‘Tis the season for giving! The stores are all decked out, the commercials on TV promote the latest and greatest gadgets and mailboxes are filled with flyers and coupons enticing us to go out and buy, buy, buy.
As a caregiver of an aging parent who is looking forward to doing some Christmas shopping, you might be wondering how to help your parent experience the joy of giving while staying safe and healthy in a world that is in the middle of a global pandemic. Luckily, many stores also recognize this is a very real concern for many people and are providing safer ways to shop. So, while your senior parent will most likely not be crowding with 1000s of people at her local Wal-Mart for Black Friday shopping, you can still help her enjoy the season’s shopping bonanza safely.
Shop Online With Home Delivery
This is probably one of the safest ways to shop. Whether on her smartphone or on her computer, your parent can shop for all kinds of deals and then have her purchases delivered directly to her home. This option also is often the most difficult for seniors since they don’t always understand how to provide payment safely for online sites or find the best shopping sites. Either you, a trusted family member or even a home care provider will probably want to sit down with your parent in front of the screen to shop.
Shop Online With Pick Up
Another option for many local stores is to shop online, putting all of the items in a virtual cart and then going to the store to have them either have your purchases brought to the vehicle or make a quick run inside to grab them. This is a great option for purchasing consumables that may not ship overnight very well. And it also provides the opportunity to actually get out of the house for your parent. If your parent has purchased a lot, arrange for your home care provider or a family caregiver to help your parent with getting her items brought back into the house and put away as needed.
Small businesses often have fewer customers, especially in areas where stores are now mandated to not have more than a small percentage of capacity shoppers in their stores at one time. This makes social distancing easier and it also provides a calmer, more personalized shopping environment. As a caregiver, you can make a Saturday morning outing with your parent by visiting local small businesses. You both might find some fun gift ideas and you will get those extra good-feeling vibes by supporting a local small business.
Shop during non-busy times.
If your parent really needs (or wants) to go to the local superstore to browse and make purchases, help them check with the store to see if the store has a “senior hour,” where only people who may be at high risk are allowed to enter the store and shop. These “senior hours” are often right after opening so that you and your parent can rest assured that the store has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
As always, encourage your parent to follow the CDC guidelines of being safe and responsible when out in public – wear a mask, social distance when possible, and wash hands or use hand sanitizer both while out and when returning home.