A quieter shopping experience
Doing the grocery shopping can be a hassle for any of us. There is the pressure to remember everything on our list, pushing the trolley that always seem to have the wonky wheel and just when you think you know the layout of the supermarket they go and change it!
We at Alzheimers Otago appreciate that for a person with Dementia shopping can provide even more challenges than what aisle the honey is going to be in. The bright lights, loud music and large number of people can be particularly stressful. This is why we were excited to see Countdown has introduced a Quiet Hour into all of their supermarkets across New Zealand.
Quiet Hour began to support children with Autism however will have benefits for many across the community, including people with Dementia. During Quiet Hour the lights are turned down, the music is turned off, and general store activity is kept to a minimum.
Quiet hour runs every Wednesday from 2:30pm-3:30pm
Of course, Countdown might not be your preferred supermarket, if this is the case you can always contact your local supermarket and ask what times of days tend to be quieter and plan your shopping for those times.
While we are on the subject of supermarkets, there are some heart-warming examples of how supermarkets around the world are supporting people with Dementia and older people in general.
A Dutch supermarket has introduced a “Chat Checkout” where people are encouraged to take their time through the checkout and spend time chatting to the Checkout attendant. The attendants are trained to understand the different needs of older people and the “Chat Checkout” allows for the extra time it might take for people to load their groceries and make a payment.
In the UK a large supermarket has also introduced “relaxed aisles” specifically to accommodate people with Dementia and people with additional needs. They are also introducing special discrete lanyards that shoppers who may have additional needs can wear. Staff know that shoppers wearing a lanyard may have hidden disabilities and will offer extra support to these customers.