Supermarket Creates Special Check-Out Lane for People with DementiaElizabeth Nelson
For people with dementia, life sometimes happens a little bit slower than it does for everyone else. Depending on the stage of the disease and whether the person is having a “good day” or a “bad day” with their dementia, they may struggle with a variety of activities, and grocery shopping is likely one of them.
Some activities that seniors with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may struggle with include remembering what they’re looking for, navigating the layout of the store, counting out cash, using modern payment methods, and even remembering where they are at times.
In a place as busy and hurried as some supermarkets can be, the difficulty of living with Alzheimer’s disease is only made worse by the feeling of being rushed. Impatient people in the line behind someone with dementia can exacerbate the issue and distract the person with dementia as they’re trying to count change or remember to grab all of their bags of groceries.
Sainsbury, a supermarket chain in the UK, has started using a “relaxed lane” at checkout to give people with dementia extra time to pay for their groceries without testing the patience of other customers. Cashiers stationed at these lanes receive extra training to help them properly assist people with dementia.
Sainsbury has trialed this system, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Scotland and Dementia Friendly Prestwick, at Gosforth, Newcastle Upon Tyne. They hope to continue adding this idea to their supermarkets across the UK with the goal of allowing seniors to stay in their homes and be part of their communities for longer.
You may recall hearing about Sainsbury in dementia-related news recently, as it’s the same supermarket that accommodated an employee with dementia a few months ago. They continually retrained her when she forgot how to do her job, invented an easier job for her, and trained other employees to be able to help her. And apparently Sainsbury is not done helping those suffering from memory loss.
Thank you, Sainsbury, for your careful attention to some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and for your creativity in coming up with solutions to this growing issue.