A care home is helping ‘sundowning’ dementia residents who get worse through the day by opening a PUB inside.
The Cock & Bull pub allows OAPs to mingle and have a drink at The Rectory Care Home in Taunton, Somerset.
It specialises in dementia and some residents feel the effects of ‘sundowning’.
The phenomenon sees symptoms of dementia get worse later in the day and into the evening, seeing residents become more confused and restless.
Manager Angela Hine said the pub has already been a big hit.
But Angela says the home’s residents have been “absolutely loving” their new pub – which comes complete with an authentic 2p slot machine.
She said: “I couldn’t have imagined it would be as good as it is. I think all care homes should have something like this – it’s so good for residents with dementia.
“Dementia is not the end of someone’s life, it’s just another stage of life. So we think, why not make it fun for them.
“It’s just been great fun and lovely. It’s such a homely pub. I can’t say enough good things about it.”
Explaining the effects of ‘sundowning’, Angela added: “Some of our residents get a little bit lost and restless after tea-time.
“They get a bit confused and think they should be going home.
“But since the pub has been in use there has been a significant improvement in the cases of ‘sundowning’.
“People now take pleasure in ‘going to the pub’ after tea and having a game of cards or a good old sing-a-long.”
The ‘cosy’ pub has been set up in one of the care home’s two lounges, with a free bar in the corner decorated with twinkly fairy lights and even a ‘last orders’ bell.
Behind the bar are life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Hollywood legends Audrey Hepburn and Sean Connery, and blackboards are adorned with funny messages including ‘Keep Calm because it’s Happy Hour’.
Above the door outside the lounge hangs a pub sign reading ‘The Cock & Bull’, with a cartoon painting of a cockerel and a bull inside a green frame.
And residents can enjoy “every beverage you can imagine”, Angela says – from soft drinks, to a refreshing beer, to some of the care home’s homemade organic wine, made from the grapevine in their garden.
Angela said: “We don’t really look like a care home at all. Everything we do is about letting the residents have fun.
“We have an outdoor cinema during the summer, too. And we play lots of music for the residents.
“The pub has music playing and is decorated with lights.
“We also purchased an old slot machine to add authenticity – but we’re looking at having this repaired so it actually works.”