Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Supermarkets could introduce “slow lanes” for elderly people who want to chat

iStock-503838172.jpg

It might sound like an odd place to seek solace, but shopping in a supermarket can be a surprisingly comforting experience.

After all, you know exactly what you’re getting when you step inside your local store, from the exact location of your favourite food to the particular smell that greets you when you enter the frozen aisle.

But even better, supermarkets can offer comfort in the form of conversation, whether you fancy a brief chat with the friendly security guard or an indepth catch-up with the lady who runs checkout number 12. For many, supermarkets represent a place to have a natter and a gossip, and connect with the local community.

For this reason, supermarkets in the UK are now being urged to introduce ‘slow lanes’ to the check out areas of their stores, in order to give elderly people living in the area a chance to properly chat with staff and each other whenever they pop in for their groceries.

shopping

The move comes from researchers at the University of Hertfordshire, who last week published a report saying the option of a slower way of shopping would help attract more elderly customers, by giving them a chance to enjoy the “social aspect” of supermarkets.


Read more: The secrets to happiness


The report indicated that many elder people feel “disenfranchised” by the family-friendly discounts offered at most stores, such as two-for-one offers of loaves of bread and milk, and that the entire concept of visiting a supermarket was at risk due to the rise in popularity of online shopping.

To counter this, the report also recommended that supermarkets introduce more seating and toilets to their stores, to make them a more comfortable and welcoming place to visit. It also recommended that the stores encourage elderly people to visit at quieter times, by introducing deals that could be used in the middle of the day.

shopping

Speaking to The Daily Mail, one of the researchers, Professor Wendy Wills, 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.


Read more: Three nonagenarians share invaluable life lessons


"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."

supermarket

Here in the UK, it feels like there has never been a better time to introduce slow lanes to our supermarkets, with recent figures from Age UK highlighting the isolation faced by pensioners all over the country.

According to the charity, 200,000 elderly people haven’t had a single conversation with their friends or family for an entire month, while some 3.9 million pensioners now consider the TV to be their main form of company

And sadly isolation isn’t something that affects only pensioners, with Britain recently being dubbed “the loneliness capital of Europe”, as residents of all ages are less likely to have strong friendships or know their neighbours here than anywhere else in the EU.

With this in mind, turning the daily chore of visiting a supermarket into a social opportunity can be no bad thing, particularly if it helps quash the loneliness faced by both elderly people and the rest of the UK.

And in our frenetic world of instant messaging and social media, perhaps we could all do with living life in the supermarket slow lane every once in a while.

Related

rexfeatures_6533923fs.jpg

Zadie Smith’s epic response when asked how she'd juggle work and kids

barry netflix.jpg

Netflix has unveiled the first trailer for the Barack Obama biopic

lottie.jpg

These feminist action figures have been nominated for Toy of the Year

Comments

More

Muslim witness of Westminster attack responds to Islamophobic trolls

A picture of the woman walking on Westminster Bridge has been shared widely

by Nicola Colyer
24 Mar 2017

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017

An Avengers-style Disney princesses film could be in the works

24 Mar 2017

All the new emojis set to light up our keyboards

From breastfeeding to broccoli

24 Mar 2017

There's a sex side-effect which benefits you for 48 hours, study finds

It's all about what's known as the sex "afterglow".

by Hayley Spencer
24 Mar 2017

This is how much the houses in Big Little Lies cost

Spoiler: they're VERY expensive.

by Hayley Spencer
23 Mar 2017

Scientists reveal why you need to stop flaking on plans with friends

Don't flake it 'til you make it

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Mar 2017

Revealed: the number one reason that women break up with their partner

The truth hurts

23 Mar 2017

Been zombied? There’s now a name for this confusing dating behaviour

It's time to talk about the zombies of the dating world...

23 Mar 2017

10 female anthems to share with your mum this Mother's Day

The most moving anthems about motherhood by our favourite female artists.

by Alice Vincent
23 Mar 2017