High Street Shopping Experience Is Brought Into Care Homes
Living in a care home does not mean residents have to lose their independence or miss out on opportunities to make their own choices. That is why good homes constantly strive to provide a variety of ways in which residents can make their own decisions, as well as have fun.
One of the newest and most innovative ways to do this is by having retailers visit the home to provide shopping experiences for the residents. This allows the people who live there to choose items that they want to buy, have fun and feel more active and a part of the wider community.
Browse the Ranges
There is a whole range of products that can be offered, not least essential-items, shoes, clothes and gifts, which will give residents the chance to browse and choose the items they want to buy rather than having to rely on others. This maintenance of independence is supremely important to many older people, who want to feel that they are still in control of as many aspects of their lives as possible.
These shopping experiences inject a much-valued element of ‘real life’ into care homes and can reintroduce an experience that people have enjoyed for years but now find difficult to experience because of health or mobility restraints. There is no battling crowds and stairs in busy shopping centres, but they are still given the opportunity to take part in the shopping experience and choose items that they really want or need.
Researchers at America’s University of Michigan discovered that people who have the opportunity to make personal shopping choices feel more in control of their lives and are less likely to be unhappy. This is especially important for older people suffering from illness, for example, who can end up feeling helpless and depressed.
Stepping Out to Help
Brantano Footwear is one of the best-known retailers already taking part in the initiative. The brand operates a community service which was specifically launched to enrich the lives and fulfil the needs of people who can find it difficult to visit a bricks-and-mortar store.
Brantano takes a selection of footwear into homes, along with a trained sales assistant who can help with fitting and offer advice and guidance. This helps ensure that instead of feeling confused and stressed, residents find themselves feeling motivated, involved, stimulated and in control — and also having fun.
Jenni Roberts, a local marketing and business-to-business co-ordinator for Brantano, said that while working in shoe stores she had experienced many occasions when relatives and carers had to return shoes or slippers bought for elderly people because they were the wrong fit or size. The in-home shopping experiences, by comparison, prevent this sort of inconvenience by allowing older people to be properly fitted with their shoes in the comfort of their own home.
There is also the opportunity for the experience to be made into a social occasion. Residents and staff can chat about their shopping choices over a cup of tea and a biscuit.