Thursday, October 8, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips for Seniors

Halloween is generally a time of fun and festivities, but it can also pose some safety concerns for seniors and be a frightening event. For those with dementia, limited mobility, poor vision or hearing, or other issues, having people constantly ringing the bell, knocking, or yelling can be frustrating or intimidating. They may also be concerned about being home alone and answering the door to strangers.
  • Keep the lights on
Regardless of whether your aging parent is going to hand out candy, leave the lights on. This can help to dissuade vandalism and other suspicious activity. Oftentimes troublemakers target darkened houses where they think no one is home. A well-lit environment also makes it easier to see who is at the door, where the edge of the step is, and what is happening.
  • Avoid driving
There will be a lot of people roaming the neighborhood, so do any errands with your loved one during the day before trick-or-treating begins. Not only is it more difficult to see at night to begin with, children may not be paying as much attention to where they are going with all of the excitement and step into the street or the path of the vehicle without realizing it.
  • Invite company
If your loved one wants to hand out candy, invite them to your house, or go to theirs and do it together. If distance is an issue, see if they can partner up with a neighbor or family friend. This can reduce their hesitancy about being alone and also give them someone to socialize with and share in the festivities. You or your neighbor can also take steps to ensure their safety as they’re interacting with trick-or-treaters.
  • Keep d├ęcor simple
Tripping and falling is a major concern for seniors. Make sure that decorations do not make navigating more difficult or crowd walking space. Consider using flickering lightbulbs inside of pumpkins instead of real candles to reduce fire risk.
  • Take advantage of community events
If your senior doesn’t want to be bothered at home with trick-or-treaters, consider going to a party at the local senior center or another organization. This can be less stressful and more enjoyable for them because they can socialize with friends in a relaxed environment. You could also have a family night in where you watch movies and have snacks together. This can be less intimidating for them.
  • Trick-or-Treat with care
Some seniors enjoy going out in the neighborhood with their grandchildren and walking with them from house to house. If you’re taking your elderly parent along, make sure you have a bright flashlight to illuminate the sidewalk so they can see where they are going. Try to avoid areas where you know the path is uneven or hard to navigate. Keep a comfortable pace and make sure that they are wearing sturdy shoes and if they have a costume on, it doesn’t impair their vision or mobility.

Halloween can be a memorable time to spend together, but talk to your senior ahead of time to see how they would like to celebrate. Do they prefer something low-key or are they up for a party? Know your parent and what fits best with their abilities. An in-home caregiver is a great option for when you can’t be there so you know your loved one is staying safe, someone is keeping them company, and they have assistance as needed. Contact Always Best Care to learn more about the services we can provide for your senior in their Asheville or Hendersonville home this Halloween and throughout the entire year. Call (828) 989-7263 or visit us online to get started.

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