For decades, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing my children, my grandchildren and all the neighborhood children dressed-up in their Halloween costumes, ready for their trick-or-treat missions! Every year, each child would choose their favorite character, or theme, and fully-exercise their creative imaginations.
This year is unlike any I’ve ever experienced, though, and Halloween 2020 is following suit.
Chances are, I will be seeing my Grands in their carefully-chosen costumes via Zoom or Facetime, or maybe at an appropriate social distance this year. Am I disappointed? Of course, I’m disappointed, but that’s where we are in this pandemic. With COVID cases and hospitalizations in Florida rising again – and due to the sheer nature of my profession – I must stay healthy and do my best to keep my family healthy, too.
Therefore, the time has come to emphasize senior safety for Halloween 2020, considering the continuing danger of COVID-19, to our most vulnerable population – seniors.
WUSF Public Media recently published CDC guidelines for “Pandemic Halloween” that can keep seniors safe during this frightful time.
“Door-to-door trick-or-treating and crowded costume parties are out, and haunted forests and outdoor movie nights are in. ‘If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised,’” said the CDC.
Honestly, most seniors I know are not into haunted forests, screaming and such. However, no trick-or-treating is a tough one. I, for one, have always enjoyed sharing sugary treats with little princesses and mini super heroes on Halloween. But, this isn’t our typical Halloween, thanks to COVID-19.
I’m not saying you won’t have trick-or-treaters, but it would be in your best interest to avoid direct interaction with children, and most especially, strangers.
The CDC suggests that trick-or-treaters “pick up individually-wrapped gift bags at the end of your driveway or yard” to maintain proper social distancing. This way is considered more of a “moderate risk, compared with the higher risk of the traditional style” of trick-or-treating. This will keep seniors, children and parents much more protected from the virus.
If families and neighbors choose to have a costume party with seniors included, it is very important the party be held outdoors where masks can be worn and social distancing can be practiced by everyone. Even then, an outdoor costume party is considered a moderate risk by the CDC.
Another idea is to organize a neighborhood costume parade, where participants stay six-feet apart and you can still see the cute little ghouls and goblins at a safe distance, without potentially exposing yourself to the virus. This is also a way kids can pick up a treat bag at the end of each driveway or yard! The CDC also deems this a moderate risk.
Unfortunately, the lowest-risk way to celebrate Halloween with your family is virtually. That may not be a viable answer for some seniors, though, considering many do not have the proper technology or more importantly, the knowledge of how to use it.
No matter what you choose to do for Halloween this year, I strongly encourage you to stay vigilant in protecting yourself from COVID-19: wash your hands frequently; use hand sanitizer when you are not near soap and water; wear a mask; and practice social distancing whenever and wherever you can!
Halloween 2020 looks very different from any in my lifetime. It’s a bit sad that so many precautions must be observed to protect ourselves and our families from this deadly virus, but it is what it is. If you are a senior living alone and feeling down, I invite you to discover the many ways a compassionate caregiver can provide companion care for seniors and assist with technology or in other ways that will lift your spirits, keep you engaged, and help you feel safe, loved, and less alone.
I gladly offer a FREE consultation to assess specific needs and find a perfect caregiver match for you or your senior loved one. Please go online using the link above, or call me at 727.942.2539.
We, at Home Helpers® Clearwater, are honored to have received the Home Care Pulse – Best of Home Care® Provider of Choice Award for 2017, 2018, 2019 & 2020. We proudly serve male and female seniors in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, Holiday, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Home Helpers®…we are Making Life Easier℠
WUSF – Public Media