Issue 91 October 2022
Featured Stories
In This Issue

Your Risk of Falling?
We blame our poor balance on the aging process yet anyone of any age can experience a balance dysfunction. Take a "self-evaluation" test to find out your risk of falling.

Why Home Physical Therapy?
The many benefits include home programs customized to your progress to the kindness and compassion of therapists with a vested interest in you. Private pay therapy gives peace of mind. 

Follow The Money
Set aside time to actually read each entire proposition and follow the money—from proposal to pay-back. After all, it's your money. Voting
is a privilege and a duty. Vote!

Good News About Breast Cancer
We have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer
incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates have been declining since1990 in part due to better screening and 
early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options. Learn more at PMGMD.

Mellowing Out In Santa Barbara
With a mild Mediterranean climate, wide beaches and excellent wineries just over the mountains, Santa Barbara, California has
been called the American Riviera. Travel writer Don Mankin and
wife Katherine mellow out in this iconic place.

Ask Marilyn: "Is A Reverse Mortgage Right For You?"
Recent new rules make a reverse mortgage a lot more attractive today. Read why a RM may be right for you.

Ask Larry: "Should I Get A 2nd Opinion?"
"My new dentist recommended work costing $2,500 for two crowns.
Sounds high to me. Should I get another opinion?"

Looking For Independent Senior Living?
Check out Chateau-Cupertino for independent senior living starting
at $3,400 per month. Meals included. Home-life environment.

Keep Smiling!
Let me know what kind of stories you prefer to read in The Scoop,
the leading digital publication for boomers and seniors in the SF Bay Area. Please feel free to forward this issue to your family and friends. Subscribe today. It's FREE!

--Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher. Email: Visit

Are You At Risk Of Falling?

Find Out. Take The Test

By Karl Knopf, Ed.D
Balance is something we all take for granted until we lose it, then you wonder where it went.
Unfortunately, we don’t even notice the gradual changes that are occurring in our balance until it is too late. Most people perform activities where we sit most of the day in a supported chair and if we don’t engage in activities that challenge our balance, it deteriorates.
Then one day when asked to make a quick move or walk on an unsteady surface, we realize that our balance is not what it once was. Often, we blame our poor balance on the aging process yet anyone of any age can experience a balance dysfunction.
Unfortunately, poor balance often leads to “trips” which account for a large number of visits to the ER. A cute saying is that little kids fall and bounce but mature people fall and break their wrists and older people fall and shatter hips and often die from complications of the fall.  
Don’t let this be your last trip!

However, while life expectancy is increasing due to advances in medical treatments, many people are aging more quickly than ever before due to hypo kinetic disease/disuse syndrome.
We as a society people sit too much in chairs that cradle us and don’t challenge our balance and as a result our muscles get weaker and our balance deteriorates.
Even for people who do exercise, we sit on a machine that supports us. If we are active, we often only engage in activities done in one direction. Moving in all directions is crucial for challenging the functional aspects of balance.
Fortunately, it’s never too early or too late to engage in a program of better balance. Balance is a skill if trained properly can be improved yet if neglected regress. Now is the time to perform a self-evaluation of your balance. The following questions will give you an indication of your balance skill and risk of falling.
# 1 How would you rate your balance?
Can you stand on one leg for 30-60 seconds without wobbling all around?

"Discover The Benefits Of Home Physical Therapy"

By Saili Gosula

When considering in-home physical therapy, an excellent option is a private pay therapist. Such a therapist is able to offer a client/patient more time, energy and individualized care because he or she is not expected to have a quota of daily visits.

Many patients are seeking private clinicians to come visit them at home or in a private setting and are willing to pay for the security and privacy that comes along with it.

Private therapy means that your therapist designs a program specifically for you. The opportunities for regression are reduced because care is ongoing. There is no entity (such as Medicare) limiting the number of visits you can have.

When you pay for private therapy, you’re ensuring a compassionate, timely progressive home exercise program that matches your needs, hands on treatment, exceptional quality and skill, and time.
Finding a private in-home physical therapist can put to rest many anxieties. From progressive home programs that are customized to your progress to the kindness and compassion of therapists with a vested interest in you. Private pay therapy gives peace of mind.

Learn more about the benefits of doing physical therapy in your
own home. 650.530.2072. Visit

“My father has worked with two different therapists at Active In-Home Therapy. He has multiple medical issues since he had a stroke three years ago. The therapists’ knowledge and compassion never cease to amaze me. Even on his bad days, my father seems ready to get to work when his therapist arrives. Both therapists have been helpful educating both my Father’s caregiver and other family members.” ~ Sara A

John Donaghue is an award winning creative art director and creator of Under Cardiac Comics appearing in The Scoop. For a chuckle or two, go to:
Out In Santa Barbara

By Don Mankin

If you asked Americans where they would live if money were no object, Santa Barbara would be at the top of the list.

With a mild Mediterranean climate, wide beaches and excellent wineries just over the mountains, this coastal California city has been called the American Riviera.

In August my wife, Katherine, and I sampled Santa Barbara’s many charms, driving two hours up the coast from our home in Venice Beach in my 1997 Mustang convertible.

The scenery along the way, best viewed from a convertible with the top down, is just as spectacular as the city, with sandy beaches and sparkling waves to your left and mountains to your right. Many of the vistas are recognizable from the many car and insurance commercials that have used this iconic area to showcase their products and services.

Activity with a view

Once you reach Santa Barbara, you can choose to be active, visit historic and cultural sites, or just eat, drink and shop. Or combine all three, soaking up the gorgeous views regardless of what you do.

After checking into our hotel, the Mason Street Inn, located just a block and half from the Pacific Ocean, we walked along the beach to Stearns Wharf, an historic 150-year-old wooden wharf with shops, places to eat, and some of the best views in the lower 48.

As we watched the ocean sparkle from the wharf, I felt two and half years of pandemic stress and worry melt away. Without turning my head to scan the scene I could see the city, sailboats, ocean, sand and mountains.

The light breeze added to the experience. At the risk of dating myself, I was as mellow as I’ve been in quite a while.

Good News About Breast Cancer

In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older.

Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990 in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness and continually improving treatment options.

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer starts when healthy cells change and begin to grow out of control and turn into a tumor. Tumors can begin in different areas of the breast, like the glands that make breast milk, the ducts that carry milk or other tissue regions. Having a family history of breast cancer, included inherited gene mutations, can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
Why is Breast Cancer Awareness Month important?
It promotes self-care
Breast Cancer Awareness Month reminds women (and men) that monthly breast cancer exams should be a regular part of one's self care. If you have never performed a self-exam, ask your doctor or nurse practitioner to guide you through. Look for changes within and surrounding your breast including dimpling, redness, scaliness or nipple discharge.
It focuses on treatment
There are several different types of breast cancer. Treatment options depend on various patient factors: the stage and specific type of cancer, age and overall health at the time of diagnosis and the patient's personal and family history.

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 $3,400 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 Evelyn (Evie) Preston
When I first came to California, I slid into an office job at Stanford’s Microwave Lab and juggled three bosses demanding my time.

One, a mild-mannered but savvy professor (who wound up with the most patents ever earned at Stanford,) solved the dilemma. Very kindly and low key, he succinctly taught me a lesson I never forgot.

“When it comes to priorities,” he said, “money and power take precedence.”

So it goes with much in business and politics…especially when it comes to the many propositions that plague voters every election.

Not all propositions are power or money driven. Some are at least partially well intentioned with ethical and moral considerations, like using lottery money for the schools.

Savvy voters realize, however, that special interest groups
often use the proposition ploy to make laws in their favor.
These groups are willing to spend tons of money to insure making much more or to push an agenda. The backers of
these initiatives rely on advertising and language that’s often confusing, unclear or purposely misleading—especially as to financial backing which is hard to discover.

Q: Why is initial financing for propositions so important?

Money talks, and the interests behind these initiatives can best tell who will benefit from their passage.

Q: Shouldn’t the legislature be making our laws and not
special interests?

Many people feel that Government by Proposition should be illegal. We vote for representatives to make rules and regulations for the benefit of their constituents, and all initiatives should be vetted via the legislative process. Of course, you then have the problem of special interest lobbyists!

Q: Name some far-reaching fiscal concerns due to a proposition?

Narrow interests can drain citizens’ pockets in several ways; direct costs, new fees, increased taxes or unknown costs such as future levies—think Bullet Train!

Last year’s proposition 19 especially impacted seniors, putting two proposals in one initiative that was so long and complicated few people read all the way through. Although a recall failed to pass, many seniors are in shock at what tax changes slipped through to effectively prohibit their children from keeping the family home upon the parents’ death.

Q: How do I find out if a proposition is financially sound
or super costly?

It’s eye-opening to read the thick pamphlet that explains the pros, cons and rebuttals for each initiative. Note especially the fiscal impact statement. Try to ferret out who will gain or lose: money, services, control. Try to avoid the ads, check on-line and ramp up your knowledge. It’s worth your time.

Q: What’s an example of some voters feeling mislead by
a proposition?

The “cross-our-hearts” promises of several propositions over the years to increase transportation-only taxes for roads/streets upgrades throughout the Bay Area. Instead of a boon for all, drivers find that much of the money is being spent on costly express lanes that benefit the few—all day long.

Q: What’s an example of hidden costs of a proposition?

Money raised that has been siphoned off to the General Fund and used for other purposes than voted on—often “pet projects” that may not have passed by vote. Also beware of “only the wealthy pay” promises. Sometimes the middle class wind up being “wealthier” than they thought!

A friend of mine gathers friends and neighbors on Zoom (formerly a pre-Covid pot luck,) to research one or two ballot propositions each and explain it to others who in turn will share their findings. It’s a great way to learn, discuss, and be a more-informed voter. It’s not a for-or-against exercise, just spreading the "homework" for becoming an informed voter.

Voting is a privilege and a duty. It’s in voters’ interests to set aside time to actually read each entire proposition and follow the money—from proposal to pay-back. Most of all, it’s priceless and democratic for citizens to have some say in our Government’s billions.

After all, it's our money because WE are the Government!

Evelyn (Evie) Preston is a financial columnist for A050 and worked as a financial advisor for over 25 years. Reach her at

 --Larry Hayes, A050 CEO/Publisher

“Should I Get a
Second Opinion?”
“My new dentist wants to charge me over $2,500 for
two crowns. Should I get another opinion?"

—K.C, San Francisco
Get at least two opinions. Maybe three. Going to the dentist is very expensive and nothing to smile about.
While most dentists are reputable and honest, dentistry is a business and less regulated than other medical professions. Being “less regulated” means you may be at the mercy of an unscrupulous
dentist who may overcharge you for work not needed.
It’s a little like taking your car in for a minor tune-up and being told
you need “umpteen” repairs costing hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Finding a good, honest dentist is not easy and I’ve had my share of bad ones who try to “upsell” me. Best advice? Ask your friends for recommendations. And if you have a good dentist you trust, count yourself lucky.
P.S. Dental insurance is a joke covering very little. Usually just cleaning and x-rays which often are not needed.
Q: I tripped recently playing tennis and took a tumble. Was this a “fall?"

–M.H, 76, San Jose, CA
Hopefully, you didn’t hurt yourself. I’m not a doctor but medically speaking, a trip of any kind is a small fall, no matter how it happened.
When is a “fall not a fall?” Accidents happen to everyone, regardless of age. However, standing up and falling is a lot different that tripping over your own two feet.
In this issue, check out Are You At Risk Of Falling” by Karl Knopf. Take a self-evaluation test to indicate your balance skill and your risk of falling.

Got a Question? Ask me anything. If I don't know the answer, I'll ask someone who does. Ask Larry is written by Larry Hayes, CEO/Publisher of A050. Email: Visit:

Ask Marilyn

"Is a Reverse Mortgage
Right For Me?"
With over 15 years experience right here in Silicon Valley, I can help answer your questions about reverse mortgages

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 about reverse mortgages, call me today.

Marilyn Brown Ross Branch Manager & Reverse Mortgage Professional

Don't Miss A Single Issue!

Get The Latest "Scoop" On Living
a Longer, Healthier, More Meaningful Life

Published by A050, The Scoop is a free, monthly publication for boomers and seniors in the San Francisco Bay Area reaching over 100,000 across multiple platforms including the A050 website and social media. For editorial and advertising opportunities, email: Visit: