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Halloween Safety Tips for Seniors

Are your seniors planning to do some Trick-or-Treat activity this Halloween? Here are some of the helpful tips to keep your loved one safe during this holiday event.

Are your seniors planning to do some Trick-or-Treat activity this Halloween? Here are some of the helpful tips to keep your loved one safe during this holiday event.

By: Rosemarie Tamunday Casanova — RN, BSN, MHA

You won’t see many older adults at the local costume shop on October 31. But that doesn’t mean older adults don’t enjoy Halloween as much as younger people.

In fact, many seniors become even more enthusiastic about this spooky day after retirement. If you are an active senior and plan to participate in the coming masquerade, follow these tips for safe and secure trick-or-treating this Halloween.

happy halloween picture

Photo by Sonya on Unsplash

If you are a caregiver for an aging parent or loved one who lives independently, make sure they know about these precautions too. Even if your loved one lives with you, it never hurts to double check that all safety measures are in place before another terror-filled night begins.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your loved one safe this Halloween:

Walk with a Light

Many seniors enjoy walking at night to stay active, but walking around with a bag in hand while trying to use a flashlight can be very tricky. It might be better to take advantage of caroling in a group, taking public transportation or finding other safe and fun activities that happen during the daytime. If you do decide to walk around at night, make sure you walk with a light. You may want to consider wearing reflective clothing or even a safety vest so cars and other pedestrians can easily spot you.

Walk in places that are well lit and where there are a lot of people around. Stick to sidewalks whenever possible and walk at a brisk but controlled pace. If a car approaches, consider stepping off the sidewalk and into the street, but do not walk on the curb. Keep your hands free to avoid injury in case you need to break a fall.

Always Have Help Around

Accidents happen all the time, even to the most careful individual. If you are going out with your children, grandkids or friends, make sure you have a first-aid kit with you. Also, have a friend or relative on standby to come and get you if something happens. In case you fall or experience some other type of injury, you may not have the strength or ability to get yourself home or to the hospital.

If you have a friend or loved one staying with you, make sure they know the best way to call 911 in the case of an emergency. If you don’t have company, arrange to have a caregiver on call in case you need them. If you are a caregiver, find out if your client has a friend or relative that they would like you to call in case of an emergency. If not, offer to be that person. If you or your client is not comfortable handling the emergency call, arrange for a friend or relative to be on standby to help.

elderly senior celebrating haloween

Photo by Leah Hetteberg on Unsplash

Check Your Environment

Halloween falls in the spooky season known as autumn. The leaves change color, the weather is unpredictable and this is also the time when there are more reports of serious illnesses such as influenza and common cold. Make sure you stay away from crowds, avoid touching your face and hands, and wash your hands often during this time. Seniors who live alone should make sure there are no hazards in the house.

Clean up any clutter or unnecessary items that may trip you up or provide hiding places for dangerous critters. You and your loved ones may also want to consider keeping your lights on during the trick-or-treating hours to help reduce the risk of falling on slippery or uneven walkways. If you have any pets, make sure they are secured in a safe place.

Stay Informed and Don’t Be Scared

Some seniors go out trick-or-treating every year while others have never done so. This is a very personal decision and you should feel free to make the choice that’s right for you. If you are going trick-or-treating, make sure you have a costume that is comfortable and safe. Avoid wearing long gowns that can easily get caught in car doors and other obstacles. Make sure your costume is reflective or bright so you can be seen more easily by cars that are driving around.

If you are going out trick-or-treating with kids, make sure you have some candy that you like in your bag. That way, you can exchange it for candy that you prefer or don’t like. You may also want to avoid going out in areas where you don’t feel safe. While the threat of getting poisoned from tainted candy has been greatly exaggerated, it is still better to be safe than sorry.

elderly senior playing with camera

Photo by Pixabay

Conclusion

There are many ways to stay safe during Halloween. If you are going trick-or-treating, make sure you wear a safe costume and a safety buddy. If you are going door-to-door, it’s a good idea to avoid places with a high crime rate. If you are staying home, you can still have fun in a safe environment.

If you are a caregiver, make sure your client is safe during this spooky holiday by following these tips. There is no better way to ring in the Halloween season than by having fun and making memories with friends, family and loved ones.

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