Ghosts and goblins make their fearsome appearance on the last day of October, spooking those who dare to come across them. The haunting sounds and ghoulish costumes of Halloween, while delightfully eerie for some, may give a few seniors an unwelcome, bone-chilling fright.
Seniors, with their caregivers, can still enjoy the whimsy of the Halloween season by engaging in calming autumn activities. Fun Halloween projects and events that do not startle elderly folks and that are safe for people with cognitive ailments, like dementia, are recommended.
1. Pumpkin Picking and Carving
Halloween is hardly complete without jack-o-lanterns prominently on display. Caregivers and the seniors in their care might visit a pumpkin patch. Relaxing, fun and unfailingly enjoyable, the outdoor activity ends when the senior personally picks out the right pumpkin to decorate the front porch.
Benefit 1: Meandering through a pumpkin patch gives the senior the chance to socialize with others who are hunting for the perfect pumpkin. Ambling about in nature with the aid of a caregiver offers the older individual the opportunity to relish the autumn months in stride.
Benefit 2: Once back in the warmth of the home environment, the senior and caregiver have ample time to carve the pumpkin in preparation for the spookiest evening of the season. While carving, the senior is heartily inspired with creativity. Plus, the artistic process boosts the senior’s cognitive function.
2. Halloween Films
Seniors who relish the idea of being slightly thrilled from the security of their living room couch may elect to watch a series of movies featuring Halloween themes. Movies are an ideal way to spend Halloween evening, since they can be enjoyed together by the caregiver and senior.
Movies fit for a senior’s Halloween are less horrifying and more entertaining. Suggestions are plentiful, from the classics, like Young Frankenstein, to contemporary ones, like The Ghost Busters. Seniors and caregivers bent on a belly laugh may choose comedic films, like The Addams Family.
Benefit 1: Watching movies provides enormous mental benefits. The emotional release that results from seeing a film helps individuals better express their own emotions. A movie filled with suspense encourages a wave of relief at the end, as the brain releases cortisol followed by pleasurable dopamine.
Benefit 2: Seniors who watch movies are briefly transported from their everyday lives. These older individuals are unburdened for two hours as they become engrossed in the happenings of a distant time and place and intriguing characters. Plus, artful storytelling in movies gives seniors a new perspective.
Caregivers might spend a portion of Halloween telling classic stories to their clients. Many older people enjoy being read to, especially if poor vision and arthritic hands prevent them from flipping the pages of a book. Alternately, caregivers and seniors might listen to audiobooks together.
Pleasantly creepy stories that continue to captivate the minds and hearts of young and old alike on Halloween include The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Audiobook versions of these stories are also available.
Benefit: Reading is a mental exercise. In seniors, the workout contributes to improved memory retention and problem-solving skills and delays the onset of dementia. Quality sleep is promoted when seniors read before bed. Plus, stress is greatly reduced after unwinding with a good book.
4. Halloween Gathering
Caregivers and senior clients might organize a Halloween party or get together. Preparation includes creating Halloween decorations and crafts, making Halloween goodies, like caramel apples or festive cupcakes and assembling trick-or-treat bags for children who stop by on Halloween afternoon.
Benefit 1: Preparing a celebration gives seniors an event to look forward to. Individuals find purpose as they busily plan the social gathering. Hand-eye coordination while cutting out paper ghosts, for instance, gets a workout. Baking Halloween cookies with a caregiver might take seniors down memory lane.
Benefit 2: Social activities enhance a senior’s emotional and physical well-being. While a caregiver offers companionship, a Halloween party filled with friends offers seniors its own rewards. Social connections give seniors a sense of belonging, ward off depression and significantly reduce isolation.
Some seniors may recoil at the thought of handing out sweet treats to trick-or-treaters. Scary costumes, loud noises and the excitement of Halloween may be too overwhelming. Other older people, however, eagerly look forward to the spirited trick-or-treaters and their outlandish costumes.
When seniors are comfortable with the idea of handing out candy to visitors, caregivers can lend a helping hand. Despite being willing, the older individual might become agitated at times by the commotion on Halloween. A caregiver may step in briefly to give the senior a rest from distributing goodies.
Benefit: Seniors who participate in trick-or-treating activities open the door to uplifting social interactions. Intergenerational connections offer a refreshing sense of self-worth for older people. Seniors simply experience joy in briefly interacting with wide-eyed youths on a day like Halloween.
Home Care on Halloween
Caregivers from reputable home care agencies, like Assisting Hands Home Care, are a vital part of seniors’ lives, even on days like Halloween. Dedicated to serving the elderly, caregivers provide meaningful social connections. The companionship offered by caregivers reduces social isolation in seniors and encourages the formation of meaningful relationships.
As a premier senior care agency, Assisting Hands Home Care service providers understand the importance of being there when family members cannot. We are committed to engage your loved one via conversations, exercise and games—activities that stimulate the senior’s mind and promote well-being.
Our professional caregivers also assist with the activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing and grooming. When transportation is required, our caregivers will safely drive your loved one to social events, doctor’s appointments or to the grocery store to shop for Halloween treats.
Companion care offers numerous health benefits to seniors. Families and their elderly loved ones continuously count on Assisting Hands Home Care to offer the most compassionate companion care services in Fort Myers and the surrounding communities in Florida.