dementia pubA dementia care home in Bristol has installed its own fully-functioning nostalgic pub to provide a stimulating community hub for residents and their families.

Staff at Humphry Repton House opened the doors to the Humphry Repton Arms last week. Its aim is to blur the lines between nursing home and normal life, according to Mike Jessup, activities coordinator at the home.

Jessup and his colleague Nicola Taylor came up with the bar idea after seeing how much residents enjoyed the ‘pub afternoons’ they regularly held at the home.

The bar was built from scratch, while much of the nostalgic paraphernalia was donated by a former pub landlord who now lives at the home, which accommodates 45 residents with moderate to advanced dementia. Staff papered the walls and created the wood panelling to make it into an authentic pub. Visitors can play cards, darts, dominoes and other games and choose tunes on the juke box. The bar is not licensed but does offer free drinks and snacks.

“We’ve opened three times so far, and each time it has been relatives, staff and residents socialising together, there were no lines,” said Taylor. “[One resident] Arthur spent all afternoon here with his daughters, and they said he was like a new man!”

“We wanted it to be a real pub and for you to feel like you could walk up to the bar and get a pint, just like you would in your local.”