SAINSBURY’S are trialling a new “relaxed” checkout lane at several supermarkets in a bid to encourage dementia sufferers to shop for themselves.
It is hoped the new checkouts will allow the elderly to do their shopping at a lower place.
Alamy Sainsbury’s has introduced ‘relaxed’ shopping lanes to help vulnerable customers shop at their leisure
The measure has been successfully trialled at a store in Newcastle – and bosses plan to roll it out across the rest of the country.
Staff at select branches will receive special training to help them deal with shoppers afflicted by dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Bosses have expanded the trial to include a branch in Prestwick, South Ayrshire.
The trial is being run by Alzheimer’s Scotland in partnership with Dementia Friendly Prestwick.
Getty Images It is hoped the trial will be expanded to other branches
Paul Edwards, Director of Clinical Services at Dementia UK, said: “We welcome all initiatives which show an understanding of the challenges that people with dementia live with on a day-to-day basis.
“Clashing noises, fast-paced environments and bright lights can be quite overwhelming for people with dementia.
“Sainsbury’s idea for a slower lane is exactly the type of patient, considerate move that helps people with dementia to continue living fulfilling lives.”
Alzheimer’s Scotland spokesman Jim Baird added: “The hope is that it will allow people with dementia just that bit more time to do their shopping without being under the pressure of the normal cut and thrust of aisles.
The move has been praised by campaigners What is dementia?
Dementia is a syndrome, or a group of symptoms that regularly occur together – it is not a specific disease.
The word dementia describes a set of symptoms that can include memory loss as well as difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.
While these changes are often small to begin with, but for someone with dementia become severe enough to affect their day-to-day life.
Someone suffering with dementia may also exhibit changes in their mood or behaviour.
Dementia begins when the brain is damaged by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or a series of strokes.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia – but not all dementia is down to Alzheimer’s.
It is not reversible but some types of dementia, such as those caused by nutritional problems or a certain medications, are.
Clues to dementia can include increasing slips of the memory for recent events, as well as for the names of friends, family or everyday objects.
Worldwide there are 35.6 million people living with dementia – a figure which is expected to double by 2030, and more than triple by 2050.
“It becomes very popular for a variety of people who want a bit more time to do their shopping.
“It goes beyond dementia to the blind, the deaf, people with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinsons, it becomes a magnet for people who want to do their shopping at a much more relaxed pace.
“People with dementia have issues with spacial awareness and sequencing and just need that bit more time to be able to fulfil functions which other people find natural.