‘Tis the Season to Go Shopping: Safety Tips for Seniors

Safety Tips for Seniors

It’s that time of year again. In just a few days, people will be headed to malls and big box stores to take advantage of Black Friday deals. According to Finder.com, “An estimated 72.4 million American adults plan to shop Black Friday this year. 24.4% of those surveyed were seniors aged 65+.” (1)

 Black Friday can be a chaotic day. If you are a senior, there are multiple precautions you should take to protect yourself, not just on Black Friday, but for the rest of the season as well.

1. Don’t Do Everything at Once

Trying to complete all of your holiday shopping in one shot can be exhausting. If you have a large family or lots of friends, it can be almost impossible. With this in mind, it helps if you buy gifts a little bit at a time. This can also help you budget your money more easily. For instance, if you have 15 people to buy gifts for, try covering 3 people a day. With this plan, you can complete your shopping in 5 days.

It also helps if you start your shopping early in the year. Research from BlackFriday.com found that 66% of shoppers plan to complete their holiday shopping as early as possible. (2) You can plan one trip each week over 5 weeks. Doing so will give you time to relax and recharge between trips and make your gift buying more manageable overall. It also improves your safety as you won’t exhaust yourself trying to crunch everything into a short period of time.

If you plan on taking advantage of Black Friday deals, make sure to plan and set that day aside for bigger purchases. Figure out what stores have the items you want to purchase and when they go on sale. Create a detailed schedule that you can easily follow on the big day.

One precaution to consider is personal emergency alarm technology. These devices can provide you with 24/7/365 protection as you go about your holiday activities.

 With the press of a button, a certified emergency response agent will come on the line and ask you about your situation. They will secure immediate help for you and they will also remain on the line with you until help arrives.

2. Start Early in the Day

Stores typically begin to get more crowded around noon. If you can, shop earlier in the day. This reduces the amount of other people you will have to navigate around. The fewer people you need to veer around, the better you can retain your energy. The more energy you have, the longer you can shop and the more tasks you can get done. This strategy may not work on Black Friday, however, as many shoppers also arrive early to take advantage of great deals.

If you do go out later in the day, consider wearing an Alert1 medical alert wrist watch. The large face watch can tell you the time at a quick glance so that you can stay on track with your schedule. The weather app can tell you how to prepare for the weather if you plan on waiting outside of stores. The watch can also track your steps with its built-in pedometer. The emergency alert watch is the perfect companion for holiday shoppers.

3. The More the Merrier

Bringing more people with you can make your shopping more fun, while also improving your safety. Bring some friends or family members with you and use it as a chance to socialize. You can get opinions on gift ideas or even let your family members choose the presents that they want. If you let your family choose their own gifts, it can simplify the entire process.

4. Wear a Personal Emergency Response Device

senior alert system is one of the best ways to keep you safe while you shop. These emergency response solutions provide you with 24/7/365 access to a trained agent who can guide you through whatever emergency you may encounter.

If you are going shopping, you will want to choose a mobile option. The basic on-the-go panic button alarm features a two-way speaker so you can talk to an emergency response agent from anywhere. You can also add a GPS so that will allow your agent to pinpoint your location. Then they will know exactly where to send help. The on-the-go fall alarm pendant for seniors comes with a fall detection sensor that can automatically contact an emergency response agent when it registers a fall. The on-the-go medical alarm wrist watch is the most technologically advanced system. It is an assistive device for seniors that looks like a wrist watch.

5. Lock Your Car

While you are in the store or mall, be sure to lock your car to prevent anyone with poor intentions from breaking into your car. If you leave any purses, wallets, or expensive gifts in your car, try to hide them somewhere. These items are temptations that can prompt someone to break in. Put expensive items in your trunk, under the seat, or bring a blanket to drape over your purchases.

6. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

No matter where you go, you should always be aware of your surroundings. With people bustling around, it can be easy to get distracted and let your guard down. Be sure to pay extra attention when holiday shopping. This will help protect you from pickpockets and scammers. Make sure your pocketbook is closed properly as well.

When you are paying at the register, be sure to hide your credit card number and pin code. This will help prevent your card information from being stolen. If you want to be extra cautious, invest in an anti-theft purse.

7. Don’t Fight Over Items

Getting the perfect gift at a great deal can drive some people to do some crazy things. If you catch yourself in a dispute over a specific item, don’t fight over it. Your safety is more important than any item or deal. You may also want to avoid stores that have a history of Black Friday violence. Reviews.org tracks stores that are known to have incidents and found that 57.1% of Black Friday Violence incidents happened at Walmart. Other stores that saw violence include malls, Target, Best Buy, and Kohls. (3)

8. Ask for Help Loading Large Items

If you purchase any large items such as a TV, large appliances, or furniture, ask an employee to help you load it into your car. This way you won’t strain yourself trying to load these items on your own. You may also consider having items like this delivered to your home. Be sure to ask a store employee if they offer this service for large or heavy items.

9. Buy Online

If you want to completely avoid any hassles that come with shopping in-person, consider buying online instead. There are plenty of virtual deals available. Drive Research found that, “52% of consumers plan to shop online for 2021 Black Friday while 35% of consumers will shop in-person. Additionally, 45% of Americans will shop on Cyber Monday making it the second-largest shopping day of 2021.” (4)

  •  Even if you are online, it is important to use caution to protect yourself from scams.
  • Don’t click on any suspicious links offering deals.
  • Only purchase from stores that you know and trust.
  • Pay attention to deals that are advertised in newspaper ads or on television as this can help you confirm which sales are legitimate.
  • If in doubt, avoid the deal.

Safety First, Deals Second

While great deals and the excitement of shoppers around you can be enticing, your safety should always come first. By using some caution, you can prevent falls, medical events, and emergencies of all types while buying holiday gifts for your loved ones. An Alert1 emergency alarm system for seniors can also provide you with peace of mind knowing that help is just a button press away whenever and wherever you need it.




1 Laycock, Richard. Choi, Catherine. Nov. 2021. Black Friday Sales. Finder.com. Black Friday Statistics 2021.

2 Shand, Mackenzie. Nov. 2021. News. BlackFriday.com. Black Friday Shopping Trends for 2021: Consumer Excitement for Cyber Week Shopping.

3 Wheelwright, Trevor. Nov. 2018. Trends. Reviews.org. These States Are at High Risk for Black Friday Violence.

4 Carroll, Emily. Nov. 2021. Markey Research Company Blog. Drive Research. Black Friday 2021: Survey Predicts 119% Increase for In-Person Shopping.