4 Tricks to Ensure a Safe Halloween For Your Senior

October 15, 2021 | BY PHS Staff

It’s not just kids that look forward to Halloween every year – seniors do too! They may enjoy checking out the kids’ latest costumes and handing candy out at the doorstep. Or they may enjoy visiting with grandkids to do Halloween crafts and eat treats. Still others like low-key festive parties to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve.

Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure this spooky holiday is as safe as possible for your senior loved one. Hiring senior care services in Gettysburg can help, but here are four tricks for what you can do to ensure a safe, fun and healthy Halloween for your aging mom, dad or other loved one.

Tips for a Fun Yet Safe Halloween

1.     Choose Healthy Treats

Whether you’re planning a few activities at home such as pumpkin carving and watching scary movies or you want to give out candy to trick or treaters, make sure you stock the house with plenty of healthy treats. Save your indulgence for a couple of pieces of dark chocolate, which is lower in fat and sugar than the milk varieties, plus it’s chock full of immune-boosting antioxidants, says AgingCare.

You could also serve up some sugar-free ice cream topped with chopped nuts, berries and granola, packing a punch filled with potassium, vitamin C, protein and fiber. If your senior has a tough time chewing or swallowing food, make them some pudding or a smoothie.

Try to avoid hard candies that remain in the mouth for a long time, advises Mouth Healthy, as the longer sugary foods stay in your mouth, the more risk you have of tooth decay. You probably want to avoid hard candies anyway due to the risk of choking.

2.     Be Mindful of Their Needs and Abilities

While you may have once been able to sit and watch a scary movie with your mom, maybe now that she’s older, she doesn’t like the scares they give her. Choose kid-friendly movies to watch instead. Maybe your dad used to love handing out candy to trick or treaters but now finds all the doorbell ringing and activity to be too much to handle. In that case, don’t put the light on outside, or leave a note that says “No trick-or-treaters, please” or “please do not ring doorbell.” If you still want to treat the kids, place a bowl of candy on the porch for self service.

If your loved one has dementia, sundowning is another factor to consider, as trick or treating usually coincides with dusk and dark. At this time of day, your senior’s level of confusion and agitation is often heightened, so all that extra noise and constant arrival of strangers can be disorienting and frightening.

3.     Make Sure Spooky Décor is Safe

You may love decorating your home with pumpkins, fall foliage, spooky figurines, cobwebs and witches’ cauldrons. Just make sure none of the decorations you put up pose a tripping or fire hazard. If your senior has dementia, it’s best to keep the spooky décor to a minimum or consider not putting any up at all, as they may be prone to hallucinations or paranoia.

4.     Wear Costumes That Are Creative Yet Comfortable

Many seniors enjoy dressing up for the holiday. In this case, you can help them make a costume that they can sport on Halloween night. Make sure the costume isn’t difficult to walk in, and that it doesn’t obscure their face. Any costume you make should be modified in any way that you see fit in order to continue safely providing caregiving duties.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy Halloween with your senior loved one that are fun and safe!

Contact Preferred HealthStaff

Our senior home care services can ensure the safety of your elderly parent or other loved one. To learn more about our at home care, whether at Halloween or any other time of the year, contact us toll free at 866-943-9791 or in Fairfield 717-642-8500.