Senior Shopping Hours

Shopping hours for seniors cover photoMore and more stores, shops and essential establishments around the world offer special senior shopping hours. It started during COVID-19. Additionally, research, “COVID-19 and Ageism: How Positive and Negative Responses Impact Older Adults and Society” by Monahan et al., (2020), found that senior shopping hours have been perceived positively by older adults 1.  Find help is this blog post focused on senior shopping. These recommendations apply anytime, regardless of coronavirus or not.

Learn easy ways to make shopping senior-friendly. Watch a short (~11 minutes) FREE presentation on how to adopt special senior shopping hours. Additionally, read the presentation in a downloadable PDF.  These resources are yours to watch and download with no email sign-up necessary!

Quick and easy things to consider:

  1. Offer special shopping hours for seniors and people with disabilities.
    • Add a morning time.
    • Add a time later in the day. Because seniors and people with disabilities may struggle in the morning.
  2. Include people with a mobility disability or a hidden disability.
  3. Limit the number of people allowed in the store.
  4. Provide wheelchairs and electric shopping carts.
    • Clean and sanitize each wheelchair and shopping cart after each use.  
  5. Color code shopping carts with a washable tag.
    • Make available at the entrance with a greeter.
    • Green tag: I want assistance.
    • Red tag: I do not want assistance.
  6. Have extra staff on duty to offer assistance.
  7. Adjust the lighting in the store.
    1. Ensure that there is good lighting but eliminate moving, shining or shimmering lights.
  8. Turn noise down or off and eliminate all background music.
    • Older adults are more likely to have hearing loss. 
    • Additionally,  hearing aids do not solve all hearing loss issues.
    • Reduce the overall noise level; turn off unnecessary and noisy equipment.
  9. Reduce clutter in the aisles. Remove extra and unnecessary displays.
    • Help with physical distancing. Mark spots on the floor to provide a visual cue for people to stand apart.
  10. Offer sturdy chairs, both with and without arms.
    • Choose open spaces, so they are not a hazard to navigate around. 
    • Add them where sit and wait for a spouse or caregiver who accompanies them as they get the car. 
    • Add them at intervals in store, especially if your store is large.
  11. Keep pathways and aisles clear and free throughout the store.
  12. Install cane holders at cash registers.
  13. Offer help to load purchases into the car.
  14. Avoid collecting all the carts during special hours to reduce noise.
    • But keep the area safe.
  15. Clean and sanitize!
  16. Knowledge is key!
    • Tell people what changes you make.
    • Share online.
    • Add signs in store.
  17. Make special shopping hours ongoing.

Add sensory-friendly shopping hours to include to seniors and people with a hidden disability.  Did you know that up to a third of the population looks for sensory-friendly experiences in everyday living? Being sensory-friendly is being senior-friendly and vice versa!

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  1. Monahan, C., Macdonald, J., Lytle, A., Apriceno, M., & Levy, S. R. (2020). COVID-19 and Ageism: How Positive and Negative Responses Impact Older Adults and Society. American Psychologist, 75(7), 887–896.
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