Halloween is a great opportunity for some holiday-themed activities at your assisted living community. Halloween activities can get the group together, encourage camaraderie, and give everyone a chance to enjoy some spooky fun
Halloween Crafts for Seniors
Halloween crafts can be completed early in October so you can use them as decorations throughout the rest of the month. The seniors at your assisted living facility can put their mark on the building’s look for a little while and you’ll set the (moderately) creepy atmosphere for the weeks to come.
1. Decorate pumpkins.
One of the best traditional crafts for Halloween time is making jack-o-lanterns. If you’re not sure about handing all of your seniors sharp implements, you can have a pumpkin painting day or give them sharpies to draw designs on the pumpkins.
2. Make spooky candles.
The lacy candles recommended by Elder One Stop are easy to make, made of cheap supplies, and won’t be a fire risk (they recommend flameless). They’ll add a nice bit of atmosphere to your facility.
3. Make decorative spider webs.
You can get together to make simple and cheap spiderwebs to hang around the community out of coffee filters. Throw in a little yarn and your residents will also have the option of creating larger cobweb decorations for the space.
4. Make spiral ghosts.
Some white paper, a black sharpie, and scissors are all your group needs to make these spinning ghosts. You can hang them around the shared spaces of the facility.
5. Decorative Halloween garlands.
For one more addition to your homemade decorations, you can task any interested seniors with making decorative Halloween garlands for your hallways. Here are some ideas of bat and ghost garlands and glow-in-the-dark ones.
(Mostly) Healthy Halloween Recipes for Seniors
You can find loads of cute Halloween recipes on the web, but most of them are laden with sugar. Since many seniors have health concerns, we tried to pick out a few of the healthier options that still fit the theme.
1. Shrunken Head Cider
From the twisted mind of Martha Stewart comes this shrunken head cider. You can skip the booze if you want and stick with the rest of the recipe.
2. Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns
Sweet potatoes are just the right mix of healthy and tasty and these jack-o-lanterns will make a fun, theme-appropriate snack that’s easy to make.
3. Dragon’s blood punch
Made mostly of juices (although it may still be too sugary for some), this punch is simple to make in large quantities and should make for a tasty treat.
4. Devilish Eggs
Adorable deviled eggs made from healthy ingredients are easy for your residents to put together and tasty for everyone to enjoy once finished.
5. Cheesy Witch’s Brooms
Cuter than any witch’s implement should be, these witch’s brooms made of cheese and pretzels shouldn’t be too hard to make and will be even easier to devour. (Note: scroll down for the English instructions).
Other Halloween Activities for Seniors
If you want to pack Halloween week with more fun, interactive activities at your facility, try out some of these ideas.
1. Halloween charades
Brainstorm as many different Halloween-related themes and ideas you can think of for your residents to act out. You should all have fun watching people mime Dracula or try to figure out how to act like a spider. Here’s a list to get you started.
2. Share scary stories
Your residents probably know some good ones, but you can come equipped with a book or some stories from the internet just in case. If enough of your residents express an interest in sharing their own scary stories, you can make it into a contest.
3. Homemade costume contest
Encourage your seniors to come up with homemade mask and costumes ideas. If you can make some materials available for them to work with, that may spark inspiration in a few of them. On Halloween, have everyone vote on which costume came out the best.
4. Assisted living trick-or-treat
Most seniors probably feel silly trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, but let’s be honest, most of us loved trick-or-treating and were a little sad when we got too old for it. The solution: set it up within the assisted living facility. Let any seniors that want to participate get dressed up and hit up trick-or-treating stations you set up.
5. Classic horror movie marathon
Your residents probably have some favorite old classic horror movies. Poll them to pick out a few of the most popular, and give them the option to come together and watch them on Halloween or in the days leading up to it.
Halloween’s not for everybody, so you’ll probably have residents uninterested in participating in some of these activities, but those that enjoy the season will be happy to have the opportunity to celebrate it in a variety of ways.