Food safety starts at the grocery store. Each year throughout the United States approximately 48 million people suffer from illnesses and infections contracted by consuming contaminated foods. While some of these do come up from restaurants, the vast majority occur right in the home. As a family caregiver, you can help to greatly reduce the risk your senior will experience a foodborne infection or illness, which can lead to severe health consequences and even death, by starting at your food safety approach when shopping for groceries.
Use these tips to manage food safety when grocery shopping with your elderly parent:
- Use a sanitizing wipe to clean the handle of the grocery cart before using it, and use hand sanitizing gel before shopping.
- Shop for non-perishable grocery goods such as pasta, cereal, and canned goods first.
- Shop for refrigerated and frozen foods next.
- Place raw fruits and vegetables on top of other items rather than beneath, where they are more vulnerable to contamination.
- Do not place raw meat, poultry, pork, or fish on top of unpackaged foods, or foods that will be eaten without further preparation, even if they are in a bag.
- Purchase any sliced meat from the deli last, as these tend to be the most vulnerable, and keep them near the cold foods in your cart.
- Avoid letting raw fruits and vegetables touch any surface such as a conveyor belt without having something around it, such as a produce bag.
- Avoid putting cold foods in the trunk of a car during warm weather.
- If possible, use a cooler or insulated bag to keep cold foods cold during the trip back to the house.
Helping your aging parent with grocery shopping is just one of the ways home care can benefit your senior. An in-home care provider can help your senior maintain a greater sense of independence, autonomy, and control over their own life by helping them to manage grocery shopping on a regular basis.
This can be something you take for granted, but for your senior, being able to shop for their own groceries can be a tremendous boost to their mental and emotional health and well-being. A home care provider can offer safe and reliable transportation so your parents can go to the grocery store when they want to, rather than waiting for you.
This care provider can then go around the store with your senior to assist them in selecting the appropriate food, getting food off of shelves, and carrying their purchases back to the car and into the home. This one simple tip can make a difference in your senior’s ongoing quality of life.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Homecare in Arlington, VA, please contact the caring staff at Access Home Care Inc. Proudly Serving Northern Virginia and Surroundings for over 12 years.
Call Us: (703) 765-9350
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