Bot­toms up!

We’ve built a pub in our care home

Chat - - Inside - By Natalie Bon­ner, 51, from Chel­tenham

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..!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.