Tips to Have an Accessible Halloween
Halloween is one of the more exciting times of the year. A great excuse for people of all ages to immerse themselves in the spooky, the odd, and to bring out the inner child in all of us. It’s also a great time for families to get together, and if you’re thinking about hosting a party for friends and relatives this October, you’ll also want to make sure that everyone has a good time!
Not all Halloween activities are completely accessible or suitable for elderly or disabled relatives, but with a little thought and planning, as well as this guide on how to make an accessible Halloween for people of all ages, you‘ll be sure to put on a memorable party. With that in mind, here are our tips for hosting an accessible Halloween party.
Plan In Advance
While just getting a gathering of people together last minute can make for a fun evening, planning in advance ensures there are fewer issues on the night, and there can be lots of fun in the preparations leading up to it!
Your elderly relatives may want to sit the night of Halloween itself out, but you can turn the creation of the decorations and other elements into a group activity that everyone can enjoy.
And if your elderly relatives are living in assisted living accommodation or unable to come to you for health reasons, you can go to them and help spruce up their residence in spooky style! Just remember when you’re planning your decorations, no matter where they are, that they aren’t causing an obstruction or creating a tripping hazard.
Make The Costume Comfortable
Of course a big part of the fun of Halloween is dressing up, and it doesn’t just have to be for the young, anyone can join in on the fun! However, it’s important to keep in mind that you’ll need to plan something that will be comfortable for any elderly relatives.
The first thing you need to consider is what to do if they use an assistive device, such as a wheelchair or cane. The key will be either incorporating it into the costume itself with some creativity, or planning a costume that still allows for the easy use of their assistive device. And if you’re planning a party with immunocompromised or those at risk, keep in mind that a themed face mask can really add something to a costume!
Go Out As A Family
If you have younger children or relatives, Halloween will undoubtedly involve some time spent trick or treating. This is something that it can be a great idea to involve your elderly relatives in as well, especially if they’re looking for more ways to get active or get out of their home more often.
When you’re doing this, you will need to plan your route ahead. Ensuring that it’s accessible and easy to navigate, especially if your elderly relative uses an assistive device such as a wheelchair or cane. Some neighbourhoods are more accessible than others, with wider and smoother sidewalks, so make sure you know the route in advance.
Spooky Party Activities
While a bottomless bowl of candy is fun at the time, it’s not always a good idea. Luckily there are many healthier treats that anyone can enjoy.
One fun activity is painting pumpkins! Carving pumpkins requires dexterity and strength and could be difficult for some, but painting is easier and just as fun. You can offer pumpkins and gourds in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours along with acrylic paint, stencils, and visual inspiration from the internet or magazines. Feathers, sequins, buttons and other craft supplies are also fun to add. Encourage creativity, and have people vote on their favorites.
If you’re short on ideas, there are an abundance of unique decorations and festive party treats on sites like Pinterest that your family and friends are sure to enjoy
Know How You Want To Deal With Trick Or Treaters
When Trick Or Treaters come to your house, this may be a welcome chance to interact with children and hand out treats, but you should keep in mind this may not be true for all seniors.
This is especially true for those with dementia, or conditions that may mean they find it difficult to interact with small children or cope with loud noises. For those with certain forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, a condition called sundowning can leave them especially confused or agitated just after dark — often the time when trick or treaters will be out in large numbers. If this is the case, it’s important to put out signs indicating you don’t want any trick or treaters, or leave a bowl of candy out for them to grab themselves. And ensure your elderly relatives aren’t alone throughout the evening.
Whether it’s Halloween festivities or simply leading an active and varied day to day life, helping people age without sacrificing their independence and happiness no matter what their needs is at the heart of everything we do at Island Mediquip. Get in touch with our team today to find out how our products can help you or the elderly people in your life do exactly just that!