Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

Dutch supermarket finds unique way to end loneliness among the elderly


Vlijmen | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/09/20

"Chat Checkouts" are proving a great success among local shoppers.

One of the difficulties among the elderly population is loneliness. Family members are often not around as they live far away for work or other commitments. As a result, these more vulnerable members of society can feel isolated. Luckily, there are initiatives springing up all over the world to try and combat this issue, and the “chat checkout” in a Dutch supermarket is one of them, according to a report in Truth Theory.

The Jumbo Supermarket in Vlijmen, Holland, decided to create the “All Together Coffee Corner” where shoppers could stop for a coffee and a chat, as well as the “Chat Checkout” for those who wish to chat as they pay for their groceries. Looking out for all their clients, the supermarket still has regular checkouts for those who don’t have the time for conversation.

Volunteers from the Alles Voor Mekaar foundation, which roughly means “everything for each other,” go to the supermarket to lend an ear, or a hand, to elderly members of the community. One regular volunteer, Liesbeth Geveling, sees senior shopper Christien Smiets once a week. Thanks to their chats over coffee, the pair has struck up a lovely friendship.

Alexander Van Weert, who initially came up with the idea, believes the social chit chat is a great way to combat loneliness. It’s also a way for the community to come together while going about their regular chores; something that’s often lost in our fast-paced digital world where shopping is increasingly done in the comfort of our own homes.

While your own local supermarket might not have such an initiative, you can still extend a hand of friendship to the elderly members in your community when you’re out and about doing your chores.


Read more:
The crucial lesson we can learn from an elderly woman who was eating alone


Read more:
These postal workers are helping their elderly customers feel a little less lonely

Health and Wellness

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Pope considers what to do with pro-abortion Catholic politicians
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Berthe and Marcel
Lauriane Vofo Kana
This couple has the longest marriage in France
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Kathleen N. Hattrup
On same-sex unions, Pope says Church doesn’t have power to change...
Mathilde De Robien
How a lost masterpiece of sacred art was discovered thanks to chi...
Philip Kosloski
How receiving Holy Communion can drive away demons
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.