Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the scares! This year consider spending some time with the aging loved ones in your life. There are many engaging and enriching activities you can participate in that don’t involve startling jumps or scream-inducing scares. Join AmeriCare as we review a few of our family-fun Halloween favorites for this season:

1 – Ghost Stories

Older adults have a wealth of stories and we’re betting they’ve got a spooky tale or two to tell you. Consider asking about their real-life experiences with Halloween or if they have any favorite campfire stories. These anecdotes create a wonderful opportunity to socially engage with older folks while helping them flex their memory, storytelling, and problem-solving skills. Plus, their stories, whether fact or fiction, could become family legends to share with generations to come!

2 – Pumpkin Decorating

There’s nothing more traditional to Halloween than a good old fashion pumpkin carving party. Depending on the age and dexterity of your loved ones, you could either carve pumpkins or simply decorate their outsides using basic craft supplies. Hosting a crafting night is a great opportunity for multi-generational families to bond in a safe and comfortable environment. Taking time to craft also creates a welcoming setting for little ones to connect with seniors in a stimulating, but low-pressure situation. Seniors will also benefit as even simple movements like using scissors to cut paper, applying glue, and painting exercise important fine motor skills.

3 – Make It a Movie Night

Halloween wouldn’t be the same without indulging in a few spooky flicks. This season why not organize a fun movie night with your senior loved one and their friends or family? Whether close enough to share a space safely, or virtually, there are many family-friendly movies to keep people of all ages entertained! Here are a few of our favorites:

Hocus Pocus: follow along as a curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of comical witches set on stirring up trouble for the children of his new hometown.

Casper: join an “afterlife therapist” and his daughter as they move into a mansion and meet a friendly young ghost and his rabble-rousing ghost pals through a series of comedic and heartfelt events.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: watch Linus and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they await the Great Pumpkin on Halloween.

Remember to Keep It Safe

Halloween in 2020 is going to look a little different than years past. This fall, as you prepare for the holiday, be sure to take all the proper safety percussions to keep you and your loved ones safe. Follow your state’s COVID-19 restrictions and keep items like cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, face masks, and shields readily available. Follow the proper protocol for social distancing. If you are unable to keep a safe distance, consider turning the activities we’ve reviewed into virtual Halloween hangouts instead. Video calling programs like FaceTime, Zoom, and Google Hangouts provide the perfect opportunity to get everyone involved, while keeping everyone safe.