A Day in the Life: Strong connections brewing

Share this article:
Members of the Beer Group
Members of the Beer Group

Men gather around a table and clink mugs of frothy beer. It's a common sight in restaurants, bars, kitchens — and the dining room of The Clare, a Chicago continuing care retirement community.

Between five and 10 men participate in the beer tasting and dinner each Monday, says Director of Dining Services Brian Hughes. The designated “host” brings two or three brews, with Hughes sometimes recommending options to go with the night's food. 

One benefit of the activity is that it involves men, who risk being underserved by senior living social programming. But Hughes says there also are events that bring together the Beer Group and a women's wine group — the “Winos.”

Independent living residents currently participate, but Hughes is open to doing similar events for assisted living or even nursing residents. Already, the groups create bonds that hold strong as participants move into different parts of the CCRC, he says.

Hughes himself is a good spirits guide, as he follows Chicago's “booming” craft brewing scene. He's shared his expertise in Beer 101 events and says that some residents now are no longer “stuck on one specific brand.” Even self-proclaimed beer experts have gladly admitted that they've learned a thing or two, he notes. 

So, the Beer Group has an education component as well as being a dining and socialization activity. As Hughes says, it engages “mind, body and soul.”



Share this article:

More in News

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Breier named new CEO at Kindred

Kindred Healthcare announced Thursday that it has chosen a new top executive to lead its push toward creating a mammoth national brand. Benjamin A. Breier, the company's current president and ...

Proposed managed care rule could accelerate shift away from nursing home care, official suggests

Proposed managed care rule could accelerate shift away ...

Proposed regulations slated for early 2015 likely will affect how Medicaid managed care balances home- versus facility-based long-term care, news sources reported Wednesday.

Assisted living residents say 'homelike' setting not so important

Contrary to conventional wisdom, assisted living residents might not place a high value on how "homelike" their surroundings are, suggest findings out of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN.