Business provides daycare for the elderly

Business owner Hope Caldwell and her husband Billy Caldwell stand on the covered patio at Hopeful House. (Photo by Sarah Raines, SDN)
Staff Writer

Business owner Hope Caldwell wishes to make a house she remodeled west of town into a haven for residents in the community.

Hopeful House Elderly Day Care Center is a place where senior citizens who still live at home can go during the day to stay active and social. It is located one quarter of a mile west of Starkville on Highway 182, near Horsefeathers Mall.

Caldwell had planned for 27 years to open a personal care home, but her plans were changed six years ago, and they morphed from a full-time care facility to a week-day daycare center.

"My mom had a stroke and we looked in the area for something that would accommodate her needs for fellowship and activity," Caldwell said. "Once something happens to you, other people come with their stories, and there is a lot of need in this community."

After failing to find a place her mother needed and speaking with other people in the same situation, Caldwell decided to open Hopeful House.

Hopeful House is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Caldwell said some long-term health insurance policies help to cover the cost of attending. The facility serves elders or seniors who have minimal limitation who can still do tasks like feed themselves but may not be able to drive places.

"A lot of times what we see in elderly is they retire and go home and there's nothing holding their interest," Caldwell said. "The Hopeful House actually is to try to encourage people to stay in a hopeful state before they get to a hopeless state, both for the people we are accommodating as well as the caregivers."

The house is not a personal care home or a nursing facility, but instead was created to provide a place for elderly to stay during the weekday where they can keep their mind stimulated.

House manager Robyn Brumfield started in August when the business opened.

"We cook, have activities, exercise, do crafts and devotionals," Brumfield said. "Instead of sitting at home and not being socialized all day — they may be living with their children that are still going to work — the Hopeful House is a reason to get up, to get dressed and to visit. It lets everyone have social during the day."

Hopeful House has an exercise room with low-intensity workout equipment that Caldwell said helps keep the mind oxygenated. The facility also has two porches — one screened patio in and one open deck — a media room where Caldwell plans to start hosting "Music Mondays," an activities room for crafts and board games and an open "central hub" with a kitchen, computers, and sitting and dining areas.

Hopeful House customer Bulah Brown comes to the house for activities and meals.

"This is great for older people, and if they ever need a place to come and visit and be for lunch, and watch the beauty of the birds outside, I'll be here," Brown said.

Hopeful House serves a breakfast and lunch each weekday, and Caldwell said they encourage residents to sit outside on the porch.

"Being able to soak in the sun a little during the day helps to encourage melatonin releasing at night," Caldwell said. "All that helps with sleep."

There are group and individual activities in the activity room. Each activity is based on an individual's capability, so if an individual with dementia or Alzheimer's needs to change crafts or tasks, they can.

Caldwell said she works closely with care facilities in the area to make sure each person who comes to Hopeful House gets the care they need.

"We reevaluate about every month, just to make sure we can continue to accommodate the needs because sometimes the needs change," Caldwell said. "We just want to help that family help the individual."

Caldwell is available to speak to groups in the community to explain the services of the business and how they can help.

"We are trying to educate the community about the service and if anyone wants us to speak to a group, please call us and set that up," Caldwell said.