Community Blog

Six Senior Safety Tips for a Happy Halloween

By Debbie Humphrey

The local and national news stations are reporting Tampa police are in search of a possible serial killer in the Seminole Heights area, after three young people were randomly killed. In other news, seniors are being scammed, homes are being invaded, and burglaries are carried-out, by perpetrators seeking ways to profit from hurting the most vulnerable. It’s very scary.

My children are grown, but I remember how much fun they had dressing-up in homemade and store-bought costumes, strolling our neighborhood trick-or-treating with friends, and there was little or no fear that they’d be in danger.

That’s what Halloween is supposed to be: fun and festive. Unfortunately, year after year it seems our communities become scarier places, thanks to all of the horrible scenarios that play-out in the news every day. That’s why it is so important to take note and take action with these six helpful hints for senior safety at Halloween:

-People can be cruel. Seniors should never open their homes to strangers, even those who seem non-threatening - like a parent and a child needing to use the restroom or phone. Even seemingly nice people can have ulterior motives.

-Vision fails as we age. Encourage seniors not to drive on Halloween night, because too many kids are on the streets going house-to-house in costumes that can be difficult to see, even for people with perfect vision. Rain can also impede seniors’ ability to see roadways clearly.

-Gravity always wins. Keep all exterior and interior areas well lit and free from decorations to avoid falling hazards. Additionally, if a group of youngsters approach the door all at once, it is best to set the tone and hand out candy or treats one-at-a-time to avoid being tripped or bumped.

-Darkness promotes mischief. If Grandma insists on greeting trick-or-treaters, make sure she places a sign on the door when finished that reads “Sorry, out of candy,” but keeps the porch and yard lights on as a measure of security.

-Seniors are vulnerable. Have a friend, neighbor, family member or compassionate caregiver on-hand to assist with Halloween fun and festivities. Better still, bring them to your home or Halloween party, instead.

-Communicate with Neighbors. If there is no neighborhood watch program in place, senior couples, or seniors who live alone, should talk to their neighbors about watching-out for each other. If there is any suspicious behavior, have a plan in place to alert the authorities, as soon as possible.

Remember, safety risks are present no matter what your age, but that risk increases significantly with seniors, especially when they are frail, disabled, or suffer from Sundowners, Dementia, or Alzheimer’s. Under such conditions, seniors should never be left alone in their home on Halloween, or anytime, because the reality is, there are mean, selfish people preying on the vulnerable – not just on Halloween – but every day of the year.

If you know a senior who could benefit from assistance on Halloween, or beyond, I am happy to offer a FREE in-home consultation to discuss specific needs and ways our caregivers can lend a hand.

Home Helpers® proudly serves male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Contact me today to learn more about the many services offered through Home Helpers® We are Making Life Easier℠ 727.972.2539

ource: Psychology Today