AN elderly woman has been stopped from shopping alongside her brother with dementia due to supermarket rules.

Carol Silcock, 70, lives with brother Terry Austin, 76, in St Osyth, where she cares for him around the clock as a result of his debilitating illness.

Desperately in need of some essentials, having self-isolated for two weeks because of coronavirus, the pair were taken to Lidl, in Clacton, by a friend on Monday.

After being dropped off outside the shop, Carol grabbed a trolley and approached the entrance, alongside her brother, but was stopped by a security guard.

According to Carol’s daughter, Julie Argent, 52, her mum and uncle were told they could not shop together because of new social distancing rules, which permits only one person per trolley.

Carol told the security guard her brother cannot be left alone, because he has advanced dementia, but they were still warned to split up or go elsewhere.

Julie said: “My mum explained she was unable to leave my uncle unattended because of his condition, but she was given no choice but to leave him outside.

“She was trying to keep an eye on him while shopping as quickly as possible. She said she felt like she was on supermarket sweep.

“She was panicking the whole time because she couldn’t see him.

“I understand there are rules but there should also be exceptions to the rules.”

Julie said while her mum was shopping, her uncle Terry started to wander off out of the car park, which is positioned next to busy roads.

Luckily, the family friend who had dropped them at the supermarket was just returning to pick them up and managed to catch Terry before anything more serious happened.

“My mum was frantically searching for him,” said Julie.

“But then their friend pulled up and said he had my uncle safe in the car.

“This could have caused the emergency services having to look for my uncle and maybe having to treat him in hospital.

“I am so annoyed at how they were treated.’’

Lidl has since apologised for the way the couple were treated and is now reaching out to Carol and Terry. 

A spokesman said: "We were extremely sorry to hear of this matter and apologise unreservedly.

"We have crowd control measures in place to help protect our customers and expect these to be carried out appropriately by our external security provider, which was not the case in this instance.

"The matter was immediately investigated and we can confirm that full and appropriate action has been taken.

"We are seeking to make direct contact with the customer, so that we can liaise with them directly."