Mary, a widow, lives alone in the home she has owned for 52 years. She can cook, clean the house, and care for herself. But she no longer drives because of failing eyesight, and there are no stores within walking distance.

Mary wants to stay in her home as long as possible. How can we help her meet her need for groceries, drug store items, and other basic necessities?

If she is lucky, Mary has grown children who can help. In some cases, though, there are no children, or the children live far away. In other cases, the children have work commitments, or their own child-rearing obligations, that make it difficult it difficult to find time to help Mary with her shopping.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday remind us that the world of online shopping has grown enormously in recent years. Online shopping now includes home delivery options for the kinds of supplies Mary needs to stay in her home.

One example is Amazon.com, which delivers nationwide and sells grocery staples such as cereal, cooking oil, spices, rice, flour, and so forth. They also sell household items such as batteries, soap, shampoo, tape, hand lotion, paper, etc. Their Amazon Prime service, currently $99 a year, promises free two-day delivery by mail.

An online company like Amazon can provide dry goods, but what about fresh food, like meat, vegetables, milk, bread, and butter?

Local grocery delivery services have sprung up too, at least in urban areas. I did an internet search the morning I wrote this blog post and found at least three companies that deliver fresh grocery items in the Pittsburgh area.

Current online shopping options for food and household items can help elderly shut-ins remain in their homes longer, and spell relief for family members and other caregivers.


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