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5 Halloween Activities for Older Adults Living with Dementia

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For many adults, Halloween is day of spooky delights. For seniors with dementia, the scares may feel a little too real. This Halloween, keep your aging loved one happy and relaxed with these five fun activities.

1. Decorating the House with Scare-Free Décor

Seniors with dementia are often easily startled. Halloween-themed décor that depicts ghosts, skeletons, or monsters may cause anxiety. You should also avoid Halloween décor that makes noise or has blinking lights. While you should keep the jump scares to a minimum, you and your loved one can still decorate for the holidays. For example, buy a selection of colorful miniature gourds and ask your loved one to create a table arrangement. 

Caring for a senior with dementia can be a challenging task. Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted Sonoma County home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Home Care Assistance is here to help.

2. Coloring in Halloween-Themed Adult Coloring Books

For creative seniors, Halloween coloring books are a fun way to celebrate the season. Make sure to choose one that suits your loved one’s motor skills. Adult coloring books offer complex patterns for seniors who have good hand-eye coordination, while children’s coloring books are filled with larger, simpler imagery. Coloring books can be relaxing and meditative, which is helpful during the Halloween season. From the scary movies on TV to incessant doorbell ringing on Halloween night, the holiday can be stressful for seniors with dementia. Halloween-themed coloring books allow your loved one to participate in the festivities while also soothing anxiety.

3. Baking Halloween Sweets and Treats

Sweets are a staple of Halloween, and seniors deserve a chance to sate their sweet tooth. Ask your loved one to help you bake cookies, brownies, candies, or his or her dessert of choice. If possible, include younger family members in your Halloween baking extravaganza. Consider making pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies, brownies decorated with Halloween sprinkles, and fudge with layers of candy corn. Measuring, mixing, and decorating can keep your loved one’s mind at work.

Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Home Care Assistance is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia home care. Sonoma County families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care.

4. Preparing the Candy

For seniors with dementia, sorting items like laundry, playing cards, and silverware can be an enjoyable and beneficial activity. The act of sorting engages the hands and the mind and hones the ability to distinguish between objects. As Halloween night draws near, put your loved one’s sorting abilities to good use. Buy a few large bags of mixed wrapped candy bars and ask your loved one to sort the candy into piles. If you plan on preparing goodie bags for trick-or-treaters, you can have your loved one fill the individual bags. To prevent unwanted interruptions on Halloween night, it’s good to plan ahead. If you set a box of goodie bags on the front porch with a sign that says, “Please Take One,” it may limit the number of times the doorbell rings on Halloween.

5. Decorating Pumpkins

Carving a pumpkin is the traditional Halloween craft, but seniors with dementia may not have the dexterity to carve a gourd. With a little creativity, your loved one can still decorate a pumpkin. Purchase a medium-sized pumpkin and fun decorations to glue on its surface. Look for googly eyes, stickers, felt, glitter, and other eye-catching embellishments, then set up a crafting table and let your loved one indulge his or her creative side.

Dementia is just one of the many serious health issues seniors may face as they age. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional elder care. Sonoma County families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place. Call Home Care Assistance today at (707) 843.4368 to talk to one of our Care Managers and schedule an in-home consultation.