By Leigh Ann Hubbard

Katherine Brower was an experienced chef who’d spent her career in commercial restaurants. Then her mom moved into a nursing facility.

The food was terrible. 

Katherine would feed her three meals a day. Her mother encouraged her to feed more residents — by way of transitioning her career to senior living dining. “You can do this,” she would tell her every day.

A few years later, Katherine did.

Recently, at the Senior Dining Association’s Synergy conference, Katherine Brower was awarded Director of Dining Services of the Year. “I wish I would have done it years ago,” she says about moving into senior living. “I think this was my calling.”

This is her story.


As we deal with the staffing crisis, there is more and more talk of reaching out not only to young people, who are commonly just starting their careers, but to people of all ages. Senior living dining seems to be taking the next step — not just talking, but acting. They’re recruiting experienced pros from the commercial restaurant industry, and reporting promising results.

What could happen if every department did this? Would more people find their calling in senior living?

Senior Living Foresight is an industry partner to the Senior Dining Association’s 2023 Synergy conference.