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Halloween shouldn’t be a scary safety concern for your residents

Posted by Dude Solutions Canada, Inc. | Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Halloween shouldn't be a scary safety concern for your residents Halloween is one of the most popular holidays of the year. And why shouldn't it be? After all, who doesn't like candy, a spooky atmosphere and costumes?

While Halloween is certainly chock full of seasonal fun, there are also some significant safety concerns that come on the heels of the festival. As the administrator of an assisted living community, it's your job to prepare your residence for this festive day so that seniors can enjoy the spirit of the season while remaining safe, secure and comfortable. 

Here are a few tips to help you prepare your community for Halloween. 

Be aware of seasonal hazards

Falls pose a serious health and safety risk to seniors. As the No. 1 cause of hip fractures and similar injuries, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, slips and falls should be front-and-center on your radar in terms of hazards to look out for.

You may not think much of the addition of seasonal accouterments like jack-o-lanterns and other holiday decorations to common areas of your community, but these seemingly innocuous props can pose a serious risk to seniors. Decorating for Halloween with a silly carved pumpkin or cute and spooky decorations can be a great way to get your residents into the spirit of the fall season, but just make sure that you place them in areas that won't create tripping hazards. Keep these items clear of walkways, staircases and other high-traffic areas.

Focus on security

Another key feature of the Halloween holiday is that it often entails face-to-face interactions with a large number of people, many of them strangers. In a retirement community environment, this may not be a problem necessarily - in fact, some residents may even appreciate the opportunity to interact with others - but that doesn't mean you should be lax with external security.

It's unlikely that your residents will be giving out candy at the door on their own - unless of course your community supports independent living accommodations. But you can still get in on the spirit of the holiday by encouraging any trick-or-treaters who come by to come and receive candy from your community's front lobby. You may even want to see if any residents would be interested in handing out candy to anyone who comes by. Just be sure you take the appropriate precautions to keep out any potential security risks. Ensure that residents aren't left alone by sending a member of your support staff to sit with them for assistance and security.

Sack the sweets

Any child will tell you that it would hardly be Halloween without candy, but in a senior living atmosphere, you should rethink this strategy. A healthy lifestyle is a huge part of senior well-being. Additionally, many residents may have specific dietary restrictions due to medications, existing conditions or any number of other factors. 

That's not to say that you can't indulge in a little candy here and there, but ensure that your staff is aware of any potential dietary or health issues when divvying out sweets to your residents.