Everyone knows how to keep children safe on Halloween by making sure they go trick-or-treating in groups, teaching them not to take homemade treats, and checking candy for hazardous items before kids are allowed to eat it. What about seniors, though? This hair-raising holiday can be a lot of fun for children and families, but seniors face a different set of concerns.
For one thing, there are physical demands to consider, whether seniors want to walk the neighborhood with their grandchildren or they’re heading to the door every few minutes to hand out candy. Then there is the potential for pranks and vandalism that populate this masked holiday. With some minor preparations, however, seniors can enjoy Halloween as much as anyone else. Here are just a few Halloween safety tips for seniors.
1. Check the lights
The last thing you want is to realize that your porch light is out when Halloween rolls around. This could not only deter trick-or-treaters, but also invite a criminal element. Before the holiday, check all of the lights around your entryways to make sure they’re working properly, and replace any bulbs that have burned out. You may also want to take this opportunity to upgrade to brighter lighting or even consider installing motion-sensor floodlights on your property for increased safety year-round.
2. Use the peephole
Before you answer the bell, it’s imperative that you check the peephole to see who is standing outside your door. If it’s a group of teens or a lone adult, you might want to keep the door closed for the sake of safety.
3. Make it social
Seniors that live alone may be understandably concerned about opening the door to strangers on Halloween. For this reason, it may be wise, not to mention more fun, to hand out candy with a friend or relative. Invite someone over or simply go to a family member’s house for the evening to play it safe.
For elderly relatives with dementia, the ringing doorbell can be a source of confusion and anxiety, as can all the masked visitors. In such cases, it’s probably best to take elderly loved ones to a family home or to a social event where they won’t be disturbed by the hallmarks of the holiday, or at least they’ll have trusted individuals around to help them cope.
4. Put out a sign
Turning off the lights is the traditional signal that a household has run out of candy and does not want trick-or-treaters, but a dark house could also serve as a target for vandals or other criminals. Instead, leave lights on indoors and out, whether you’re at home or away for the night, and place a sign outside informing visitors that you have no more candy, or simply leave a bowl of candy on the porch.
5. Consider safety hazards
If you plan to hand out candy, you’ll want to make sure that all walkways (inside and out) are clear of obstacles and clearly lit. For one thing, you want to avoid tripping or slipping hazards that could impede your progress to the door. However, you also want to make sure that kids coming to your door aren’t going to catch their costumes on fire when brushing past paper bag lanterns or lit pumpkins. This ensures a fun and safe Halloween for all.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.