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Payment Wall

The adventure never ends until you successfully make a payment!


Here in the Dementia World, there is a high wall full of traps that await people who venture out to make payments. Those who brave the wall risk a long fall into the abyss of memory. They may find their attention diverted by background noise. They might lose their footing as the surrounding space becomes distorted. Dazzled by colors and shapes, they may find items impossible to grasp with their hands. Climbing over the wall means they must avoid falling into the various traps that await them.

This is a difficulty I often face. I hear, “The total is 355 yen,” and…
The moment I look down to take out my wallet, I forget how much it was.*1

It used to happen only occasionally, but recently, I need to ask for the amount again almost every time I check out.
I feel that numbers and symbols slip from my memory particularly easily.*2
I sometimes confuse 355 yen with 533 yen, too.

To be honest, in addition to forgetting the amount that I need to pay, it is also getting harder to make calculations.
When I hear a store clerk saying 355 yen, I cannot immediately think of three 100-yen coins, five ten-yen coins, and one five-yen coin.*3

In addition, I frequently cannot tell the subtle difference between silver and white.*4 I cannot distinguish between a 100-yen coin and a one-yen coin because I am not able to instantly distinguish different sizes of coins, either.*5 Just as an example, I recently needed to pay 355 yen but only gave the clerk 58 yen; I gave one-yen coins instead of 100-yen coins.

There are also cases where I do recognize a one-yen coin but cannot pick it up. Putting my fingers into the tiny space in my wallet*6, navigating my thumb and index finger to their destination*7, and picking out just the coin I want.*8 Each of these steps is a struggle.

I see supermarkets are rapidly adopting new checkout systems, and there appear to be quite a few options. In some supermarkets with unmanned self-checkout kiosks, I need to scan barcodes by myself. In other supermarkets, the clerk reads the barcodes and I need to pay using an automated payment machine. I often feel confused when I encounter systems in supermarkets that I am not familiar with and do not use regularly.

Cashless payment systems have provided solutions to many of the challenges that I described above. They have made it much easier for me to make payments. Not only do many stores now accept only credit cards, they also accept payment through prepaid electronic money services. Thankfully, I do not need to struggle to take out coins anymore.


When people with dementia enter the "Payment Wall",
the following 8 mental and physical dysfunctions might be at play.