Inspired by The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes, Alzheimer’s Society is working with leading restaurants to provide volunteering opportunities for people living with dementia.
What is Dining4Dementia?
As part of this year's Dementia Action Week, Alzheimer’s Society launched Dining4Dementia to provide volunteering opportunities for people living with dementia.
During the first weekend of Dementia Action Week (Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 May), leading restaurants across England and Wales gave people living with dementia the opportunity to volunteer in their restaurants.
The aim was to help Alzheimer’s Society raise awareness that with the right support, and small adjustments, many people living with dementia can still contribute and be included in the workplace - and lead the lives they choose.
Dining4Dementia was inspired by CPL Productions and Motion Content Group’s Channel 4 TV series ‘The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes’.
The four-part series follows a restaurant staffed by people living with dementia, overseen by Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton.
Sean, who is living with dementia and a volunteer from ‘The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes’, says of the experience:
'Working in the restaurant was excellent. It has changed my whole perception. I thought that, with dementia, working was a closed door. Everyone who did it had a positive outcome. It’s changed our mood, our cognition, the way we think.
I think it’s good for those who still feel like they’ve got something to give, or want to work and take pride in something. They don’t have to feel like getting dementia is the end.'
How to get involved with Dining4Dementia
We were really pleased with the positive response to the campaign and interest from people living with dementia.
If you would like to be involved in next year’s campaign, please email us at [email protected] and we will be in touch!
We are supporting the restaurants to become more dementia-friendly, and we have developed tailored training for this campaign on how to best support people with dementia taking part and the adjustments that can be made.
Alzheimer’s Society is not responsible for the operation and management of the restaurants including the activities which take place within the restaurants. The restaurant owners are responsible for the operation and management of their restaurants. This includes the training given, the activities to be carried out, the facilities within the restaurant and how they deal with their customers.
Josh Eggleton, ‘The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes’ Chef and restaurant owner said of the process:
'When it came to training I didn’t treat people with dementia any differently. We would start at the beginning and I took them through each stage. I tried to get a feel for each person and understand what makes them tick and adapt as needed. We played to their strengths
'We used dementia friendly signage throughout the restaurant to help orientate people. In the kitchen, we had checklists on the wall – a normal thing for any restaurant which helps everyone.
'We also developed a checklist for service which helped the front of house team. They would tick everything off as they did it and could check back to see if they’d given them water, taken their orders and cleared the table if they couldn’t remember. All these adjustments were straightforward and inexpensive.'
Register your interest in Dining4Dementia
If you would like to be involved in next year’s Dining4Dementia, please email us and we will be in touch.
We want everyone affected by dementia to know that whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society for support, help and advice.
Over half of people living with dementia feel isolated and lonely but there are simple actions we can all take to help people with dementia stay connected to their family, friends and wider community. We all have a role to play in making the UK a dementia-friendly and inclusive place to live and work.