A mock pub complete with beer pumps and a dartboard has been created by Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust to help patients with dementia feel at home and boost their wellbeing.
The pub, which will only serve non-alcoholic drinks, opened its doors at The Harbour mental health hospital in Blackpool during Dementia Awareness Week.
The facility – named Iggy’s Bar – has been designed to look as much like a real pub as possible to create a familiar environment for dementia sufferers.
At the same time, the trust also launched a traditional-style mock cafe – Maureen’s Cafe – with a counter, cake stands and outdoor seating.
Hospital staff hope the pub and cafe – both named after former patients – will help prompt conversation, keep people engaged and stimulate memories.
“The wards have worked closely with patients and carers to create a comforting and familiar environment for patients and their visitor to meet, socialise and talk,” said Sheila Kasaven, senior matron at The Harbour.
“We’re really excited by them and so are our service users. We hope they will play a positive role in helping reduce the stress of being in hospital,” she said.
The pub and cafe will be used for reminiscence therapy, which helps people with dementia make connections between the past and present and encourages communication and social skills.
The pub is sited in an enclosed garden area linked to the male ward, while the cafe is in an enclosed garden linked to the female ward. Both can accommodate about half a dozen people at a time.
Care homes around the country have been adopting similar approaches, with social areas being decked out in the style of pubs, shops, and most recently the interior of a vintage train.