Pedestrian safety extends beyond people walking in a community. It’s about making sure all members of their community are safe, whenever and wherever they are walking. Senior citizens are often involved in pedestrian accidents due to their decreased physical, sensory and cognitive abilities. It is important that people are aware of and work together to ensure a safe pedestrian environment for seniors, wherever they are – including if a senior citizen is out shopping.
Between parking the car or arranging transportation, getting around the store, and finding what they need, for many senior citizens, a trip to the grocery store can be overwhelming and exhausting. While making sure they get the food and products they need is essential, so is ensuring a safe shopping experience. If you’re a senior, care for a senior or are out shopping and see a senior citizen, here are some tips to ensure everyone has a safe trip:
Take your time
Whether you’re shopping with a senior citizen or are a senior yourself, take your time when moving through parking lots as well as in-store. There is no need to rush or walk faster than you usually would. As well, don’t try and fit grocery shopping in between appointments. Instead, devote a morning to making sure you have the time you need to shop. It’s okay to walk slowly, carefully, and to take your time.
Shop early in the day
Shopping early in the day means seniors don’t have to worry about maneuvering, walking and pushing a cart or walker through crowded aisles or having produce and other essentials picked over. Stores are also quieter and cleaner earlier in the day.
Shop at smaller stores
If possible, chose smaller grocery stores with less square footage or stores that have most essential products located at the perimeter of the store. Smaller stores are also less overwhelming and make it easier to find essential needs.
Ask whoever is packing the bags not to make them too heavy and to separate cans and heavy items, so they are not all in one bag. As well, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance to load your car of heavy items and bags.
Bring sanitizing wipes
If possible, bring sanitizing wipes to clean any shopping carts or baskets you use. As well, avoid touching your face until you have had a chance to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands.
Pedestrian safety takes a community, which means no one and no place should be left out. Remember, not everyone walks fast, and not everyone has the same mobility. Slow down and pay attention to the people around you. By seeing and being seen, we can help one another be safe, whether we are walking on a sidewalk or down a grocery store aisle.