Halloween is on its way, which means many people are thinking about the fun of decorating, dressing up in costumes, and going trick or treating. For some, the Halloween season is about thrilling frights and spooky experiences. while this might be the idea of fun and excitement for your children, and maybe even for you, it could be overwhelming and upsetting for your aging parent.
As a family caregiver, it is important to understand how things in their environment, including celebrations and traditions, impact your parent as they cope with changes that come with aging. The thrills and chills that can come with Halloween may be extremely frightening, upsetting, and overwhelming for your parents, and can have a negative impact on them. It is important to find ways to help take the fright out of this experience, so they can move past the season in a healthier and more comfortable way.
Some ways you can take the fright out of Halloween for your aging parent include:
Be sure they are ready for it. Especially if your senior is suffering from cognitive functioning decline, talk to them about the upcoming holiday season to make sure they are ready for things such as displays at stores, decorations around their neighborhood, frightening shows on television, and more. Simply by preparing them you can help set the stage for a more secure Halloween.
Scan the stores first. If your parent is upset by Halloween decorations, take the time to evaluate stores before bringing your parent. Locate Halloween displays so you can avoid them when there with your loved one.
Create a no Halloween zone at their house. Trick or treaters tend to take visual cues when deciding which homes to visit on Halloween night. If your parent is not interested in having trick or treaters come to their home, encourage them to make this obvious. Keep their porch light off during trick or treating hours, and consider posting a sign at the end of the sidewalk or driveway requesting trick-or-treaters not approach.
Make their house a fun space. If they don’t want to shun Halloween altogether, make their house stand out as the fun and safe spot to stop. Use bright, colorful lights, cheerful decorations, and even playful music to create a “Candyland” theme, or embrace a Charlie Brown-style Halloween that is not frightening or upsetting for your parent, or for children.
Keep them company. Having support on Halloween night can make it less frightening for your parents. With you or a senior care provider in the home with them, your parent can feel safer and can be better able to cope with trick or treaters or other revelers.
Find alternatives. Distracting your senior from the festivities can help them get through them easier. This applies to Halloween night as well as the days leading up to it. Some television channels choose the days leading up to Halloween as an opportunity to get a jump start on Christmas. Consider sitting together watching these movies, or other holiday favorites as you talk about Thanksgiving
Aging can be a strange and even frightening time for your senior. Changes in their health, well-being, functioning, and perspective can all make it so they aren’t sure how to look ahead, and don’t know if they will be able to live the quality of life they want.
Fortunately for them, and for you as their family caregiver, senior care can help. The services provided by a senior home care services provider are fully customizable. This means they will get exactly what they need to manage their health, safety, and personal needs in the ways that are right for them, but also the encouragement to stay independent and seek meaning and fulfillment in their later years. These services can allow your parent to experience the lifestyle you know they deserve and feel more confident and secure from day to day.