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8:36 PM Mon, Dec. 10th

Senior, caregiving resources available at conference & expo

Knowledge is power, organizer says

Representatives from ‘Northern Arizona Fiduciaries’ will be on hand to answer questions during the ‘Senior & Caregivers Conference & Expo,’ Friday October 12 from 10am-3pm at Liberty Traditional School in Prescott Valley. Guest speakers throughout the day and representatives from more than 60 companies. Free admission. (Debbie Stewart/Courtesy)

Representatives from ‘Northern Arizona Fiduciaries’ will be on hand to answer questions during the ‘Senior & Caregivers Conference & Expo,’ Friday October 12 from 10am-3pm at Liberty Traditional School in Prescott Valley. Guest speakers throughout the day and representatives from more than 60 companies. Free admission. (Debbie Stewart/Courtesy)

Seniors and caregivers looking for information can get connected with what they need and companies with the services they might have a need for at the Senior & Caregivers Conference & Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12.

It’s put on by Debbie and Don Stewart of The Senior Connection which is something they started about seven years ago, Debbie Stewart said.

“It was in response to a personal need, when we were relocating a family relative here from out of town and pretty much overnight we found ourselves stepping into the role of adult-child caregivers basically without a clue, she said. “We didn’t know where we could get information, what services and resources existed locally and we often didn’t even know what questions we should have been asking.”

That’s when they decided to start The Senior Connection as a way to help other seniors and caregivers, whether it was adult children, spouses or other relatives, find information and connections they need. The Senior & Caregivers Conference and Expo is something they put on twice a year. Free to the public, it’s at Liberty Traditional School, 3300 N. Lake Valley Road.

Free to the public, here will be vendor and informational booths from 65 companies that provide services or products for seniors and caregivers as well as a lineup of speakers throughout the day.

Speakers include Hospice Specialist Pamela Cregger speaking on “The Caregiver Emotional Roller Coaster,” Yavapai Regional Medical Center Physician Care Doctor Sam Downing with “Aiming High – 10 Steps Toward Quality Living as We Age,” Bennet Clinic Doctor Wayne Bennett on “Keeping the Rust Out of Your Golden Years – Tips for Avoiding Chronic Pain,” Heritage Memory Mortuary Funeral Director and General Manager Clent Walker on “Pre-Planning – One of the Best Decisions You Will Ever Make” and Attorney Chip McLaughlin on “What is Probate – When is it Necessary and What Has to be Done?”

The companies will be providing information and will not be selling anything, Debbie Stewart said.

The Senior Connection is run like a trade organization and doesn’t do referrals, Don Stewart said. In the process of trying to help seniors and caregivers and get them the information and resources they need for free, they had to create a business model that could pay for all of that, he said.

“What we have is a

collection of senior and caregiver services and product suppliers in the community who basically join The Senior Connection,” Don Stewart said. “In return, they are part of the members that create this expo and also are the gurus, the experts in the community who do the Speakers Bureau on Thursdays.”

Speakers Bureau presentations are given every Thursday throughout Prescott and Prescott Valley and a schedule of presentations can be found online at www.seniorconnection.us.

The most important thing is to not wait until a crisis hits because help is available, Debbie Stewart said.

“Reach out for it, don’t try to go it alone,” she said. “The best thing you can do is get educated. Knowledge is power and then take action. Plan ahead. Don’t wait until that crisis this before you start finding out what resources are available.”

For more information about the Senior & Caregivers Conference & Expo or The Senior Connection, visit www.seniorconnection.us.