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Minimize Health Risks When Leaving Your Home

Posted by Elder Health Plans, April 6, 2020

Hopefully, you’re continuing to keep yourself safe by practicing social distancing and avoiding going out of the home unnecessarily. But of course, we all need basic items such as groceries. The following suggestions can keep you safe when you do need to go shopping for necessities.

Try delivery. Obviously, the best course of action is to simply use grocery delivery so that you don’t have to go out at all. Many grocery stores and services such as Instacart offer delivery, but you might have to wait several days or even weeks to obtain service. Go ahead and sign up for the next appointment available, so that you can switch to delivery when possible. Then use the following tips in the meantime.

Try a hybrid approach. Amazon Pantry,, Sam’s Club, and other online retailers can ship many grocery items. Of course, you will be lacking fresh produce, dairy, and meat. But if you take advantage of the ability to shop for shelf-stable goods this way, you will spend less time in the grocery store when you do go shopping for those other items.

Take advantage of senior hours. Call your favorite grocery stores to see if they offer special hours for seniors only. At this time many retailers are only allowing shoppers over age 60 to enter the store for the first hour or two of operations each day. This cuts down on the number of people in the store and allows for a safer shopping experience for the population most vulnerable to covid-19.

Plan ahead. Make your list and organize it by aisle, so that you don’t have to double back through the store. You want to spend the least amount of time possible in public locations.

Shop for at least one week’s worth of groceries, or more if you can, so that you don’t need to go back to the store frequently.

Disinfect your cart. Use the disinfecting wipes provided by your store, or carry your own wipes with you. Clean your cart before touching it.

Don’t touch your face. Avoid touching your face while out and about, just in case you’ve picked up a virus from a surface. Illnesses are often transmitted when you touch an infected surface and then transfer germs to your mouth, eyes, or nose.

Avoid touching gas pumps, door handles, and other frequently used items. Either wear a pair of gloves, or carry paper towels with you, so that you can avoid touching frequently used items. If you use gloves, dispose of them immediately when you get home. Wipe down your steering wheel with disinfecting wipes, too.

Wash your hands. Immediately wash your hands when you return home. Unload your groceries, and then wash your hands again after putting away bags and packaging.

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