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Caregiving and the Halloween Holiday

By Tim Bodor

The popularity of Halloween has always been very high with children, but it is rapidly becoming more popular with adults as well. The Halloween season can be a fantastic way for your loved one to get in a great mood and enjoy the events of the evening. How can you make sure that it doesn’t turn into a nightmare? Check out these tips and tricks to help you with caregiving during the Halloween Holiday.

Tip #1 – Plan the Evening In Advance

The scariest thing about Halloween might be watching your loved one and realizing that the hubbub and excitement happening around them is overwhelming, and they’ve had enough. If your loved one is living with dementia, and they’ve had too much excitement for the evening, it’s okay to turn that porch light off and do something more low-key inside. When it comes to the many kiddos knocking on the door, making noise, and dressing in funky costumes, it can be a disorienting experience.

The trick in this treat though, may be to plan the evening in advance. Make sure you discuss the upcoming holiday several times with your loved one, make sure they’re on board, and have a plan B in place if things change at the last minute. Once you’ve made plans, either to go to a low-key event or to pass out candy, make sure that you and your loved one have discussed what that looks like, when will you get started, when will the evening be over, and what will be happening.

You may also consider having another caregiver on hand to help just in case. Having another set of eyes to help you keep track of your loved one’s comfort level, as well as another set of hands to help you when your loved one needs something while there are trick-or-treaters at the door, might be the difference between a successful evening and a disappointing one.

Tip #2 – Head Off Scary Dietary Debates

If your loved one is on a special diet, or has certain restrictions especially related to sugar, it might be smart to include lots of their favorite healthy treats in the evening plans and have some readily available and on hand during the events planned. Consider dark-chocolate yummies that your loved one can snack on during the evening, or a trail mix that is lower in sodium. Other options might include sugar free ice cream, sorbet, or fruity fun drinks.

If you’re passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, and you’re worried about being dubbed the “bad candy house” don’t be. There are a multitude of candies out there in dark chocolates that are growing in popularity. If you can trust your loved one not to sneak too many popular favorites that may not be good for them, then buy some regular candy to pass out, and just have healthy goodies on hand to munch on while you leave the sugar attacks to the children who can handle it.

Tip #3 – Set the Spooky Stage Appropriately

Is your loved one used to having the spookiest house on the block? Decorating for the Halloween Holiday has become more and more popular in the last few years, but the multitude of extension cords, hanging hazards, and trippy tricky tombstones mucking up the porch and front walkway or yard can be more of a danger zone for your loved one than you bargained for.

As you help your loved one set the spooky stage, make sure that you are going well out of your way to tape down or tuck away tricky wires, move trip hazards out of normal walking spaces, and keep spiderwebs or hanging hazards well out of the way. There are fun rotating spotlights that display spooky scenes that may be less intrusive and just as fun.

Tip #4 – Create Comfortable Costumes

When it comes to Halloween, dressing up is the best part! You get to be someone else for just a moment, to forget about the things that worry you, and step into a persona that allows you to enjoy the evening. If your loved one is super itchy, constricted, or has a hard time unbuttoning so they can use the facilities though, then they may not be able to escape an uncomfortable and uneasy evening. Instead, try planning a comfortable costume in advance that will allow them to take care of their normal needs without extra buttons, straps, or itchy issues.

The comfortable costume should also not hinder your ability to provide any caregiving or prevent your loved one from managing trips to the restroom when necessary. There is a wide variety of comfortable costume ideas online, search them up and then work with your loved one to plan appropriately.

Don’t forget that Homewatch CareGivers of Sterling is here for you. It is always a great privilege to provide all of our clients with compassionate and professional assistance. We’re even here if you just need a few hours of help for Halloween! Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have more questions or keep browsing our website for more information.