Spring Activities for Seniors in an Assisted Living Facility

With the weather turning warm and flowers starting to bloom, it’s hard not to get excited about springtime! For seniors, however, there can be some apprehension about enjoying the season as much as they would like to. With concerns about falling or other health issues, many seniors are left wondering if any activities are good for seniors during the springtime. The good news is that there are plenty of fun things that you can do to enjoy this time of year and minimize your risk of falling or injuring yourself while doing so!

Getting Outside

There’s no better way to start a new season than to spend time outside. If you haven’t been outside in a while, it might be best to check with your doctor before going for a jog or hiking up an unfamiliar trail. Even sitting on a bench outside the facility and enjoying the fresh spring air can aid in lifting the winter blues. With their doctors’ permission, many seniors find that starting slow and increasing activity slowly is key to staying healthy and strong. Spending time outdoors helps seniors connect with nature, breathe fresh air, get sunlight, and more!


For seniors in an assisted living facility, indoor or outdoor gardening is a great hobby. A garden can be productive and therapeutic, and it gives you something to look forward to on a daily basis. Keep your back flexible with regular stretching exercises before diving into heavy work, like raking or weeding. Wear gloves when you prune branches; they’re notorious for harboring bacteria that can cause infection. And if you’re looking for an interesting alternative to weeding or digging, consider planting vines: they create shade that increases soil moisture, preventing weeds from growing. Look for ones that cover an area quickly without stealing too much water from other plants, like morning glories or runner beans.

Take a Walk

Exercise is a cornerstone of healthy aging, and walking has many benefits for seniors. Walking is low-impact and easy on joints, meaning you can do it until very late in life, but it still helps build bone density and strengthen muscles. Additionally, walking outside offers lots of opportunities for enjoying nature. Taking a walk around the perimeter of the assisted living home is a great way to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. Additionally, going for an evening walk before dinner is an easy way to help curb unhealthy snacking habits-bumping activity levels before eating can trick your body into thinking it’s already burned some calories, so you end up consuming fewer throughout your day.

Easy Spring Cleaning

Everyone loves spring, but the season can be tough on seniors with limited mobility. Instead of forcing them to sit around and watch the world go by, it’s a good idea to help them stay active. Schedule an easy spring cleaning session: organizing, dusting, vacuuming floors, etc. Simple chores like these can help keep seniors engaged. They might even feel a little more independent after completing some simple cleaning tasks.

Are You Placing Your Donors in Jeopardy of Tax Penalties

As I travel across the country assisting Churches and Clergy with their Church books and records, I am constantly amazed at the number of Churches and Pastors who feel as if they are not required or should not obtain a legal 501(c)(3) exemption for their Church and Ministry. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Mr. Jack Taylor of the Indianapolis Baptist Tabernacle (IBT) was denied tax-deduction credit for his donations. The Internal Revenue Service and the Court Judge declared that Mr. Taylor did not prove that IBT was a legitimate church. The Judge declared that all donations for tax credit were solely at the mercy of the IRS and its agents. This snafu cost Mr. Taylor a lot of money in back taxes, penalties, and interest.

I Thought Churches Were Not Required to File 1023

Although Churches do not have to file Form 1023 requesting a legitimate 501(c)(3), the Court Judge declared that nothing in the law “. . . relieves a church from having to meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3).” It also declared that “. . . contributors must prove the church’s right to an exemption under section 501(c)(3) in order to be entitled to a deduction for their contributions.”

Burden of Proof

Without legal 501 (c) (3) status, it is solely the donor’s responsibility to prove that the Church to whom they donated is, in fact, an IRS recognized Church.

In another IRS court case, the court said that anyone who contributes to a church that does not have 501(c)(3) status “. . . may deduct that contribution from his or her income, but if the contributor is audited, he or she has the burden of establishing that the church meets the qualifications of section 501(c)(3) organization . . .” in order to get a tax deduction.

Why would any Church or Ministry place this onus on the back of its faithful donors? To do so is irresponsible. Without the 501(c)(3), the donors may have to prove they deserve the deduction.

Charitable donations to Churches are covered in IRS code section 170(c), which states that donations to Churches are deductible. However, that section also clearly states that the organization must operate in a manner that is consistent with section 501(c)(3). This means that in the absence of the church’s official 501(c)(3) status, the donor must bear the burden of proving that his or her donation is tax-deductible by showing that the church meets all of the requirements as outlined in section 501(c)(3).

Let Us Help

There is no reason that any donor to a Church should ever have to face the burden of having to prove that the Church to which they donated is indeed a Church. For Churches to be non-compliant in this area means one of two things: Either the Pastor and Church do not care about any burden they are placing upon their donors, or the Pastor and Church Leaders did not know? I choose to believe that the Pastors and Church Leaders did not know.

If my premise is correct, take the necessary steps now to ensure that your donors and their generous gifts of support are protected for tax-deduction credit. To do so, attend the Church Management and Tax Conference in the city nearest you. To register, call 800-344-0076 or visit www.cmtc.org. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

As the Ultimate Church Management Firm in the USA, we know how to protect your Church and Ministry from any IRS violations that may unknowingly loom over you. The reason for our confidence is because Churches and Ministries are all we have done for more than 78 years. As our client, you can rest assured that your Church or Ministry receives our utmost attention and expertise.

Remember, for us; it is “A Ministry – Not A Job!”

What To Expect When Wearing A Wig During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy doesn’t just take a toll on your body—it also takes a toll on your appearance. If you’re undergoing chemotherapy, the chances are that you’ll lose your hair during treatment, which can be very disheartening to deal with both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, there are solutions like wigs that allow you to continue living life as usual without worrying about your appearance or self-esteem being affected by your diagnosis.

Ask Questions

If you’re diagnosed with cancer, many questions go through your mind: How much will treatment cost? How will treatment affect my life? Will I lose my hair during chemotherapy? You’ll want answers to these questions and more before, during, and after your diagnosis. It’s important to ask lots of questions when visiting your oncologist; if you have lots of time before treatment begins or have too many symptoms for them all to be discussed in one visit, schedule follow-up appointments.

Preparing For Chemo

Before you start chemo, your doctor will give you instructions on how and when to get ready. Make sure you follow these instructions exactly. Some people, particularly women with long hair, wear wigs during chemo to help cover their heads (often too uncomfortable for many people to wear hats). Other individuals may opt for scarves or turbans. Still, wigs have a special purpose: They help protect your head from excessive sun exposure (especially important if you’re taking radiation therapy) and protect your scalp from sweat, triggering a fungal infection. If possible, try out different wigs before starting treatment—this way, you’ll know what types of wigs are comfortable enough for extended wear.

How To Select A Chemo Wig

There are many reasons why someone may decide to wear a wig, and no one will ever be able to predict how you will feel about wearing one. For some people, chemotherapy can present psychological as well as physical challenges. If you or someone in your family is going through chemotherapy, it’s probably a good idea for you to learn about wigs before cancer treatments begin. It will give you time to understand what options are available and consider what factors are important for making such an important decision. Now is also a good time for you (or someone close to you). If you have questions about chemo wigs or simply want information on different types of wigs that may make it easier for you during treatment, ask your health care team.

How to Celebrate Easter with a Loved One in a Personal Care Facility

As the wonderful Spring weather approaches, so does the Easter Celebration Season. The joy of celebrating Easter with a loved one in a Personal Care Facility is no different from other holidays and special occasions. The best part of celebrating holidays is spending time with loved ones, and everyone appreciates being remembered and loved. There are many ways to show your loved one that they are still important to you, so don’t fret if you have a senior family member in a personal care facility.

Easter Themed Bingo

Bingo is the perfect Easter-themed game. Playing games like Bingo can lighten the mood and help your loved one feel involved. By modifying the traditional bingo cards with things like eggs, baskets, bunnies, and other Easter-themed pictures. Easter Bingo is a great way to spend quality time with your loved one while also celebrating Easter.

Make Easter Treats

There is nothing better than having some fresh desserts baked for a holiday. It is easy to make Easter-themed desserts and candies. You may decide to bake a batch of cupcakes and help your loved one decorate them with icing, sprinkles, edible toppings, or use egg-shaped molds to make Easter Eggs out of milk chocolate; it is not a true celebration unless there are snacks involved!

Continue an Old Tradition

If you and your family have created a special tradition for Easter, it is easy to keep your loved one who lives in a personal care facility involved. Whether the tradition is cooking a special meal, attending a church service, or any other Easter event, try to replicate them. This will help them feel special and included and is a great way to carry on family traditions from one generation to the next.

Create a New Tradition

A new living situation can provide an opportunity to start a new Easter tradition with your loved one in a personal care facility. Check with the community and see what kinds of Easter services or activities they may provide, or brainstorm new ideas you know your loved one would enjoy. For seniors, some easy activities could include coloring Easter Eggs or decorating Easter baskets. The main idea is to get together to share old memories while creating new ones.

How It Helps

Including family members in Easter celebrations helps seniors feel they are still loved and important. It also gives senior residents something to look forward to during a time of year that is often lonely. Even if your loved one is not up for celebrating Easter through egg hunts or candy rolls, they will still enjoy being included in family traditions, including family photos and reminiscing about times past. Create a photo album together and reflect on how you celebrated when you were younger. Spring is a wonderful time of new beginnings and favorite memories. With a little planning and action, you can continue to make wonderful Easter memories for years to come.

Be Careful When Claiming Charitable Contributions

Over the years, our Government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have stripped away our allowable deductions for income tax purposes. The supposed reasoning was to streamline the tax code and bring more revenue into the Government coffers. However, the tax code has not been streamlined or simplified, and regardless of the amount of revenue, the Government continues to outspend income.

One of the few deductions remaining for the average taxpayer is that of Charitable Contributions. Churches depend on the money donated to them on any Sunday to offset their weekly budgets. The generosity of so many who contribute to Churches and Ministries is motivated by the fact that they are still allowed to deduct those gifts from their annual income tax return.

With all of this said, we need to be aware of some issues.

Do Not Earmark Donations for Specific Individuals

Private Inurement is a “no-no” for Churches. The Inurement clause states that Churches are not allowed to benefit private individuals. According to Eric Roberts from the IRS, if anyone earmarks a donation for a private individual, the donation will not be permitted.

The Church counting office or Treasurer should have a rubber stamp that declares, “Not for Contribution Credit,” and every donation earmarked for benefitting an individual should be clearly documented as such.

Giving donation credits to individuals who are not authorized may invoke civil and criminal penalties to the responsible parties of that particular Church. Do Not Test the Waters, or Seek to Circumvent This!

Do Not Allow Bartering

A common practice within Church circles is people, especially Church members, who will buy items for the Church, donate them, and then want contribution credit. This practice may be costly for the Church and/or the individual.
Do not allow people to purchase flower arrangements to place on the pulpit for Sunday service and then want contribution credit. Do not allow them to buy supplies and equipment or donate time for contribution credit. Instead, have them donate the dollar amount of the item or supplies they want to give to the Church, and then the Church makes the purchase. This may seem a little asinine, but it will protect all parties, and the dollar donation amount (unless earmarked for the benefit of a specific individual) will be an allowable deduction.

If they insist on giving the item, instead of cash, only write a letter describing in its entirety what was donated. Do not place a dollar amount on the letter. Leave any amounts to be determined by the individual and their tax preparer.

Make sure that all donations are Tithes, Offerings, Mission Fund, or Building Fund. Do not think you can slip something by the IRS. They know what to look for on a tax return. Cheating on your donation credit will not reduce your tax liability enough to make it worth going to prison. “Give to Caesar that which belongs to Caesar,” and you will not have any problems.

How We Can Help

These and other “hot topic” IRS issues are discussed in-depth at our Church Management and Tax Conferences across the USA. After attending one, the Pastor and Church Leaders will have clear direction on what they can and cannot do. Pastor, Church Leader, Do Not Think you can do Church books without the instruction you will receive at one of these conferences.

This is why it is vital for each Pastor and Church Leader to attend the conference nearest them, NOW! Your procrastination may be the downfall of your Church and Ministry. Contact us today to register by visiting www.cmtc.org or call us at 800-344-0076. You will be glad you did.

Remember, for others, this is a job, but for us, “It is A Ministry!”

All Income to a Church May Not be Tax-Free

The 2017 Tax Reform Act (H.R. 1) reveals many surprises for Churches. One of these is the Unrelated Business Income section. In the past, a Church was allowed to have fund-raisers and other Unrelated Business Income (UBIT) without a requirement to report it to the Internal Revenue Service if all of that income for the year equaled less than $1,000. This has changed.

In the new tax code, Churches may no longer aggregate the Unrelated Business Income but must list each separately. The Council for NonProfits interpreted the effect of the recent change as:

  • Only the first $1,000 of unrelated business income is exempt from taxation under previous law, so the proposed changes would affect many organizations of varying sizes.
  • The change to UBIT could increase taxes on nonprofits, taking revenue away from nonprofits’ mission-related programs and services.1

The Affect On the Average Church

The average church in the USA has a regular Sunday attendance of about 70 people. Only about three percent tithe and only about 11% give in the offering. Their irresponsibility to tithe and give demands Churches to do what they must to pay the monthly bills, and sometimes this includes paying the Pastor.

The Church then initiates fund-raisers to make up the difference. I know of one Church where the tithe and offerings are usually within that 3—11 percent. That Church built a brand new addition with only three percent tithing and 11% percent giving any offering. When I asked the Pastor how they could do it with such small weekly support, he replied: “We have five dinners per month—one every mid-week service and one large one on the last Saturday of each month. The members donate all food and time, and then every member is charged $20 for the weekly meal and $25 for the monthly meal.” The members will not tithe and give offerings as they should but will donate food and their time and then pay for the meal they provided.

The new change in UBIT will require Churches to report all fund-raisers and income (other than tithes and offerings) regardless of the previous law’s $1,000 annual exemption.

Some Churches May Not Survive

With the new tax changes in place, the average Church fund-raiser, yard sale, carwash, and even CD and DVD sales may no longer be profitable for the average size Church. Once time and expense are calculated, and the tax is paid on the net, the average Church will realize a net loss rather than a net gain for the Church bank account.

However, if those Churches do not take other action, they will soon have difficulty paying monthly expenses and then have to choose between paying monthly bills or doing ministry.

Why You Must Call us Today

Chitwood & Chitwood is the premier Church Management firm in the nation because we have 80 years of experience. We know how to bring Churches into compliance without breaking the bank and how to generate a steady flow of income for the Church to do ministry.

This is why it is imperative for every Pastor, Pastor’s Spouse, and Church Leader to attend the next Church Management Conference. To register, please call 800-344-0076. If there is not a conference near you, call and speak with Dr. Ronnie Shaw as to how to bring a private conference to your area so your Church can be taught how to tap into funds that are available to assist you with the ministry God has called you and your Church to do. By doing it our way, it is possible to avoid the UBIT.

1. https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/sites/default/files/documents/tax-bill-summary-chart.pdf

5 Things You Should Know When Applying for Social Security Disability

If you’re applying for social security disability benefits and have never done so before, you may be in for a few surprises. Before you apply, it’s important to read through this list of five things you should know about the application process and the benefits themselves. You’ll be better prepared when it comes time to fill out the paperwork, and your application will be more likely to succeed. You should know five things when applying for social security disability benefits.

You Can Apply For Benefits Immediately 

Although you may not be able to start receiving disability benefits right away, it is not true that you have to wait 12 months to apply for SSD. The reality is that you can apply for SSD benefits immediately after becoming disabled. If your medical documentation states that your injury or impairment will last longer than 12 months, you are a good candidate for Social Security Disability. 

Medical Documentation Is Needed

Not having proper documentation of your disability can result in a delayed or denied claim. If you are applying for disability due to mental illness,  records of all medical treatment and doctors’ notes in your application package are required. You may need to take some time to guarantee you have all the necessary paperwork ready. It may feel like an invasion of privacy but is crucial to receiving social security disability benefits. If a decision on your claim is delayed because you don’t have adequate documentation, time could run out before an approval is made. So make sure to gather everything that is needed upfront.

No Income Limits 

SSDI applicants are only eligible based on their disability and if they have worked enough quarters. The applicant’s income or resources are not considered; only those receiving Supplemental Security Income are subject to certain limits.

You Can Hire An Attorney To Assist You During The Process

An attorney is not required but greatly helps your chances of being approved. In fact, it’s recommended that you consult with a lawyer before filing. A lawyer can give you advice about your specific situation and help ensure that you’re submitting everything necessary and in proper order. An attorney can also be helpful if your application is denied; they will understand how appeals work and help get your claim back on track.

Your Application Will Most Likely Be Denied

Most first-time applicants are denied, so you’ll need to prepare yourself for a lengthy and arduous process. Despite what many applicants believe, your application will almost always be rejected on your first try. According to 2016 data from SSA, 65% of all initial applications were denied. And, about half of appeals court judges found claims in favor of those with disabilities 60% or less of the time—which means that it’s very important you have a good case on appeal. That said, after your appeal, your chance at approval drastically improves. 

For further information on applying for social security disability, please contact Logan-Thompson, PC at 423-476-2251 or find them online at loganthompsonlaw.com

3 Reasons Why Your Daily Routine Is Important for Seniors

The older you get, the more important it becomes to develop good habits and stick to them. This importance becomes even more apparent if you’re already living with challenges associated with aging – such as diabetes, chronic pain, and arthritis. Here are three reasons why developing a daily routine is one of the best things you can do to help you stay healthy in your golden years.

Routines Can Lower Anxiety

A well-structured routine can help seniors feel more stable and in control, especially if things feel uncertain due to health or personal circumstances. People often believe that uncertainty is a good thing because it spurs us to action and helps keep us curious. However, a little uncertainty isn’t always beneficial; without structure, anxiety levels may skyrocket as people look forward with fear at everything they need to accomplish in one day. That’s why keeping a daily routine can help lower anxiety and increase calmness in seniors who are feeling uncertain.

Improved sleep quality

Achieving better sleep quality can lead to better health overall. It is known that people with insomnia are twice as likely to suffer from chronic pain and more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with depression. Sleep affects every aspect of our lives—from how we interact with other people and our environment to how we experience life emotionally. Establishing a daily routine can lower stress and anxiety, so you sleep better every night—and in turn, improve your health overall.

Increase Level of Comfort and Security

Having a routine and knowing what will happen each day gives seniors a sense of comfort and security. This type of predictability helps them avoid unnecessary stress, anxiety, and fear as they know what to expect and when it will occur. Establishing a daily routine allows you to predict what will happen and plan accordingly. So whether it’s planning a visit with family and friends or attending appointments at different locations, having a routine makes it easier to handle each activity seamlessly. As a bonus, establishing predictable patterns is often less stressful for loved ones than frequent last-minute changes in plans due to unexpected activities or situations that arise throughout their day.

Mary and Martha’s Personal Care team can create customized care plans for seniors and daily routines to fit their unique needs. We can help make every day the very best it can be for seniors and those who love them.

Contact us today at Mary & Martha’s Personal Care Facility for more information.

How To Talk To Your Family About Senior Care For A Parent

Elderly care is rarely an easy subject to bring up with your family, but the time will come when you’ll need to have this discussion with them anyway. Growing concerns can cause conflict when everyone is not on the same page. Are other family members in denial about healthcare concerns or assistance their aging parent or loved one needs? When you are caring for an elderly parent, things can become complicated. The main focus should be the well-being of your elderly loved one. If you are wondering how to talk to the family about placing your parent in a senior care facility and why they should consider it, here are five tips that may help you out in the long run.

How To Tell Family 

When it comes to difficult conversations, the most important thing you can do is keep calm. Don’t assume that your family or siblings understand what you’re going through, and don’t assume they feel the same way you do. You might be upset and think that your family is not as sympathetic as they should be, but they may not understand why you feel the way you do. They may also have different opinions about what makes a good home and what care works best for their parents. Your family may disagree with the changes you want to make or how much work is too much. Ultimately, how to tell family members about your concerns comes down to being able to express yourself clearly and openly in a calm tone.

Reframe Your Decision

It’s never easy thinking of yourself as a caregiver. And it can be hard convincing your family that you’re not simply abandoning them. Instead, reframe your decision as another way you are caring for them and helping them maintain their independence in their later years. You’ll probably even end up helping improve their quality of life. A successful transition will require a great deal of time and effort from all involved—the sooner everyone is on board with your plan, the better for everyone. Make sure to keep lines of communication open among all parties involved—you’ll need each other more than ever during this period of change.

Consider How This will Affect The Rest Of Your Family

It’s important to consider how this change will affect the rest of your family. If they are not the ones currently taking care of your loved one, it is possible they will not understand your decision.  Be sure to remind them how much better care your loved one will get if you aren’t handling things at home, and make sure you have their support when making that decision.

What’s the next step?

It’s one thing to know that you need help and quite another thing to talk about it with your loved ones. Do your research once you recognize that your care needs are beyond what family members can provide. Find a senior living community in your area and visit. Look for a community that matches your physical needs, personality, and personal interests. If they have some fun activities, so much the better! Even if it is not as comfortable or homey as what you currently have at home, however, try to put yourself in their shoes: The best place for anyone is an environment where they feel at ease and happy.

Wearing A Wig Every Day – How To Do It Right

Wearing a wig every day can take some getting used to, especially if you’re not used to having your hair styled every day. It can be tempting to throw on your favorite cap or beanie when it’s time to start your day but to pull off wearing a wig every day, you have to treat it as you would any other part of your style routine. These tips will help you figure out how to wear a wig every day and get the most out of your wig-wearing experience.

Make Sure Your Wig Is The Right Size

When it comes to wearing a wig, size is crucial! Depending on the brand and style of the wig, it can be easy to find one that fits your head perfectly. However, some may need to consider alterations. It’s important to buy a wig that will fit snugly on your head— if it’s too loose, you’ll likely have problems with slipping or an uncomfortable fit. Instead of wearing the wrong size all the time, try shopping for one that fits correctly from the start.

Store Your Wig Safely

A good wig is an investment, so don’t ruin yours by storing your wig incorrectly. Depending on the style of your wig, you may want to keep it in its original package, or you may be able to use other means like hangers and boxes. But what about when you’re ready to wear the wig? It is okay to wear the same wig every day with no problems. However, you should also remember that wigs can get dirty and occasionally require washing, like your own hair. When washing your wig, always use appropriate products and leave your hair as dry as possible before storing it.

Don’t Sleep In Your Wig

Hair loss can be emotionally distressing for anyone, and wearing a wig allows your hair to breathe and rest. You might think sleeping in your wig is the easiest way to get used to having hair in your life again. But sleeping in a wig may damage your hair. Depending on the style of your wig, you can wake up with dents and indents where the wig has become misshapen. Even if there are no visible signs of wear, sleeping in your wig stresses the glue and the unit’s structure. It is important to remember that you can keep your wigs for their expected lives or even longer with proper care.