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Do you suffer from arthritis? If so, just functioning from day-to-day may seem difficult. Walking to your car, let alone climbing inside and driving, may seem out of the question. Not only is it too hard, but it may be very painful. So, what should you do? It may be easier to sit on the couch at home, but don’t let arthritis control you or your life. We all need to shop, especially for groceries. So, what can you do to ease the pain and discomfort?
Create a grocery list by aisle. Those with arthritis of the toes, knees, and hips, find it difficult and painful to walk. To prevent wasted steps, create a grocery list based on aisles. This prevents you from retracing your steps and walking more. Some grocery stores have guides available for shoppers. Or, the next time you are there, record the aisle numbers and sample of items in the aisle. Use as your guide.
Always use a shopping cart. Regardless of which joints are affected by arthritis, opt for a shopping cart. Baskets are convenient for when you only need to buy a few items, but they can be difficult and painful to grip. If you suffer from arthritis of the toes, knees, and hips, a shopping cart provides you with walking support. Also, don’t be afraid to use the motorized shopping carts. Many stores have them available free of charge.
Use a reacher or ask for help. You will experience the most problems at the grocery store. Items are scattered on shelves both high and low. If you find it difficult to bend or reach, ask for help or purchase an extended reacher. They are available for sale at most drug stores and medical stores. These reachers can also help those with difficulty gripping items. If you need help, ask a store associated or a passerby.
Take a break when you need to. It is no secret that both grocery stores and supermarkets are large. Walking from the car to the store may seem like a long journey, but just wait into you get inside. It is not a race to finish quickly; take a break whenever you start to experience pain or difficulty moving. In the grocery store, visit the café or move your cart to the side of an aisle and lean on it for support. Shopping malls have benches scattered throughout; take a seat and rest.
Opt for paper or reusable bags at the grocery store. Those suffering from arthritis of the fingers, experience pain when gripping and carrying plastic shopping bags. Many dread trips to the grocery store. Instead, opt for paper or reusable bags. Most reusable bags have long handlings; you can sling them over your shoulder. To carry paper bags, use both arms, not just your fingers and hands. Also, do not be afraid to ask a store associate to load your bags into the car or ask a neighbor for help.
As a last resort, hire someone to shop for you. In fact, you may not even need to pay. See if a close friend or family member will pickup a few items for you at the grocery store. Many stores now enable you to shop right from your home. With these stores, you browse or search through their product list, add items to your virtual shopping card, make payment, and wait. A store employee will deliver your goods to your home! You may be charged a small delivery fee, but it may be well worth the added cost.
Although it may be easier to use a grocery store delivery service or have someone else stop for you, try. By implementing a few of the above mentioned steps, shopping for gifts, groceries, and clothes does not have to be difficult. Just remember to take it slow, rely on available tools, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.