Service can make or break a dining experience. The restaurant might have everything, delicious food, ambiance, free breadsticks, but if the waiter tarries getting your order, leaves you waiting to get your food, and when he finally serves it — with a bored frown — it’s the wrong order.
You don’t need to worry about poor service at the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders. Their servers are eager, smiley, and helpful, but as so named, they will probably get your orders wrong. But that’s the fun of it, and the restaurant guarantees the food will be scrumptious no matter what you get. This isn’t a new wonky dining trend.
See, the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders only hires people living with dementia to be their waitstaff.
The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders
The pop-up restaurant’s mission is to bring awareness of the degenerative disease. They hope that if people enter knowing the wrong food may come, they will be forgiving, kind, find their meal delicious anyway and leave with a new understanding of dementia.
One patron stated, “There were some mistakes but it was so warm-hearted you just laughed it off.”
The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders was launched as a limited-time pop-up restaurant from June 2 to June 4, 2017. Well, the event went so well, they planned another opening that September to commemorate World Alzheimer’s Day.
Shiro Orguni, the restaurant’s producer, said, “Dementia is so widely misunderstood. People believe you can’t do anything for yourself and the condition will often mean complete isolation from society.
“We want to change society to become more caring and easy-going. So dementia or no dementia, we can live together in harmony.”
On the company’s website, they encourage others to start their own Restaurant of Mistaken Orders to continue to spread the love and awareness. 
Food blogger Mizuho Kudo attended the original launch and her friend ordered a hamburger but got dumplings instead. They had a fun time, and Kudo noted that the younger staff were energetic and full of smiles. 
Healthy Activities for Patients with Dementia
As Orguni mentioned, one harrowing effect of dementia is how helpless and lonely it makes its victims feel. They are already facing a horrifying disease, the last thing they need is to face it alone. It’s important for family members and caretakers to help the patient maintain a good quality of life by introducing activities that promote their self-esteem, maintain their skills, create social contact, and are overall enjoyable.
Some healthy activities are those that re-establish tasks the patient used to do, such as gardening or sweeping. These are ways a patient can be helpful to others. The last thing they want to feel is useless while they cannot function as they used to.
Even though the patient may forget a fun outing, it’s more important that they enjoy the moment. Ensure the trip is simple and unhurried, with time to focus on one manageable step at a time.
It cannot be stressed enough how vital social interaction is for dementia patients, as well as any activity that creates emotional connections, like dancing, listening to music, playing with babies or animals. 
Here are some activities, you can introduce and see how they enjoy it:
- Baking or cooking together
- Arts and crafts
Sensory experiences are particularly enjoyable for dementia patients. These can include:
- Smelling fresh flowers
- Using essential oils and scented candles
- Enjoying a massage
- Petting animals or textured materials
- Visiting a flower show or visiting an herb farm
- Going through a box of keepsakes 
Exercise is another important factor to consider when planning activities for a person with dementia. It has a host of benefits like:
- Improved mood
- Better sleep
- Maintenance of motor skills
- Improved strength and balance
- Reduced rate of mental decline
- Improved memory
- Improved behavior
- Better communication and social skills
Speak to the patient’s doctor to determine what exercises they can safely perform. It’s always better to begin slowly and change up the exercises to keep it exciting. This could include:
- Housework 
Early Signs of Dementia
A lapse in memory doesn’t necessarily mean a loved one is showing signs of dementia. There needs to be at least two kinds of impairments that interfere with everyday life in order to get the diagnosis of dementia. These impairments can include:
- Subtle short-term memory changes
- Difficulty finding the right words and completing regular tasks
- Mood changes
- Trouble following storylines
- A failing sense of direction
- Struggling with adapting to changes
Improving cognitive health can help reduce one’s risk of developing dementia. Any activity that keeps the mind active can help, like word puzzles, memory games, reading, and being physically active. 
Let’s hope the Restaurant of Mistaken Orders will become an international staple. Its program is so helpful and uplifting to those struggling with dementia, it teaches an important lesson on how to be kind and easygoing, and the world could always use a little more kindness.
The Restaurant had pop-ups in 2017 and 2018. Let’s hope further dates are on their menu. Spreading awareness about something like this is so important!
- The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders official website http://www.mistakenorders.com/en/home.html
- Mizuho Kudo. Twitter. https://twitter.com/mimimizuho/status/871222672566267905 June 3, 2017
- Better Healthy Channel. Dementia – activities and exercise https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ConditionsAndTreatments/dementia-activities-and-exercise
- NHS. Activities for dementia https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/activities/ Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD. 10 Early Symptoms of Dementia https://www.healthline.com/health/dementia/early-warning-signs#causes April 10, 2017
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