Health + Wellness

Halloween Can Be Scary for People With Dementia. Here’s How to Help


When there are suddenly creepy decorations and lots of knocks at the door from strangers, Halloween can be frightening for someone living with dementia.

Fortunately, it is possible to keep your loved one living with the disease calm and safe, while also including that family member in celebrating the holiday quietly, according to experts.

“Like with many other traditions, there are adaptations families can make to help their relatives living with dementia have a safe and enjoyable Halloween,” says Jennifer Reeder, director of educational and social services for the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

“We encourage caregivers to follow a few quick and easy steps to keep the ‘Happy’ in ‘Happy Halloween’ on Oct. 31,” Reeder said in a foundation news release.

Here’s what they suggest:

1. Help them reminisce

The foundation’s experts suggest adapting the celebration by reminiscing about past Halloween costumes or activities while looking at old family pictures.

You can also watch a non-threatening program about Halloween together or one of their favorite Halloween movies. If your loved one typically operates the TV on their own, you can block certain channels that may be showing scary Halloween movies.

RELATED: Top Tips For Taking Care Of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease

2. Get them some healthy snacks

If your loved one seems more agitated than usual, try limiting their candy intake.

Instead of giving them Halloween candy, give your loved one healthy snacks, such as fruit. Too much candy can

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