AlzU Blog

Fun Halloween Ideas to do with a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease

Halloween is a tradition that has become one of the most popular in the United States.  Historically Halloween originated in Britain with the ancient druids disguising themselves to hide from evil spirits.  Halloween evolved over hundreds of years when the Catholic Church deemed it “All Hollow’s Day,” which was originally at day to honor saints.  The night before the holiday was Called “All Hollow’s Eve which eventually became the Halloween celebration we know today.

Although Halloween is well known as a very fun day for kids and adults to partake in dressing in scary costumes, for those with Alzheimer’s disease, the festivities may not be so fun.  With the strange sounds and sights, many folks with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may become confused or even frightened. 

Here are some suggestions for some fun alternative activities for caregivers to engage in with their loved ones with AD on Halloween.

•Create a fall scene art project using colored leaves
•Decorate Halloween cookies
•Bake a recipe using pumpkin or squash and roast the seeds
•Make a tasty hot apple cider drink (without adding any sugar)
•Listen to old familiar music or watch a classic movie together with popcorn
•Make crafts together as a family-creative projects help stimulate cognitive skills
•Go for a walk and enjoy the fall leaves together
•Create a family photo album and categorize pictures by the Holidays
•Have a family potluck with fall foods such as dishes made with pumpkin or squash
•If you do want to dress up, select a costume that is simple that doesn’t change the overall appearance of your face-such as a witch’s hat and black dress-avoid the green makeup and fake nose
•Create a Bingo game with a Halloween theme to play with the entire family
•Rake leaves and put them into orange pumpkin decorative bags
•Make caramel apples or popcorn balls together

Spending time with your loved one with AD during the holidays is important. As an AD family caregiver, you have an opportunity to create some fun new family traditions.  It helps to try to think outside the box and not to be too caught up in holding on to old traditions. 

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