Club introduces dementia-friendly golf lessons

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 15, 2024 10:35

Bromley Golf Centre in London is teaching dementia-friendly golf sessions to support local people living with dementia, and their carers.

In fact, to mark Dementia Action Week (May 13-19) – the Alzheimer’s Society’s annual campaign that brings people together to take action on dementia – the golf club’s operator, the charitable trust Mytime Active, is also hosting a dementia-friendly indoor street party with afternoon tea and entertainment.

The pay-as-you-go dementia-friendly golf sessions are led by Bromley Golf Centre coach, Tristan, who is trained as a dementia friend. The hour-long coaching sessions take place on the driving range and are ideal for keen golfers now living with dementia, as well as people who are completely new to golf. The sessions are followed by a social meet-up in the clubhouse.

Mytime Active primetime manager and trained dementia champion, Ann Wilbourn, explains: “We’re creating a dementia-friendly community through a range of activities. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, by 2025 more than one million people in the UK will have a diagnosis of dementia. It’s our responsibility to ensure our community are aware of and have an understanding of the condition and help those diagnosed to get more out of life through being active.

“Golf is a safe, gentle activity and, guided by Tristan, participants get a golf experience without having to worry about losing their way on the course or getting confused.

“Research has shown golf is an activity that creates muscle memory, so even though the person may not remember their way around a golf course, they’ll remember how to play. It’s an open-air activity that’s great for mental wellbeing, and carers can join in for free.

“Just upping everyone’s understanding of the condition can mean the difference between someone being able to keep coming to be active or having to give up. Understanding dementia creates empathy and better communication – lots of people just need a small amount of extra support to carry on with activities. If anyone with dementia or their carers wish to visit us, always get in touch; we’ll recommend the best activity to suit your needs.”

As well as dementia-friendly golf and coffee sessions, Mytime Active offers dementia-friendly 10-pin bowling and quiet dementia-friendly swims at Darrick Wood Pool, Orpington. The trust is also working in partnership with Memory Box Dementia Café in West Wickham to deliver fully-funded exercise sessions at Emmanuel Church in West Wickham on alternate weeks, specifically for people who are living with dementia. It runs dementia-friendly sessions at all its centres every week, from line dancing and paracise to strength and stability, and wobble classes for improving balance.

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 15, 2024 10:35
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  1. Bouwes May 16, 11:41

    Well done, definitely a great idea!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Dr. Kanwar May 15, 18:23

    Several organizations, including the R&A are suggesting to doctors that they prescribe golf to healthy older adults. Great initiative and R&A has funded a lot of research to study the subject as well. One big concern – no-one is assessing how typically-taught golf swings can result in injury, especially in older adults who might already have unknown musculoskeletal deteriorations!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Golf Enthusiast May 15, 16:44

    What a wonderful initiative! Inspiring.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Mayo May 15, 12:37

    Fantastic to hear.
    I’m doing the same in South Wales. Greenmeadow Driving Range and PONTNEWYDD Golf Club facilitating the experience!
    Extremely rewarding to help people enjoy our wonderful game that is golf!!

    Reply to this comment
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