Food shopping with someone with dementia

According to the Alzheimer’s Society, 80% of people with dementia said shopping was one of their favourite activities, but 63% found it increasingly difficult and didn’t think shops were doing enough to help those with the condition.

For someone with dementia, food shopping can be particularly daunting thanks to the lights, noise and the amount of choice on offer in a supermarket. We’ve put together some top tips to help you keep your food shopping trip stress-free.

Plan meals

Meal planning can be a big part of making your supermarket shop less stressful. If you know exactly what your loved-one will eat each day then you know exactly what ingredients to buy, limiting the time spent potentially dithering in aisles and deciding on what to purchase.

Keep a list

If you’ve planned what meals your loved-one is going to have, then you can write down all the ingredients you’ll need to buy on a list. This makes it much easier for your loved-one to remember what they need and you can tick it off as you go along. Don’t forget to add other non-food essentials too.

Keep communicating and stay close

If you’re assisting your loved-one, then make sure you stay with each other and don’t dash off to pick up a certain item. Take one aisle at a time and stay focused on the list.

Attend during quiet/dementia-friendly hours

A lot of supermarkets have recently rolled out quiet times and dedicated times for dementia-friendly shopping where they dim bright lights, turn off loud music and have a relaxed checkout lane where people can take their time.

It’s a good idea to find out if your local supermarket does something similar and you can visit during these hours and make the job of food shopping as stress-free as possible.