As businesses grapple with the social changes being brought about by the rapidly graying population, dealing with senility has become a fact of life at shops and banks.

Supermarket operators and banks have been struggling to figure out how best to handle customers with Alzheimer's disease or other age-related disorders, and a government-led care support training initiative is attracting interest as a source of clues.

When shopping in large stores, people with dementia tend to get lost or act erratically, sometimes grabbing food from shelves and eating it on the spot, for example. In banks, it is not unusual anymore to see senile people standing baffled at an ATM as they try to recall their password.