Staff at a hospital in Enfield have created a pub on an older adults ward to help people diagnosed with dementia to interact socially and bring about memories.
The team on the 23-bed Cornwall Villa ward at Chase Farm Hospital, which is part of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust believe the pub environment will have a positive effect on service users as it will encourage cognitive and sensory stimulation.
Elements of the pub – which serves non-alcoholic beers and wines – have been designed to prompt conversation, reminisce and give the opportunity for social interaction so patients are able to build relationships with each other and friends and family.
Ward manager, Mounir Benbassou, said: “We’re delighted to be opening up this pub on site and believe it will have real benefits for the people we care for. We try to create a homely and familiar environment to help with stimulation.
“Keeping people engaged has been known to bring about memories, help foster emotional connections with others and encourage self-expression – this is exactly the kind of behaviours we want to promote.
“We hope the pub will create another opportunity for family to visit their relatives. This would also give them the opportunity to engage with staff more, which can make the delivery of care much more cohesive. We’ve talked to our patients’ loved ones and they have been really keen on the idea and hope it will trigger fond memories of pub lunches and summer evenings enjoying drinks.”
Activities also run throughout the day, including playing cards, dominoes, music and dance, which people can get involved with. Staff believe the pub will help to engage with those who are the most socially isolated.
It is also hoped that a familiar activity or environment, such as a pub, can stimulate appetite and interest in food and drink, as dementia can affect people’s interest in food too.
The pub is in addition to a sensory room and dementia friendly garden, which also help with cognitive and sensory stimulation.