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Authors

  1. Young-Mason, Jeanine EdD, RN, CS, FAAN

Article Content

The idea to open a restaurant staffed with dementia patients came to Shiro Oguni in 2013, when he was working as a television presenter for Japan's national broadcaster, NHK'. "I was interviewing Yukio Wada of Daiki Angel Help who specializes in caring for dementia patients. Mr Wada is a pioneer who has spent 30 years running a group home where the patients are encouraged to keep living their lives by doing their own shopping and cooking and cleaning."1

 

The goal, Wada told him, was to allow people in group homes to feel that they were still living their lives, rather than being confined. Three years later, in June 2015, Oguni took Wada's radical approach one step further by opening the restaurant's first pop-up location in Tokyo hoping to raise awareness by inviting 80 special guests to dine there over the course of a few days.1

 

Yukio Wada believes that the restaurant project is not only about people with dementia, but also an opportunity to think about how kindness can take root in society. "It's not about creating a town that is friendly to people with dementia alone. Rather, it's about how we can create a society where everyone is kind to each other."2

 

The experiment has been wildly successful as reported by diners who claim a 99% satisfaction with their experience, even though they were served a mistaken order about 37% times. Oguni discusses his concept in a video, which can be viewed on the Open Culture website, http://www.openculture.com/2019/08/the-restaurant-of-mistaken-orders.3

 

"People believe you can't do anything for yourself, and the condition will often mean isolation from society. We want to change society to become more easygoing, so, dementia or no dementia, we can live in harmony."3

 

I urge the reader to view the "Restaurant of Mistaken Orders" 2018 report movie on the Open Culture website above. Here you witness the team of servers in action. Joy and hope emanate from this film. One applauds Oguni's strength of purpose for in his humanness he offers a brilliant, creative alternative to counter the stark reality of unrelenting loneliness and the devastating loss of hope. I say this is true not only for those with dementia but also for their loved ones and carers. Here is one solution that honors the dignity and humanity of all. Think of the creative possibilities possible with Oguni's concept. Let your imagination go wild.

 

References

 

1. Hunt J. Inside the restaurant of mistaken orders: at a comfort food place in Tokyo's Roppongi where all the servers have dementia. Pacific Standard. December 19, 2018. http://www.psmag.com/social-justice/the-restaurant-of-mistaken-orders. Accessed September 11, 2019. [Context Link]

 

2. Masangkay M. Tokyo's restaurant serves up joy and laughter. Kyodo News. September 23, 2017. http://english.kyodonews.net/news/2017/09/b71dcdeddb59-feature-tokyos-dementia-r. Accessed September 11, 2019. [Context Link]

 

3. Marshall C. The restaurant of mistaken orders: a Tokyo restaurant where all the servers are people living with dementia. Open Culture. August 21, 2019. http://www.openculture.com/2019/08/the-restaurnt-of-mistaken-orders. Accessed September 11, 2019. [Context Link]