Caring Connection senior services coming to Laurel

Caring Connection in Laurel.
Caring Connection in Laurel.(WDAM)
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:24 PM EDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Assisted living facilities, free transportation, therapy programs and a food pantry are all coming to Jones County with Caring Connection.

Angeleque Hughs is a registered nurse who works at South Central Regional Medical Center. She also worked as a nursing home administrator before getting her degree.

“What inspired me to start caring connection is the need that I saw. So many seniors and so many people who have insecurities and need quality health care and other items that they aren’t able to afford,” she says.

Hughes is renovating a home on U.S. Highway 11 in Laurel to house six seniors. The house sits on two acres and she has a plan for a backyard walking trail, themed bedrooms and community space.

Hughes’ vision is to create a community that helps seniors through what she calls their golden years, celebrating life with dignity and respect.

“My pet peeve is seeing residents just slumped in a wheelchair. We may get old, but we all have a life and a story. So this is where they want to come to make their golden years golden. So we really want to reach out to the whole community and make it a community effort,” Hughes explains.

Hughes’ idea has quickly grown into a non-profit that she calls a ‘one-stop shop’ for seniors.

“Well, initially it started off just going to be a personal care home and there was so many other needs, we have a lot of programs in place,” she says.

She then created ‘Club Connected’ for seniors who don’t live in the home. It’s an annual fee of $25 for anyone age 65 and up. It gives seniors access to the food pantry and the on-site store. It also allows them to go on discounted day trips as a group and participate in activities at caring connection.

“They’re getting the bags that they used to shop in a general store in the food pantry and it comes stocked with goodies. They’ll get a t-shirt and a pin. In addition to that, we’ll at least have monthly opportunities that they’ll be notified about for them to come in and shop on a point system, so they can go in and shop for whatever items that they want,” says Hughes.

Hughes says the food pantry will be open to anyone in need on distribution days.

“Now the general food pantry. We feel like anybody any age, that can come through on days we’re doing distributions, but they’ll get a prepackaged bag of goodies. When they come through as members of club connected, as I said, they’ll get to shop from the shelf for what they want to on the point system,” she explains.

Caring Connection and Club Connect plan to offer in home-services as well as transportation to and from the facility and programs.

Two of the main programs established so far are Ageless Art Project and Seniors Helping Seniors.

Ageless Art celebrates senior artists by providing a platform for exhibits, networking, income generation, recognition, involvement and travel.

Seniors Helping Seniors is a project that affords senior citizens and high school seniors the opportunity to collaborate in their community service efforts and create a win-win relationship by splitting the proceeds and building lasting relationships between the two groups.

You can text “HSSENIOR” to 555888 to learn more about seniors helping seniors.

Hughes says the home at 3091 U.S. Highway 11 in Laurel is set to open before the end of the year.

“We’ve had our initial inspection and we just got approved through the state and the city for our sprinkler system, so we will be a licensed facility,” Hughes shares.

Caring Connection is asking the community to get involved by donating or volunteering to support the project.

Hughes is hosting a food drive to support the food pantry every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 4 at 3091 Highway 11 in Laurel.

You can learn about levels of donating to the non-profit here.

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