Residents of the Wesley Meadows Retirement Community in Hernando who deal with memory issues will in the future have a new place for them to reside.
During an event on Oct. 7 at Wesley Meadows, it was announced that a drive to build what is called a Memory Support “Green House” Assisted Living Home on the campus would receive a major financial boost.
Maddox Foundation President/CEO Robin Hurdle pledged the foundation would provide a $1 million matching grant for the construction and maintenance of the home, which would join 19 similar homes that are part of the Methodist Senior Services (MSS) family of facilities for elder care.
“Five hundred thousand dollars will go to the building fund and $500,000 will go to an endowment fund to make sure the home is covered for future care and maintenance,” Hurdle said. “Oftentimes we build something like a playground and it ends up not being cared for, it falls apart and then nobody has the money to care for it. With the endowment fund, we will have the money to replace things, and for the landscaping that needs to be done. We won’t be raising money for that again.”
“We are more than honored that the Maddox Foundation would collaborate with us by this generous support,” said MSS President/CEO Steve McAlilly. “It exemplifies that the Maddox Foundation leadership recognizes that how a community treats its elders helps define the quality of life in that community.”
McAlilly said his system has identified a need to provide a “compassionate approach” to support those living with memory issues. He said the person’s quality of life is enhanced when they are given a more home-like atmosphere.
“We figured out that if you let people live at home, and you let them wake up when they want to wake up and they hear the sounds of home, dishes rattling, and they smell coffee brewing, life becomes good again,” McAlilly said.
MSS pioneered the “Green House” concept of memory assisted care in 2004. Wesley Meadows is the first among its North Mississippi facilities to have the home for those dealing with forgetfulness.
“It’s a small house, not home-like, but a small house for about 10 people,” McAlilly explained. “We, as an organization, have made a commitment to that principle.”
The Hernando home will be named the Margaret and Dan Maddox Green House, in honor of the couple that in 1968 founded the Maddox Foundation, which is now headquartered in Hernando.
The capital campaign for the $1.5 million home stood this week at $786,000 and the building fund part of the matching grant will get Wesley Meadows close to its construction goal.
Endowment funding to cover future maintenance will be administered and invested by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi.
Bob Bakken is Managing Editor of the DeSoto Times-Tribune.