Monday, October 24, 2016
Halloween Safety for Older Adults, Dementia (Video 3:04)
For many older adults, experiencing Halloween traditions can be a fearful and confusing time. Scary costumes, loud noises, strangers’ visits, and demands for candy may seem like innocent fun to trick or treaters. But some vulnerable older adults may feel uncomfortable with the ongoing disruptions, especially those who live alone. Adults with dementia may have even more difficulty trying to understand what is going on. In addition, caregivers who are eager to be a part of the festivities may underestimate the risks involved with opening their doors to strangers.
The following are a few Halloween safety tips to keep in mind:
1) Have a responsible adult available to console vulnerable older adults, if needed, even if they are not participating in the festivities.
2) Manage any Halloween activities, especially if the person needing help will participate in greeting guests or giving out treats at the door.
3) Leave lights on even if the door will not be answered.
4) Maintain a peaceful atmosphere as much as possible.
5) Keep trick or treaters outside at all times.
6) Post a sign stating when all treats are gone.
If you have other suggestions for making Halloween safe for older adults or anyone with dementia, please mention them in the comments. In this KSHB news video, Matt Latham from the Visiting Angels organization shares tips on improving older adult Halloween safety.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.