Halloween is almost upon us with all the fun that involves for the younger generation from apple bobbing to trick and treating around the neighbourhood.
Over the Halloween holiday, numerous ghosts, ghouls and witches looking suspiciously like next door’s kids will be knocking on doors, hoping for candy to add to their bags, buckets or sacks.
What’s the best treat in your bag?
In a sugar-soaked survey (1), Influenster surveyed the most popular Halloween candies by US state, and the results are probably a dentist’s Halloween nightmare!
- Top of the candy votes across the whole of the USA was Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, closely followed by Kit Kat and Butterfinger. These were the top Canadian candy too, according to footnetwork.ca (2)
- The most popular candy in the most number of states was candy corn. Candy corn seems to divide opinion – the Foodnetwork.ca said of these colourful candies:
“You either live for these or loathe them, there’s no middle ground. The only consistency is the fact that after eating a small handful you will undeniably get a sick tummy from the pure sugar and corn syrup.”
The top candy treat for Arizona, where we have two Manor Village retirement communities was – Toblerone. What a sophisticated state our senior residents live in!
Canada’s Favourite Halloween Treats
In Canada, CBC asked people what their favourite treat were (3). Many recalled tasty temptations from their childhood, including homemade fudge and toffees, Halloween molasses kisses, chocolate bars, candy apples, and popcorn balls. Back in a time where you could hand out food to local kids without worries over health and safety (or worse), people recalled neighbours who served up hot dogs, doughnuts and even cider. Today, the trend is for healthy treats, or small candies that are well wrapped to ensure there is no tampering.
The weird and wonderful
However, not everyone got such nice nibbles, as other people recalled getting weird items in their bags, including sand paper, a mini stapler and half a cucumber… One Canadian dentist handed out toothbrushes, as one recipient recalled: “The parents thanked him, the kids gave him the evil eye.”
Halloween safety for seniors
For many seniors living on their own, Halloween can become an intimidating and stressful night. They may feel worried about opening their door to so many strangers, be unable to get up to answer the door quickly due to lack of mobility, and then be afraid that if they don’t open their door, they’ll fall prey to pranks.
If you’re worried about seniors on Halloween, here are some tips to help:
- Switch on your light
Switch on both internal and external lights, even if you don’t wish to hand out candy. It’s better to show you are at home to kids than not at home to potential thieves. Consider a polite notice on the door wishing everyone a Happy Halloween and explaining that you don’t wish to be disturbed.
- Put out an ‘honesty box’
If seniors want to share the holiday spirit, but not answer the door, you can leave an ‘honesty box’ of apples for kids to help themselves. Here’s an interesting trick of your own to play too. If you don’t want the whole box of apples to disappear within 10 minutes, put a mirror above the box and a notice saying “Take one each”. Studies have shown that the presence of a mirror (or a picture of a pair of eyes) reduces the temptation to take more than their share!
- Have Halloween at Grandma’s house
Seniors might appreciate a member of the family in the house on Halloween to help answer the door and sort out the good ghouls from the greedy ghosts.
- Keep trick and treaters on the porch
Remind seniors not to allow anyone inside their home on Halloween, even if they have a small child who they claim, “Needs the bathroom”. Genuine trick or treaters will be just as happy with treats on the front porch as in the hallway.
- Remember past Halloweens together
Your loved ones will enjoy recalling Halloweens adventures of their own, and what they used to get up to! Take time to perhaps recreate some of the Halloween fun by carving pumpkins, creating homemade treats (for the family), or asking grandparents to help create home-made Halloween costumes.
Go on, dress up!
Yes, seniors can get into the fun with their own costumes too! Here are some inspiring outfits that really made us smile and if not exactly scary, would certainly stun most kids on the porch into silence!
Whatever you are doing this Halloween, enjoy. Our residents certainly will be enjoying the night, with special Halloween events and menus at our independent living and assisted living communities in Canada and the US. Come and see for yourself how much fun you or your loved ones could have at a Manor Village Life Center by booking a personalized visit today.