Do you think your aging parents are “too old” to participate in the hijinks of Halloween trick-or-treaters? Think again.
Seniors have their own ideas about fun and games and their innovative twists can provide plenty of fun.
My grandmother was a good sport for neighborhood trick-or-treaters and she had plenty of candy for the grandkids when they tried to “trick” her into dishing out treats. However, those neighbor kids grew up and left the neighborhood and grandkids left for college, jobs and other adult endeavors.
New kids came into the neighborhood from surrounding areas but Grandmother and her neighbors were uncomfortable opening doors to strangers.
So, this neighbor group of six “oldsters” took their Halloween fun into their own hands. In the days leading up to Halloween, phone lines buzzed and plans were put into action. Grandmother’s house was home base and long before trick-or-treaters started their evening’s haunt of the neighborhood this group of seniors was barricaded in their “safe” house.
In an effort that rivaled the strength of six Power Rangers, these women choreographed their Halloween evening. The goal was to hole up in Grandmother’s house for an evening of fun while dodging the endless bell-ringing of trick-or-treaters.
Knowing that a light in the home was an open invitation to ring the bell, Grandmother and her friends would darken the front of her house and hang quilts from doorways and windows in a back room. Then, dominoes and cards were set out out for the evening’s fun. Homemade brownies, popcorn balls, candy, and other sweets where colorfully displayed on trays and in baskets.
Halloween “tricks” waited behind every curtain!
Every time the doorbell was rung by a persistent trick-or-treater, giggles were stifled by the ladies because “no one was home”! The days leading up to Halloween and the days following were just as fun for these octogenarians as Halloween was for any sugar-loaded eight-year-old treater. The ladies’ scheming and planning for Halloween evening was followed by the telling and re-telling of the exciting near misses of having their homes “adorned” by thwarted trick-or-treaters.
What I will always remember was the twinkle in Grandmother’s eyes as she told the stories of how she and her friends celebrated by living an evening of fun instead of dreading an evening of fear and anxiety about the unknown. It was Grandmother’s willingness to adapt to changes in her lifestyle and her ability to control her environment as best she could that will always stay with me. That, and a gleeful giggle about the “trick” the ladies pulled on the kids.
If you are caring for a senior, perhaps you can discover a unique way to celebrate Halloween while honoring the changes and expectations of your loved one.