The newsletter is intended to help improve the quality of life of family caregivers and seniors in our local communities. Each month we address topics related to the joys and challenges of being a family caregiver. There will be informational articles as well as a list of various meetings, support groups and other resources available to you in our community. Feel free to send your questions, ideas and concerns.
Debbie Stewart

THE CAREGIVER CONNECTION      PO BOX 11929      PRESCOTT AZ 86304      (928) 778-3747 voice

NEWSLETTER     Community Page    Support Page    Agencies Page Last Updated May 2023

From the Desk of Don Stewart

Break Out the Iced Tea...

You know it's just about time to prepare for the summer when you see the weeds in the front/back yard fully in bloom, the bugs are out in force during your evening walk, you never seem to be getting enough liquids, and those outdoor 'honey-dos' just don't seem as doable in the heat of the day.

Some are lucky enough to have the flexibility of picking the early part of the day to do the outdoor stuff and then tackle the indoor tasks when you hear the air conditioner kick in.

Pretty soon, young people will have broken the surly bonds of school (either for a few months, or forever), and will be adding to the traffic around town. Hike up you awareness and vigilance during the beginning summer months to keep yourself out of harms way, as the myriad of summer distractions ramp up around you.

And the most exquisite of all summer rituals: Soft Serve Ice Cream!

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Please donate to the nonprofit that captured Debbie's heart: Alzheimer's Association "Walk To End Alzheimer's" in her name directly at, and Thank You.
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Our Speakers Bureau In-Person presentations are fully up and running. We urge you to attend all of these twice-a-month Speakers Bureau presentations at Las Fuentes Resort Village (the second Thursday of the month), and American Lutheran Church (on the fourth Thursday of the month). You can see what presentations are scheduled by clicking on the Speakers Bureau tab on the website.

If you can't make it to one of the presentations due to weather or prior commitment, you will find that most, but not all of the presentations will be video-taped and put up on our website (Set your browser to: within a day or two of the In-Person presentation. There are over 80 past Presentations that are available to you 24 hours a day on the Senior Connection Streaming website with a simple mouse click. Check all these fabulous presentations at

Days to All!

Senior Connection
P.O. Box 11929
Prescott AZ 86304
(928) 778-3747

Dignity Health - BlueCross/BlueShield 
Reach An Agreement

(PHOENIX, Ariz – April 28, 2023) - Dignity Health Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) are pleased to announce they have reached a new network agreement. This agreement is effective April 1, 2023, and therefore all services from that date will be handled as in network.

A Recipe For A Life

2 cups of love
1 cup prosperity
1 1/2 cups  of  happiness
1 3/4 cups of courage
1 1/2 cups of perseverance
3 1/2 cups of friendship, sifted
1 large joy, beaten in a separate bowl, set aside

2 teaspoons of sorrow
3 tablespoons of loss
1 cup of failure, finely chopped
1/2 cup of disappointment, shredded
1 tablespoon of betrayal
A pinch of lust

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the first six ingredients with an electric mixer in a large bowl for 65 years. Melt the sorrow, loss, failure, disappointment and betrayal in a one-quart saucepan over a low heat, stirring constantly. Cool 5 minutes.  Add mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients. Stir to moisten, add the joy, and mix thoroughly.

Spread the contents in a 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Sprinkle the top with the pinch of lust and bake for a lifetime.

Provided by Dorothy Rose from an except by Dianna McConnell, Sept. 15, 2008

Informational Articles

As Caregivers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that need to be accomplished for your loved one each day. While it’s easy to remain upbeat on good days, it’s the bad days that can leave you feeling confused, exhausted or resentful. At these times, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. 

Knowing what to expect can help tremendously in your ability to cope. Knowledge is Power! Each month in this newsletter we include one or more articles on topics relating to the joys and challenges of aging and caregiving.

Please let me know if you find the articles useful and what other topics you’d like to see.

This month’s Newsletter articles:

"Planning for Your First Required Minimum Distribution in Retirement" 

by Joe Allen

To prevent individuals from taking advantage of the tax-deferred growth in perpetuity, there are certain rules in place. One of those is the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) rule. Taxpayers with qualified retirement accounts are required to start taking distributions from the accounts once a certain age is reached. That age was 70˝ prior to 2020, 72 from 2020 to 2022, and will be 73 starting in 2023 with the passage of the SECURE 2.0 Act. The bill also includes a provision to increase the RMD age in ten years to 75.

Note: those who are beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts may also be subject to RMDs, but that topic is not covered here.

RMD Basics

The RMD amount – the minimum amount that must be withdrawn and subject to tax – is calculated using life-expectancy tables provided by the IRS. The intent is to draw down tax-advantaged retirement accounts over the life of the taxpayer. As a result, the minimum distribution amount will change every year depending on the current age factor and the prior year’s distributions and market performance.

The minimum distribution is required to be taken by year-end, with one exception. In the first year an RMD is required to be taken, there is a three-month grace period and the distribution needs to be taken by April 1st of the following year to avoid penalty. The second year’s RMD is still required to be taken that year, so this does result in two distributions the second year.

How to Take the RMD

To take the distribution, you must direct the financial institution to make the distribution. There may be a form to fill out, which includes how much to withdraw, when to withdraw, how and where the distribution will be paid, and how much in taxes to withhold. The default federal tax withholding is 10%, but you can request specific amounts or percentages to be withheld for federal and state taxes.

Some custodians will allow you to set up automatic distributions, which can be helpful if you have multiple and/or smaller accounts to ensure the RMD is not missed.

For tax reporting purposes, you will get a 1099R that lists the distributions and taxes withheld. You should always provide this form to your tax preparer.

Prior to 2023, failing to take the RMD could result in a costly 50% penalty on the minimum distribution not taken. Due the SECURE 2.0 Act, the amount not withdrawn is now penalized at 25%, with a reduction to 10% if corrected in a timely manner.

Given the complexity of the RMD calculation and process, you should always consult with your financial planner and/or tax advisor to discuss how much to withdraw, how much to withhold, and when to take to the distributions as you near age 73.


Joe Allen is a Wealth Advisor for Lane Brothers Investment Counsel.
You can reach Joe at

(928) 776-8870
1560 Plaza West Drive
Prescott, AZ 86303

"My Kids Treat Me Like a Bank"

by Bonnie Shimko

When an adult child asks for money, it’s hard to say no. You want to respond to a need. But perhaps your child perceives
that you don’t need all you have, or that they’re simply requesting some of their inheritance, “just a bit early.” 

Before you answer, ask for time to think. Try to make a decision based on wisdom, not emotion. You also need time to discuss this with your spouse, if you have one.

Here are some factors to consider:

• Can you afford to give? Check with your financial planner to see what you can realistically provide without jeopardizing our own security. Recognize that your likely biggest expenses in aging are yet to come: Home care or assisted living, neither of which is covered by Medicare. Perhaps some home remodeling, if you plan to age in place. You also may live longer than you planned. Unforeseen events, such as inflation or a down market, could have unfortunate consequences for your portfolio.

• What is your motivation for giving? Beyond an understandable desire to help, do you feel guilty? Would you feel like a bad or unloving parent if you said no? Are you embarrassed to admit you don’t have “extra?” Dig deep for your inner thoughts about what you will “get” or avoid if you give. It’s important to evaluate your deeper motivation.

• Is this a pattern? Does this child routinely have money problems? Giving them another infusion of cash may be enabling their poor planning rather than truly helping. Of course, you don’t want to lecture them on spending habits. At the same time, as with any funder, you have a right to require a picture of some solvency. Consider requiring that they work with a credit counselor as part of the arrangement.

• Is this a gift or a loan? Loans between family members can be fraught with emotional baggage. Financial professionals say you need to treat the loan objectively, signing paperwork with an agreed-upon repayment schedule. But enforcing repayment can jeopardize the relationship. That’s why many suggest you be prepared for it to become a gift, or just frame it as a gift from the outset. But do this only if you can truly afford to not be paid back. (Also check with your attorney. Gifts to family may compromise your eligibility for VA benefits or Medicaid in the future.)

• An advance against inheritance. Even if you can afford to make it a gift, your other children may resent it. Talk to your attorney about an “advance against inheritance” arrangement so it is well documented that these funds are to come out of that child’s share of the inheritance down the line.

Bonnie Shimko, CSA
Care Manager, Co-Founder
Arizona Care Management Solutions
Supporting older adults in Verde Valley, Prescott & Quad Cities, and Phoenix, to help navigate the journey of aging.

If you would like to see what Support Groups are operating in our Community, please click here:

If you would like to see who our Sponsoring Members are, please click here:

If you would to learn more about Community Activities & Announcements, please click here:

The inclusion of information about the companies listed herein does not represent an endorsement on the part of this publication, the Caregiver Connection, the Senior Connection, nor is staff or officers.
It is your responsibility to verify the validity, reliability and suitability of any of the companies with whom you may wish to do business.

Newsletter Compiled by:
Don Stewart
Senior Connection,

We would appreciate if you would notify us at
if you learn of any changes to the above information.
Thank you!

The information contained herein and throughout the website is for educational purposes only. It is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal, medical or financial advice. Use of this information indicates your understanding of, and agreement to the above.

Whether you are an adult child caring for an aging parent, a spouse or sibling providing care to a relative, or a senior caring for yourself, the information and products available via the website are designed to improve your quality of life. 


   As caregivers, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks that need to be accomplished for your loved ones each day.
    Although hundreds of resources exist to help you, the hardest part can be finding what’s available. 
   Therefore, in addition to the Caregiver Connection newsletter, I am also pleased to make available to you several valuable resources via the “Senior Connection website.” This web-based one-stop Educational and Information center for Caregivers and Seniors is designed to save you time and money, as well as your sanity.
   The website consists of a comprehensive Resource Directory, Articles on topics of relevance to caregivers and seniors, and informational Videos and Slideshows about agencies that offer help throughout Yavapai County.


   The Resources Directory contains contact information for hundreds of local nonprofit, government and commercial agencies that provide helpful products and services to ease the life of caregivers. 
   Updated weekly, this searchable database will save you literally hundreds of research hours and connect you with nonprofit, government and commercial agencies that can help with every aspect of being a caregiver. 
   Categories include areas such as assisted living and skilled nursing facilities, in-home care providers, transportation, meal preparation and delivery, and financial assistance. 
   A search on one or more keywords results in all of the companies that provide a particular product or service. You can then print out the Profile of each agency that is of interest to you. 

   All on the website at: 


Dozens of candid articles get right to the "heart of the matter," from both the Caregiver’s and Senior’s perspectives.

The Informational Articles section contains articles on a wide variety of topics relating to aging.

The articles are short and sweet, yet go directly to the heart of the matter of some of the most sensitive issues surrounding our fears and frustrations as caregivers.

No topic is off-limits and new articles are constantly being added to the website.

To read additional articles on a variety of topics, please visit the Articles section of the website:



Educational Videos and Slideshows, narrated by recognized experts in the community, are posted on the website. Additionally, videos and slideshows featuring nonprofit and for-profit agencies that provide products or services to caregivers and seniors will be available at the website: 


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STEWART COMMUNICATIONS - PO Box 11929; Prescott AZ 86304   928-778-3747