Haims: Halloween’s loud noises, costumes can be disorienting to some senior citizens (column) | VailDaily.com

Haims: Halloween’s loud noises, costumes can be disorienting to some senior citizens (column)

One-third of all seniors who live at home live alone, and most are women. The constant door knocking, masked visitors and unfamiliar faces of Halloween can be intimidating.
Illustration by Judson Haims |

Halloween is just around the corner, and while many people may enjoy the festivities, not everyone will. For those who are elderly, the holiday may bring a bit of fear and discomfort. Please be compassionate and consider whether dementia or physical limitations might make the night uncomfortable for someone in your neighborhood.

Be cognizant that some elderly people may be more sensitive to noises and unfamiliar faces. Constant knocking, masked visitors and loud and unfamiliar noises can be intimidating, regardless of intention.

For the most part, we live in a community of welcoming, thoughtful and considerate people. We should not want to knowingly add to the discomfort of anyone, in particularly our community’s elderly, by making them feel frightened or uncomfortable in their own homes.

With constant knocking at the door, some of our elderly may be placed at risk of becoming tired from constantly having to get up out of their chairs to answer the door. A fall could be very detrimental.

Plan Ahead

Please plan ahead and only knock on the doors of people who you know are taking part in the celebrations. If you know that there may be an elderly or frail person living nearby, please do not knock on their door. Visit people who have decorations on their homes or younger people who can easily get to their door to play along. Only knock once. If there’s no reply, then move on to the next house.

With the permission of an elder neighbor and friend, consider asking them for permission to place a note on their door saying, “Please don’t knock on this door, candy for this house is being given out next door, please come get your treats there.” This way, their home may be left alone, and they may be quite appreciative.

Judson Haims is the owner of Visiting Angels Home Care in Eagle County. Contact him at 970-328-5526 or visit http://www.visitingangels.com/comtns.

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