Many older people find grocery shopping a challenge. Mobility problems can make the trip to the store and walking around the store difficult. The fact is that shopping can be an overwhelming experience for some seniors.
The problem is more than just getting around. Finding the right healthy food choices they can prepare at home can be tricky. Then, the expenses, especially today with inflation. The higher costs make the shopping trip more costly.
If you're looking for ways to make shopping easier for older loved ones, you can always try these tricks to help them with their independence.
Going to the grocery store can be exhausting and dangerous if you're not ready. That's why taking the proper precautions and steps to ensure an easy trip is essential. There are many things that seniors can do to make a shopping trip more effortless, and here are a few of those ideas.
Make a List of Everything
The first thing you can do to make things easier is to make a list of everything you need from the store. Review the shopping list with your older family member and see if they have listed everything they need.
A written list takes off much of the pressure to remember everything and means they can focus on the rest of the trip. This is one of the easiest things you can do but dramatically impacts the ease of shopping.
Go During Quiet Hours
Stores naturally have popular times when more people come to shop. As a result, the crowds the aisles and makes navigation difficult. The best time for older people to go shopping at a grocery store is in the early morning. Some chains offer special senior discounts at those times.
Avoiding the crowds and coming when a store doesn't have a lot of customers can make shopping easy. Shopping during these quiet hours is especially beneficial as you don't need to wait in long lines and compete for items on the shelves. You will often find the freshest items on the shelves as well.
Invest in Mobility Aids
Mobility is one of the main limiting factors in going outdoors and shopping trips, so investing in mobility aids can be a liberating thing as getting around becomes a lot easier. Plus, mobility aids offer many other benefits in everyday life beyond just navigating the grocery store.
Go Out Often
Another trick for seniors to make shopping easier is to go out often. Familiarity is a large part of success; going to the stores frequently will help build confidence and knowledge. Plus, you can connect with the store workers, so they'll likely offer more help than a new store's employees.
Watch What Is Being Bought
Like anyone else, if you spend too much time at the grocery store, you may purchase things you don't need or items that are not good for you. Older adults may spend longer time inside the store, so that list is important, and they should be encouraged to stick to the list.
Be sure they buy protein-rich foods such as chicken and fish. However, protein intake can be tricky for some seniors. Be sure to check with the doctor about nutrition needs and eating restrictions.
Shopping Trips When Living in Assisted Living
Most assisted living facilities offer kitchens inside a resident's room. While they can always use the dining room and order their meals, sometimes a resident wants to fix something themselves in their room. Be sure to check with the staff at the assisted living facility and make sure your loved one is capable of cooking and preparing things in their room.
If so, they can take advantage of the weekly trips to the grocery store many assisted living facilities offer. The facility will provide transportation and even some supervision for its residents.
Be sure to discuss the food items they bring into their room. Sometimes they may be tempted to purchase items they should not be eating based on their health conditions and diet.
These are a few tips seniors can use to make it easier to go out to the stores and shop as needed. Using these tricks, seniors can gain more independence and self-sufficiency.
About the Author
Mallory Knee is a freelance writer for multiple online publications where she can showcase her affinity for all things beauty and fashion. She particularly enjoys writing for communities of passionate women who come together for a shared interest and empower one another in the process. In her free time, you can find Mallory trying a fun new dinner recipe, practicing calligraphy, or hanging out with her family.
Contributor since September 25th, 2020
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