Caregiver Blog, News Feeds, Video Feeds, Useful Links

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Taking Seniors with Wheelchairs Shopping or on Outings

Taking seniors in wheelchairs grocery shopping provides a chance for people who are at home much of the time to have an outing.

If seniors are unable to propel their wheelchairs alone, I can take them shopping by pulling the wheelchair with my left hand, and pushing a grocery cart with my right hand. If there is an oxygen tank, I put it on the holder on the wheelchair on the back, or attach the straps to the back of the wheelchair.

Seniors can bring their own wallets or purses, and can then handle paying for their own groceries when we are done. Women carry their purses on their laps, and men use their pockets or various types of knapsacks or carriers.

Going to the grocery store can be a highlight of the day or week for a senior who is housebound. If the person has a walker we can make short trips into stores or banks, when the distance is not too much. Sometimes people start on a walker, and get tired, in which case I quickly fetch the wheelchair from the car. A walker with a seat on it can allow seniors to turn around and sit down to rest.

Some seniors use one of the lightweight wheelchairs available, which makes it easier for a caregiver who has to lift the wheelchair in and out of the backseat or trunk of the car frequently.

If people want to exercise their legs and feet they can ride in the wheelchair without using the foot rests, and "walk" their feet to help propel the wheelchair, in addition to using their arms to push the wheels around.

One of the seniors, who was over 95 years old, and who used a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, liked to get foot and arm exercise in the grocery store. One day, when I turned around to look for fresh vegetables on her grocery list, she had disappeared when I turned back.

I was worried, and after searching I found her several aisles away. She was happily looking for cake mixes, while bystanders were handing them down to her from the higher shelves.

She said several people asked her if she needed any help, but that she told them she was fine. A store clerk told me that he thought she was there alone.

After that I made doubly sure she was always in sight, in case she needed me for something, and for her safety.

Taking seniors who use wheelchairs to grocery stores, hair styling appointments, garden supply stores for plants, family get-togethers and so on, takes a little planning, but caregivers and seniors can share an enjoyable time on these outings.

No comments: