Happy Dining – A Great Table Shape (Community story)

Community Story

By Jane Verity © Dementia Care International

During a trip to New Zealand, I visited Carter Court Rest Home at Carterton and was absolutely fascinated by the tables they use in their dining room. Sally Fenwick, Director of Nursing, had these clover-shaped tables made especially for her rest home. She explained that the tables can also be made in a larger version to seat six people.

The advantages of the clover-shaped table are many:

  1. People can sit in really close to the table – in wheelchairs too.
  2. It is easier to eat a meal without spilling food or drink on clothes.
  3. The tables are safer with no sharp corners. (Sally actually said that they have cut down on accidents.)
  4. It is easier for each person sitting around the table to define their own personal space thus preventing difficult behaviour.
  5. The social aspect of dining is enhanced because people sitting around a clover-shaped table can be closer to each other. Having one’s own intimate little group creates more spontaneous conversation.
  6. These tables encourage a friendlier atmosphere that you can’t help but notice the minute you walk into the room compared to dining rooms featuring the regular or rectangular variety.

If anyone knows of a company producing a table like this within Australia, or importing it, we would be very appreciative if you would let us know.

Plus – A Great Tablecloth Tip!

Since it is hard to find tablecloths for clover-shaped tables, here is a great tip from Karen Demellweek, General Manager at Good Shepard Lodge, Queensland. Karen uses felt-backed vinyl, which she cuts to the exact shape of the clover and then sticks to the table with double-sided tape.

Just a little reminder from Jane to avoid patterns when choosing your vinyl or cloth. Instead, choose a plain colour that will provide a good contrast to the colour of the plates you use in your home or facility.