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Residents celebrate law allowing alcohol at retirement homes

July 20, 2015

Residents of a Bloomington retirement home are enjoying their successful push for a change to state law to allow the serving of alcohol at Indiana's nursing homes and retirement communities.

Meadowood Retirement Community residents and guests packed a reception before dinner Friday where they enjoyed snacks, music and beer and wine provided by the facility — something state excise police ordered stopped last year.

Some residents campaigned during this year's legislative session for an amendment to state law so that retirement centers could serve alcohol without having to obtain a state liquor permit as required by bars and restaurants.

The new law is important to the retirement community's residents for much more than its allowance of serving alcohol, though, Meadowood resident Ron Kovener told The Herald-Times.

"It recognizes this is our home," he said.

Pre-dinner drinks and Friday socials with alcohol have long been a staple at the Bloomington retirement home.

Jean Vietor, another Meadowood resident, said they are also again allowed to have wine at formal dinners on Tuesday nights.

"That was just nice, and that left," she said. "We've got it back now."

The law change exempts senior residence facilities from needing a state permit to provide alcohol on the premises for residents, guests and family members who are at least 21 years old.

The revision was supported by the Indiana Health Care Association, a trade association representing senior living facilities that said such homes shouldn't be treated the same as restaurants.

Democratic Rep. Matt Pierce of Bloomington was among the sponsors of the law change and attended Friday's reception. He said the change will likely go down as one of his favorite legislative projects and was an example of how "you can restore some common sense to government."
 

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