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Senior moments: Halloween can be fun for seniors too
Rich DeLong

Halloween is a fun event for kids, but for parents, it can often cause stress over making or buying costumes, decorating the house, planning for the local costume parade, picking out the right pumpkins and making sure that we carve them in time – and don’t forget the candy overload.

Our local Kiwanis Club held an annual Halloween Pet Parade through the center of town. It was a grand event for all who participated; as well as for those who came to watch. Everyone loves a good parade and what is better than children and their pets dressed in Halloween attire?

Kaitlyn, our first-born daughter, was 4 years old when she entered her first Halloween Pet Parade. I remember it well because her dog, Hewey, stole the show as the flying monkey from the movie The Wizard of Oz.

Kaitlyn was the perfect Wicked Witch of the West – sometimes I think she is still in character – and when it was time to give out the awards, Kaitlyn and Hewey had won a third place trophy, not to mention gave many spectators a lifetime memory.

There’s nothing more special to grandparents than watching their grandchildren dress up for a holiday activity. Fortunately, seniors have aged-out of all that holiday stress and are now eager to thoroughly enjoy the neighborhood kids or grandchildren. Plus, enjoying what Halloween has to offer is a great way to stay socially connected, use your creativity and have some fun. Give your loved one the gift of having some fun, helping them remember a special time whether that be as a child or as a parent, and make some great family memories! Here are some great ideas for ways to bring back some fall memories and make Halloween fun for your senior loved one.

• Buy a pumpkin and some gourds to carve. Some seniors may have difficulty cutting it, so another great option is to use permanent markers to draw on it. • Decorate the house with ghosts, bats, spider webs, etc. – this is fun for all ages!

• You’re never too old to dress up. A simple witch’s hat, face make up or a costume will work.

• A little Halloween candy or orange frosted cookies won’t hurt either. Decorating cookies is always a yummy task.

• Participate in handing out candy to the little goblins. That will allow seniors to see the children’s costumes, meet neighbors and enjoy the festivities.

• Watch some classic Halloween movies, like It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Hocus Pocus,Ghostbusters, Casper and Halloweentown. I wouldn’t recommend scary movies for this age group.

• Share silly ghost stories with your grandchildren.

• Do Halloween- themed crafts or puzzles.

• Halloween parties with trivia, food and spooky music is always a fun way to celebrate.

• Go on a family outing to a nearby farmer’s market or pumpkin patch. Enjoy a hayride and freshmade donuts and apple cider.

• Many senior living communities will invite the local pre-school children to participate in a parade inside the community. This is a great opportunity for seniors to hand out candy and see all the fun costumes. This is always an adorable treat.

Halloween is a fun holiday for all ages and can be a great way for senior citizens to socialize, laugh and re-connect with family, friends and neighbors. Have fun, and make it a Happy Halloween, my friends!

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