Residents of The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities like tea. Whether it's Ladies Spring Tea with Red Hats at The Arbors at Chicopee or a Tea Party with the Reflections community at The Arbors at Westfield or the monthly Welcome Home Tea Party at The Arbors at Stoneham, people gather to converse, sip the hot beverage, and enjoy delicious snacks from The Arbors’ chefs.
Why Hold a Tea Party?
The goal, says The Arbors Regional Food Service Director Dennis Clark, is to bring people together. “At The Arbors, we try to bring the residents out of their rooms as much as possible for interaction with each other and interaction with the staff.”
A Tea Party Encourages Socialization
The benefits of socialization are well-known to the staff of The Arbors Assisted Living communities. People with social support are more likely to live longer and enjoy better physical and mental health.
The food service department and the activities department collaborate to make each tea party different. A tea party at The Arbors at Taunton isn’t going to be the same as a tea party at The Arbors at Winthrop. “Each food service director has different products they bring in to suit the likings of each community,” remarks Dennis.
What all tea parties have in common is the delicious beverage.
“We use different small-batch teas,” Dennis notes. Small-batch herbal teas are hand-selected and processed in small quantities.
Tea Is Good for You
There are 5 general types of teas. These are listed according to caffeine level, from highest to lowest.
- Black tea, which includes chai, may reduce the risk of stroke. There’s also evidence it may protect lungs from damage caused by cigarette smoke.
- Oolong tea lowered the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol in animals.
- Green tea may slow the growth of bladder, breast, lung, stomach, pancreatic and colorectal cancers. It prevents clogging of the arteries, improves cholesterol levels, acts as an antioxidant for the brain, and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Green tea also burns fat and reduces the risk of stroke.
- White tea, according to one study, has the most potential of all types of teas to fight cancer.
- Herbal teas are made from a variety of natural substances. Their properties depend on ingredients.
- Peppermint tea lessens symptoms of abdominal gas and bloating and relieves muscle spasms.
- Ginger tea alleviates nausea, vomiting or upset stomach and may reduce muscle pain.
- Chamomile is a calming, sedative tea that helps insomnia and digestion. Chamomile may cause symptoms of hay fever in some people.
- Lemon balm tea reduces stress and anxiety, promotes sleep, improves appetite, and eases pain and discomfort from indigestion.
- Dandelion tea helps with liver function.
- Horehound tea is good for colds and sore throats.
- Catnip may alleviate the symptoms of feverish colds, nervous headaches, insomnia, and various other aches and ills.
- Rosemary tea helps with indigestion, colds and headaches. It contains antioxidants and may increase circulation to the brain.
The Snacks Are Delicious and Healthful
What’s a tea party without a delicious bite to eat? At The Arbors, the artists in the kitchen know residents like variety.
“We serve a variety of scones, different muffins, tea sandwiches, and crumpets,” says Dennis.
Below is one of the residents’ favorite tea party recipes:
The Arbors Blueberry Buttermilk Scones
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
4 ounces of cold unsalted butter, diced into small pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ cup low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Mix together both flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until mixture is roughly blended and then add blueberries
- Whisk together buttermilk, 1 egg, and vanilla. Lightly mix into flour mixture.
- Gently knead the dough. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to an inch thickness then slice into wedges and place on baking sheet
- Brush with egg wash and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown.
Regional Food Service Director
Before coming to The Arbors in 2011, I worked for the Waterford Hotel Group for 16 years at the Sheraton Bradley Hotel and the Hartford Hilton. I have a degree in hospitality management from HCC and continued on to Westfield State for my business management degree.
For me, the main highlight of working for The Arbors is making someone’s day better through the art of fine food. It’s also very refreshing to work for a close-knit family business after so many years in a larger corporate environment.
At The Arbors Assisted Living Residential Communities, we believe in creating an engaging, stimulating environment that benefits the minds, bodies and spirits of residents. We promote a lifestyle of health and wellness, with programs that benefit seniors’ brain health, physical fitness and more.
If you have questions about how The Arbors can help older adults live independent, active, fulfilling lives, please contact us.