Halloween is here again! It’s getting colder, it’s darker earlier, and it’s the time of year when people like to dress up and get a bit spooky!
This can be great fun, especially for children. Tonight there will be lots of children and teenagers heading out for Halloween to go trick or treating with their parents or friends. It’s all harmless fun and something the kids will really enjoy – cue the sugar rush at bedtime!
In the midst of all the fun, it is easy to forget about those vulnerable people who may not be so keen to take part in the celebrations.
Being elderly or anxious at Halloween
For elderly or anxious people, Halloween can be a night that they dread. Loud shouting in the streets and a night of scary knocks at the door can be very worrying for some.
At Nottingham on Call we are here for all our customers if they are frightened or worried. But we would like to remind everyone else to be vigilant and think about vulnerable and elderly people when you head out at Halloween.
Being frightened could risk a fall
For older people, in particular those who live alone, a knock at the door when it is dark could be an intimidating and worrying experience – never mind on Halloween. Imagine this experience a number of times a night.
Sadly some people take the ‘trick’ side of things to the extreme. Some groups will throw eggs or stones at the homes of people who do not answer their doors at Halloween.
It’s important to warn your friends and family about the risks of doing this. If you cause damage to a home or a car, this is a crime. If you persist, this is classed as harassment. Not to mention that it is cruel and unnecessary. It’s Halloween – have fun, don’t ruin someone else’s night.
The last thing we need is for older people to become frightened in their own homes. Elderly people’s health could also be at risk. Loud bangs and knocks could trigger a whole host of medical issues if they are not very well or suffer from a medical condition.
Getting up and down to answer the door means that the chance of a fall also increases.
Our advice at Halloween
Consider some of the following advice and you can have a fun Halloween, without worrying about causing upset or injury to a vulnerable person.
- If you are going trick or treating, plan ahead. Only knock on the houses of people who you know are taking part in the celebrations. Visit people who have decorations on their homes, or if you know they are younger people who are able to get up easily.
- If you know that the people living at a certain house are elderly or frail, please don’t knock on their door.
- Only knock once. If there’s no reply, then move on to the next house.
- Respect the wishes of the homeowner. If they don’t want to take part, please don’t react by shouting or throwing objects at their home.
What can you do, if you are elderly and vulnerable?
There are lots of things you can do to avoid any unnecessary worry or injuries during Halloween. Here are some helpful hints and tips:
- Arrange for your friends or family to visit.
- Visit your friends and family, if you are able to.
- Place sweets in a bowl outside your door, or at the end of your driveway. This way you can take part, but you won’t be disturbed or frightened by a knock at the door.
- Take your time in answering the door, you don’t need to rush.
- If you feel frightened or intimidated, then call for a friend or family member to visit. If the problem persists then please contact us if you are one of our customers, or you could also phone the police.
Feeling safer in your home at Halloween and all year round
Has Halloween raised concerns for you or a family member about your vulnerability at home?
If you would like to talk to a member of our team, they could explain how we can help. Our personal care alarm and monitoring service is a fantastic support to elderly and vulnerable people, particularly those who live alone.
Our Nottinghamshire-based service offers reassurance. We are the voice at the end of a line, and someone to get out to you if there is nobody around to help at that time.
We are Nottingham on Call. Find out more about our services here or call us on 0115 746 9010.