After a year that completely changed how senior living communities operate, The Clare reopening brings vibrancy back to the building.
With 99% of Independent Living residents vaccinated against COVID-19, along with 85% of employees, The Clare has largely returned to normal. Lectures, performances and activities are again taking place in person. All dining venues are open. Masks now optional for all but employees, caregivers and guests, based on guidance from The Clare’s ownership company Life Care Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the City of Chicago.
Residents still cling to certain changes introduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, like the convenience of fitness classes streamed directly to their apartment TVs. But mostly, they have embraced the most recent phase of reopening with great fervor.
Weekly Happy Hours on Thursday evenings are as lively as ever, with residents mingle over cocktails and small bites. Holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July prompted barbeque celebrations. Performances by the Chen Quartet, presented virtually via Zoom throughout the pandemic, now take place in person.
What’s more, The Clare residents are once again exploring the city. Several groups have visited the Immersive van Gogh Exhibit at the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the Germania Club Building. Throughout the month of July, The Clare bus will transport residents to the Grant Park Music Festival each week, as well as to Rush Hour Concerts held every Tuesday evening at St. James Cathedral. This is in addition to monthly restaurant outings and trips to various other art exhibits, including the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the Cleve Carney Museum of Art at the College of DuPage and the Art of Banksy exhibit coming to Chicago this summer.
Of course, The Clare continues to make safety the top priority. There hasn’t been a positive COVID-19 case associated with The Clare in over four months, but the community remains proactive. As mentioned, employees still must wear masks in the building, as do guests and caregivers. All non-residents must check in upon arrival before gaining entry. COVID-19 testing occurs on a monthly basis, and rapid tests are readily available.
Overall, The Clare reopening has been welcomed with open arms by residents and employees alike. It is the light at the end of the tunnel of a dark year.