Halloween is a fun time of year for most of us whether adults or children! However, for seniors with Dementia and/or Physical limitations; Halloween may hold negative feelings and fear that can contribute to negative behaviours leading up to and on Halloween itself.
In addition, the security and safety factor of having strangers coming to the door in the twilight and evening hours, a difficult time of day for many seniors, especially those with dementia, is not conducive to a safe environment for an elderly person.
Keeping our elderly population as safe as possible on Halloween while still enjoying the day in their own way can be possible with a few considerations and interventions.
Halloween Safety Tips for the Elderly
- Keep all floors, entryways and porches free of decorations.
- Add night lights to hallways, walkways, and rooms, and keep well lit.
- Avoid window decorations that block light or view of the front entry.
- Spend the evening with them, be available to help answer door, keep them safe.
- Don’t leave an elderly person with Dementia or physical limitations home alone on Halloween
- Take them to a community event or family home and return home after dusk.
- If possible, have a companion or professional to be with them from 4:00-10:00 or overnight.
- Help them answer the door and hand out sweets if they wish.
- Watch a movie or listen to music in another room away from the front door if possible.
- Be prepared; books, albums, crafts, favourite foods, etc. to enjoy and distract.
- Follow dietary instructions; avoid overindulgence of chocolate or sugar.
Remember Halloween may not be a happy time for seniors with Dementia and may be scary, or create added stimulation from doorbells, fireworks, and general noise outside. Be sensitive to what they can tolerate and do your best to keep them safe and enjoy the evening with you.