With Halloween just right around the corner, everyone is busy finding the best costumes, picking pumpkins to carve, and getting ready for trick or treating. But for seniors in nursing homes, this time of the year can be a bit scary, especially since the dark and sometimes chaotic theme of Halloween could make them feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
How to Prepare Nursing Homes for Halloween
Make nursing homes bright.
The thought of Halloween can bring memories of ghost stories that make seniors scared and anxious. So, while Halloween celebrations are going on around the neighborhood, make sure to keep all the lights on, as the brightness can give these residents a sense of comfort through the night.
For those who feel extra anxious, you can ask some of your workers to keep them company until they fall asleep.
Keep decorations minimal.
Of course, Halloween isn’t just about ghosts and witches, it’s also a sign that the fall season is here. But if you choose to celebrate Halloween with decorations, try to keep them minimal and choose details that are not scary.
For instance, instead of hanging scary faces that might startle residents and cause accidents, go with pumpkins that they can carve themselves. Also, try to avoid decorations that could cause trips, falls, or affect visibility, especially on hallways or stairs.
Make Halloween more festive.
For sure, a lot of seniors in nursing homes have fond memories of when they were children going trick or treating, and you can give them that nostalgia by planning activities that will make Halloween feel more festive and less scary.
For example, instead of the usual trick-or-treat that could be unsafe for them, you can create a candy and chocolate dessert table in your common area and have them pick whatever they want for that day alone.
You can also give out little Halloween baskets with food and things that they can enjoy.
How to Celebrate Halloween in Nursing Homes
Halloween isn’t just for a night, but an entire month. So, make sure that you have a calendar of events to make residents feel excited. It could be a pumpkin carving day, a crafting day, or a Halloween dance. Give them the most exciting Halloween season yet this year.
Choose your spread wisely.
Of course, you can’t have a Halloween party without good food. But instead of going for spooky-looking ones, try to be more mindful of how seniors would feel if they see severed finger hotdogs or bloody juices on the table. Focus on fall-themed dishes instead like gingerbread cookies, pumpkin pies, or anything that would make the spread more festive.
Finally, you can ask residents what activities they’d like to do on Halloween. You’ll surely be surprised at how many great suggestions you’ll get from these residents in nursing homes, especially since they’ve had more Halloween parties in the past than most of us.
So, are you ready to get started for the Halloween season?
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