WGBH reports that Red Raven restaurant in Acton, Massachusetts, has instituted a program called Purple Table Reservations for customers with dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism, and PTSD. Tina Martin tells the story:
Sam Sexer and her mother are enjoying a healthy lunch in a beautiful setting at Red Raven. Sexer said she always gives her mom the window seat to look out at the lake. It may seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but it means the world to Sexer. Her mother, Julie, was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, so going out to eat has become more difficult.
“I tried to look for other restaurants and I had kind of given up a bit, so to hear about this place and the reservation was great for us,” Sam Sexer said.
The reservation is called Purple Table and was created by the Red Raven restaurant owner Jenifer Apazidis, who explained how the reservations work.
“Someone can call up, make a Purple Table reservation, and that reservation flag basically tells us that someone is coming in that may be living with Alzheimer’s, living with dementia, have a child with autism, so basically someone in that party might need a little extra care and attention and patience while we are serving them,” Apazidis said.
That means seating families in a quiet area of the restaurant and servers exercising patience to repeat menu items more than once. Apazidis says the staff have been trained to approach the table a little differently to speak patiently and to not clang plates at the table. She says the idea came out of her own experience.
“My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her late 50s and one of her favorite things to do was go out to eat,” Apazidis said. “We found that as her disease progressed, it was really difficult for her to go out to eat and communicate with the servers.”
Apazidis and her family stopped going out as a result, but she didn’t believe that was a good solution for her family or others, so she started Purple Table Reservations.
Read the full story here and watch the video below.