There can be no doubt that the 'public house' has been the cornerstone of UK social culture for over two and a half centuries. Every aspect of life in the UK can and will be influenced by pub culture, be it working life or social life.
One of the realities of being in a care or nursing home is that you don't necessarily get to do all of the day to day activities that you previously did. However, two of Regal's homes - Ashcroft Nursing Home in Margate, and Brenalwood Care Home in Essex, decided to bring a bit of the outside world into their homes and set about creating in-house pubs for residents to enjoy!
The Brenalwood Arms
Staff at Brenalwood wanted to provide an area where residents could relax and socialise in familiar surroundings, so they created their own replica pub which is decked out with a dart board, piano and even a snooker table. There are optics up on the wall, and beer mats and pumps on the bar.
Since the pub has opened for business, it has proved very popular with residents. Friday pub nights have become a regular fixture and a favourite weekly tradition. Residents come and play cards, dominoes, darts and snooker with one another and reminisce about pub times gone by.
Manager Wendy says:
"The pub is the perfect place to watch sport, play cards and have a chat and a drink in a non-clinical environment. Our male residents enjoy a pint, whilst our lady residents often opt for a glass of wine. The pub also works as a great environment to entertain visitors in. We host a monthly dementia group there, where we offer advice to anyone in the local community who is living with, or caring for someone, with dementia. The pub has given the home a new lease of life as it encourages the residents to partake in a new variety of activities in a more authentic environment. Let's face it - there is nothing quite like watching the footie with a pint in your hand."
The Ashcroft Arms
Situated within the largest of the home's lounges, the pub at Ashcroft now looks very authentic. What started out as a relatively simple bar area is now kitted out with bar mats, beer pumps, coasters and drip trays (as well as an array of bottled alcohol). Residents are delighted with the new feature, and their relatives often contribute towards alcohol and glasses.
The pub is used regularly by residents, and staff host pub quizzes and social evenings which are very popular. The lounge has a huge TV screen in too, so you can enjoy a pint whilst watching sport or whatever you fancy!
Of course residents are risk assessed to ensure that they are able to drink alcohol, and depending on their medication, if they are not able to we make sure there is a selection of non-alcoholic beers and wines, as well as soft drinks.
The feedback from residents and their relatives has all been really positive. It's great that something as familiar as a pub setting can be re-created within a nursing home so that residents feel at ease and still have a good quality of life.