5 Steps for Safe Shopping During the Pandemic

Apr 1, 2020
Senior woman receiving a grocery delivery at her front door

Even the most meticulous list maker may find themselves low on staple groceries at some point during the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring them to shop for more. For those in the 65+ age group, this is especially serious due to the higher risk of infection attributed to them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “8 out of 10 deaths reported in the U.S. have been in adults 65 years and older,” so vigilance is mandatory. Before going shopping, follow these steps to minimize the chances of infection while shopping.

Step 1) Shop online and have groceries delivered.

This is the best way to minimize risk although it doesn’t eliminate it because another human being has to fill your bags and deliver them. But it is much better than going yourself. Many large chains already deliver in certain markets, most using fee-based delivery services like InstacartPostmatesEnvoy, and Shipt, including Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, and Trader Joe’s. Other’s like Safeway and Costco provide the service in-house. The Spoon University article “9 Grocery Stores That Will Deliver Food to Your Doorstep” is a good place to start. Or just call your favorite store and ask how it works and how long delivery takes. You may need to download an app to complete the process, but it’s definitely worthwhile.

Step 2) Ask someone younger do your shopping for you.

A friend, relative or neighbor may already be going shopping and be happy to assist you.

Step 3) Get prepared to go it alone.

The less time it takes to shop, the less chance of becoming infected while there. So thoroughly research what you need and how much is enough and make a concise list. If possible, check online to make sure the products you want are in stock as many items like disinfectants may be sold out.

Also keep in mind that staying healthy requires good nutrition which means lots of fruits and vegetables, canned foods including high protein foods like meats and fish, dried beans, rice and oatmeal, dairy products, and other essentials. The Heavy.com article, “Coronavirus Tips: What to Stock Up On Due to COVID-19 [LIST]” runs the gamut from health and beauty products, paper, medicines, and foods and will help you create a list that is as complete as possible.

Also, check with the store to find out if they have special seniors-only hours and take advantage if they do. Once you know the best time to shop, plan your trip accordingly and be sure to bring along hand sanitizer, your shopping list, and wash your hands before you leave.

Step 4) Follow best practices at the store.

Assume the worst — that everything is potentially covered with germs, because it very well may be. At the entrance, use hand sanitizer and wipes to clean the shopping cart. Next, remember that from farm to shelf requires the intervention of a lot of people around the globe so avoid touching produce with your bare hands. Instead, use a plastic produce bag like a glove and tie the bag off with the produce within.

As you go up and down the aisles, remember to practice social distancing and stay a minimum of 6 feet from other shoppers at all times. Continue to use hand sanitizer as you fill your cart and move around the store and do not touch your face! When checking out, the World Health Organization recommends using a card if possible to avoid giving and receiving cash. For more expert tips, read “Is It Safe To Go To The Grocery Store During The Coronavirus Outbreak?” from the Huffington Post.

Step 5) Follow-up at home.

When you get home, wash all fresh produce first. Next, you can wipe down canned and packaged goods with a sanitizer, although there is not yet any such recommendation from experts. What we do know is that COVID-19 can remain viable on a variety of surfaces so extra cleaning is always a good idea. The National Institutes of Health’s recent news release explains the viruses’ stability as we now know it. If using reusable grocery bags, take the time to sanitize them and wipe them clean of any food residues. When finished, wipe down all counters and wash your hands again.

It’s a different world today and one that requires diligent attention to the rules, respect for others and a lot of common sense. For those who are elderly and have no one to turn to for help shopping or with other chores during the pandemic, contact the nearest community service agency. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers a number of Resources Near You.

For information about Countryside, please call Margaret Nagel at (517) 206-5000 or download our brochure to learn about our care levels, cost, and amenities.

assisted living near me

Subscribe to our blog.

Recent Posts

Michigan Senior Living: The Complete Guide for 2022

Ready to find your forever home in Michigan? You’re in luck! Few states come close to the natural beauty, affordability and high quality of life found in Pure Michigan. No matter what type of retirement community you’re looking for, you can find it here — if you know...

What the Best Michigan Memory Care Residences Have to Offer

For seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, memory loss can be jarring, lonely and even anger-inducing. They may be unable to remember basic facts, like what year it is, their location or a loved one’s name, all of which can contribute to feelings of a lost identity....

Top Qualities of the Best Retirement Communities in Michigan

Entering your golden years can be an exhilarating adventure, or it can be a stressful, uncertain transition. For most people, the difference comes down to whether or not they feel secure and supported in their new phase of life. Finding a retirement community that...

Assisted Living in Michigan: Everything You Need to Know

What happens when seniors can no longer live comfortably at home? Some people think that being unable to live alone means that a senior should enter nursing care, but that’s not necessarily true. The reality is that there are several living options in between total...

Memory Care Services in Jackson, MI.

Does your loved one struggle with serious memory loss? Losing memory and other cognitive functions is scary — it can feel like losing yourself. People who suffer from dementia and related conditions can become withdrawn and isolated, depressed or even angry. These...

Your Options for Assisted Living in Jackson, MI

How do you want to age? It’s a simple question, but an important one. Everyone who is lucky enough to live a long life will interact with old age, and preparing for that reality can make the aging process easier. By 2030, all baby boomers will be 65 or older. As the...

Comparing Costs of Assisted Living vs. Home Care

When envisioning retirement, seniors may plan to travel the world, spend more time with family and friends, or take up a new hobby to fill their days. But they don’t always plan for the cost of care should they need it. From just a little help with housekeeping to...

Senior Living in Jackson, MI: Guide for Seniors and Adult Children

The opportunity to grow older is a gift. It means more time to spend with the people you love, doing the activities you enjoy. There are a lot of misconceptions about getting older, especially when it comes to quality of life. Although ageist stereotypes may lead you...

Independent Living in Jackson, MI

Everyone ages, but no one ages in exactly the same way. Whereas some older people experience mobility issues and cognitive decline, others stay sprightly and mentally sharp their entire lives. That means that two seniors who are exactly the same age can have...

Share This