Golf clubs are being urged to become dementia friendly to help the 850,000 people living with the condition in the UK.
The call came from England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink, speaking at the launch of the first dementia-friendly sport and physical activity guide by the Alzheimer’s Society.
England Golf was one of the sports organisations which contributed to the guide and Nick Pink (pictured) commented: “We would encourage any golf club or facility to get involved as a dementia friend and use the support guide to help them, their golfers and the local community.
“Dementia is something that affects every household and golf can help, both by reducing the risk of dementia and supporting people with the condition. There is strong, good practice in many golf clubs in England and we want to shine the light on this and, where possible, encourage it to be shared and replicated.”
England Golf Disability Manager Jamie Blair added: “We are receiving an increasing number of questions from clubs and golfers about helping people diagnosed with dementia to continue to play.
“So, we were very pleased to work with the Alzheimer’s Society and contribute to the development of the guide.
“Clubs across the country are already running successful projects to help people with dementia and, now we have this guide, we look forward to their numbers growing rapidly.”
The guide was produced with National Lottery funding from Sport England and is designed to help the sport and physical activity sector to support – and empower – people who are living with dementia to lead active lives and remain independent for as long as possible.
It also provides tools and guidance to help more people affected by dementia enjoy the benefits of staying active in a caring and understanding environment.
With 225,000 people developing dementia each year – that’s one person every three minutes – being dementia friendly will help organisations retain and build on existing custom, both from people living with the condition and from carers, families and friends.
Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer at Alzheimer’s Society, added: “It’s really encouraging to know that England Golf are on the side of people with dementia.
“Dementia can devastate lives and it is vital that people with dementia are enabled and empowered to live the life they want in their community.
“Visiting a golf club and driving range can be daunting for people with dementia, loved ones and friends – but with support and adjustments from the golfing community, they will remain active.
“We need the golfing sector to unite against dementia by committing to actions outlined in the guide and make employees Dementia Friends, so no one has to face dementia alone.”
• To find out more about the guide and how to get involved, please visit: alzheimers.org.uk/sport