6 Enjoyable Halloween Games and Activities for seniors with Dementia

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The festive season has just begun, and Halloween can be an exciting time for everyone to get together and bust out some fun and creativity. For seniors, especially those dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s, using this time with loved ones can give them a sense of bonding and togetherness.

Halloween games for seniors can put them in a good mood along with trying their hand at simple crafts. However, you need to tweak some Halloween activities for seniors to suit elders with dementia. All it takes is a little imagination to have a ‘Fang’-tastic Halloween!

Tips to Have a ‘Spooktacular’ Time Together 

The spookiness of Halloween is part of the festive fun. However, it can also disturb seniors with dementia. Therefore, it is crucial to engage in activities like easy crafts for seniors with dementia that they are comfortable with and give them joy and a sense of purpose.

Here are a few things to remember while doing activities with them:

  1. Seniors with dementia often suffer from sundowning—an experience of confusion when the days start becoming shorter in autumn. As they feel more enthusiastic during the day, schedule Halloween activities for seniors early to match their energy levels. 
  2. Keep your loved one with dementia on a routine schedule to avoid creating additional stress or confusion.
  3. Engage seniors in conversation as you do activities with them. Put on light music and keep the mood upbeat. 
  4. Knives for carving gourds and scissors for craft can be a safety hazard. Plan activities and crafts that do not require scissors or sharp objects. 
  5. Remember, the goal is to keep the elderly with dementia engaged without making them feel frustrated. Think of simple ideas, be patient and stop when they feel drained. 

Exciting Senior Halloween Ideas for a Fun-Filled Time!

Senior Halloween Ideas for a Fun-Filled Time

1. Make a trick-or-treating plan

Trick-or-treat is a great way to engage with the community. Still, for seniors with dementia, frequent doorbell rings can be overwhelming. A way around it is to make a trick-or-treating plan. It’s as simple as filling treat bags with candy and spooky knick-knacks. Decorate the treat bags with stickers, stamps, and sparkly paint and set them outside the door for the neighborhood kids. Put a note outside requesting not to knock or ring. You could also sit with your elderly loved one outside for a while to interact with a few kids as they visit you.

easy crafts for people with dementia

2. Keep the decorations fun

While ghouls and witches are fun to have around, such decoration may affect sensitive seniors who have dementia. That doesn’t mean you have to do away with the decorations altogether. Look up some easy crafts for people with dementia to make the time worthwhile without being too scary. Here are some ideas:

  • Try making simple paper chains using strips of colored paper and glue.
  • Pine cone owls make lovely decorative items and are easy to make by sticking felt paper and googly eyes.
  • A Fall Wreath is another simple craft idea that uses many ribbon strips in fall colors tied to a wire wreath form.

No carve Pumpkin

3. Make no-carve pumpkins

Knives can be a safety threat for your loved ones with dementia. Also, who wants messy pumpkin insides? Make no-carve pumpkins by painting faces on gourds. You can also try sponge painting a pumpkin on a paper plate with orange color. Stick googly eyes and paint a smile, and you’re done!

crafts for dementia patients

4. Be sure crafts are simple

Crafting can be a rewarding Halloween activity for seniors. It allows them to focus and feel a sense of achievement in their task. It improves hand-eye coordination and cognition. However, use a step-by-step explanation while making easy crafts for dementia patients. Be patient and if they feel exhausted or overwhelmed, leave the activity and pick it up another day.

Enjoyable Activity For Seniors on Halloween

5. Spend time together

While the festive fervor outdoors can be too much for the elderly, you can spend time together doing other activities. Play fun Halloween games for seniors to keep them in the spirit of the season. You could also go for a quiet foliage walk or drive and enjoy the cool fresh air without the blinking lights and spooky sounds. Being closer to nature will add a sense of peace. 

6. Gift them something special

You can make this Halloween special for your loved ones by gifting them something unique that will bring a smile to their face. Find out their likes and dislikes and choose an appropriate gift. For seniors aging in place, you can look at gifts that aid in making their homes a safe place. 

" Happy Halloween "

The festivities are an excellent opportunity for you and your elderly family members to spend time together. Although seniors with dementia may have trouble remembering, they often recollect associations of festivals with their younger days. All it needs is a little patience, creative ideas, and lots of love! Happy Halloween!

Vince Baiera

Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.

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