Two Anchorage Businesses: Well on Their Way to Senior Friendly

Last week, we asked you to start looking for businesses in our community that have senior-friendly qualities. Well, we subscribed to our own request and put our senior-friendly hats on too.

This week, we’d like to profile two very different Anchorage businesses that meet some of the preliminary criteria for senior-friendly designation. If you frequent these businesses, think about encouraging them to participate in the Senior Friendly Project when it launches.

Fred Meyer on Lake Otis and Abbott

Our friends at the Mabel T Caverly Senior Center told us that this Fred Meyer location is “the best.” So, we thought we’d check it out for ourselves.  We started by looking at the original six criteria that we outlined for you last week. Here is what we found:

  • Good Lighting:  The store was bright indeed.
  • Wider aisles: The standard aisles in this store were very wide (two carts wide at least), but then there were numerous aisles that were significantly wider. Navigating through all the foot and cart traffic was not a challenge.
  • Large print signs and tags: Generally, the font on signs and tags was clear, bold and had enough contrast to stand out.  However, there could be some improvement in this area, with some larger print on tags and on certain aisle signs.
  • Places to sit and rest: Depending on what area of the store you are in, there are some places to sit and rest. There is certainly enough room to park a cart if needed. There could be more places to rest, as the store is quite large and the distance between resting areas is significant.
  • Working electric carts (where applicable):  They had them!
  • Helpful, respectful staff: When we went into this store, there were ample staff members throughout the store, clearly recognizable and attentive to customers.

What Else Did We Find? 

  • There is ample handicap parking near the multiple entrances.
  • The front of the store does not have curbs, making it easy for wheelchairs and those with walkers or pushing carts to enter the store.
  • The doors are automatic.
  • The majority of items were within reach.
  • Music playing was not distracting, too loud or inappropriate.
  • Even though the store was busy, the experience did not feel crowded or rushed.

It looks like this Fred Meyer has a lot of potential and could also serve as the model for other Fred Meyer stores throughout the city.

Have you shopped at this store?  Let us know what you think about its senior friendly potential!

Anchorage Yoga

A lot of people don’t think about yoga when they think about seniors. It’s a common misconception in this country that yoga is only for the young. But truly, yoga provides benefits to people of all ages and levels of ability. That is why, in part, we’ve chosen to profile Anchorage Yoga.

Anchorage Yoga recently went through a major renovation to meet the growing needs of their clientele. As a result, they had the opportunity to make some more senior-friendly choices.  Based on the first six criteria, here is what we found:

  •  Good Lighting:  The lobby area and the changing rooms are very well lit. The practice areas have capability to be brightly lit or dimmed, depending on what supports the class best, at certain times.
  • Wider aisles: All of the hallways and changing rooms are wider than required, for easier navigation.
  • Large print signs and tags: Generally, there are not a lot of signs or tags at Anchorage Yoga. Those that exist are bold and bright, but certainly could be improved upon for elders.
  • Places to sit and rest: The lobby area has numerous benches and couches, and the changing rooms also have benches against the walls.
  • Working electric carts (where applicable):  This is not applicable to this business.
  • Helpful, respectful staff: As a general rule, the staff at Anchorage Yoga is not only helpful and respectful, but also highly attuned (by nature of their work) to the immediate needs of their clients.

What Else Did We Find?

  • The showers in the changing rooms include handicap accessible stalls with bars and fold down benches.
  • All items required for classes or for sale are within reach.
  • Unfortunately, the front doors are not automatic, but they are not heavy either.
  • There are two practice spaces in the studio—one offers heated and non-heated classes, the other offers only non- or mildly-heated classes.
  • The music is generally unobtrusive, although various classes do include music that some might not find appealing. Instructors adjust volume and lights throughout the class period.
  • Anchorage Yoga offers several Restorative and Deep Stretch classes to suit their senior clientele.  They also plan to expand their senior-friendly classes in the New Year, as they have a couple of instructors who are particularly interested in teaching to the senior population.
  • When told about the Senior Friendly Project, the owners expressed great interest in earning the designation.

Have you visited Anchorage Yoga?  Let us know what you think about its senior friendly potential!  AND, visit our Facebook page to share your thoughts on other local businesses with senior-friendly potential.

Happy Holidays!





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