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

A small team of workers responds best in emergencies, expert says

A small team of workers responds best in ...

Long-term care providers should consider a "flat" crisis management approach that relies on a core group of staff members, experts advised Wednesday at the LeadingAge annual conference.

Nursing homes have better pain and catheter management if leaders have more ...

Nursing homes led by administrators and directors of nursing with higher levels of education and certification have better outcomes on some key quality measures, according to recently published findings.

Court green-lights charges that a healthcare network underused observation stays

A whistleblower can continue to pursue charges that a Nevada healthcare network routinely admitted people as hospital inpatients when they should have been placed in observation status, a federal appeals court recently ruled.