Going to the supermarket on errand runs is probably something that we all take for granted. The most frustrated we’d ever get is if we don’t find the stuff we’re looking for or when there are “impossible” people ahead of us in the checkout lane.
But it’s not that easy an affair when it comes to people who suffer from dementia. People with thinking and memory difficulties can find a simple task as tendering the exact change a mighty challenge. Add to that the fact that we have, as a society, grown to be impatient and expect everyone ahead of us to move at a rapid pace and you can quite begin to understand how harrowing an experience it could turn out to be for them.
It is with these kinds of people in thought that a supermarket in Scotland has opened a slow lane. The Tesco store in Forres decided they would test a “relaxed checkout lane” so even their slowest of customers could feel comfortable while paying for their groceries. People who queue in this lane are allowed to take as much time as they need and even have a chat with the cashier.
Wendy Menzies is an adviser at Alzheimer Scotland. She says people with dementia sometimes find it difficult to even recognize the money they have or might need to speak slowly to the cashier. It was after she held a dementia awareness session at the store that the idea for the special lane came about. One of the employees suggested the creation of a more relaxed experience.
“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,” Menzies said.
The relaxed lane was opened last week and for now it is available on Tuesday and Wednesday morning and attended by staff who have been trained by Alzheimer Scotland. Shoppers just need look for the sign that lets them know they can “take as long as you need” and that they need to “be aware that you may experience a wait.”
Menzies reminds customers that they don’t have to be suffering from dementia to use the lane. In fact, anyone who wants to take it slow – mothers with kids, people with autism or social anxiety – are welcome to make use of it.
Featured image courtesy of Fox News.