Pubs and restaurants are being urged to become ‘dementia-friendly’ as part of a new initiative from Stirling University.
New guidance has been released to help businesses cater to people living with the condition.
They include having easy-to-read menus, the option of private, quieter tables and clearly visible toilet signs.
Lesley Palmer, who led the research at Stirling University said: “We have approximately 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia.
“Two thirds of those people live within the community. We have a huge population there who would benefit from this type of scheme.”
Mary Connolly’s husband Richard was diagnosed with dementia in 2016.
The pair previously enjoyed going to pubs and restaurants regularly but that changed as Richard’s health deteriorated.
“Some places weren’t very keen on you going in, they would look at you,” said Mary.
“He had mobility problems and dementia and sometimes he could come out with things that he shouldn’t say, which happens with dementia.
“You would get some strange looks and it made it awkward, so stopped going.”
Richard, who is now cared for at Balhousie Brookfield Care Home in Carnoustie, is able to visit the nearby Kinloch Arms Hotel, which has now been certified as ‘dementia-friendly’.
“We adapt to the people, we just want to give them an experience: a dining experience or a drinking experience in a normal atmosphere, said publican Rob Alcock.
“Try and blend them into the community rather than have them stand out from the community.”
The research was partly funded by a £7.25m UK Government investment.
“What we’re trying to do is improve the quality of life of dementia sufferers,” said Malcolm Offord, Scotland Office Minister.
“What the University of Stirling has done is identify the spaces that they occupy can contribute greatly to their quality of life.”
Pubs and restaurants wishing to apply for ‘dementia-friendly’ status can do so online: Dementia-friendly Pub Call — Dementia Services Development Centre (stir.ac.uk)
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