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Older people 'struggle with shopping process'

Older people 'struggle with shopping process'
2nd December 2010

Design barriers make Christmas shopping difficult for older people, according to new research by the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK).

Millions of older consumers are predicted to face obstacles when trying to buy gifts this festive season because of the poor design of many goods, retail spaces and services, the centre suggests.

Despite growing spending power in the over-65s age group, those who choose not to use home care or specialist services to help them with their shopping, face difficulties throughout the shopping process – from accessing money and shops to unwrapping and using goods.

According to Age UK, nearly half of over-65s struggle to take lids or caps off products because of packaging and over half have difficulty reading food product instructions due to the miniscule size of the writing.

In addition, one in seven over 65s cannot use cash machines due to difficulty reading the text and a lack of public toilets means that one in five avoid high-street shopping.

This comes after research by the Home Heat Helpline found that only 12 per cent of older people eligible for help with their energy bills use it.

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