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Are Stores Senior-Friendly?

The basics - meat, poultry, milk, some vegetables, etc., are at the back of the store. It would help if these products were at the front or closer to the front.

Somerville, like any community, has many elderly, senior, or older customers. ( I use the adjective "older" throughout this post since I've been told that that is what the elderly preferred to be called.) They shop and spend money like any other customer. Their money is as green as anyone else's. However, how friendly are businesses designed for their older customers?

This post is not an indictment against any business. All cities and towns have stores that may not be designed in a manner that makes it easier for their older customers to shop.

The local supermarket is a vital part of any community. We all need food. The basics - meat, poultry, milk, some vegetables, etc., are at the back of the store. It would help many, especially those with mobility issues, if these products were at the front or closer to the front.

Pharmacies share the same issue. You need to walk to the back of the pharmacy to place or pick-up your prescription. I understand that the pharmacy needs storage space for inventory and needs to be located near the walls of the building for drive-thru customers. However, it may be beneficial for pharmacies to have an additional pick-up area in the front of the store for older people and those with mobility issues. It shouldn't be difficult for the pharmacist to tag which prescriptions meet these requirements.

There are other ways that stores can be redesigned to accommodate older people and those with mobility issues without affecting the shopping experience for other customers. My dad enjoyed the exercise that he got while shopping at the new Market Basket in Chelsea, but he'll also appreciated the sitting area where he could rest.

Please share with me other ways to make the shopping experience better for older people or any related gripes that you may have.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

AHM August 02, 2012 at 10:15 PM
The Shaw's in Medford is near the doors on the right hand side. That's why my parents go there. The Stop and Shop in Wellington before it moved had it up front. Not sure if the new one even has a pharmacy. Star pharmacy in Camb. was right to the right side when you went in.. As far as I can remember most every pharmacy around you had to go to the back of the store except for a few.
Alan Cohen August 02, 2012 at 10:18 PM
AHM, Thank you for your comments. When I'm in the area, I'll have to check out these stores. Alan
Frank Mulligan August 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Folks today people are very selfish today. They don't think that they will reach that age. when, I was young, I did'nt think of it. Today, I know ,I treat people they way, I wanted to treat.ed
Alan Cohen August 11, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Frank, I agree. People think - not me. When I'm old, I'll be rich and won't have to worry about those things. As they will learn, life is predictable.
Alan Cohen August 11, 2012 at 05:28 PM
As I write about issues that affect seniors, I realize the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate has the potential to make the voices of seniors heard. One of Mr Ryan's plans is to privatize Medicare. The government would send seniors a monthly voucher that they would use to purchase health insurance. I haven't read the proposal in detail and don't know the ins and outs of Medicare. I do know about the cost of health insurance; as a freelance writer, I pay 100% of my health insurance. I'm concerned about healthcare for seniors. Many live on a fixed income and price variances and changes to plans are a concern. Patch readers, please share your feelings with me, especially those on Medicare. Is privatizing Medicare a good idea? What are the pros? cons?

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