Four Tips for Shopping with Seniors

senior-woman-receiving-help-in-produce-section-istock-march-300x199.jpgEveryone likes to get out of the house once in a while, and that includes both home caregivers and the individuals for whom they care. Although it's nice to take an excursion takes to a movie theatre or a tea shop, even a simple trip to the grocery store or the mall can provide a nice change of pace.

Of course, a caregiver may have to do little special planning before taking a shopping trips with an elderly one. Below are several tips to keep in mind when planning an excursion to the store with a senior.

Be list-friendly. While a shopping trip can be a good idea, it may more quickly prove tiring for the senior than for the caregiver. With that in mind, make a shopping list beforehand. In this way, home caregivers can make sure that they obtain all the essentials before Grandfather starts to lose his energy; once those items are all acquired, if he still has some wind in his sails, they can spend time moseying and browsing.

Think ahead about getting around. Try to plan trips that will take into account mobility issues. For example, look for stores that are on the ground level and don't require staircase navigation. Larger store that have elevators rather than escalators may be preferable. When possible, select stores at which you can likely park close to the entrance to avoid long walks through a crowded parking lot.

Avoid crowds. Mingling with others is fun, but stores or malls that are packed with people can create difficulties for many seniors, especially those with dementia. Shopping during off-peak hours is generally desirable. If you shop when fewer people are out and about, you're less likely to experience impatient glares or grunts from busy shoppers who don't have the patience (or the manners) to wait for Mother to cross their path.

Be prepared with snacks. This is especially important for those seniors with blood sugar issues. While many malls have food courts, home caregivers are probably better off bringing along a little snack pack of their own. When Father's energy is flagging, he may need a quick pick-me-up right away, rather than in the 15 minutes it would take to get down to the food court and get served.

Following these simple tips can make trips to the supermarket much more manageable for both home caregivers and seniors, and with spring and summer on the horizon, there will be more and more opportunities for outings of all sorts.

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