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 FEB 2024

From the Desk of Don Stewart

It's been a year ...

... since Debbie left us, and I have no idea where all that time has gone. I surely have been kept busy enough maintaining the high activity rate at which she placed the bar, before she passed suddenly. 

As you can guess, I am still grieving over the loss of my talented and considerate wife and 40-year friend. Please bear with me as I step through the process of sustaining the Senior Connection - some things are still hard for me to do.

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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 
1035 Scott Drive
Prescott 86301
(the second Thursday of the month)
American Lutheran Church 
1085 Scott Drive
Prescott 86301
(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 130 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

Continuing to Make the Connection,

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


February is National Senior Independence Month
February 16th is National Caregivers Day!

Senior Independence Month as we know it today began in the 1800s. The Industrial Revolution was sweeping across America, disrupting traditional, social, and familial networks. As individuals moved to the cities and became dispersed over the U.S., the vacuum of extended families left many people stranded in times of need. Women’s organizations and church groups established the first homes for the elderly.

Support National Senior Independence Month by helping create a more inclusive society for Seniors in your community.

National Caregivers Day honors dedicated Family and Professional Caregivers serving those who require long-term or hospice care. The celebration recognizes caregivers who provide Quality, Compassionate Care every day. Please thank them for their service!

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:

"Volunteerism is Meaningful for Seniors - Provides Respite for Caregivers"

by Debbie Stewart

Feelings of isolation and lack of purpose often exist for seniors, especially for those who live alone. Adult child caregivers often try to fill the void, which can add many hours to the caregiver’s overly full day. Fortunately, there’s another solution. Volunteering one’s time and talents provides mental stimulation, social interaction and a way for seniors to remain connected to the fabric of the community. Donating as little as one hour a week can make a big difference to those being helped, while increasing the Senior’s personal satisfaction and sense of self worth, while at the same time, lowering the time that a family caregiver might have to contribute.

Almost every nonprofit agency uses adults in volunteer capacities. Regardless of one’s talents or time availability, there is likely an organization that can use more help. Opportunities exist to work with children, adults or seniors, on virtually any topic of interest. Whether it’s furthering the cause for people, pets or the environment, all one needs to do is pick up the phone and call an agency for whom you’d like to volunteer and ask what assistance is needed. 

There’s no better way to stay young at heart than to interact with children. Local elementary schools welcome volunteers to spend time with students who are in need of a little extra attention or assistance with homework. Call the school of your choice to begin the process.

In Prescott and Prescott Valley, Dignity Health uses more than 900 volunteers, many of whom are seniors. Volunteers are used for a variety of jobs, including escorting people to various departments and visiting with elderly patients who may not have any family members nearby. To volunteer, call (928) 771-5678 in Prescott or (928) 442-8678 in Prescott Valley. 

The Senior Peer Program at Polara Heath uses volunteers age 55 and above to provide peer support to others who are also above the age of 55. Volunteers meet one-on-one with seniors in need of a friendly ear and a caring heart in the extended tri-city area. Call (928) 445-5211 ext 2035 if interested.

If you’d prefer not to strike out on your own in your search for an assignment, RSVP (Retired & Senior Volunteer Program) might be the way to go. The program coordinator understands the unique needs of senior volunteers and matches seniors with a wide variety of nonprofit agencies and schools in the community. For information, contact Joella Willey at (928) 713-4114.

For seniors who are homebound, perhaps due to health limitations or lack of transportation, it can be a bit more challenging to find volunteer opportunities. Yet, there are significant ways to make a difference from the comfort of one’s own home. Although generally not considered as volunteering per se, don’t underestimate the value of reaching out by phone to someone who might be feeling lonely or isolated. Call a neighbor, friend or relative whom you know spends most of their time alone. You don’t need any particular reason for the call, other than to let them know you were thinking of them and find out how they are. You will likely gain as much pleasure from making the call, as will the recipient from getting it.

If you’d like to discuss potential volunteer opportunities for the Senior Connection, please feel free to contact Don via email at or by phone at (928) 778-3747.

Debbie Stewart was a long time supporter of Seniors and Family Caregivers in the Prescott Community. She was Founder and CEO of the Senior Connection for the past 12 years.

"Caring From Afar
- Know Your Options"

By Claire Wentz

When you have a senior parent who lives in another state, taking care of her can be especially difficult. But there are ways to stay in touch and keep a watchful eye over your elderly loved one with the help of technology.

According to Redfin, there are five main options for downsizing seniors: buying a smaller house or condo, renting a smaller home, moving in with a loved one, moving into a retirement community, and entering assisted living. If you’re considering putting your elderly parent or grandparent into more permanent care, here is a little more about those options:

Assisted living is an apartment-style facility in which seniors can live mostly independently but they might require help with daily living tasks, such as cooking, dressing themselves or taking their medication. They might also require help with transportation. Assisted living facilities provide these services.

Skilled nursing facilities are more like what traditionally were called nursing homes. They are for people who need around-the-clock care, and they may be temporary for rehabilitation or for long-term care.

Memory care can be in an assisted living facility or in a facility with more intensive nursing care. Memory care units are designed specifically for people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other memory conditions.

If your loved one is aging in place, an amazing amount of new tech gadgets is likely to help her do so.

Electronic pill dispensers — If your mom has trouble remembering which pills to take and when (it can be very confusing!), you can get one of these nifty devices. You can load the dispenser and program it so that she can know when to take her pills. Some can even record a voice telling her when it’s time to take her pills so that she hears it from someone she loves. Some dispensers even connect with her pharmacist who can monitor her medication use.

The prices on personal tracking devices has fallen significantly in the past couple of years. There is a plethora of pin-on, wrist, neck lanyard and finger-ring GPS-based devices available in the marketplace. There are also special low-cost 2G hosting services that can maintain communication with tracking devices in real time. Trackers ensure between several hours to several days life on built-in rechargeable batteries.

Emergency call buttons — These have been around since the 1980s, but these days, they’re much more sophisticated. They can use gps systems so that your loved one can run her errands and visit her friends. If something happens, she can summon help without even knowing where she is. There are some systems that can tell when the user has fallen, so that if she’s unable to ask for help, she can still get it.

Tablets for seniors — Your mom doesn’t even need to understand how a computer works. Simple-to-use systems can make it easy for her to video chat with you and your family, and it can monitor her movements and medical care.

GPS-enabled shoes — This is a real gadget that can help you keep track of your loved one if she wanders off. Even if she just doesn’t get home when you think she should, you can check on her. The GTX Corporation Smart Sole is one such product.

Easy cell phones — Not all cell phones are “smart.” Some people just want a phone they can use easily. Some carriers have simple phones with large buttons and large screen fonts so that elderly users can access them. Jitterbug and Cricket are two such companies.

Health monitoring apps — Your mom can go to the doctor, and her doctor will put all of her information in an app so that she (or you) can access it from anywhere. This way you won’t be dependent on her memory of how the visit went, and you can communicate with her doctor any time by sending emails. The systems will alert the user when it’s time for vaccinations or blood work, and you can make sure she gets to her appointments.

There are several wearable health monitoring devices that can provide real time information as well as send appropriate alerts if minute-by-minute health perameters are not met for a wide range of maledies from heart rate & rythm, blood pressure to diabetes. These take the form of wristwatches and finger-rings communicating to your nearby smartphone. Truly remarkable.

We live in a great time to be a senior in the United States. The technology industry comes up with new and exciting options every day to make our lives easier. But most importantly — don’t forget to call your mother.

Claire Wentz is the author of the upcoming book Caring From Afar: A Comprehensive Guide for Long Distance Senior Caregivers. 

For more information, contact Claire at
or go to her website:

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