Shopping
Grocery chain combats loneliness with “slow lane” specifically for seniors who want to talk
Luis Gaskell
12.30.22

We do a lot to help the elderly.

But sometimes, we’re not doing enough.

You’ll never know how hard life at that age is till it happens to you.

One supermarket is taking a huge step to help its senior citizens. Let’s dive right into it and see if other places follow suit.

This Dutch supermarket started a lovely way to accommodate seniors at the checkout counters.

Something widespread among the elderly is their loneliness. When all of your children have moved out and none of your friends visit anymore, it can get pretty darn lonely.

Doing errands like the groceries can feel a whole lot harder when you’ve got no one with you – and I don’t mean because it’s tiring.

Though that’s another reason it can be hard for seniors.

The supermarket chain Jumbo, created “Kletskassa.” It’s a checkout where you can chat for a bit.

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If you’re a customer with some extra time on your hands, you can hit up a friendly conversation with the cashiers while paying for your groceries.

A little chat can go a long way.

Sometimes, meeting new people and hearing about their day can be the most therapeutic thing.

The Netherlands has a fairly large population of people over 75.

So this campaign is helping a good amount of the country’s people.

Known as “Slow lanes,” they began back in 2019.

They were a much-needed helping hand to the lonely elders of the Netherlands.

Over 1/3 of people in the Netherlands over the age of 75 feel lonely sometimes.

The two age groups that reported loneliness most often were those in their 30s and those over 75.

For the ones over 75, they reported a sort of loneliness that isn’t constant but comes and goes frequently.

And specifically, it’s both the emotional and social kind of isolation they feel.

I think the point has been made: making friends and keeping in touch is hard for the elderly.

After the first few Kletskassa stations were made, the people absolutely loved them.

Of course, that feedback was just what the government needed to hear.

Demand was there and so more Kletskassa stations were made.

Soon, hundreds of them could be found all across the Netherlands.

Colette Cloosterman-van Eerd, Jumbo’s CCO, was proud of the project.

She takes the mental health and satisfaction of their customers very seriously.

“Many people, especially the elderly, sometimes feel lonely. As a family business and supermarket chain, we are at the heart of society.” she said

She explained that groceries are places that families frequent.

It’s the one place that an elderly person would regularly go to.

So making the shopping experience a little less lonely is a very, very lovely and helpful gesture.

Some stores already expanded on the idea.

At some Jumbo establishments, you can even grab a coffee while having the chat.

Sounds like a fun idea even if you’re not elderly!

Seeing the steps that have been taken to combat loneliness is worth celebrating.

All you hear about nowadays is the bad news. So treat yourself to some good news like this too!

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By Luis Gaskell
[email protected]
Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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