Written by Kara Morris
Thursday, Oct 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) – When there are suddenly creepy decorations and lots of knocking on the door from strangers, Halloween can be scary for someone who lives with mental illness.
Experts say it’s possible to keep a loved one with the disease calm and safe, while also including that individual in quietly celebrating the holiday.
“As with many other traditions, there are adjustments families can make to help their relatives living with dementia have a safe and fun Halloween,” said Jennifer Reeder, director of educational and social services at Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.
“We encourage caregivers to follow some quick and easy steps to keep them ‘happy’ on ‘Happy Halloween’ on October 31,” Reeder said in a foundation press release.
Foundation experts suggest adapting the celebration by remembering past Halloween costumes or activities while looking at old family photos. Watch a non-threatening program about Halloween.
Offer your loved one healthy snacks, such as fruit. Too much candy can increase the excitement.
For some, it may be possible to have a loved one with dementia help distribute candy to pranksters or therapists, but don’t leave the person alone to do so, which can be frightening, confusing, and a safety hazard, the foundation suggests.
Try playing soothing music or engaging in a quiet activity such as reading a book together or offering soothing reassurance.
Reduce stress by avoiding potentially scary decorations, such as fake skeletons, cobwebs, witches, and monsters. It is especially important to avoid exposure to interactive decorations that speak or scream when someone passes or have flashing or flashing lights. It can frighten and cause a person with dementia wandering Far, even from their homes.
You stay safe with lights both inside and outside the house, so burglars and vandals don’t think the house is empty, the foundation suggests. Another dessert option is to leave a bowl outside the door with a sign that says “Please take one.”
The AFA Helpline at 866-232-8484 or via the website www.alzfdn.org Offers an opportunity to speak with a licensed social worker seven days a week.
More on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mental illness.
Source: Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, press release, October 24, 2022