The Washington PostThe Washington Post

At Japan's dementia cafes, forgotten orders are all part of the service

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Julia Mio Inuma

19 Sep 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. The Orange Day Sengawa, also known as the Cafe of Mistaken Orders, hires elderly people with dementia to work as servers once a month. The Tokyo cafe provides a safe space for dementia patients to interact with new people and feel productive, which can help slow the progression of the disease.

TOKYO - The 85-year-old server was eager to kick off his shift, welcoming customers into the restaurant with a hearty greeting: "Irasshaimase!" or "Welcome!" But when it came time to take their orders, things got a little complicated.

He walked up to a table but forgot his clipboard of order forms. He gingerly delivered a piece of cake to the wrong table. One customer waited 16 minutes for a cup of water after being seated.

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