Grocery shopping is a real challenge for low vision patients. Stores are so large and there are thousands of items to consider. Yes, friends and family can go shopping for the person but that often is not practical. There are some strategies for someone has to, or wants to, shop for themselves. Most likely the supermarket is one where the person has previously shopped. If that is the case, the person is familiar with the layout of the store, where the produce and meat departments are. If it is a new supermarket, the staff is pleased to help patients get oriented. No one wants to go back and forth in a big store.
We suggest two aids when going shopping. Lighted magnifiers are always helpful. It is much easier to identify items when descriptive text can be read. Another very helpful tool is a good, small flashlight. Directed light makes everything easier to see. Lastly, and something few people know, is that supermarkets are happy to assign an associate to accompany and assist low vision shoppers. Some supermarkets have specifically trained associates to help someone who is low vision shopper. These associates will stay with the person throughout the entire shopping trip and help select items. All someone has to do is to go to the customer service department and request the assistance.
We all have to do grocery shopping. Most of our patients would prefer to do it themselves. Advance planning and using some tools can make the shopping experience much easier.