weeks
• Short term memory loss and difficulty concentrating
• Withdrawal from social interactions
Our doctors can help seniors find resources for declining mental health. Physicians Medical Group of San Jose is the largest independent physician’s association in Santa Clara County. We have been part of the community for 40 years with more than 1,000 doctors in 460 offices plus we speak 30+ languages. Call 888-988-8682 or visit for more information.

Senior Independent Living Community With a Flair

Senior living doesn't get any better than living at Chateau-Cupertino whether you're in retirement or just ready for the next great phase of your life. Enjoy a home-life environment in your own senior apartment with three fresh served home-style meals daily.

Housekeeping and laundry services, all basic utilities, great activity programs, game rooms and transportation--all included starting at $3,000 per month.

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Cupertino is one of the best places to live in CA--home to world famous Apple company.

Come and see for yourself. Schedule a Tour Today! Call 408.446.4300. Or email:


 By Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher


"Oh.You're Old.
Not Much We
Can Do"

My Doctor Treats Me Like I’m Stupid
And Ready To Kick The Bucket"

--Sally, 90, San Jose, CA
Some of my older friends often complain that their doctors don’t really listen to them because of ageism.
The belief that older people aren’t resilient and won’t recover from illness. In other words, “not long for this world” so, why bother with treatment.
All rubbish. A few years ago, I engaged in a conversation with a man In his 80s living in an assisted living community.
“I came here to live, not die," he said.

Important reminder to not judge older adults based on their age. Treat everyone as a human being, not just a number.
If you feel that your doctor doesn’t treat you as a real person, find another doctor. Personally, I have not--knowingly--experienced ageism in healthcare but know that it exists.
Got a Question? Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does. Email me at ASK LARRY is written by Larry Hayes, CEO/Publisher of A050.
Your Local
With over 15 years experience right here in
Silicon Valley, I can help answer your questions

Q: Will the bank own my home?
The bank does not take ownership of your home; they simply extend a loan
to you. You continue to own and live in your home and are responsible for payment of property taxes, required insurance and if applicable, HOA fees.

Q: Do my children/family members lose their inheritance?
No, a borrower may designate an heir of their choosing.The heir(s) will inherit the home after the last surviving borrower passes away and may then choose to keep (by paying off the amount of reverse mortgage balance) or sell the home. Should they choose to sell, any remaining equity after paying off the loan (minus interest and fees) would be theirs.

Q: What is the lending limit of the HECM reverse mortgage?
As of January 1, 2021, it increased to $822,375. Which means it's very likely you can qualify for more money.

To learn more, call me today: 408.722.0010 

Marilyn Brown Ross Branch Manager & Reverse Mortgage Professional NMLS #453436/1221981 Visit Email:

Current Events

Health & Wellness Fair
Santa Clara Senior Center
Friday, May 20 10am--1pm
Info: Mallory von Kugelgen

Older Adult Services
Free iPad for 60+
Info: 408.350.3249

Health & Aging Education Day
Rotary Club Foster City
Friday, June 24 8am-5pm
Info: 650.373.2145

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