Trick or Treat in Long Term Care: How to Have a Spooktacular Halloween!

October 24, 2023

The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and scary decorations are flooding neighborhoods across the country for Halloween! This time of year can be exciting for all age groups, including your loved one in long term care. 

Get in the spooky spirit with all members of the family by getting your loved one in long term care involved in the festivities. Check out these activities you can do this Halloween: 

Decorate Jack-O-Lanterns 

Your loved one may not be able to carve pumpkins anymore, but they can still enjoy painting a pumpkin. Gather your family and provide them with paint, markers, and other craft supplies to personalize their pumpkins. Not only will they benefit from painting, but they also have a new decoration to put in their living area! Plus, it’s a great bonding opportunity for everyone involved.

Check out the decorated pumpkins from Sunset Senior Living in Quincy, Illinois.

Watch Halloween Movies Together

Halloween movies are always a favorite amongst all age groups. Share your favorite Halloween movies together with a movie night (or day). Choose classic and family-friendly Halloween films that will cater to all age groups, such as “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “Ghostbusters,” “Hocus Pocus,” “Halloweentown,” and “Addams Family.” These films are sure to evoke nostalgia and laughter. 

You can even make the movies sweet by bringing some Halloween candy to share during the film. Check out these denture-friendly Halloween candies that will keep your loved one at ease. 

Make Spooky Treats

Who doesn’t love a spooky treat? Baking can be a fun and therapeutic activity that can engage the whole family. Gather everyone around to whip up some delightful Halloween-themed desserts. 

Consider making classic treats like pumpkin-shaped cookies, spiderweb cupcakes, or mummy brownies. Baking provides an opportunity for creativity, and the aroma of freshly baked goodies can be particularly comforting for your loved one. Check out these frightfully fun Halloween dessert ideas from Food Network that are sure to taste as good as they look.

Family Fall Festival

Fall festivals are a fantastic way to celebrate the season and provide a change of scenery. These festivals often feature trunk-or-treating,  pumpkin patches, hayrides, craft vendors, live music, and delicious seasonal treats like apple cider and caramel apples. Many long term care facilities, like Heritage Woods of Freeport, also organize their own fall festivals, complete with autumn decorations and engaging activities. 

Attending or organizing a fall festival is a great opportunity for your loved one to connect with other residents, staff, and their own families, creating a sense of community and shared joy during this vibrant season. Whether you’re bobbing for apples or enjoying the crisp fall air, fall festivals can be a memorable and heartwarming experience for seniors in long term care.

Halloween is a time for creating cherished memories and spreading joy, and there’s no reason why your loved ones in long term care shouldn’t be a part of the festivities. Engaging in these activities brings a sense of belonging and offers a therapeutic and creative outlet for seniors. By decorating Jack-O-Lanterns, watching Halloween movies, and making spooky treats, you can ensure that your loved ones have a spooktacular Halloween filled with the warmth of family and the joy of the season. So, get together with your loved ones in long term care, and let the Halloween celebrations begin!