Dementia & Halloween: Tips for Everyone to Enjoy the Holiday

Welcome Fall! The air is getting cooler and the leaves are changing colors. Pumpkins and other crafts become family projects for indoor and outdoor decorations. While this is exciting for most people, that may not be the case for someone with Alzheimer’s.

Depending on the stage of Alzheimer???s a carved ??lit pumpkin may not be a harmless decoration around the house. Can you imagine their reaction to a cute battery operated ghost candy dish that grabs your hand as you reach in for a piece of candy?? Numerus trick-or-treaters dressed in their scariest costume will visit your home. Those with Alzheimer???s may not be able to understand why little mini ghosts, devils, or other scary creatures are coming to your house.

Between the door-bell ringing, dogs barking, decorations, kids dressed up as zombies yelling “trick-or-treat”,and loads of laughter and screams, it just may become way too much for them.

Because this holiday happens every year, it may not be something you anticipate needing to think about as a caregiver. But there are a few ways that you can try to make your loved one???s Halloween experience as stress free as possible.

Here are 4 tips for a stress-free Halloween:

  1. Minimum Decorations. Avoid any decoration that changes the “normal” look of the house may lead to stress and confusion. Avoid items that make scary or abrupt noises or pretend cemeteries and gravestones.
  2. Stay Away. Try to stay away from public places while kids are dressed in costumes to trick or treat. This would just add to the confusion.
  3. Candy. Put the candy in a safe place. Keep it out of sight to avoid any sneaky snacking. If possible, place it on the porch to avoid the constant doorbell ringing and too many voices yelling.
  4. Prepare. Prepare your loved one beforehand. Explain to the best of your ability that there may be some commotion, and then set them up with a distraction, like their favorite movie or a puzzle.

Above all, know that it may be necessary to cut back certain decorations, but you can still enjoy the holiday.

Have a stress-free and happy Halloween!

For more tips please visit Tips on Halloween for Dementia Patients

Talysa McCall

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter (www.alz.org/texas) consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.