What’s the rush? A grocery chain starts a check-out line for people who want to take it slow.

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Check-out lines at stores are usually kind of stressful, aren’t they? People are always in a rush. The cashiers are very busy. The self-checkout process can be frustrating, particularly if you’re not finding the bar code or don’t have your credit card ready. Hear that? It’s the groans from the people in line behind you when you’re forced to call for assistance because you accidentally scanned something twice. Yeah, we’ve all been there.

Now, imagine if you suffer from dementia–or autism or social anxiety or any another condition that impacts your memory or thinking skills. You might have questions, or trouble recognizing your cash or a cashier that just speaks more slowly. You require more time to think through the transaction. For many people who have this condition, an everyday trip to the store can become a nightmare.

One grocery store is doing something about this. According to this report on WXXV25 a Tesco’s in Forres, Scotland is testing out a “relaxed checkout line.” It’s slower paced and staffed by employees specifically trained by Alzheimer Scotland. Oh, and it’s not just for those suffering with dementia. It’s for anyone who feels they need a little extra time, like parents with many bickering kids. Smart.

Surprisingly, this is the only store in the giant UK Tesco chain that’s testing out the idea. More surprisingly, it’s not being tried anywhere here, according to the National Grocers Association in the U.S. Yet.

However, as the population ages, this may be something your store will ultimately want to consider. “Even small changes can go a long ways toward helping people in the early stage of dementia remain independent and engaged in their community,” a representative of the Alzheimer’s Association said in the WXXV report.


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