Now we all know supermarket shopping is never easy, enjoyable or cheap, but sadly for everyone it’s something we have to do regularly. However, going shopping as an elderly person or someone who has dementia can be a terribly stressful and an unpleasant experience.
When I’m not dedicated to Nudgu, I also work on the checkouts at Waitrose, so I have first hand experience on how 99% of customers seem to always be in a rush. Although this may benefit you as you can get the weekly shop done a little quicker, it can be really stressful for an older customer and leave them feel panicked and nervous.
I have experienced numerous times an elderly customer struggling to remember where they put their purse, getting confused with change and just taking a little longer to get sorted. As you can imagine it doesn’t help when customers behind start tutting or sighing whilst checking their watch, causing them to become even more cufufled!
So I was incredibly chuffed when I heard that a Tesco branch in Chester opened a ‘Dementia Friendly Checkout’. “This checkout differs as it is classed as ‘Dementia Friendly’ because it is clutter-free and features clear images representing coins and their value. Staff at the Frodsham Street Tesco also received training on what it means to be ‘Dementia-friendly’ to ensure the shopping experience is made easier for those living with dementia.” http://www.dementiaaction.org.uk/news/14514_the_uks_first_dementia_friendly_checkout
This checkout was opened to mark the start of Dementia Awareness Week in May 2015 and had such a positive reaction! I was pleased to hear that the checkout isn’t just for those with dementia but people who need a little more time whilst going though the checkout, allowing others to be a lot more understanding.
Personally I think every store should have a Dementia Friendly checkout. Even though other customers may still use it, elderly people with or without dementia will feel far less rushed and stressed knowing they are in a place that allows them to take their time. Helping to make the whole experience of shopping far more positive as a whole.
So remember next time you are in a rush to wiz through the checkout, be more patient for those who aren’t as able and imagine if you were in their situation, as one day you will be..