From trick or treating to dressing up in your favorite costume, Halloween is a great time to have some fun with loved ones.
No matter the age, there is plenty of fun to be had around the holidays. The best part of holiday activities is the opportunity to inspire conversation and reminisce about your loved one’s past and make new memories with the whole family.
Whether you’re creating new memories or looking to shake up old traditions, here you’ll find some fun Halloween activities to do while spending quality time with your loved one this Halloween.
These activities can be done whether your loved one lives at home with you, lives alone with the help of a home care provider, or is living in a senior living residence such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.
No matter whether your interests are fun or spooky - we have some activities for you! Check out the following ideas below and try your favorites.
A classic! To make this an all-afternoon activity, start by checking out a local pumpkin patch or farmers market to select pumpkins with your loved one.
Decide with your loved one whether you’re going to carve your pumpkin and make a jack-o-lantern, or if you rather decorate with arts and crafts supplies.
Keep in mind that it’s okay if your loved one is unable to participate the way they used to. Sometimes, older adults have different strengths than they had previously. Use the process as a way to ask questions and inspire conversation.
Consider gathering friends or family members or staff at the assisted living facility to have a friendly competition. If your loved one lives far away, have them send photos of their pumpkins to share with your loved one.
Pumpkins don’t have to be the only decorations this fall. Get creative and create some other festive decorations. They can be spooky or warm and autumnal!
Some of our favorite decorations include:
Wreaths made out of artificial fall flowers
Garlands or banners made out of flowers or paper
Paint pinecones in your favorite fall hues
Make black cats out of paper plates
Design your own spider web with white yarn or glue
Create arrangements with colorful gourds
Pinterest has hundreds of ideas for other fall decorations, including those for people living with Alzheimer’s.Trick-or-treaters will love seeing all the fun decorations!
Consider Halloween treats such as:
Caramel-covered apples (or apple slices to make it easier!)
Warm apple crisp (with apples you picked!)
Rice crispy treats with festive colored sprinkles or cut into spooky shapes
Toast up those leftover pumpkin seeds for a tasty, salty snack
For a more nutritious option, make a fruit parfait with pineapple and orange slices topped with whipped cream. Try putting it in a mason jar and it will look like candy corn!
Have you ever seen a ghost or perhaps something you just can’t explain? Now's the time to share!
If your loved one enjoys a good scary story, gather around the campfire to share. Tell some of your own stories, or old family tales or pick up a scary storybook from the local library.
If you’re feeling creative, try writing your own together or use Mad Libs for some inspiration!
If your loved one lives in a senior living residence, ask staff to share their stories or chat with some other residents to hear their favorite spooky tales.
Have a group to entertain? Try a round of Halloween Charades! Write a variety of prompts from Halloween characters like ghosts and vampires, to your favorite Halloween movies.
If you’re a fan of games but charades aren’t your loved one’s style, print out some Halloween trivia to try with the whole family.
Learn about the history of Halloween and Halloween costumes of past years.
Whether or not you and your loved one are fans of scary movies, there are a variety of Halloween movies to get you in the mood for the season.
Have a movie night with classic horror movies such as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s or perhaps a more recent family-friendly film such as Hocus Pocus or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
Watching a horror movie might be difficult for someone with Alzheimer’s, so be mindful and consider sticking with family-friendly films.
This year, make some new traditions together. You and your elderly loved one will have fun preparing for Halloween and enjoying the season together with these activity ideas!
Laurel McLaughlin has over a decade worth of experience in various sectors of the elder care field- home care, senior living, and non-profits. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is a certified dementia practitioner.
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