Who said Halloween was just for the kids? No matter what your age, there are many ways to celebrate this favorite spooky pastime. Home caregivers should keep in mind that Halloween can also be a scary time for seniors, especially seniors who have dementia. Depending on the stage of dementia, unexpected visitors, scary costumes, and loud and eerie sounds may trigger anxiety and even fill seniors who have dementia with terror.
With preparation and guidelines, home caregivers can ensure that Halloween is a celebration their clients can enjoy. Little things like monitoring any open flames, keeping seniors company on Halloween night, advising on candy intake, and asking clients if they have any particular concerns that you can address.
5 Fun Halloween Activities for Seniors and Caregivers
Halloween and the days leading up to this event can provide many opportunities for home caregivers and seniors to get into the autumn spirit. Festivities abound and can provide some extra fun for both seniors and home caregivers alike. The following five Halloween activities for seniors and caregivers are just a few ideas to get you started.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
This activity is a real treat! The outing will get the seniors in your care out into nature and their community. It’s a nice way to socialize and to have fun picking out a pumpkin. Afterwards, you can carve the pumpkin together at home. The creativity involved with picking out a design and transforming the pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern is a nice boost for cognitive function, as well.
Make a Halloween Costume
Another creative activity is to make a Halloween costume rather than purchase one. Have fun brainstorming ideas and taking a trip down memory lane reminiscing about past costumes. This could also be a good opportunity to take out old photo albums to see what was worn in previous years. The Halloween costume does not need to be complicated or expensive — sometimes simple is best! Either way, making a Halloween costume gives seniors something light and fun to focus on and allows them to break out of their usual routines.
Watch Old Halloween Cartoons
Many scary movies or programs will be too frightening for seniors. But old cartoons can still be a crowd pleaser without causing a fright. Sites such as YouTube make it easy to find Halloween classics such as It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure, and The Skeleton Symphony. Watching old cartoons may conjure up some memories, and can provide an opportunity for sharing fond stories.
Hand Out Candy
This activity will not be appropriate for all seniors or caregivers, but it’s the perfect treat for those who would enjoy it. Seeing kids in costumes and having the neighborhood come to the house can be particularly nice for seniors who don’t get out to socialize much. A fun idea is to have a few Halloween riddles on hand to ask the trick-or-treaters, such as, “Why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?” (He didn’t have the guts!)
Host a Halloween Party
One of the services provided by home caregiving is connecting clients to their loved ones. Halloween is a nice excuse to help plan and host a small get together with your senior clients’ friends and family. The senior in your care can have fun being involved with planning a theme, picking out decorations, and choosing the food and drinks.
The Benefits of Home Care Services
Being able to enjoy annual festivities like Halloween is just one of the benefits of home care services. Home caregiving allows people to age and heal within the comfort of their own home. Home care fosters a sense of independent and allows people to maintain their sense of identity. If you have questions about home care services, please reach out to Alegre Home Care at one of our many locations. We’re all treat — no tricks! — when it comes to home care.