Halloween and Alzheimer’s: A Brief Guideline for the Spooky Season
It’s official! The days are growing shorter, the air is getting chillier, and there’s something spooky in the air. As we enter into Halloween season, you may be wondering how to adapt your celebration for a loved one living with Alzheimer’s.
If you are a family caregiver, it’s important to meld the traditions of the holiday to the needs of your loved one. So, if you are looking to make the most of your Halloween, here are a few ways to cater the festivities to a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
Steer Away from Scary
If you plan on decorating the house for the coming spooky season, be mindful of the decorations you choose. Anything frightening or distracting can be a major stressor for someone living with Alzheimer’s.
The Alzheimer’s Association states that one of the main tenets of anxiety for patients is, “Changes in environment [and] misperceived threats.” So, although it may be tempting to string up the fake spider webs, these can cause serious fear for someone living with a disordered mind.
A great way to honor the spirit of the upcoming holiday, without scaring a loved one, is to place an emphasis on the fall season. Instead of a string of goblins and ghouls, you can use decorative fall leaves and cornucopias. Instead of scary jack-o-lanterns, you can decorate with simple pumpkin centerpieces.
Make a Trick-or-Treater Plan
Although they are a staple of Halloween, the practice of trick-or-treating can be very triggering to those living with Alzheimer’s. The constant doorbell ringing and appearance of strange costumes can coalesce into a mountain of confusion. When paired with a loved one who undergoes sundowning, the entire experience can be unpleasant for all.
Luckily, if you are not taking part in trick-or-treating this year, you are not alone. The CDC is currently recommending against this tradition; thus, many households will be celebrating at home this year.
Even though not everyone will be trick-or-treating, old habits die hard. So, you might want to prepare yourself and your loved one for an errant monster visit. Make goodie bags that can be placed outside for any potential trick-or-treaters. You can also make a large sign politely asking all monsters not to ring the doorbell. By being proactive now, you can save yourself, and your loved one confusion later!
Contact a Home Health Care Expert