CATEGORY: Pontotoc County
Pontotoc couple to open personal-care home
By Jane Hill
PONTOTOC – When the Church Street Personal Care Home opens its doors later this year, Beth Luther Mapp will have fulfilled a lifelong dream.
“When I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to take care of the elderly,” said Mapp. “When I met a friend of my mother’s who ran a boarding house for the elderly, I thought to myself, ‘That’s what I want!'”
Mapp, who was reared in a large family with her grandparents living at home, said she has always been comfortable with older people and enjoys talking with and helping them.
“I guess I just miss having my grandparents around,” she said.
Mapp, a former employee of the Pontotoc County office of the Department of Human Services, said she plans to make her personal-care home as much like a typical Southern family home as possible.
Personal-care homes are licensed by the Mississippi Department of Health as housing facilities which cater to the elderly but are not equipped to provide any type of medical services. While personal-care homes do not have medical services, they are required to provide round-the-clock supervision. Personal-care homes are designed for the elderly person who is reasonably independent but is seeking an environment where meals, transportation and other services can be provided.
“We do what a responsible family member would do,” Mapp said. “Once a person needs constant medical attention, they need to go to a nursing home, not a personal-care home.”
The 4,000-square-foot home will have space for up to 10 individuals. Mapp said she and her husband will live in an apartment in the building and will hire additional help as the occupancy rate increases.
All meals will be provided for the tenants as will a common dining room, a home entertainment room and even a space set aside on the front porch to enjoy some rocking chair spectating.
“My goal is to make the place as comfortable and as homey as possible,” Mapp said. “I’m not going to have serving trays and Styrofoam cups – nothing that makes people feel like they are in an institution or someplace they could get lost in the shuffle.”
In addition to having their meals prepared, tenants of the home can get help with local transportation to banks, doctors’ offices and drug stores. They can also be helped with personal hygiene, dressing and with keeping track of their medication, provided none of it is taken intravenously.
Mickey Mapp, who is an employee of the Union County office of the Department of Human Services and who holds a business administration degree from Mississippi State University, will operate the business side of the Church Street Home and Beth Mapp will supervise the personal-care side of the home.
The project is being financed through the Three Rivers Planning and Development District’s small business loan program and by the First National Bank of Pontotoc.
Randy Kelley, director of Three Rivers, said small-scale personal-care homes are becoming more popular among the elderly who want some independence but feel they need a “safety net.”
Windham House and Windham House North retirement apartments in Ecru have proven popular among retirees in Pontotoc County. Another personal-care home is being planned for Union County, Kelley said.
Fees at the Church Street Personal Care Home will be about $1,200 per month, Mapp said. Those interested in applying for an apartment can call the Mapps after 5 p.m. at 489-7401.