Supermarkets urged to bring in slow lanes – so elderly shoppers can enjoy a natter at the tills


A report says a special lane for pensioners who like to chat, with shopping buddies to help them, would make a trip to the shops nicer for those who live alone.


The Mirror reports that supermarkets are being urged to be more pensioner friendly with slow checkout lanes for elderly shoppers who enjoy a natter.

For it is the unexpected chinwag in the bagging area that often causes queue rage for those in a hurry. But a report reckons a special lane for pensioners who like to chat, along with shopping buddies to help them, would make a trip to the shops a more pleasant experience for those who live alone.

The University of Hertfordshire research also recommends better deals aimed at older shoppers who feel left out with multibuys that are too bulky to carry or meal deals that are aimed at families. And the report is calling on stores to encourage the over 60s to pop in at quieter times so they can shop at their own pace. The study said dedicated checkouts for older shoppers would give them the chance to talk, pack and pay without feeling the pressure of holding others up.

“Slower checkout lanes for older people would improve the shopping experience for those who enjoy the social aspect of shopping,” it said.

The report added elderly shoppers “stressed how much they valued the opportunity for social interaction that comes with a trip to the supermarket or local shops”. And it found online shopping just added to a feeling of isolation for Britain’s pensioners who preferred to pop to the shops for the chance to socialise.

One of the report’s authors Wendy Wills, Professor of Food and Public Health said neglecting the nation’s elderly shoppers could lead to health problems as they were at risk of not eating properly.

She said: “Older people are more likely to have a wide range of factors working against them when it comes to sourcing, buying and preparing food. “Industry and policymakers have a real opportunity to introduce practical and cost-effective measures that support older people to enjoy a healthy, affordable and safe diet, and to develop, or continue with, a positive relationship with food. “Failure to act could result in older people’s food security, and therefore their health and wellbeing, declining at a faster rate, placing greater pressure on the NHS and care providers.”

Researchers, funded by the Food Standards Agency and the Economic and Social Research Council, spent nine months studying the food habits of men and women aged between 60 and 93 from 25 households in Hertfordshire. They looked at what they bought and ate and also went with them on grocery shopping trips, to lunch clubs and allotments.

The study follows another survey by housing charity Anchor and think-tank ILC-UK which urged shopping malls to provide more seating areas and loos so the elderly could shop in comfort.

(Article source: The Mirror)

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