Owners' Blog

5 Tips for Holiday Shopping with Older Adults

By Hilary and Greg Eldridge

Being a caregiver to an older adult during the holidays brings some extra joys and some challenges, too. After all, you get to spend extra time with your loved one that other people do not get. During that time, you can make some new memories and have some fun doing holiday activities together. But, some of those holiday activities, can be a little challenging for caregivers. For example, holiday shopping with an elderly person requires a little more thought and work than going out on your own. However, with a little extra preparation, buying gifts can be fun for both of you. Here are 5 tips to make holiday shopping for caregivers and seniors a merry occasion.

#1: Don’t Plan to Finish in a Day

If the shopping list is long, don’t expect to finish it in one day. That could leave you feeling frustrated and the senior feeling rushed. Instead, start shopping early in the season and spread it out over several days. Perhaps plan to visit just a few stores each time you go.

#2: Pack Supplies

Caregivers are used to bringing bags of things to doctor’s appointments or the hospital. Those bags likely carry medicines, insurance or Medicare information, activities to pass the time, and a calendar for scheduling appointments. But, do you pack a bag when you go shopping? Doing so could make the trip simpler. Pack things like tissues, a bottle of water, lip balm, and lotion. You may also want to pack an extra sweater, in case they get cold. Also, remember to pack medications if they’ll be due for a dose while you’re out.

#3: Go Early in the Day

Stores aren’t as crowded during the morning hours as they are in the evening when more people are off work. You won’t have to fight the crowds and chance the senior being jostled about or knocked over. Also, many older adults simply feel better and more energetic in the morning, so shopping will be easier on them.

#4: Make a List

Before shopping, sit down with the senior and make a list of who they are shopping for and some ideas. While you may be able to keep your own list in your head, older adults sometimes have memory problems that prevent them from doing so.

#5: Take Breaks

Plan to take some breaks during the shopping trip to allow the older adult to sit and rest for a bit. Find a place to get a cup of coffee or just sit on a bench in the mall for a few minutes. Not only will this offer some rest, it also gives both the caregiver and the senior a chance to check their list again.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Stone Mountain, GA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers, call (678) 430-8511.