The staff at The Claiborne at Hattiesburg – a retirement community on Whispering Pines Drive that offers residency for independent living, assisted living and memory care – has a goal of engaging the mind, body and spirit of its residents.
As such, officials at the community hold frequent events year-round, with the most recent being a County Fair held Sept. 18 at The Claiborne – Independent Living. The event featured a ring toss, dunking booth, temporary tattoo booth, funnel cake, dart throwing and several kinds of finger foods.
“Our residents have been so resilient in kind of enduring the lockdown that we’ve had, and we were able to produce a really fun event for them to enjoy today,” said Cathy Eaker, community relations director for The Claiborne – Independent Living. “Our activities director, Victoria Farmer Cagle, she always has amazing ideas, and she just came up with the idea, and we got all hands on deck. If you can imagine it at a fair, we tried to replicate that here for our residents today. We pulled a lot of people from the community to help support us, and we were able to pull it off.”
Eaker said events like the County Fair are important because even with social distancing, The Claiborne’s residents can still stay engaged socially.
“It’s very important for our seniors to be able to do that, so that’s another reason that we were really happy to do this today,” she said. “I think they’re loving it; I think that you can hear it and underneath the mask, you can see the eyes smiling.
“You can see them enjoying the foods and enjoying the activities. So it’s fun, and it blesses us too.”
Edyth Bear, who was been a resident since The Claiborne opened five years ago, said she appreciates all the events offered at the community.
“They have something for everyone to do, if you’re interested in it, and there are different interests here,” she said. “If you want to just stay in your room and read your book and come to meals, that’s fine too, but there are things for everybody.
“I think this was something different for them to have, and they’ve never had one in the five years I’ve been here. And so I wanted to see what they were doing and what it was all about, and it is just like a county fair – it has all sorts of games, all sorts of food, a dunking booth, and our executive director is getting dunked out there pretty regularly. It’s just a lot of fun for everybody.”