Family caregivers perform many different kinds of tasks, but one of the most universal is shopping. Ninety-three percent of caregivers said they shop for their loved ones, according to a survey released this week by AARP. They buy groceries, medications or other household items.
Overwhelmingly, they shop online. According to the survey, 84 percent said they opt for the convenience of having items shipped to their house. But almost as many said they prefer to go shopping in person.
“Let’s be honest, in many cases the shopping excursion is a chance to get out of the house and engage with other people and be part of a society,” said Barbara Shipley, senior vice president for brand integration at AARP, at an event Tuesday to announce the results.
Thats why AARP released recommendations this week to make the experience more accessible for family caregivers and their care recipients. More than 4 in 10 caregivers (43%) said a major reason they leave their loved one at home when they do go out shopping is because the stores are difficult to navigate.
The survey highlights major barriers, including narrow aisles and limited hours, that store owners can address to make them more accessible. About four in ten caregivers said parking spots designated for caregivers (46%), longer store hours (46%), and more available seating throughout the store (41%) influence where they decide to shop.
With 40 million Americans caring for someone who is elderly or disabled or chronically ill, caregivers are a major potential market.
“Retailers can score big with caregivers if they make it easier for them to bring their loved ones along when they shop,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president and chief advocacy & engagement officer.
Michael Alison Chandler is managing editor at MemoryWell. Previously, she was a staff writer at the Washington Post for 13 years.