Even though there’s just one day left, you can still include your older loved one in your Halloween activities.
Do you have an older loved one – a grandparent, a parent, an aunt or uncle or just a friend? If you do, then you know that events like Halloween can get lonely without children to take care of or an office party to go to – no matter how great the activities are at the senior retirement community. But before you say “it’s way too late to do anything with Grandpa,” wait. Here are 5 different kinds of Halloween activities for seniors you can do with minimal effort – and maximum emotional impact.
Let’s get into it.
While your loved one most likely remembers knocking on anyone and everyone’s door while trick-or-treating (and maybe you do, too), today it’s unlikely that you’re going to send your kids to do anything of the kind. While your younger ones won’t mind you coming along, teen attitudes usually go something like, “If I can’t go alone with my friends, I’d rather stay home.”
Well, here’s a solution: If your loved one’s residence allows for it, arrange trick-or-treating over there – even if you have to chip in for the treats. The seniors at the residence will love it, your teens will get the full Halloween experience – and not only will they stay safe, they’ll learn about caring for others in the process. Win-win-win.
If you think Halloween activities for seniors are just for the older set, think again. Because here’s an idea everyone will love: A movie marathon, aka a Flick Fest. Either invite your loved to your place or pile into the car with a bunch of DVDs and go visit your loved one for an afternoon or evening of serious movie fun.
The movies don’t have to be Hitchcock-level fright flicks, by the way. If your loved one – or your younger ones – aren’t into horror and spook, that’s fine. There are plenty of family-friendly, monster-and-magic movies you can all enjoy, from old classics to recent favorites. Here are some ideas:
- Ghostbusters (1988)
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
- Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2018)
- Goosebumps (2015)
- Halloweentown (2004) – While this one is touted as being for ages 7+, Mom and Dad will love watching Debbie Reynolds again.
- The Addams Family (1991)
- Escape to Witch Mountain
Oh, and don’t forget the popcorn and snacks.
Speaking of which…
Halloween Activities For Seniors in the Kitchen
A lot of bonding and laughter goes on in the kitchen. Get your loved one in on the action by inviting them over for a Halloween treat-making session. Even if arthritis or Parkinson’s makes it hard for them to do things like cutting and peeling, you can still include them by having them watch the little ones, take out bowls, or even just relax in an easy chair and enjoy the family time. And, of course, give them a care package to take home.
Some suggestions for easy treats and snacks that won’t break the bank but still taste (and look) great:
- Brownie Bats. There are so good you’ll wish Halloween came more often. And they’re easy, too; all you need is brownie mix, chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, Oreos and red M&Ms. If you want to get fancy you can do the black sanding sugar, too. Check out the recipe here.
- Ghost Cake. This is easier than easy. Take your favorite chocolate, Devil’s Food or brownie cake mix. Bake. Squeeze marshmallow fluff into a pastry bag or a Ziploc bag with one corner snipped off. Draw ghost shapes with the marshmallow fluff. Draw eyes and a mouth with black icing or melted chocolate. You can see a picture here, where there’s a more complicated way to do this dessert.
- Mini Mummy Dogs. Cut pastry dough squares into narrow strips. Wrap the strips around cocktail-sized hot dogs, leaving room for “eyes.” Bake according to the package directions on the hot dogs, or until the dough is golden brown. Let cool and add drops of mustard for eyes.
Whatever Halloween activities you decide to do with your senior, know that the actual activity is less important than the emotion it shows. Giving your loved one the feeling that you remember them at family times like Halloween is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Witchever way you slice it.