Last November Lincoln Golf Centre became the UK’s first recognised ‘dementia friendly golf club’ when, following work with the Alzheimer’s Society, it began using golf to tailor a physical, mental and social stimulation service to each dementia client.
Feedback from clients has been overwhelmingly positive, and Lincoln MP, Karl McCartney, praised the centre's innovative approach to improving the lives of those living with dementia in The House of Commons during a parliamentary discussion on the social and economic value of the sport.
The project in Lincoln aims to help people with dementia enjoy, or continue to enjoy, a game of golf in a relaxed and supportive environment. The approach has been supported from the start by Anthony Blackburn, founder of Golf In Society - an organisation that aims to make a positive contribution to the health and wellbeing of local communities through golf.
Dementia-friendly golf service
“To witness the positive impact we’ve had on people’s lives has been the most rewarding part of the venture", commented Mr Blackburn.
“Dementia touches each person differently, that’s why you can’t just take a generic approach when designing a dementia service, it’s crucial to be able to personalise the delivery and content.
“The relaxed and enjoyable sessions, delivered in beautiful natural surroundings by compassionate people, is proving to be a winning formula.”
Mental,Physical and Social stimulation for people living with dementia
He quoted the wife of one client, Nicholas, who played a round at the golf centre: “He was thrilled and I’m printing off some of the pictures to put in a memory book of recent events for him. Nicholas has remembered the event this morning and he’ll be keeping hold of the golf ball you gave him to help remind him of the day.”
Brian Logan, the owner of Lincoln Golf Centre, said: “We are so proud to be part of this initiative. If we can help local people less fortunate than ourselves to discover a better life through golf, then it’s got to be good for everyone in the Lincoln area.”
Danny Walsh, Senior lecturer in Mental health nursing, at Lincoln University said: “This is a marvellous initiative which is likely to make a significant and very positive impact upon the lives of those people living with dementia and their carers who take part in it.”