Problems to overcome when food shopping with Dementia

Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life – whether you’re enjoying a childhood favourite meal or trying a new recipe with your family, it is as much a pleasure as it is a necessity. Groceries are a recurring theme in our lives – but can get a little harder as our dementia progresses. An Alzheimer’s Society survey showed that almost 80% of people with dementia listed shopping as their favourite activity, yet 63% find it increasingly difficult and didn’t think shops are doing enough to help those who live with the condition. Whilst for some people shopping is a great pleasure and for others it is a chore, with dementia it can provide new challenges and leave someone living with the condition feeling vulnerable. Frequently, people will stop shopping as they are worried about not getting the support they need. Shopping with dementia can be difficult for several reasons; little things like finding entrances, exits and toilets can be overwhelming, combined with the loud noises and trolleys speeding past – it can all get a bit much.

If a loved one has dementia and is struggling to look after themselves or you are struggling to look after them, be sure to check out our dementia care homes. Our dementia care homes are full of staff that are experts at ensuring our residents are able to make the most of every day and have a retirement they deserve.


When assisting a loved one with their food shopping, it is important both the person living with dementia and the care partner are aware and have acknowledged things will be different – and that asking for help will help ease in adjusting the circumstances to make the whole process less stressful.

If you are advising someone who is going shopping on their own, make sure to convince them to ask for help whenever necessary – store staff are there to support your family members living with dementia.

The ever changing nature of supermarkets

A difficulty that faces a lot of older people living with dementia, is the ever changing labels and packets on containers, as well as how a shop will frequently move a department. It is important that your loved one is prepared for these events and can deal with the challenges ahead of them, so perhaps emphasize the importance of shopping in a good frame of mind, and recommend they go to a food store they find familiar.

Always keep a shopping list!

At Barchester, we have a varied diet based on our meal plans that are there to ensure our residents are the healthiest they can be and are getting all the essential vitamins and nutrients. If you aren’t fortunate to be taking advantage of our delicious menu and are shopping for yourself or a loved one, perhaps consider creating a meal plan of your own. Living with dementia can make it harder to shop at the drop of a hat like you would’ve done before and remembering what you need vs what you have already got at home can cause more stress. Employing a meal plan with a grocery list can limit confusion.

Shopping with dementia can be a real issue. If you’re unable to go to the shop with a loved one every time they need their groceries bought, then why not have a look at some of our care homes. We have a number of types of care available and have a real quality approach – we’re passionate about ensuring our residents have the best retirement possible. Contact us to find out more and be sure to check out our care homes near you.