Most parents are aware of the dangers related to Halloween and trick-or-treating when it comes to their children. However, many families and caregivers don’t consider the risks to seniors—especially those who live alone. Some are posed by opportunistic criminals, but others may stem from increased accidents and fall risk.
Here are 8 Halloween safety tips for the senior in your life:
1) The mobility-challenged shouldn’t participate
Halloween can be fun for kids, adults and seniors alike. However, families and caregivers should be cognizant of the risks to those with mobility and health issues. Anybody who can’t walk or stand without the aid of outside assistance shouldn’t risk a fall in order to greet endless visitors.
2) Use the peephole or camera before opening the door
To be fair, anybody who opens the door for an unknown guest is taking a certain level of risk. However, a quick glance through the peephole or via a camera can make it safer. Under no circumstances should a senior open her door blindly.
3) Have a family member or caregiver over for the evening
The old saying, “There’s safety in numbers,” rings true. Families should consider congregating at their aging loved-one’s home for the Halloween festivities. Everyone can enjoy each other’s company, and there’s little risk of danger from accidental falls or malicious visitors.
4) Secure the pets
Dogs can be a liability if they bite unannounced guests. But they may also pose fall risk to aging adults with mobility challenges. Countless seniors end up in the hospital as a result of overly-excited dogs. And few things rile-up a pet more than knocks at the door!
5) Don’t engage unruly or inebriated visitors
Folks should remember that there’s no obligation to open the door to suspect visitors. Whether it’s the grown man trick-or-treating even though he clearly has a mustache or teenagers throwing firecrackers, people have every right to ignore bad actors.
6) Keep the front yard and porch well lit
Lighting promotes safety on many levels. First, it helps to prevent injury to kids who are trick-or-treating and mitigates the risks of liability and lawsuits. Second, it deters criminals from acting on their instincts. Many people with bad intentions will think twice about committing a crime under the exposure of bright light and/or obvious cameras.
7) Secure valuables out of eyesight
Seniors can also reduce their risk of victimization by keeping all obvious valuables out visitors’ line of sight. It’s smart to actually walk to the front door and assume the position of a would-be trick-or-treater to see what’s visible inside the home. Some crimes are those of opportunity, so limiting temptation can be an effective form of prevention.
8) Prominently display “Neighborhood Watch” or “Protected By” Signs
Once again, many wrongdoers are deterred by any measures that increase their likelihood of getting caught committing a crime. Signs that indicate participation in “neighborhood watch” programs or the utilization of a monitored home alarm service can be prove very effective at deterrence.
In the end, Halloween can be great fun for both kids and adults alike. Many seniors welcome the opportunity to bring smiles to the faces of neighborhood children. Families and caregivers should weigh the risks holistically to determine if participation is safe and healthy for their aging loved-ones.
If you’re seeking caregiver services in Kern County, be sure to connect with the region’s best senior home care agency today!