Halloween is one of those times of year bringing a wide range of views and emotions. From fantastically excited children dressed up as zombies and pumpkins to people who disagree in the celebrations or can’t wait for it to be over… It is important to turn our attention to such seasonal events, to make sure everyone has an experience either enjoyed at ease (dressing up or not!). For most of us, the celebrations are childhood memories of dressing up, carving pumpkins and going trick or treating door to door. And for many of our adult and senior friends and family, this memory expands to giving out sweets to the corpse brides and werewolves at their doors on Oct 31st.
To help the elderly prepare for Halloween, we are going to be looking into some festive activities and ways of staying safe on the night.
Halloween Safety Tips
Keeping the elderly population as safe as possible while enjoying the Halloween holidays in their own way can be possible following a few considerations and interventions.
- Keep your home (inside and out) free of decorations.
- One recommendation is to add night lights to hallways, walkways, and rooms, and keep well lit to avoid fright.
- Some suggest keeping lights at the front of the house will suggest no one is home, so it will deter visitors.
- Avoid or remove ornaments and objects that will destruct view of front entry and windows.
- If carving pumpkins, only use light pumpkins and safe tools.
- When done with sweets, or at dusk: Put a sign on the door, “Sorry No More Sweets“.
- Or, if not handing out sweets a sign saying ‘Sorry, No Sweets’ or similar works just as well.
- Do not leave an elderly person living with dementia or physical limitations alone on Halloween night.
- Spend the evening with them, keep them safe and in good company.
- Help them answer the door and hand out sweets if they wish.
- Be prepared with books, films, music, foods, and their favourites to enjoy and distract.
- Watch a movie or listen to music in another room away from the front door if possible.
Halloween Activities For Seniors
Halloween may be a part of the spooky season, but it doesn’t have to be feared! There are plenty of activities that the elderly can participate in. Whether at home, with the family, at a club or in a retirement home… Look at some of these haunted suggestions:
- Share scary stories… Come equipped with a spooky book or have a look on the internet if you’re not feeling creative, make it a challenge to bring the best story to the dinner table!
- Halloween charades… A great way to keep active and distracted. With 100s of suggestions online, get a group together and get acting! It will crack a giggle, for sure.
- DIY trick or treating. Most seniors may feel silly going around the village door to door but no one ever wanted to grow too old to trick or treat. Especially good in homes, let any participating seniors dress up and come to set up stations around the room or home.
- Movie marathon… Get Netflix on, get an old DVD, look at what’s on TV… Take a seat and enjoy a hair-raising movie or two on the night.
- Pumpkin decorating is one of the best traditional crafts. If worried about the handling of sharp implements, grab a sharpie or give them a hand. This can be a great and funny activity. Again, where competitions can be made.
- Get decorating! With a trip to the crafts shop, see what the Halloween pop up stores and supermarkets have to offer or check out what’s stored away from last year. Treat it like you would decorating the Christmas tree.
We hope that this has either provided you with comfort or excitement and ideas of how to celebrate. Remember, anyone can have fun and no one should have to face the night alone!
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