Stores hope to ease struggles for shopping seniors

Published 8:57 am Monday, March 23, 2020

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Grocery shopping already can be a challenging task for many seniors. In the wake of the COVID-19 public health disaster, it can be outright dangerous.

Large corporations are showing compassion for potentially vulnerable members of society by letting seniors have an exclusive time to shop or have groceries delivered to their homes.

Many national chain stores, including Dollar General and Walmart, have begun to offer a “senior hour” of shopping, where only those 55 and older can enter the establishment.

Through April 28, Walmart stores will host an hour-long senior shopping event every Tuesday for customers 60 and older one hour before stores open, during which pharmacies and vision centers will be open, according to a news release.

“A senior hour is beneficial because they won’t have to deal with some of the people that don’t respect their space,” Richwood resident Mark Catalena said. “Senior citizens move slower and some people will rush the store and not stop for anybody else.”

On March 16, Dollar General “strongly encouraged” people to allow the first hour of store operations to be “dedicated solely for the shopping needs of senior customers, who are one of the groups most vulnerable to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Normally older people get up early and they’re just buying and they are battling to get to stock while other people tend to be hoarding. A senior hour will give the seniors the time to get in and get the things they need.

Last week, stores were really crowded and the lines were really long to check out.

H-E-B, Walmart, Kroger and other grocery retailers are offering curbside pickup for groceries in stock.

H-E-B opened a senior citizen hotline for those 60 and older to order groceries daily from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact the H-E-B Senior Support Line at 1-833-397-0080 or visit

While hoarding makes shopping especially difficult for seniors, it affects everyone shopping for necessities.

Although residents in nursing homes are confined to their care centers, many seniors who live alone must leave the house to grocery shop.