• Increase lighting and control glare to aid independence and improve people’s ability to see and eat.
  • Place a large clock and large-print sign in the dining area to identify which meal people are eating. Use warm, strong colour schemes to encourage conversation and interaction. Coral, peach and soft yellows encourage eating.
  • Set up family style dining at small tables to increase social interaction.
  • Think about usefulness of furnishing and fittings from the point of view of a person with dementia.
  • Use bullnose or round-edged treatments on tables as these are more comfortable to rest against.
  • Use square tables to clearly define eating areas.
  • Use strongly contrasting borders around edges of tables to improve visibility and distinguish one table from the next.
  • Use wood or wood laminate table tops. They have a warm and familiar ambience and reduce glare.
  • Colour contrast table cloths or place mats with dishes so plates stand out against a background.
  • Note that tables with four legs are sturdy, but tables with a centre pedestal can be adjusted to accommodate wheelchairs.
  • Note that chairs with arms provide support but must fit under tables so people are able to move in close.
  • Place flowers in the centre of the table to brighten up dining rooms and create a home-like feeling.
  • Use ambient lighting, for example cove lighting combined with decorative lighting, to provide a warm and comfortable feel.
  • Install adjustable lighting that can be turned up at breakfast and down at lunchtime, depending on the quantity of natural light.