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Grocery Shopping for an Elderly Person

  1. Create a master grocery list on a computer listing every item that your elderly family member usually needs. Make sure to note the food brand preferences; change can be difficult for Mom (or Dad) so if she prefers Campbell’s tomato soup she may not be comfortable with a generic brand. Print in large blocked type font and make several copies to use each week. It is still important to do a kitchen inventory before each trip to the store.  Hoarding food is common so make sure the circled items are actually low in supply.
  2. When you arrive at the store stop at main door and assist her in.  Have Mom sit on a store bench or in the coffee shop area while you park the car. Parking lots often have uneven pavement and it can be difficult to navigate especially when using a device like a walker. If walking is difficult for her, most grocery stores have motorized chairs for their customers to use.
  3. When shopping, choose smaller containers that are easier to lift.  An elderly person often does not have much strength in their hands or arms. If you are on a tight budget purchase the larger containers and refill smaller ones. Buy liquids like milk or juice in quart bottles.
  4. Purchase smaller portion sizes of perishable foods. This will reduce food waste and money.  Appetites tend to diminish as the body ages because people are less active. If you cannot find smaller meat portions ask the butcher to package just one portion. You can also invest in a FoodSaver™ appliance to split and store the meat packages.
  5. Select easy to open products. Containers with pop top openings may be easier to open than having to use a can opener.  For items like cereal you can remove the inside bags and put the contents into slide seal zipper bags.
  6. Purchase over the counter medications in easy to open bottles instead of child proof bottles, or remove from bottle and place in a medicine pill box with any prescription drugs.  Always predispense daily medications into a pill box so that you can keep track of the medications taken. Over or under taking medications is a big health hazard for the elderly.
  7. Some good nutritional items to have on stock for an elderly person are: oatmeal, eggs, yogurt, blueberries, apples, fish, chicken, broccoli, soy products (edamame), sweet potatoes and squash, brown rice and dark chocolate.

Elder Care Albany

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Elder Care Resources is dedicated to empowering area seniors, their caregivers and healthcare professionals to obtain the knowledge and resources needed to provide quality care for an aging relative, friend or patient.

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