Most children celebrate Halloween by choosing pre-made costumes of their favorite super heroes, Disney characters, or perhaps, professionals they admire. Adults can spend hours making their own costumes to be clever, cute, funny, scary, or any number of depictions.
Children and adults, alike, have a spooktacular time attending costume parties, trick-or-treat events, and neighborhood gatherings with family and friends. Yet, in this day and age, you cannot be too careful when it comes to “stranger danger,” personal safety, and the elderly.
I, too, enjoy seeing children dress up in adorable costumes, and I have been known to attend a few Halloween costume parties, myself. However, in as much as this can be fun, I feel compelled to reveal five frightful facts about senior safety at Halloween.
- People can be cruel. Never open the home to strangers, even a parent and a child needing to use the restroom or phone, because 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 those with perfect vision.
- Gravity always wins. Keep all exterior and interior areas well lit and free from decorations to avoid falling hazards.
- Darkness can be scary and promote mischief. If Grandma must hand-out candy to 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, or bring them to your home or holiday event, instead.
Remember, safety risks are present no matter what your age, but that risk increases quadruple-fold 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, because the reality is, there are scary young people, teens, and adults in our area everyday – not just Halloween – whose treats consist of money and prescription drugs over Smarties and Snickers.
The elderly are easy prey for those up to no good and who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Keep seniors safe at Halloween by joining in their evening and protecting their best interests. If you cannot be there, Home Helpers has a perfectly-matched caregiver available to provide companion care when they need it most.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Home Helpers!