Glasses are clinking, pool balls are knocking together and even a last orders bell is ringing out at a care home after an ‘amazing’ transformation.
The Queen Vic has been brought to Sherrell House in Fencepiece Road, Chigwell after staff set out to give residents their own working pub.
With a bar, darts board, pool table and traditional décor, the sitting room et-up aims to recreate the authentic boozer, and has even been named after the Eastenders local.
It is hoped the pub, which will only be open at certain times, can offer something to all of the home’s residents but it is also part of Sherrell House’s ‘dementia friendly strategy’.
Resident Mrs May DeFerry, 99, attended the pub’s opening on Monday (January 18).
She said: “Everyone is enjoying themselves, not drinking too much.
“It is lovely for people to be friendly together.
“It is a good home, I don’t feel old at the moment.”
The grand opening this week with drinks and a fish and chip dinner follows weeks of planning from staff.
“It is going down well,” said activities co-ordinator Fateha Uddin.
“They have all been speaking about having a bar for a while and we thought we would go all in.
“It is so they have a space to socialise and have a good time in a place where they are familiar.
“Some of them can be quite anxious, but this gives them a chance to socialise without leaving the home.
“It gives them the chance to reminisce, it is just amazing.”
Care manager Alison Taylor said maintaining everyday life is key for people living in the home, who are all 65 and older.
“You need to involved everyone in everyday life, it is about bringing normal life back to them.
“Everybody likes going to the pub and they are no different.”
Although similar activities have been used to help people with dementia remember times gone by, Ms Taylor said the pub – and care at the home – is designed to be suitable for everyone.
“To me it is person first, dementia second.
“There are no labels in the house, we get the fulfilment from people enjoying themselves.”