Care home builds 'shopping lane' to promote resident independence

shopping lane

Residents have been enjoying using the shopping lane. - Credit: Wellbeing Care

A family-run care home group near Lowestoft has transformed their residential home by building an exclusive shopping lane to promote independence amongst its residents.

The Dell, a branch of Wellbeing Care in Oulton Broad, Suffolk, launched the shopping lane initiative to maintain a level of normalcy and routine in the lives of its residents.

Comprising a bistro café, post office and mini grocery store, the shopping lane preserves the independence of residents by enabling them to undertake familiar tasks, such as going to the newsagents or purchasing fresh ingredients from the store.


Afternoon tea for residents at the 'shopping lane.' - Credit: Wellbeing Care

Undertaking familiar tasks can be greatly beneficial to individuals with dementia, as research has demonstrated it can boost mental wellbeing by providing a sense of purpose and pleasure.

With elderly loneliness on the rise, the shopping lane serves to boost social activity by enabling residents to meet up with family and friends outside of the typical health care setting.

The shopping lane initiative has been well-received by residents, with Betty Hyde-Clarke, 94, saying: “I visited the shopping lane yesterday to meet up with one of my friends.

"I had such a lovely time – it was great to have a chat and cup of tea in a different environment.”

shopping lane

The shopping lane has many benefits - Credit: Wellbeing Care

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Discussing the launch of the initiative, Claire Selby, manager of The Dell, said: “We are beyond excited to launch the new shopping lane in our Dell care home.

"The initiative will provide residents with more independence and a higher sense of self-worth, as tasks which may have associated risks can now be undertaken in a controlled, safe environment.”

“The shopping lane will also encourage increased social interaction, as residents can arrange to meet up with friends, fellow residents or family members.

"We hope the increased social activity will help combat resident loneliness, which has been on the rise due to lockdowns and restrictions.

“We are pleased to hear how much the residents enjoy the improvements we are making and the beneficial effects it has on their happiness and wellbeing."

Wellbeing Care provides residential, dementia and respite care, launched the shopping lane initiative to maintain a level of normalcy and routine in the lives of its residents and they also run St Georges Care Home in Beccles.