Halloween is currently one of the most popular celebrations in the United States. The tradition originated with the ancient druids in Britain, who disguised themselves to hide from evil spirits and gave them treats to appease them. Centuries later, the Catholic Church set aside November 1st as “All Saints Day” or “All Hallow’s Day”, to honor all saints who had no special day of their own. The evening before was called “All Hallows’ Eve”, which eventually was shortened to Halloween when the two festivals merged.
Alzheimer’s and Halloween have something in common- they are both scary! To an Alzheimer’s patient, Halloween can be destabilizing because of children constantly ringing the doorbell, strange decorations, confusing costumes and ghostly creaking sounds which contribute to the spirit of the holiday. This doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, but you might want to reevaluate the ritual to see it with Alzheimer’s eyes.
Here are some tips for a fun Halloween:
- Bake and decorate Halloween cookies and treats
- Gather pumpkins to carve and decorate the house with
- Pick out a fun Halloween costume
- Prepare bags of candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters
- Visit a pumpkin farm
- Make a scarecrow or ghosts to display in the yard
- Decorate the house in orange and black
- Take lots of pictures and make a Halloween album
Halloween can be tweaked and personalized to communicate a meaningful updated ritual. Both you and your loved one will enjoy the current anticipation as you tap into a positive memory of past celebrations. Make decorations together to maximize the occasion. Art therapy provides positive stimulation and creative self-expression. And while you are coloring and pasting, play music in the background, preferably from your loved one’s time period, for happiness synergy.
For more information on this topic, feel free to call us anytime at (561) 588-4545. Thanks for watching today’s Monday Mojo and we’ll see you again next week.