When Golf In Society started piloting its “Dementia Golf Days” back in September 2015, it never imagined that they would prove to be such an instant success.
The University of Lincoln has been evaluating the pilot in order to determine the impact the initiative has had on the lives of families living with dementia.
Whilst the quantitative outcomes have been spectacular, the qualitative outcomes have been absolutely priceless.
Here’s a flavour of the priceless and inspirational feedback from the evaluation.
Firstly, here’s what the golfers living with dementia have told us about their days out……………….
“I love the company and the banter – I’ve had an awful game of golf today but it didn’t matter.”
“It’s being outside in the fresh air and being able to participate.”
“Keeping up with the golf is tremendous – still being able to do it.”
“I find speaking hard from the illness – I can’t get the words – so this is important as I practice my talking – and here it doesn’t matter we are all similar.”
“Camaraderie – the golf gets me to do things for other people – it’s a great thing – we help each other – it keeps me going.”
“There’s a real sense of community here and its physical the golf ….. good for you.”
“It helps my wife – it gives her time of her own – a good break – I’ve won a couple of trophies – it all has the purpose of making you feel better.”
Their carers have been equally positive ……………………
“He wasn’t a golfer but now he rarely misses a shot and absolutely enjoys it…………. It’s the only time he comes out.”
“He was so excited after the first session that he’d be able to play again, its nice to see him doing what he loved to do.”
“I can’t get him to a day centre but I can’t stop him coming here”
“We (the other wives) meet up for a chat and a coffee, we’ve made new friends and we meet up outside too”
“It allows me to be at work – I am not worried about him being here – I’m very reluctant to let him go to a lot of places but I am confident when he is here – I don’t worry.”
“It’s good here, he’s got early onset and there’s nothing for younger ones but he’s helped to fit in and he helps the others.”
“It gives him his own social life ……….. he says it’s my thing’ where he feels he’s not reliant on other people so gives him a sense of independence rather than illness”
“The best way of describing it is that it makes him buoyant, he lights up when he comes here, it brings him alive again.”
“He also has Parkinson’s and when he putts he’s not shaking so much”
“He always remembers the golf whereas he doesn’t remember other things”
“This gives him an enormous sense of pride. He will polish his golf clubs and look after his golf shoes, it gives him a sense of purpose.”
“They help each other on the golf course so you have this chap with dementia helping another chap with dementia…..they know how each other feels.”
“He’s happier and he’s more relaxed so I am more relaxed, it’s priceless from my point of view to see him happy and doing something as he was always so active.”
“To see the look on his face when he did play golf again, was an experience that will stay with me for a long time.”
What price do you put on this feedback? Golf In Society believe it Priceless!!