Providing care for a senior adult in your life can be difficult, especially for those working full-time jobs and caring for families of their own. A growing number of adult children find themselves in the position of grocery shopping and cooking for two households – usually on a limited budget and timeline! Read below for three practical tips that will help you to better assist your senior loved one with cooking and grocery shopping.
1. Transportation: Getting Around Without You
In some cases, senior parents require transportation to the store but are capable of shopping independently. Fortunately, if your parent does not drive, you can arrange for transportation more quickly than you can drive her to the store yourself!
If available, one of the safest methods of transportation for your senior parent is public transportation. The routes can be simple to remember, and the fares are often low.
Volunteer Driving Programs
However, if your parent lives in an area that does not have public transportation, or if she cannot handle carrying groceries herself, find a volunteer driving program in her area. Churches, community centers, and nonprofit organizations often offer transportation services for senior citizens a few times a week. These volunteers often are happy to assist elderly passengers in loading groceries into the car and carrying them to their door.
Another great transportation option is Uber or Lyft. While you may have avoided these services because your senior loved one does not have a smartphone or is unsure of how to use the apps, you should know these companies have taken steps to make ridesharing easier for seniors. GreatCall has partnered with Lyft to make it easy for Jitterbug phone users to press zero and have an operator book a ride to the store for them. Similarly, Uber has partnered with RideWith24 in some states to allow seniors to call Uber via a toll-free number rather than use the app.
If no such volunteer programs exist, contact your loved one’s area office on aging for assistance in finding a transportation solution. Another option is to ask your parent’s trusted neighbor to drive her to the store once a week for compensation.
2. Grocery Delivery Services
It’s often difficult to assist a senior loved one with their shopping when getting your own grocery shopping done is a challenge.
If you do not have time to go shopping for your senior parent and transportation options are not available, consider subscribing them to a grocery delivery service. Grocery delivery services are a popular way to save time and money. Consider services such as Instacart, AmazonFresh, and Peapod.
If these services are not available in your parent’s area, look into hiring someone local to shop and deliver her groceries for you. Gig economy apps such as TaskRabbit, Shipt, or Care.com can help you find a reputable and trustworthy grocery shopper for your senior loved one.
3. Meal Services
Services such as Meals on Wheels and other nonprofit meal delivery services are an option for your senior loved ones if they are not capable of doing their own grocery shopping and cooking. When you sign up your parent for these services, you get peace of mind knowing that vetted volunteers deliver food regularly and that they have emergency meals should the weather or other circumstances prevent the volunteer from delivering.
When Food Is Difficult to Purchase
Many seniors in our community live on fixed incomes and are struggling to make ends meet. If this is the case for your senior loved one, our community has several resources to help them access the food they need.
Community non-profit organizations, including food shelves, offer meal delivery service or mobile food shelf delivery throughout the state. To learn more about food support services in your parent’s area, call the Minnesota Food Helpline at 1-888-711-1151.
Caring for a senior parent can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a multitude of resources available to help maintain independence for seniors and support their caregivers. We hope these tips will help you and your senior thrive!
This post was written by Jackie Waters. Jackie is a mother of four boys and lives on a farm in Oregon. She is passionate about providing a healthy and happy home for her family, and aims to provide advice for others on how to do the same with her site Hyper-Tidy.com.