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As the COVID-19 pandemic persists, one task many seniors are concerned about is grocery shopping. Personal contact with fellow shoppers who might be unknowing carriers can cause apprehension. Not knowing how long the virus may remain on food items is another legitimate concern. Finding ways to keep your pantry and refrigerator full without putting your health at risk is essential
Shop Safely at Your Local Grocery Store
If you enjoy the experience of shopping for your own food and don’t want to give that up, call your favorite grocery store, or check their website. See if they have a dedicated time to shop for older adults and those who are immunocompromised. Many stores are opening an hour earlier to accommodate shoppers who are at higher risk for contracting the virus.
Also, ask what procedures the store has in place for disinfecting and sanitizing carts, shelves, coolers, and more. Does the store require employees and shoppers to wear masks? Is hand sanitizer readily available?
The answers to these questions may help you decide if you feel safe shopping at the store or if you need to pursue other avenues.
Alternatives to In-Person Grocery Shopping
Fortunately, there are alternatives to going into a grocery store to do your shopping. Many stores are offering online ordering with contact-free curbside pickup. Check the website of your favorite store to see if they offer this service. You will likely need to set up an account on the store’s site, make your selections, and pay for the order with a credit card. When you arrive at the grocery store, you’ll pull into a designated parking space and your order will be loaded into your car. No contact required!
Another choice is to employ a home delivery service. You order your food online, and the company takes it from there. Your personal shopper will use the list you created, and shop for you. Some can even text or call if the store is out of your favorite items to see if you’d like to make substitutions. The staff member will then bring your groceries right to your door. They can leave them on the porch or bring them into your kitchen. Two national grocery delivery services to investigate are Shipt and Instacart.
If you’ve never tried one before, a home-delivery meal service might be another avenue to explore. Some send you the ingredients cut up and ready to cook, and others simply need to be reheated. The article 3 Home-Delivery Food Services For Seniors To Try shares a few additional tips you might find useful.
Disinfecting Groceries at Home
Because researchers still don’t know much about the coronavirus, there are no hard and fast rules for how long it can last on different types of surfaces. The experts are split on whether or not you need to wipe down each package, can, or bag of food you bring into your home.
If you’d like to err on the side of caution, here are a few tips for shopping safely:
COVID-19 Delivery Guidelines at Sunrise Communities
Like most families at home, Sunrise has established protocols for food items and other deliveries to keep residents and team members safe.
All deliveries of food or other items to a Sunrise Senior Living community are required to adhere to the following guidelines:
We know that friends and family members may wish to drop items off to their senior loved one during this time of restricted visitors. Here are the guidelines for deliveries to our residents:
For more details about how Sunrise is continuing to feed our residents healthy, delicious meals during this pandemic, read this article.
To learn more about the steps Sunrise is taking to protect residents and team members, please visit COVID-19: We Are Prepared. You’ll find updates from our CEO and leadership team, as well as other important COVID-19 information and resources.