Tackling the shops this holiday season

By Kate Reid, 19 December 2017 , Comments

While it’s exciting to get your hands on a new outfit, or that gift you know your relative will love, the process of shopping can be stressful, especially during the busy Christmas sales period.

Luckily with a little planning, your next trip to the shops doesn’t need to end with you feeling like you never want to shop again.

Northcott’s Inclusive Workplace Officer Ben Keyte is a wheelchair user and has plenty of top tips to make shopping a breeze.

Plan ahead

  • This is definitely an example where a little planning goes a long way! Decide what you need to purchase, where you need to go, and what shops you need to visit. This way you may even be able to avoid the crowded shopping centre and visit an individual store instead.

Consider transportation

  • What are the public transport options? Are there accessible car spaces? Now that you know where you’re going, it pays to consider the best way to get there.

Check out accessible options

  • Keep an eye out for shopping centres and stores that offer plenty of accessible options e.g. ramps, adequate accessible parking spots, lifts etc. Retailers like Coles have even started to introduce initiatives like Quiet Hour, a sensory-friendly shopping experience that involves sensory changes like reduced radio noise, dimmed lights and extra trained team members to assist customers.

Go early or late

  • The best way to avoid the crowds is to get in early or shop later in the evening when there are less people around. Over the holidays, it may also pay to make use of extended or 24-hour trading hours by heading to the shops at night – perfect for those night owls among us.

Look for alternatives

  • If the idea of going to the shops is just too daunting then it might be time to think outside the box. Try hitting the net for a spot of online shopping or ask a carer or friend if they would mind picking up some items the next time they’re heading out.

If you’re looking for more support with your shopping skills, check out Northcott’s In-home and Community Supports service or the Everyday Life Skills program.

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