Bupa’s Craigbank Care Home, in Glasgow, opened ‘The Doncaster’ as a concept to provide a recognisable social environment for residents to relive the past and encourage the sharing of memories and stories.
Although the ‘pub’ is a not a licensed premises, it is fully equipped for social activities with table football and a darts board and comes complete with traditional beer mats and pint glasses to help create an authentic atmosphere.
A range of drinks are also provided – which are mainly donated by residents and family members – and the ‘bar’ has already proved a huge hit with residents, relatives and staff.
The benefits of the pub have been further enhanced with the development of a beer garden, allowing residents to sit outside (weather permitting) and to enjoy spending time with friends and family in similar facilities to those found in most community settings.
Alan Twigg, Home Manager at Craigbank Care Home, said The Doncaster is delivering a creative form of therapy for residents with dementia.
He said: “By providing a mock pub, we have created a comfortable and familiar social setting for our residents which really helps to makes them feel more at ease within their surroundings.
“While it is open to all residents, we have found it has a particular appeal to male residents, allowing them to reconnect with their traditional notion of ‘going for a pint with your pals’.
“The pub has been a complete success with the residents and has become so popular we now use it for events, celebrations and birthdays.
“We want our residents to have the best care possible and that means developing new ideas to improve their quality of life.”
Dementia takes various forms and can leave people living with the condition feeling confused, isolated or distressed. In some cases they will not recognise even close relatives and loved ones.
However, research has repeatedly shown the benefits of helping those with the condition to channel and focus on positive memories from their lives.
Pauline Hunter, Clinical Services Manager at Craigbank care home, supports the progression of cognitive stimulation for people with dementia – and approves the benefits of The Doncaster.
She said: “This concept undoubtedly, in my view, improves the living experience for residents in the unit by providing cognitive stimulation which inevitably improves the mood and general wellbeing of the residents.
“Families can also benefit from spending time in an enjoyable setting which enhances the visit to their relative or friend – helping to create a friendly, relaxing atmosphere for all parties.
“The facility can also improve co-ordination – even if this just involves a resident raising a pint glass. “We are already seeing male residents responding positively to the pub environment, and have even noticed the social situation has meant they are opening up more to each other which is a positive thing to see.