Halloween, is one of those special holidays that is not only fun for kids but conjures up loads of nostalgia for older adults as well. If you are caring for a loved one with memory impairment you may be thinking that Halloween would be thrilling for a loved one who may still have their long term memory firmly in-place. You may be correct in your thinking. However, depending on the individual with dementia, such a holiday may cause more confusion, fear and agitation. It is important to realize that what you may see as a seasonal decoration could be seen as a horrifying monster to your loved one. All of the small details that go into celebrating this holiday may not seem so small to a person with memory impairment. These 6 tips will get you started on the right track for avoiding additional holiday stress.
- Avoid using candles and instead use battery operated, flame-less candles
- Put pumpkins and decor up on tables to avoid tripping
- Avoid stores with motion activated scary sounds or life like spooky decorations that are voice activated
- Avoid using music with creaking doors, ghost screaming and other scary sounds.
- Try non-scary decorations like pumpkins and fall leaves vs. scary ghost and witches
- If you don’t want the door bell ringing, as an alternative try placing candy outside in a bowl, with a sign that says “please take one”. The candy may not last long, but people will get the hint that you aren’t coming to the door.