Halloween safety tips for families affected by Alzheimer's
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is offering safety tips for family caregivers to protect their loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia-related illnesses during the fall holidays.
Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr., AFA’s President & CEO explains, “Like with many other traditions, there are adaptations families can make to help their relatives living with dementia have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.”
AFA advises caregivers to consider the following:
-Don’t leave your loved one alone to give out candy. Having strangers continually knocking on the door in costumes can potentially be frightening, confusing and/or disruptive to someone living with a dementia-related illness. It can also be a safety risk. If the person wants to participate in giving out candy, have someone there to help them.
-Keep the lights on in your home. A dark home gives the impression no one is inside, making it more inviting for burglars or vandals. Have interior and exterior lights lit. Keep candy outside your door for trick-or-treaters with a sign that says “Please Take One.”
-Don’t let trick or treaters inside: Unless the person knocking is someone you know well, do not invite trick or treaters into the home. Even someone accompanied by a young child asking to use the restroom or phone could be scoping out the home to come back later with criminal intent.
-Help the person relax: Halloween is full of distractions and stimuli, some of which can be upsetting or frightening to someone living with dementia. Playing soothing music, engaging in a quiet activity such as reading a book together and soothing reassurance are all ways to help the person if they become agitated.
-Avoid exposure to interactive decorations. Decorations that talk or scream when someone passes by, as well as those with flashing or flickering lights, can be frightening for someone living with dementia and lead them to wander away, even from their own home. Fake skeletons, cobwebs, witches and monsters, even if non-interactive, can also potentially be upsetting and scary.
Families who have questions about caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease can contact AFA’s Helpline by clicking here.
The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America is a non-profit designed to provide support services and education to individuals and caregivers affected by Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses nationwide.