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Cashiers keep an eye on elderly

Staff of a Dutch supermarket are keeping an eye out for signs of loneliness or neglect in older customers as part of a new Super Care initiative.

Elderly people are often hesitant to seek support from the community, either for fear of being a burden or simply because they don’t know where to turn. Now, cashiers at Albert Heijn supermarkets in The Hague, are being trained to keep an eye out for signs of loneliness, forgetfulness or neglect in older customers, so they can refer those in need to care specialists.

The Super Care project was launched in collaboration with care organisation Royaal Zorg and will see 20 Albert Hejin staff trained to identify and discuss problems seen in elderly customers. When a potential problem is spotted, the cashier can ask the customer if they would like to talk to an instore volunteer, who can refer them to a doctor or welfare organisation if necessary.

Linda Noteboom – an employee of both organisations – was inspired to launch the initiative after the loss of a regular customer, which caused her to consider if she could have done more to help. The scheme is taking place at two stores in the Loosduinen and Escamp areas, where there are a large number of elderly customers.

Springwise.com says the mvoe is one of several recently reported initiatives where employees make use of their contact with people to provide a social service – such as Minneapolis police officers who distribute free healthy food packages to hungry citizens they encounter during patrol, and tattoo artists trained to spot signs of skin cancer.

* Republished from Springwise.com, an online service identifying trends, technology and innovative services around the world.

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