We’ve built a pub in our care home
One of the loveliest things about working in a care home is chatting with the elderly residents. ‘What do you miss most about your younger days?’ I asked a group of them one day, over a cuppa.
‘Being able to go for a tipple with friends,’ said Nina, 89, her eyes twinkling.
Another resident John, 86, agreed, reminiscing about the days when his wife had been a landlady.
‘They were special,’ he smiled.
We were due to renovate the dining room at The Grange Care and Nursing Home in Tewkesbury, where I work as Business Development Officer and Manager.
Thinking about the residents’ happy memories had given me an idea.
‘Why not turn the dining room into a pub?’ I suggested to my team.
As well as reminding folk of the good old days, it would help them socialise.
Everyone loved the idea – staff and residents alike!
So we got cracking, installing a wooden bar in the corner of the room. Then we stocked up on whisky, wine, sherry, lager and ale. And lots of bar snacks!
We even had a beer pump put in.
And we didn’t leave things there.…
In the corridor leading to the dining room, we made a promenade, complete with a red phone box made out of wood, some hanging baskets, a wooden bench and a bus stop made using a scaffolding pole.
Now the residents would feel like they were really going on a night out!
With cobble-stone effect wallpaper on the outside of the dining room, it looked like a proper country pub!
Now we just needed a name…
So we put a plea out on social media, getting relatives and the local community involved.
Then the residents chose their favourite. ‘The Caring Arms’ was the unanimous winner!
The opening night went down a storm.
Staff members served behind the bar, and there were cards, a dartboard and dominoes to keep people entertained.
And booze of course! We don’t charge, though, as we’re not licensed.
Not that the residents were complaining! Everyone agreed that the pub was perfect.
Just because people are older and less mobile that they were doesn’t mean they don’t want to have fun.
Our lovely boozer was soon packed every night. The residents are all consenting adults, so can have a drink or two if they fancy, but obviously we’re aware of different individuals’ needs, and make sure no-one has one too many!
The staff take it in turns to serve behind the bar.
I love it – I do a great Bet Lynch impression!
The Caring Arms really has brought new life to the home and our residents.
Recently, I even heard one lady and gentleman setting up a date.
‘But no hanky-panky!’ she was warning him.
Our little boozer has been really beneficial for our residents in ways I never imagined.
One evening, as I worked the night shift, a gentleman was feeling lonely.
So I walked him down the promenade and poured him a whisky.
He listened to the radio and chatted to the staff.
Shortly after midnight, I walked him back to his room, and off he went to bed, happy because he felt as if he’d been out.
The Caring Arms has created a buzz around the home, given a new meaning to everyday life. It’s the little things, after all... And there’s still a lot of life in these old folks yet!
Our boozer’s been beneficial in all sorts of ways
Barmaid/senior Carer Rosie greets John and Nina
Night inn! And Gladys came, too..!