With dozens of aisles, express checkout lanes, and new automated self-checkout, we may take for granted how easily we can navigate our grocery stores. For people who suffer from dementia, shopping can be a frightening experience.
Imagine how tough it might be to remember everything on your shopping list, or how intimidating it is to scramble to pay with a line of short-tempered shoppers behind you. That's why this Tesco, a British grocery chain, is introducing a whole new "relaxed checkout lane."
"Feel free to take as long as you need to go through this checkout today," reads a sign at the front of the line.
According to the Alzheimer's Society people with dementia may have difficulties counting money, dealing with new technology or forms of payment, or feeling rushed by others. They worry that other people will not understand their difficulties and therefore cannot help them.
“It can help take some of the pressure off and hopefully then it will encourage people to still go out and about and participate in things that they’ve always done,” Wendy Menzies, the woman behind the idea, told Today.com Menzies, a dementia advisor for Alzheimer Scotland, came up with the concept during a dementia awareness meeting when one store employee suggested trying to make shopping a more relaxing experience for those with dementia.
"The special lane is for anyone who needs to take a bit more time, whether it’s someone with dementia, autism, social anxiety or simply a woman shopping with small kids," said Menzies.
So far, this exists only in Great Britain, but we hope to see something like this in the U.S. soon!