Halloween is without a doubt an enjoyable time for everyone, a time full of hocus-pocus and funtime dressing up. You may have kids excited about costuming up for the Halloween disco, all of which makes our community feel all the more connected.
While many are enjoying a carnival atmosphere, costumes, parties and possibly fireworks, be aware of our most vulnerable members within the borough. Knocking on doors trick and treating for certain elderly residents can be a source of anxiety. There are those who have poor mobility and will take longer to come to their door, if at all, others risking a fall as they travel to answer a doorbell particularly if it is continuously ringing. You can appreciate that those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia find certain situations confusing making them anxious, so when confronted by strangers asking for treats they are more liable to become overstimulated from the added stress of darkness, noise and in some cases scary masks. Sometimes the situation will call for some degree of sensitivity to accommodate those for whatever reason cannot or do not wish to participate.
The message is of course is have fun but to be aware who you are calling on. There are particular considerations which will go a long way to make sure everyone is happy.
- If you have very young children, please ensure they are supervised around the neighbourhood or at least close by for their own safety.
- Also if you know someone vulnerable or living alone you might be check up on them during this time to make sure they are feeling safe.
- Many communities have successfully used the ‘pumpkin rule’: If the resident has left a pumpkin outside their house, then they are happy to be approached. Pumpkin spotting is a cool way to spend a Halloween night.
- Consider if the curtains are closed and the lights are off, this might indicate the resident either isn’t in or doesn’t want to be disturbed.
- Invite an elderly friend out to a community event or spend the evening with someone who you know is anxious and needs a distraction.
- A sign up on the door when the treats have run out is also quite helpful or like our poster supplied below, you can indicate your support for Halloween without wishing to be present.
More importantly though, have a great time and stay safe!