— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger Arizona for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— By James E. Garcia Reynard Gordon and Theresa Alice Titus were found guilty last year by a Cochise County jury on charges of fraud, theft and forgery. The pair were convicted of swindling a 74-year-old woman in southern Arizona out of about $120,000 by submitting a fraudulent power of attorney and coercing the victim to withdraw large amounts of cash from her personal bank account. Police were tipped off when an alert credit union employee realized the woman did not …

— By Miriam Davidson Marquetta White knew that her 91-year-old father, who cares for her 87-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, could benefit from a support group. But the retired state employee and social worker had trouble convincing him. “He’d tell me, ‘I don’t need to go cry on someone’s shoulder,’ ” said White, 66, of Mesa. “Then a funny thing happened: He went, and he loved it. “Now, he still won’t listen to me, but he listens to the people in …

— By Miriam Davidson In their 27 years together, makeup artist George Burson, 65, and husband David Samora, 58, have learned a thing or two about caregiving. The Phoenix couple, married in 2014, cared for Samora’s mother and Burson’s father. Both died of Alzheimer’s disease. They currently care for Gina, Burson’s 88-year-old mother, who has heart problems, diabetes and kidney issues—but not Alzheimer’s. “Her memory and hearing are probably better than mine,” Burson said. Caring for relatives—with and without dementia—has given …

5 States

— Valentines Day is a time when people show feelings of love, affection and friendship. The story you are about to read is the real reason this romantic celebration is so touching to so many of us. We hope you enjoy reading this letter sent by one of our members. To whom it may concern at AARP:  I am writing to tell you about my wife of 13 years, Louise Picco-Branney. This is a second marriage for both of us. I …

— Tempe is moving forward in its bid to become Arizona’s first “dementia friendly” city by raising awareness about cognitive decline and meeting the needs of its aging population. Tempe is one of several communities nationwide using a road map devised by the nonprofit organization Dementia Friendly America. The goal is to cultivate a culture that fosters quality of life for people with dementia by engaging the business, faith and health care communities in the effort. Community leaders are developing an …

— By Miriam Davidson Virginia Brant, 71, used to put on forums in inner-city neighborhoods with local celebrities, such as Phoenix Suns basketball players, urging kids to stay in school. Today, she organizes town hall meetings around the state and testifies frequently before the Arizona State Legislature on behalf of family caregivers. “I started out advocating for children and ended up advocating for seniors,” said Brant, of Glendale, a former specialist on dropout prevention who has been an AARP volunteer for …

— By Miriam Davidson Thanks to the expansion of Arizona’s Medicaid program in 2013, Brian Flagg has health insurance for the first time in his adult life. Flagg, 60, has lived and worked at the Casa Maria soup kitchen in South Tucson since 1983. In addition to room and board, he earns $10 a week helping prepare and distribute 500 sack lunches and 200 food boxes each day. He also advocates for the homeless and city bus riders. “I’m relieved,” Flagg …

— Despite news coverage of extreme weather, most Americans aren’t prepared for disasters. We have all seen the stories of families whose lives have been torn apart because of a weather-related disaster. But rather than use these reminders to brush up on their family emergency plans or prepare for disasters that might impact their communities, not enough Americans are taking action. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) found that nearly 60 percent of Americans …

— By Miriam Davidson When Karen Richards of Chandler took AARP Arizona’s Life Reimagined Checkup last fall, she could scarcely have imagined how valuable the skills she learned would soon turn out to be. Within a month, Richards’ husband died in his sleep after routine cataract surgery. Then, a few weeks after that, her job as the manager of a health education center was eliminated. Richards, 69, found herself facing two tremendous challenges at once. But with the tools and training …

— When AARP Arizona’s James Hughes was recently asked to fill-in and host an AARP “Take Your Brush to Canvas” painting event in Phoenix, he didn’t think it would be a life-changing experience. “I never expected to get anything personal out of it, other than helping out our short-handed staff,” said James. “After all, I couldn’t even draw a straight line, so my expectations for actually painting a picture during the event were pretty low.” Little did James know that he …