Halloween isn’t just for children. In fact, most adults also like to relive their childhood memories and wear a costume, make jack ‘o lanterns and have fun. Elderly adults are no different, and celebrating Halloween is a wonderful way for them to socialize, laugh and do something different. Family caregivers who look after their aging relatives need to make an extra effort to get seniors involved in events and activities that celebrate Halloween.
While Halloween is a lot of fun, there are certain hazards associated with the celebration. If family caregivers want to keep their loved one happy and safe, they must enlist the help of their support group of family members, elder care providers and friends. Together, they can create an atmosphere of safety while enjoying the spooky and delightful elements of Halloween.
Here are some do’s and don’ts for helping elderly adults enjoy Halloween:
- Search for fun community activities like pumpkin patches, costume contests and pumpkin walks.
- Make sure any stairs, hallways, porches and front doors are free from obstructions and decorations that may cause a slip and fall accident
- Keep the outside lights on to signal trick or treaters that there is candy available.
- Create a costume for them that won’t interfere with walking, vision, or hearing.
- Look for family-friendly Halloween events to avoid disturbing images and sounds.
- Consider going to a friend or family member’s home if trick or treaters make them anxious.
- Watch a movie with a Halloween theme or a documentary on mysterious creatures.
- Take some time to drive around the neighborhood and look at decorations.
- Arrange for the elder care provider to stay the evening and overnight with the aging adult to alleviate anxiety.
- Avoid any decorations that cover windows, block out sunlight or hang in front of the face.
- Don’t use knives to carve pumpkins—instead use carving tools or paint.
- Never light jack ‘o lanterns with candles and instead use battery-powered candles.
- Avoid exposing sensitive elderly adults to disturbing images of blood, corpses and similar gory Halloween decorations and costumes.
- Seniors shouldn’t eat hard candy or sticky candy as they may ruin their dentures.
- Don’t force an elderly adult to participate in Halloween activities if they don’t want to.
- Never leave an elderly person alone on Halloween night as there are increased chances of mischief, vandalism and break-ins.
Family caregivers should remember that Halloween can be both fun and scary, so it’s up to them to ensure that their aging relative is happy and no nervous. With careful planning and the help of family members and elder care providers, elderly adults can enjoy all the delightful aspects of the holiday while avoiding the things that make them worry.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider senior care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.