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Treats, Not Tricks: 4 Ways to Keep Seniors Safe This Halloween

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Anyone who loves a senior understands the importance of being informed on senior issues, and so do we. Our News You Can Use posts are meant to help seniors and their families as they learn and transition together through the physical and emotional changes brought on by aging.

With Halloween just around the corner, it seems like everyone is getting into the spooky spirit. The haunted holiday can be synonymous with fun for the young and the young at heart alike, but a word of caution: the holiday can also present some specific safety concerns for seniors. Here are four ways to stay safe this Halloween.

1) Make like Dr. Frankenstein -- Hit the switch!
Keeping the lights on inside your home and outside on your porch or driveway reminds vandals, who might see Halloween night as a toilet-paper-and-egg-filled opportunity that you’re home. Also, since a lit house has come to mean “welcome trick-or-treaters,” be sure to place a note on the door if you do not celebrate the holiday or if you will not be handing out candy. (Your doorbell will thank you).

2) Don’t get tricked by treaters
Yes, chances are all trick-or-treaters are harmless, but the ol’ better safe than sorry adage is true. Don’t hesitate to turn away trick-or-treaters who ask to come into your home for a glass of water or to use the bathroom. Remember: It’s your home and you reserve the right to say no.

3) Don’t be like Dracula – Stay in for the night
Each year on Halloween, streets are filled with tiny ghosts and goblins, many of whom are buzzing with a mix of sugar and excitement. So, it’s no surprise that, according to the National Safety Council, one of the biggest safety concerns on Halloween night is the risk of hitting pedestrians. This risk is heightened for senior drivers who might struggle with night vision or delayed reflexes. Avoid Halloween-induced driving stressors by running errands during the day and planning on staying in after dusk.

4) Throw a party — do the monster mash!
If being alone on Halloween night gives you the spooks, make it a party! Don’t hesitate to invite a close family friend or relative to stay with you, or to help you hand out candy, even if it’s only for a few hours. And, if you know families with young children from your neighborhood, church groups, or other social groups very well, invite them by to trick-or-treat personally. It’ll encourage you to get to the Halloween spirit and will put your mind at ease that you have some set visitors stopping by to see you throughout the night.

For more information on how to stay physically and emotionally engaged after retirement, visit blog.milestoneretirement.com.