A Carnoustie hotel has become the first certified dementia-friendly pub in the UK.
The Kinloch Arms Hotel hopes to set the benchmark for venues across the country in becoming more inclusive towards those who have the disease.
The Carnoustie hotel regularly welcomes residents from the town’s Balhousie Brookfield Care Home.
Measures such as increasing staff awareness of dementia and providing a range of seating have been introduced.
It is part of a scheme developed by Stirling University’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), which has been working to break down social barriers associated with dementia.
Richard Connelly, who has had dementia for seven years, is one of those who enjoys socialising at the venue.
His wife Mary believes there has been a “distinct improvement” in his recollections when visiting the pub.
She said: “I think this is a fantastic scheme to make places more aware of the condition and have patience with people.
“Just a few measures, like having quieter tables available and staff with an understanding of dementia, will make a tremendous difference.
‘Those moments are very precious’
“Richard and I used to go to the Kinloch Arms together, and it’s lovely to be in there with him now and see how the familiar environment brings back memories for him.
“Those moments are very precious to me and our family.
“This illness is very cruel – it robs families like ours of our loved ones.
“Going out for lunch in a known place is a simple pleasure for Richard and I welcome with open arms anything that will make that easier.”
Pub manager Rob Alcock said: “The residents of the Balhousie Brookfield Care Home enjoy coming in for a drink or a meal with their families or carers and it’s lovely to see.
“They are very valued customers. To me, it makes sense to make our pubs and restaurants more welcoming to those with dementia.”
The Stirling University scheme sits in tandem with the new Intergenerational Living Innovation Hub, part-funded by £7.25 million from the UK Government through the Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal, to pioneer technologies for an ageing society.
Lesley Palmer, acting director of DSDC, said: “The Kinloch Arms has demonstrated that it meets Stirling’s six fundamentals to create a dementia-friendly environment and receive its tier one certificate.
“In its design and service, it has given thought into how it supports the needs of people with dementia.
“Under our scheme, the Kinloch Arms is the first certified dementia-friendly pub in the UK and we hope there will be very many more.”