Partnering With Atlanta Habitat for Humanity -

Partnering With Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Atlanta Habitat for Humanity and National Church Residences are partnering to offer additional services to Habitat’s Repair with Kindness program participants who are age 55 or older. These benefits can help them live independently and stay in their homes for life. The Repair with Kindness program helps qualified homeowners make critical home repairs that reduce health or safety hazards or improve weatherization for residents.

A National Church Residences Service Coordinator meets with homeowners identified by Habitat for Humanity and uses Care Guide to assess the needs of community seniors. This program is a great addition to what National Church Residences is doing in the building in Atlanta. This program enables us to reach those who may not live in our buildings but need help identifying services.

Many seniors prematurely enter nursing facilities because they are unaware of the services that are available to them or they have no one to assist them. Our Service Coordinator visits these residents in their homes and helps determine what each person needs. Recognizing that every person is unique, the Service Coordinator takes time to get to know the resident’s health and social needs. They then can arrange a variety of services, including Home Health, Legal Aid Referrals, Budgeting and Financial Literacy training, Emotion Support and more.

This partnership with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity allows us to extend our reach in the Greater Atlanta and surrounding communities, helping us to continue with our mission to enable seniors to stay home for life.

We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to

Partnering With Atlanta Habitat for Humanity -

Tax Time: Avoid Common Errors -

Tax Time: Avoid Common Errors

The time to file taxes for 2018 is just around the corner. If you’re preparing your own tax return, or tax return for your elderly mom or dad, here are some tips to avoid common errors.

  1. Standard deduction for seniors. If you do not itemize your deductions, you can get a higher standard deduction amount if you and/or your spouse are 65 years old or older. You can get an even higher standard deduction amount if you or your spouse are blind.
  1. Social Security benefits. Many seniors make mistakes when calculating the taxable amount of Social Security. Use the Social Security benefits worksheet on IRS Form 1040 and Form 1040A, and double- and even triple-check.
  1. Credit for the Elderly or Disabled. To receive the Credit for the Elderly or Disabled, you must file using Form 1040 or Form 1040A (not Form 1040EZ). To quality for the credit, you must meet two qualifications: 1) you and/or your spouse are either 65 years or older, or under age 65 years old and are permanently blind, and 2) your income on Form 1040 line 38 is less than $17,500, $20,000 (married filing jointly and only one spouse qualifies), $25,000 (married filing jointly and both qualify), and $12,500 (married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse for the entire year). And, the non-taxable part of your Social Security or other nontaxable pensions, annuities or disability income is less than $5,000 (single, head of household, or qualifying window/er with dependent child); $5,000 (married filing jointly and only one spouse qualifies); $7,500 (married filing jointly and both qualify); or $3,750 (married filing separately and lived apart from your spouse the entire year).
  1. Tax assistance programs. For seniors and others with low- to moderate-income, the IRS sponsors volunteer tax assistance programs to help people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $53,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly and limited English-speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. The Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) program offers free tax help for all taxpayers, particularly those who are 60 years of age or older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement-related issues unique to seniors.

With these tips in mind, you can help your aging mom or dad better navigate tax season. For more information, please visit

Fall Activities to Enjoy With Seniors -

Fall Activities to Enjoy With Seniors

Pumpkins, crisp air, apples, football. Fall began last weekend. With September being #IntergenerationalMonth, it’s the perfect season to spend time with seniors. Consider these activities and share time with your loved ones:

Pumpkin Decorating

A great activity to do with seniors is decorating pumpkins. You can decorate by carving, painting or creating a special arrangement. Get creative with your loved ones or make it a contest to see who can make the best one.

Fall Activities to Enjoy With Seniors -

Attend a Fall Festival

Fall festivals are a fun intergenerational activity. At a local festival, there’s something for everyone to do. Drink apple cider or eat fall flavored donuts. Go through a corn maze or watch live music. Find a local fall festival here.

Bake Fall Treats

What an amazing way to celebrate fall with your loved ones. Baking fall treats brings all smells and flavors of fall into your home. You can use inspiration from your visit to the fall festival or try one of these treats. 

Fall Activities to Enjoy With Seniors -

Take A Walk

Taking a stroll through the woods is beautiful during the fall. Going for a walk allows you to bond with your seniors and hear stories from them. Walking is also good for heart health! Our residents at Inniswood Village live next to the gorgeous Inniswood Metro Park. These residents can invite their families to come and walk Chipmunk Trail with them and to enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage. Find a park near your community.

What are your favorite fall activities for your family? Leave a comment below!


We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to

Bonding Through Intergenerational Activities -

Bonding Through Intergenerational Activities

Quality time with multiple generations is beneficial for families. When children and young adults spend time with older adults and seniors, it can create a sense of bonding that strengthens families and provides benefits for both parties.

For children, intergeneration activities help build self-esteem, social skills, and happier, healthier attitudes about the future and aging adults. They gain the opportunity to hear stories from the elders in their family and gather wisdom beyond their years.

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For seniors, these intergenerational activities create a sense of joy and fulfillment. Spending time with their children and grandchildren helps promote mental health and helps strengthen the body.

September is Intergenerational Month and it is a great time to begin to think about different activities that families can do together to strengthen intergenerational bonding.


Cooking is a great way to bond with your loved ones. Discover a new recipe or share an old family recipe. By using cooking to bond, children gain new skills and older adults get the opportunity to continue to teach those younger.

Experience the Community

Every community is unique and has gems. By discovering these together, it creates memories for both the young and older. Visit the local library, take a class, go to a show (even a high school play!).

Bonding Through Intergenerational Activities -


Music is a timeless way to bond generations. Sharing music allows the younger generation to experience things that the older generation treasures. The experiences that we have with music transcends generations. Listening to songs that each one likes or playing instruments together is the perfect intergenerational activity.


Sharing stories is important in bonding. The older generation gets the opportunity to share stories about their childhood and the things that they hold dear. These stories are great ways to capture memories as older ones may pass on.

Bonding Through Intergenerational Activities -

At National Church Residences, we promote intergenerational activities with our seniors by partnering with the community and through our adult day programs. If you’d like to volunteer and get involved with our seniors, visit our website for more information.


We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to


Emergency Information for Your Aging Parents -

Emergency Information for Your Aging Parents

It’s important to have a plan for emergency situations when aging parents depend on you for care. Even if they are in great physical health, it’s best to be prepared in the event of a sudden illness or accident. You need to make sure you or someone else is legally able to help them in an emergency.

When gathering emergency information from your parents, be considerate to not overwhelm or scare them. You can ask questions and gather information or needed documents over a few conversations instead of all at once.

Here are some important items you should have on hand about your aging parent in case an emergency situation happens. It’s better to be prepared and informed than to scramble to find it in a crisis.

Know your parents’ neighbors, close friends, and place of worship

Find out the full names and phone numbers of your parents’ neighbors and closest friends. Share your name and contact numbers in the event of an emergency they may need to reach you. You may even consider asking your parents to have you listed as their emergency contact in their cellphone if they have one or on a note on their refrigerator.

Also, if you don’t have an emergency key to your parents’ home already, ask if you or someone else may have a one.

Know the name and phone number of your parents’ place of worship and their clergy person. Share your full name and contact info with the church office to save in an emergency file.

Know basic medical information

 It’s important to have a list of basic medical information for your parents, such as:

  •  Their doctors’ contact information, including any conditions they are treating.
  • Prescription medications, dosage and what it’s treating.
  • All over-the-counter medications taken regularly, including any herbal medications and vitamins.
  • List of all allergies.

Other useful information to know is:

  •  Major medical problems
  • Prior surgeries and major medical procedures
  • Birthdates
  • Religious beliefs
  • Insurance information
  • Lifestyle information

Ask your parents who has been designated as their Medical Power of Attorney. This person will make medical decisions on your parents’ behalf if they are temporarily incapacitated. If you are the Medical Power of Attorney, have the document that states this in your possession and make sure that one resides in all your parents’ medical records. If it is someone else, find out their contact information.

Also, talk to your parents about Advance Directives. This ensures your parents’ medical wishes are fulfilled even if they are unable to make health care decisions for themselves. Federal law states that each patient is in charge of their own medical care and medical decisions.

Identify an emergency plan for finances, dependents, and pets

Even if your parents are in the hospital, there will still be bills in the mailbox to pay. If your parents have designated someone as Durable Power of Attorney, it empowers this person to legally pay bills on your parents’ behalf, access a bank account and sign one of their checks. It’s important to have a list of when bills are due to avoid late fees or having utilities turned off.

Also, you should know the location of your parents’ financial records if they need to be accessed and the location of their will.

If your parents have any dependents in their care, such as a sibling with medical or mental health issues, there should be an emergency plan for their care in the event your parents are unable to provide care. And, don’t forget about any pets. If your parent has a pet, plan ahead who will care for the pet in case of an emergency.

We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to

Welcome to the NEW National Church Residences blog!

At National Church Residences, our vision is to advance better living for all seniors, enabling them to remain home for life. Through this blog, our goal is to allow you to see the heart and soul of who we are as an organization. We will do this by sharing the National Church Residences way with you, inviting you into our stories and providing resources that educate caregivers, enabling seniors to enjoy their lives.

This blog will consist of three main elements: Our Stories, Health and Wellness, and Caregiver Resources.

Our Stories

In this section, you can find stories about our residents, our volunteers, and our mission. The residents of National Church Residences have incredible stories to share. From war veterans to pillars of the community, to the formerly homeless, sharing the stories of our people will allow you to get to know who we are.

Here you’ll also meet our wonderful volunteers. Our volunteers make up the fabric of our organization and are an integral part of all we do.

Sharing stories of our mission invites you to connect with what we do. Our mission drives everything we seek to accomplish as an organization, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Health and Wellness

In Health and Wellness, we want to engage senior citizens. Here we will provide solutions to common healthcare issues to help seniors find the answers they need.

Caregiver Resources

With the number of seniors rapidly increasing, many adult children are caregivers to their aging parents. Here you’ll find information and resources to help care for your special senior and keep them home, engaged, happy, and healthy.

Look for a new blog post every week. Don’t miss a post. Subscribe and get blog posts directly in your inbox. In the meantime, feel free to read previous posts.

We want you to be a part of the National Church Residences mission. Feel free to leave a comment, suggest a topic, ask a question, or send an email to We’re excited to share National Church Residences with you!

Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication -

Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication

Conversations between an aging parent and their grown child can be frustrating as the parent ages. Roles have reversed and the grown child is now taking the place as the caregiver for their parent. Instead of asking a parent a question such as, “How was your day?” or “Can you give me advice on…”, grown children will ask “Did you take your medicine today?” or “Why would you do that?”

When communicating with aging parents it’s important to remember their life is rapidly changing and they are trying to maintain a sense of independence. It’s difficult for seniors to rely on others for care and to help solve their problems when they maintained control of their own life before.

Here are helpful tips to keep in mind when communicating with aging parents to keep your relationship healthy and to make the most of your time together.

  1. Take time and be respectful. While adult children are caught up in the demands of family, work, and finances, their parents’ lives have slowed down. They have less of a sense of urgency to get things done and may take time to make decisions. It’s not always about being slow or a diminished capacity. This can be frustrating, but remember, parents have a lifetime of experience to draw from and want to make the best decision, instead of the fastest. Be respectful of their slower approach so they won’t think you are trying to control them.
  1. Make time and listen. A quick phone call to check-in or help out with chores is helpful for your parents, however, these aren’t quality moments to build your relationship. Make time to have quality days with your parents, even one-on-one, to talk and listen. Let your parents guide the discussion and listen and ask open-ended questions. You’ll be surprised what you will learn about your parent, their life and present concerns

Aging Parents and the Importance of Communication -

  1. Reminisce about life. Adult children may think they know their parent, but when you take the time to reminisce about life with them you’ll be amazed at what you’ll learn. Ask questions to learn more about the situations they faced, people they met or places they lived or visited. These life stories are important for families to understand and appreciate who they are.
  1. Ask for advice. Parents are used to their children coming to them for advice or help, and it’s tough to no longer be consulted by your grown children as you age. While the type of advice a grown child is looking for may have changed, look for opportunities to ask “What do you think of this Mom?” or “Dad, what’s more important to you?”

While these are simple tips, these will help you understand more about your parent’s past and what they are going through day-to-day as they age.

How to Talk About Moving Mom and Dad into Senior Housing

Thousands of adult children face this every day, particularly the youngest of the baby boomers generation – when, what and where to move Mom and Dad into senior housing. Many challenges are involved in this decision, especially if Mom and Dad don’t agree it is time to leave their home.

Here are some thoughts to help you:

Never advise parents, instead have conversations with them. Advising them, telling them what they should do will most likely generate some resistance. After all, they are the parents and you are still the kid (even if you’re well into your adult years.)

Do your research. Consider what your parents like about where they live now. Try to find something that mirrors their current standard of living. National Church Residences communities all have certain amenities that make them unique. Washer and dryer hookups in some units, walking paths and courtyards, clubs and activities all could make the community feel more like a home to your parents if it is what they are used to. Check out our housing and services locator on our website. It breaks down communities by location, amenities and more.

Consider your parents’ perspective. Downsizing, moving and relocating is stressful on anyone – whether they are 20 years old or 80.

If you have questions, want advice on getting started or need more resources, reach out to us! Visit our website:

National Church Residences Can Help Seniors Age at Home -

National Church Residences Can Help Seniors Age at Home

Harvard University researchers released the results of a study performed on housing in the United States. The researchers found that the number of households headed by Americans who are at least 70 years old will jump by 8.3 million from 2014 to 2025 – a 42 percent increase. Most of those seniors will choose to stay in their homes.

“The Harvard researchers note that a majority of those households will be aging in place, not downsizing or moving to retirement communities. That will have implications for an array of support services people will need as they age,” wrote Mark Miller, a Reuters’ journalist who reported on the study.

Researchers also note the increase of aging homeowners coincides with a decrease in government funding for programs that assist the elderly. National Church Residences, however, is positioned to address the needs of seniors who want to age in place in ways that are cost effective for them and their community.

Our Home & Community Services is a Medicare- and Medicaid-certified home health care agency serving Ohio seniors, and offering affordable alternatives to institutional skilled nursing and assisted living care, with the objective of keeping seniors active and independent in their own homes, at a fraction of the cost. We provide multiple options for individual needs, so you decide on the approach that’s best for you.

Our services include: 24-hour response; round-the-clock care; skilled nursing; assisted living; homemaking service; service coordination; personal care (bathing, grooming, dressing, medication reminders); Hospice; physical, speech, occupational and rehabilitative therapies; private duty; and adult day services (in Franklin and Delaware counties).

For more information about National Church Residences, visit To view the Reuters article about the study, visit

Seniors: The New Gamers

elderly_man_playing_video_games-e1310062170825The next time you take a video game away from your teen, instead of putting it on a shelf or letting it collect dust, consider giving it your parents – to play!

Studies conducted by separate institutions, the University of Iowa and the University of California-San Francisco, and published in 2013, showed that playing video games improved memory and other cognitive functions of the brains of the studies participants.

Cognition has to do with how a person understands and acts in the world. It is a set of abilities, skills, or processes that are part of nearly every human action. Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills we need to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex.

The University of Iowa study involved nearly 700 adults 50 and older. A control group was given computerized crossword puzzles, old-people-playing-psand the other groups played a video game called Road Tour for various amounts of time. Over the course of a year, those who didn’t play the game at all saw no improvement in their brain capabilities, and those who played the game the most saw the big improvements – three to four years of cognitive improvement, according to the Iowa study.

At the University of California-San Francisco, adults ages 20 to 85 were involved in the Playing-video-games-avoids-elderly-from-depressionstudy. First, 20 to 70-year-olds played the video game NeuroRacer to establish a baseline on how they played. Younger players were found to multi-task in the game far more than older players. Then a separate group of 60-85 year olds were trained how to play the game.

After the four-week training, some players as old as 80 were beating players as young as 20!

Road Tour and NeuroRacer were specifically designed for their studies. Researchers of the studies say their findings build grandpa-playing-video-gamesupon research performed in the 1990s on improving memory, reasoning, and visual processing speed. They warn against sitting on your couch and playing video games for hours at a time with a bag of chips by your side and expect brain improvement.

The brain, like the rest of your body, needs challenges to stay healthy. But their findings are an indication that we are not helpless bystanders while our brain functions decline. It may be possible to prevent that decline, or even improve our brain functions as we age.