In this week's news article we take a look at a recent survey which has revealed that elderly shoppers are avoiding going shopping due to the automated checkouts that can be found in the majority of stores.
Elsewhere, barbers are being encouraged to provide complementary services to elderly men in order to combat loneliness during the festive period. We also have news regarding a new pen pal scheme in Kidderminster and an intriguing story about one elderly couple's unbreakable appliances.
Elderly Shoppers put-off by Automated Checkouts
A new survey released by a housing charity has suggested that elderly shoppers are being put-off by the automated checkout machines found in the majority of stores.
According to the survey, released by Anchor, elderly shoppers find the checkouts intimidating and unfriendly. Around a quarter of elderly shoppers are now being put-off going shopping by the machines.
It's not just the automated checkouts that are affecting elderly shoppers either. The lack of seats in shopping centres and on the high street also cause elderly shoppers to feel shut out according to The British Retail Consortium.
On the BBC news report, the charity also says that the use of automated checkouts could also add to the loneliness and isolation among the elderly. Mr Ambrosi, a spokesman for the charity said:
There was a time when people knew their shopkeepers and could pass the time of day. You can't do that with a machine. "The technology needs to have some human interaction, it's what gets people into the shops."
Mr Ambrosi went on to say that elderly shoppers may feel under pressure if they don't respond quickly enough to the instructions on automatic checkouts. This use of technology also means that the majority of elderly shoppers will have gone shopping without saying hello to a single person.
Overall, the study revealed that 4% of older people are deterred from shopping by automated checkouts and 60% are worried that there will be a lack of seating if they need to rest.
Barbers to Offer a Free Service to Elderly Men
In order to help tackle loneliness during the Christmas period, barbers across the country are being encouraged to offer free haircuts to older men in their community.
The plans are a part of the Shave the Day Campaign, in aid of Age UK, which takes place on December 7. According to the charity, almost one million people over the age of 60 will feel extra lonely over Christmas.
On the Huffington Post article, the owner of Luke's Barbershop in East London explained why he wanted to take part:
As our communities change around us, like pubs closing, community centres shutting and halls closing their doors, our habitat is changing and our elderly suffer because of it. Barbershops are opening up at an amazing rate and they have community spirit at their very heart. That’s why I want to play my little part in bringing back some of these community values and get people talking to each other, young or old."
Any barbers who are looking to take part in Shave the Day can register their interest on the official Facebook page. They can also download a special poster from that page to help raise awareness in their local area.
Unbreakable Household Appliances
An interesting article which was found on The Independent website. An elderly couple are selling their household appliances, which are all over 50 years old and are still functioning!
Sydney (83) and Rachel Saunders (81) bought all their appliances whilst furnishing there house in 1956. Amazingly, their tumble dryer, cooker, boiler and washing machine are still in working condition.
Despite this fact, the couple have decided that it is time to have a clear out and remove them from their home. The couple are hopeful that their appliances could go on display in a museum, to help show how much better-made kitchen items were back in the day.
Mr Saunders said:
Things were made better in those days, they were more durable and stronger, but of course, the new ones are more sophisticated. That’s a good thing, but it means that if something goes wrong it can be quite a big job. I think a lot more care was taken in older days."
Back in 1956, the couple bought their washing machine for £60, their baby belling cooker for £19, their Burco tumble dryer for £52 and the boiler for £15 - a little cheaper than the prices found today!
Primary School Pen-Pal Scheme
A primary school in Kidderminster has teamed up with two local care home to launch an inter-generational pen-pal scheme. The scheme was created due to teachers believing that children are missing out by not putting pen to paper like their grandparents did.
It is hoped that this scheme will combat loneliness and also take children away from their tablets and emojis for a little bit. You can watch a video about this scheme on the BBC website.