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Two Generations Find Their Home At St. Catherine’s Village Life Plan Community

From left to right: Bennett Smith, Regina “Gina” Smith,  Dorothy Keith, David Keith

When it came time to retire and move to a more carefree and cared for environment, two generations of families found exactly what they were looking for at St. Catherine’s Village. Located in Madison, Mississippi, the all-inclusive, Life Plan Community provides the right care at the right time through independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing—all in a protected and picturesque, 160-acre wooded setting.

After David Keith retired from Bell South, he and his wife Dorothy decided they were tired of keeping up a yard and all the maintenance that came with their Madison home. They crunched the numbers and realized it was within their means to move to independent living at St. Catherine’s Village, where they wouldn’t have to worry about landscape chores and everything else that comes with home ownership. Thirteen years later and the couple is still in their “penthouse” apartment on the senior living campus.

Dorothy was excited and motivated to come to St. Catherine’s Village because it offered a more carefree lifestyle plus a full continuum of senior care, should either of them need it. While she may not cook meals daily, Dorothy serves on the food committee and is still famous for her home-baked banana bread. And while they don’t have to spend their time cutting the grass, both David and Dorothy remain avid gardeners.

Before ever moving to St. Catherine’s Village, the Keiths were neighbors with Bennett Smith’s mother and she and Dorothy became close friends. In fact, Dorothy introduced her daughter Gina to Bennett and the rest, as they say, is history. He and Gina are now married and live at St. Catherine’s Village, too.

Bennett and Gina moved to the Life Plan Community during a difficult time of the pandemic after living in an historic home in Hattiesburg for 45 years. They were familiar with St. Catherine’s Village not only from the Keiths but also because Bennett’s mother had lived there in both independent and assisted living.

“When trying to find the best place for mom, I remember researching retirement communities in Hattiesburg, Jackson and southeast Mississippi,” said Bennett. “St. Catherine’s Village always rose to the top of the list. We became even more impressed when mom transferred to assisted living because the care she received was so wonderful.”

When the time came for the Smiths to retire, they hoped they too could find their home at St. Catherine’s Village. In their 70s, they really wanted a two-bedroom, two-bath independent living apartment overlooking the lake and they were willing to wait for it—five years to be exact. In the end, everything worked out perfectly.

“The staff was so kind and helped us develop a plan,” said Bennett. “And we appreciate that we have the opportunity to move to a different level of care if ever necessary.”

Today, the two families live in separate buildings on the St. Catherine’s Village campus so they remain close—but not too close. The Keiths are much busier now that the Smiths are their neighbors and Gina is following in her mother’s footsteps becoming famous for her homemade bread.

“We’re all excited and looking forward to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren visiting,” said David of their extended family. “Maybe, someday, they’ll be the next generation to call St. Catherine’s Village home.”

To learn more about senior living options at St. Catherine’s Village Life Plan Community, log onto www.StCatherinesVillage.com or call (601) 856-0123 to schedule a one-on-one tour.

May 2022 Activity Calendars

April 2022 Activity Calendars

Life Plan Communities Like St. Catherine’s Village Can Enhance Seniors’ Health And Well-Being

Studies have shown that seniors who live in a Life Plan Community that includes multiple levels of care on one campus reported their social, intellectual, physical, and emotional wellness improved after moving there.

This may be because Life Plan Communities tend to offer environments rich in services, programs, amenities, and opportunities that support overall health and well-being. That’s the case at St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, Mississippi. Here, the all-inclusive Life Care program allows residents to move into an independent living apartment or home then transition to assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing if and when the need arises.

Both environmental resources and personal competence are important to aging well and work together to determine an individual’s optimal level of function, say gerontologists. Stress is a major factor contributing to one’s attitude and overall outlook on life, and residents in Life Plan Communities reported lower levels of stress than seniors who live in other environments. This may be due, in part, to knowing they are guaranteed services throughout their lifetime and will have a smooth transition as their level of care needs changes with age.

Another reason Life Plan Community residents report they feel more optimistic may be because they are surrounded by a support system night and day. At St. Catherine’s Village, for example, seniors are around others in the same stage of life going through similar experiences, and they have the assistance of caregivers in times of need. Residents also can participate in a variety of organized activities…from joining the choir or gardening club to sharing in daily devotions, from attending mixers and events to taking arts, crafts and painting classes…to increase their happiness and reduce their stress.

Being physically fit is just as important to a senior’s well-being as their emotional health. Staying active contributes to physical wellness while being sedentary for too long during the day increases health risks. It’s easy for seniors living on their own to succumb to bad habits if no one is around to encourage them to get up and get moving. At a Life Plan Community, on the other hand, there are activities for all fitness levels. St. Catherine’s Village not only has an on-site fitness center and heated indoor pool, it also offers a variety of exercise classes to support a healthy lifestyle. These include stretching, chair yoga, low impact cardio, water aerobics, and more.

A healthy diet rich in nutrients can help cognition and memory in seniors as well as feed the body. St. Catherine’s Village makes it easy for residents to eat well by including nutritious dining options and meal plans. When a Life Plan Community resident does experience a health issue, he or she has access to treatments and caregivers trained in senior living.

Located on 160 picturesque and wooded acres, St. Catherine’s Village provides the right care at the right time through independent living in garden homes and apartments; assisted living in Marian Hall; memory care in Campbell Cove; and skilled nursing in Siena Center, Tuscany and Hughes Center—all in a protected environment.

To learn more about senior living options at St. Catherine’s Village Life Plan Community, log onto www.StCatherinesVillage.com or call (601) 856-0123 to schedule a one-on-one tour.


No Sugar Plums, Maybe, But Christmas Blesses 50-Year Survivor Of Type 1 Diabetes

She couldn’t believe her ears. Lynette Hegwood, 24, had always hated needles and now they were telling her she would need daily insulin injections for the rest of her life.

“In tears, I naively asked my doctor asked how I was going to get to his office for a shot every day,” said the retired state employee, now 74, over coffee near her Madison home. “I got the shock of my life when he said, ‘You’ll give them to yourself.’ 

“My world caved in around me.”

Hegwood had been married barely two years at the time. Fast forward to December 2021, when she is merrily displaying what she says is the best Christmas blessing she could have ever imagined—a Joslin Diabetes Center medal for overcoming the daunting realities of diabetes for 50 years.

“Now that’s the kind of stocking stuffer I like to see,” said Mary Fortune, executive vice president of the Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi and a 50-year survivor herself. Fortune wrote a letter to Joslin, which is affiliated with Harvard University, vouching for Hegwood’s timeline. 

“I am most grateful for Fortune’s active and very public advocacy even before my diagnosis,” Hegwood said. “She has long been the face of diabetes for Mississippians and my role model.” 


Until the time of Hegwood’s diagnosis, diabetic lifespans were so short that medals were given for surviving 25 years. But Mary Tyler Moore, also diagnosed in adulthood with type 1, had only just tossed her hat into the chilly Minneapolis air when in 1970 Joslin bumped up that milestone to 50. 
When Hegwood read about the new medal, she knew she would wear it one day. Smart and savvy, with a sly look that seems to say  I get it, she began devouring every bit of diabetes literature she could find, learning all she could to prevent complications like blindness, kidney failure and worse. 
“I started with the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Forecast magazine,” she said. “You don’t wait on improvements. You seek them out. 

“By the way, are you going to take insulin for that coffee?” she asked the reporter, who also has type 1. “Research shows that—even without sugar—coffee can raise your glucose.”  Noted. 

Sometimes Hegwood even has an edge on her doctors’ understanding of diabetes mellitus (or honeyed urine, a loose translation from the Greek), in which the immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas that control blood sugar. Hegwood believes a polio virus triggered her own autoimmune response. 

For instance, when one physician said he didn’t want her taking multiple injections per day, based on her research Hegwood stood her ground. “I’m doing it anyway,” she retorted. 

Then he came home from a conference and told her he was putting all of his patients on multiple injections. Sweet, as they say. 

“If you stay informed, you can stay healthy and alive,” said Hegwood, who not only wears a Tandem insulin pump and a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor but also uses a new ultrarapid-acting insulin called Lyumjev. 

Dr. Wayne Woo of Dr. Woo’s Diabetes and Endocrinology Institute in Flowood congratulated Hegwood, who has been his patient for nine years. “Living with diabetes is a challenge, and Lynette has successfully demonstrated excellent self-management diabetes skills so she can achieve a healthy life and minimize long-term complications,” Woo said. “Well done!” 

Hegwood misses her husband and “guardian angel” of 48 years, Paul, who died in 2019. “He followed my diet and I followed his exercise routine,” she said, which led her to competing in 10k runs. 

“I-20 wasn’t paved yet, and living in Clinton at the time we would run on the dirt foundation and didn’t have to contend with traffic. My proudest run was in 1978 on a 97-degree day when I was the first female finisher—not just in my age group but out of everyone.” 

And in spite of the health risks of pregnancy (see Julia Roberts in “Steel Magnolias”), Hegwood was determined.

“In women with diabetes they would take the baby by C-section three weeks before it was due because the placenta would fail, and the risk was that the baby would be premature. People usually equate premature with low birth weight, but with diabetes you have larger babies, and mine weighed eight pounds, 11 ounces.” 

Hegwood’s son, Brendan, spent three days in the ICU with underdeveloped lungs, but he does not have diabetes. “He is married, and my daughter-in-law has always been an organic natural foods person, so I know my son is getting that,” she said. 

Slim and trim herself, Hegwood said she gets excited talking about diabetes. “I like encouraging people, but if someone tells me that they are sympathetic, I’m quick to let them know that I believe I’ve lived a healthier lifestyle due to diabetes.” 

Her advice to those who want to handle the disease as well as she has? 

“I pray about this, because I want God to use me to help someone in some way, and I feel like He will provide that,” Hegwood said. “Don’t beat up on yourself, because it can be a roller coaster, but expect and allow for challenges and always strive to do better. And be content when you know you’re doing the best you can.” 

Hegwood, who says she is detail oriented, spent three decades in various Mississippi state jobs and was featured in America’s Outstanding Young Women. She credits her sunny outlook to a career of writing business letters that would sometimes spin negatives into positives. 

“A positive mental attitude is hugely important,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of joy in my life, so many blessings to be thankful for. Focusing on that is better than dwelling on the negative.” 

And now that Joslin has established its 80-Year Lifetime Achievement Award, Hegwood is ready to roll. 

“I would be 104.”

Read the original article HERE.

March 2022 Activity Calendars

March 2022 Activity Calendars Campbell Cove Activities– CLICK HERE Hughes Center Activities– CLICK HERE Marian Hall Activities– CLICK HERE Siena 1 Center Activities– CLICK HERE Siena 2 Center Activities– CLICK HERE Tuscany 1 Building Activities– CLICK HERE Tuscany 2 Building Activities– CLICK HERE Independent Living Activities– CLICK HERE

February 2022 Activity Calendars

Support And Socialization Enhance Life At St. Catherine’s Village Life Plan Community

As they age, many people feel that living in their current home or with family is the best option for them to retain their independence. But doing so has become challenging in today’s world where getting out and about carries with it restrictions, rules and risks. Life Plan Communities, on the other hand, can offer seniors a richer lifestyle by combining socialization, stimulation and support in an all-inclusive setting.

One such Life Care Community is St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, Mississippi. Located on 160 picturesque and wooded acres, St. Catherine’s Village provides the right care at the right time through independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing—all in a protected environment.

As one of Mississippi’s preeminent senior living communities, St. Catherine’s Village has numerous measures in place to minimize health risks while providing high quality care and much needed social interaction for its residents. That’s because studies have shown that staying socially active supports a senior’s overall well-being by reducing stress and anxiety and lowering the likelihood of depression, which often stems from isolation.

Since the start, St. Catherine’s Village’s response to the pandemic has been swift and well-orchestrated to minimize impact within the community. Today, the staff continues to demonstrate its ability to grow and adapt to the changing environment to achieve positive outcomes. They have made exceptional efforts to keep residents engaged and connected to family and friends with countless life-enriching activities and events like music, art and devotion offered in a safe, fun and relaxing manner. Support groups also are available as are chapel services to nurture residents’ spiritual lives.

For physical health, the Life Plan Community provides exercise classes along with wellness programs. An added benefit at St. Catherine’s Village is that residents can experience the outdoors. Lakes can be enjoyed with fishing and passive recreation while views of them from indoor spaces are maximized as much as possible. Walking paths are available and accessible for all, too.

Becoming a Life Plan Community resident allows seniors to direct their own futures and better plan for life’s uncertainties. As such, they can move from independent living to assisted living to nursing or memory care as needed all within the comfort and familiar setting of St. Catherine’s Village. Knowing they will have a smooth transition as their level of care changes with age brings comfort to both residents and their families.

If you or a loved one are 62 years of age or older, St. Catherine’s Village may be the ideal senior living opportunity for today and in the future.

To learn more about senior living options at St. Catherine’s Village Life Plan Community, log onto www.StCatherinesVillage.com or call (601) 856-0123 to schedule a one-on-one tour.

January 2022 Activity Calendars

December 2021 Activity Calendars