Care for Older People Includes Shopping

Many people assume a carer provides care only in the person’s home but Independent Living provides a range of support outside the home.  People who have poor mobility or who are generally unwell may not be able to leave their home to sort out a range of purchases.  The most obvious support is food shopping, whilst some families now get it delivered weekly to an elderly relative other people still want the traditional approach of it being fetched from the supermarket once or twice a week. Our carers can do this either by getting items on a shopping list, to taking the customer to the supermarket if they are well enough.

However, shopping can be much broader, in one of our earlier blogs I mentioned that as a carer I had taken sever watches for new batteries.  A number of the shopping appointments are more broadly health services, very common is to take people for new glasses, hearing aids and hearing aid batteries.  Also common now is to visit Miller Care or Mobility 2000 to purchase items such as walking frames, wheel chairs and pull-up pants.  Another role is to deal with technology, I have arranged a mobile phone purchase for people who are unable to deal with it themselves.

A number of older people are now internet savvy but many are still nervous about purchasing items on the internet, handing over bank card details and so forth.  In many cases I have helped people identify what they want on-line, purchased the item on their behalf using the company bank card and simply recharged it to them on their monthly bill.  In this way the person is not worrying about online banking.  This has worked well for sites like Amazon where items are not easily found locally, or Marks and Spencers where many older people feel they get quality items.

Looking at shopping more broadly I have also arranged services for our customers.  This has included for example getting a ramp build outside their back door, and getting a television expert to tune a new TV.  The most expensive purchase as a carer I have been involved in is an electric moveable chair for the front room at a cost of C£2,000.  This is always a concern because it is a big responsibility to arrange a major purchase and I always worry if it turns out to be suitable.  Having said this, sometimes if the carer doesn’t help the person will not get what they need.

What a carer cannot do is give any form of financial or legal advice.  One particular example is someone asked me about getting “equity release” from their home.  This is against company rules and a carer does not have the appropriate knowledge to give financial advice to someone so I had to decline.  Likewise a carer cannot get involved in legal matters, many years ago someone wanted me to witness a document for a house sale, although carers hate to say “no” sometimes it has to be done.

If shopping is required please feel to give Amanda or Lilian a call at Independent Living 01257 696 050 during standard office hours.