Do any of your customers suffer from dementia? The NHS say: ‘About 500,000 people in England have dementia and although it can occur at any age, it’s more common in older people. About one in 20 people over 65 has dementia.’
With our customer demographic being quite heavily weighted towards people who are retired we have noticed that there is a growing number of our customers who appear to be suffering from dementia.
The challenge for a community-based retailer is how to continue to be helpful to these people who are finding that their lives have been altered.
One of the things we have noticed is that while these customers continue to manage their own day to day lives, we become the main – if not the only – shop that they use.
We adopt several different strategies that meet the different needs of not only the customer, but also their relatives.
For some of these customers we keep the till receipts of their recent purchases so that we can help them to avoid unnecessary purchases. For others who are having trouble managing their finances we provide an account facility and then for the ones that are housebound we deliver shopping.
Most of the customers we have had that have suffered with dementia carry on with their lives independently as long as they can.
We know that the support we and our staff offer to dementia sufferers does add quality to their lives. As one of these customers regularly tell us, “You have everything I need and are so helpful I don’t go to a supermarket any more.”