In-Store Shopping Hard for 1 in 3 Caregivers
In-store shopping is difficult for almost one-third (31%) of the 40 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States, according to a survey from AARP. Surveyed caregivers said that a lack of accommodations for their family members makes it hard for them to shop in stores, with many leaving their loved ones at home, or choosing to shop online despite a strong preference for the in-store experience.
The survey found that more than nine in 10 caregivers (93%) shop for the person they care for. Of those caregivers, most shop monthly for groceries (87%), household basics (65%), toiletries (61%), prescription drugs (58%) and other health products (52%) for their loved one.
“Americans who take care of loved ones are often strapped for time, and many face logistical challenges doing something as simple as going to the grocery store,” noted Nancy LeaMond, EVP and chief advocacy and engagement officer at Washington, D.C.-based AARP, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for adults age 50 and older. “Retailers can score big with caregivers if they make it easier for them to bring their loved ones along when they shop.”
The survey uncovered changes that retailers should consider, including dedicated parking spots for caregivers; ample, comfortable reserved seating for loved ones; and wider aisles that easily accommodate wheelchairs.
Additional findings from the survey include:
- More than eight in 10 caregivers (82%) prefer to shop in-store, but 84% shop online for ease and convenience, despite preferring an in-store experience.
- More than half (56%) who buy groceries on behalf of loved ones spend at least $50 a month doing so.
- More than four in 10 caregivers (43%) said that a major reason they leave their loved one at home when shopping is because the store environment is too difficult for care recipients.
The full report is available online.
Presented at the AARP Executive Summit, The Price of Caring, on Sept. 10 in Washington, the survey was conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago in August 2019 and is based on a nationally representative survey of 1,127 Americans who provide unpaid care for an adult age 18 or older.