In January 2020, less than two months before Coronavirus turned our living habits upside down, Statista found that 52% of Britons visited pubs at least once a fortnight in the UK.
As of today, officially there have been no pub customers in the UK since the 5th November 2020. However, tucked away on Styles Hill in the picturesque town of Frome, is one hidden gem that has been serving throughout.
Frome Nursing Home is home to maybe the most exclusive bar in the country, open only to the Wells House community at the home.
While in this pub there is a distinct absence of stale beer smell emanating from the carpets and there isn’t the ringing sound from a fruit machine, it still retains the most important component of a pub – the socialising.
For it is the ‘being together’, the raucous laughter and the joyful debate among friends that separates having a solitary drink in your living room to being at your local surrounded by friends.
As a staple of British culture, going to the pub, whether for a catch up with some friends or out for a meal with a loved one, is an experience many of us have shared in.
Being such a commonly shared experience, it is the perfect opportunity for a reconnection to the past and the positive emotions associated with times spent socialising and dining for many who live at Frome Nursing Home.
This feeling of belonging can be particularly valuable for people who are on their journey with dementia. The further a person travels on their journey, the more support they need to connect with a version of reality that can become distant from what we know.
This makes it important to be able to provide opportunities to connect to happy experiences and emotional memories with their surroundings and the community in a person’s own home.
Every individual element of the pub experience is an opening for reconnection to past moments of happiness; the sound of the jukebox in the background, having your hands clasped around a cold pint of a favourite beverage or, standing at the bar laughing with friends. Each one of these individual actions are opportunities for connection to moments of emotional happiness from the past.
The ‘being together’ of the pub experience at Frome Nursing Home, supports feelings of inclusion and attachment within the communities at the home. This culture of belonging between everyone in the home helps to support the emotional wellbeing of those who live there.
While the rest of Britain eagerly waits for the return of pubs to high streets on the 12th April, the watering hole at Frome Nursing Home continues to be a safe place for laughter, refreshing beverages and being together.