With the holidays quickly approaching, this can be a stressful time for seniors and their caregivers. With all the hustle and bustle going on, it can be a daunting task to go buy Christmas gifts or even groceries. We as caregivers should be able to provide our aging loved ones with tools and resources to better their holiday experience.
Ways to reduce stress during shopping are simple. Call your local stores and find out what time of day is slowest for them. You can ask if they have electric carts or places for patrons to sit if they need a short break. Asking if they are having any special sales can be useful as well. Make sure that you know the layout of the store or mall that you are going to. Many times you can find maps for these establishments online. Loud or inappropriate music can make a shopping experience unpleasant for a senior so knowing the ambience of a store is useful as well.
Some seniors will have a fixed income and you will need to keep that in mind in order to stay within budget. Many stores will have senior discounts on certain days of the month or week. Usually these days tend to be the slowest shopping days of the week to reduce stress for the elderly. Check with your local retailers to see if they have any senior discounts and when these are offered. If your aging loved one prefers, you can help them purchase items to make homemade gifts for their loved ones. If your shopping partner can’t afford many gifts, or is not up to making gifts, you could take them to a craft bazaar. Often times you can find neat little trinkets there for an affordable price.
Other ways to avoid the stressful hustle and bustle of the holidays is to introduce your senior to online shopping. There are many benefits to this. Online shopping can be cost effective, easier, convenient, and warm! Not having to leave the comfort of their nice, warm home can be enough reason for them to choose this option. If the senior shopper you are assisting is not computer savvy, this is the perfect opportunity to offer assistance and teach them something new.
Next time you’re at a place of business, take a look at it through the eyes of someone who may not be able to move around as well as you do. Would you still enjoy your experience as much as you do today? Making observations and bringing them to the attention of management or supervisors are simple steps you can take to make our community more senior friendly. After all, one day we will find these changes beneficial to us. We want to encourage friends and families to participate in the Anchorage Senior Friendly Project in any way they can. Chances are that you will be at a local business this holiday season. This is a perfect opportunity to participate as a mystery shopper! Happy holidays!
To participate in this program please contact Mabel T Caverly Senior Center. They are located at 325 E. 3rd Ave #100 Anchorage, Alaska 99501, or call them at (907)276-1496.