The Senior Advocacy Group of Ahwatukee (SAGA) will be hosting its second SAGA Symposium on Saturday, allowing area seniors to gain knowledge about the different resources offered by community groups.

SAGA is formulated of local experts, business owners and church groups who come together to share their knowledge to seniors around the area.

One of the goals of the SAGA Symposium is to give assistance to seniors so they can continue living independently.

There will be nearly 15 speakers discussing the different resources available, as well as booths giving out information about topics from financial planning to living options.

Jane Forde, volunteer for the YMCA’s Outreach Program for Ahwatukee Seniors (YOPAS) and a retired nurse, said the SAGA gives seniors a “starting point” on how to find different resources that are available.

“They don’t know what they need, they don’t know what to tap into and where to start, especially when an event hits,” Forde said. “They want to live independently and that’s what we want for all our clients are for them to live independently and not have to go into facilities.”

Ahwatukee resident, June Tesdall, has tapped into the resources offered to seniors in Ahwatukee, and has been receiving assistance from Forde and YOPAS.

Tesdall suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, which affects her vision, and she got involved with getting assistance from YOPAS when her vision began to worsen.

She moved to the Ahwatukee area from Florida in 2005, and said she was given more assistance in the Ahwatukee area.

“They came out to the house and interviewed me, and it’s just been wonderful,” Tesdall said.

She gets assistance from YOPAS once a week with transportation to the grocery store, doctor appointments and they help her with paperwork.

“It’s all the differences in the world. No one really understands until they are unable to drive,” Tesdall said.

She did not attend the inaugural SAGA Symposium, but said this year’s SAGA Symposium was beneficial for people to go who were in search of assistance.

“It’s like one-stop shopping and go to one place to talk to a variety of people and there’s no charge,” Tesdall said.

Forde said the SAGA Symposium was beneficial to Ahwatukee because there are a lot of seniors who live in and around the community.

“These people don’t know where to turn. This is supported by so many organizations, and it’s important,” she said. “They can get ideas based on whatever they’re interested in.”

The second SAGA Symposium will be from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 29 at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11002 S. 48th St. in Ahwatukee.

For additional information about SAGA, call (623) 565-8853.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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