‘Life today is just too fast, nobody has time to stop and think’, is something most of us will have either said to, or heard from, an older friend or relative.
The pace of the 21st Century is unrelenting: multi-tasking is something the vast majority of us do in order to survive the rat race. Which is why the decision by Tesco to pilot a ‘slow lane’ checkout gives hope to millions of people who are sick of feeling like they are a hindrance to others. The supermarket giant is trialling the lane at its branch in Forres, Scotland, and is inviting customers onto the lane by way of a sign which reads ‘Feel free to take as long as you need to go through this checkout today.’
The scheme is the brainchild of a staff member, who, after attending a dementia information session, realised there was something the company could do to help those who really don’t need to be hurried along by the exaggerated sighs of the next customer.
It is hoped the pilot is a success and that Tesco sees fit to introduce these ‘chill tills’ to stores across the UK and maybe it could herald something of a retail revolution. Going shopping these days is not for the faint-hearted. Momentarily forget your pin number and you are likely to tease a chorus of tuts from those busy souls behind you.
These situations are a real source of stress to many people – especially those with the onset of dementia.
We have all been there: standing behind the doddery pensioner who takes an age to empty their basket, during which time we have conspicuously looked at our watch at least six times. It is easy to forget that these people are somebody’s mum, dad and grandparent and if we thought for a second then we might show them a tad more respect. But, generally speaking, we don’t.
The sad fact is that there are more diagnosed dementia sufferers than ever before and, thanks to the ongoing social care crisis, they are not always afforded the appropriate care. This means they are forced to carry out seemingly mundane tasks, which are infinitely more difficult than they once were. Tesco’s stance might go some way to changing attitudes by giving a break to those who need it the most.