Dementia-friendly supermarkets

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Bright lights, loud noises and a fast-paced environment, such as a supermarket, can be very daunting for a person with dementia, which is why we were thrilled to hear about Sainsbury’s recently trialling a ‘relaxed checkout lane’ for shoppers with dementia.

The lane is open from 10am until 6pm and has initially been trialled at stores in Newcastle, but bosses are planning to roll it out across the rest of the country. Branch staff will receive special training to help them deal with shoppers with dementia.

The lanes will allow shoppers that extra bit of time to do their shopping, pack their bags and make their payments without being put under too much pressure. However, it can be used by anyone who needs to take their time, as well as people who are blind, deaf or have mobility issues.

A Sainsbury’s spokesman said: “Our aim is to be the most inclusive retailer and we want all of our customers to have a great shopping experience in our stores.

“There are many aspects of a visit to the supermarket which can be stressful for those with dementia, so by trialling a slow shopping option we hope we can make their lives easier.”

Some supermarkets even run a ‘slow shopping’ concept designed to help vulnerable shoppers. They are greeted at the doors and staff are on-hand to assist them throughout their shop. There’s even seating at the end of aisles for them to use to have a rest.

We support anything that allows people with dementia to lead a normal life and be as independent as possible, so we think dementia-friendly supermarkets, slow checkout lanes, dedicated opening hours and staff training are all incredibly important for raising awareness for helping people to better understand the condition.