SOME of Wirral’s biggest retailers have been asked to sign up to a new initiative to make shopping easier for older people.
In a survey carried out by Age UK, four out of 10 people over 65 said they believed traders have very little interest in the needs of older shoppers, despite older households spending an estimated £145bn a year on goods and services.
Wirral Council and its partners including Age UK Wirral and Wirral Chamber are now urging local businesses to back a new ‘Age-Friendly’ initiative in Wirral. Businesses taking party will carry an Age-Friendly sticker guaranteeing older visitors a chair, access to a loo and a drink, as a minimum.
Cllr. Chris Jones, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said “Older people are missing out on the same shopping experience as the rest of us because they may need a breather or the loo more often.
“We’re determined to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to get out and about by making shopping a more ‘age-friendly’ experience. We want older people to feel welcome and comfortable within the retail environment and know that their custom is valued. Over the coming months, we’ll be asking retailers to sign-up to the scheme and show their commitment.”
A ‘pop-up’ event is being held at in one of the shop units at The Pyramids, Birkenhead, from 10am-3pm on Wednesday, December 20. Retailers who have already signed-up will be dropping by, and there will be a chance to find out more about health and wellbeing services for older people in Wirral while you’re there. If you would like to pop-in, please feel free.
Cllr Jones added: ‘A lack of adequate toilets and seating is a major issue for many older people, affecting their confidence to leave home and proving a significant barrier for some to even enter a shop. Having decent, accessible and clearly-signed toilets and somewhere to sit down gives many older people the confidence to go into a store, and creates a more hospitable and welcoming environment.