Senior Adults Can Enjoy Halloween, too!

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Halloween tops at #4 of the best 20 celebrated holidays around the world, according to Even in America it has become one of the most popular holidays for both the young and old. Afterall, there are halloween activities for seniors just as much there are for children. There is more to just passing out candy for the older adult. Whether you are doing festive crafts, watching scary movies, or going to themed halloween parties, there is plenty to do to have fun as an elderly adult that enjoys halloween. Below are several ideas to do as a senior that wants to make halloween a festive event. 

Halloween Movies

There is a scary movie for everyone, no matter your age. It is an all-time favorite thing to do, especially around Halloween. It is also a great time for seniors to introduce all the classics, while getting in some of the most recent scary movies that can be shared with the grandkids. For those that just can’t handle too much of a thrilling flix, then there are also plenty of simple halloween themed movies without too much intense action. Below are some of our top suggestions to share with the kids:

  • “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”
  • “Ghostbusters”
  • Anything Hitchcock: “Psycho,” “The Birds,” “Strangers on a Train,” or “Rear Window”
  • “The Addams Family”
  • “Little Shop of Horrors”
  • “Young Frankenstein”
  • “House on Haunted Hill”
  • “13 Ghosts”
  • “The Monster Squad”

Treats with a festive theme

Everyone loves to make fun and delicious treats, especially around the holidays. This goes true for halloween as well. For seniors, getting into the fun can become a great pastime to share with close family and friends. However, many seniors need to watch the sugar content of certain snacks, since most older adults are susceptible to diabetes. Yet have no fear, here are some of the best food snack choices that are great for seniors, as well as the grandkids that come over to enjoy eating them, as well as making them:

Witch Finger Pretzel Rods– A decorated finger made from pretzels, almonds, plus green and black food dye. 

Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups -All done without the oven, just five ingredients, plenty of fun.

Brownie Bat Truffles– If you love fudgy brownie desserts, you will love these!

Mummy Dogs– A simple recipe for all kids, young and old. Made with just crescent rolls, hot dogs and mustard. (add American cheese to create Cheesy Mummy Dogs)

Halloween Activities for Seniors

 Believe it or not, everyone starts thinking about the Fall before it even gets here. In fact, if you walk into any Walmart, you can find an aisle specifically for halloween decorations by September 1st. In this aisle, you also can find a bunch of halloween craft ideas, such as cookie cutters shaped like pumpkins and ghosts, and a whole area of scary costumes. Seniors can even buy black and orange tinsel to hang outside on their front porch. There are also plenty of fun, interactive games and activities to do, no matter where you live. Whether it be with family or if living in a senior center community facility. Below we have listed some more great activities to for Hallween, whether by yourself or with the grandkids.

1. Sharing scary stories

A fun activity to do for halloween is getting people together at the local senior center or assisted living home to share their scariest stories around this holiday. You can make it even into a contest of who can tell the most frightening story of the night.

2. Participating in Halloween charades

Acting out as many halloween characters you can think of for your seniors is a great way to play halloween charades. The fun will never end as you watch your friends and family trying to mime a creepy spider or become a walking dead mummy! Here are some ideas:

  • Skeleton
  • Black cat
  • Bat
  • Full moon
  • Sleepy Hollow
  • Pumpkin
  • Headless Horseman
  • Black widow
  • Broom
  • Frankenstein
  • Haunted house
  • Ghost
  • Gravestone
  • Witch

3. Trick-or-Treat with Seniors

Although you see kids trick or treating throughout neighborhoods, seniors and the elderly can still have fun around halloween. Setting up trick or treat stations in either nursing homes or assisted living facilities helps grandma have fun, yet still feel like a kid, for at least one night of the year. For seniors that participate, they can dress up in their favorite costume and go from station to station for some good times and lots of fun.

4. Having a Homemade Costume Contest

For those who live in assisted living homes, seniors can have some fun by creating homemade masks or costumes, and then show it off during a costume contest event. You can even provide the some of the materials for them to make for themselves, to help inspire creativity. Once completed, have someone judge the contest to find the winning contest or have everyone vote on which is the best.

5. Halloween-theme Movie marathon

Ask what the residents at senior assisted living places which are their best classic movies for the halloween season, and put on a movie marathon for the week heading into the holiday. Whether it be the funniest movie with a scary theme or the best classic thriller movie, make each day of the week a memorable movie event. Then on the actual halloween night, put on the most voted out of all the residents.

Halloween Crafts for Seniors

Making Halloween crafts is fun for all ages. And seniors are great at making arts and crafts a great activity do do, especially around the fall season. Many fall decorations can be displayed early in the month of October, when the whether is cooler and the color of the leaves are starting to change. Seniors can get their grandkids involved too, by making it a family fun event. You can display it inside the house or outdoors to give the neighborhood that creepy atmosphere look. 

 For people that live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, getting involved in creating crafts can be fun and exciting to do as well. They can either decorate their own room or participate in hanging up creepy party favors from the ceiling in the cafeteria or activities room. Whatever you decide, always keep it simple, easy, and lots of fun. Here are some easy ideas for both seniors and their grandkids to do during the halloween week. 

  1. Decorative Halloween garland- Turn your home into a decorated haunted house by hanging up decorations in and around the house. Get seniors involved by taping spooky garland from the hallways, closets, and even the kitchen bar. Some bat and ghost garland glow in the dark, giving it an even more spooky look.
  2. Decorate pumpkins- Making jack-o-lanterns is one of the best crafts to do during the fall. And, everyone loves to decorate pumpkins for halloween, this includes seniors! It is a great craft to do and provides hours of fun. For seniors in assisted living homes, it may be good to do a painting halloween contest, instead of carving the pumpkins themselves.
  3. Cheesecloth Ghosts- All you need is a few common household items, and you can create these eerie specters. Add eyes to add the spooky design.
  4. Making spooky candles-All you need is a bit of black lace, craft glue, candle holder, and a candle(flameless is best). The craft is easy and cheap to make.
  5. Make decorative spiderwebs-One other decorative craft that seniors can do during halloween is making spiders, by just using coffee filters. You can even add a little yarn and draw a spider by using a permanent marker to really scare the grandkids or the residents (if you are doing it at a senior center.)

Halloween Recipes for Seniors

Although we mentioned some food ideas, here are more fun recipes to try without too much sugar. As we all know, most foods around halloween are full of sugar since some seniors may have health risks when it comes to desserts and snacks. These are perfect for seniors to do, either by themselves or with the grandkids.

Sweet potato jack-o-lanterns– Sweet potatoes are both healthy and sweet, making it a great snack that is fun and easy to make.

Shrunken Head Cider– A bunch of Granny Smith apples that are peeled, cored, and halved, then given a spooky carving look. Bake, dehydrate, then drop them in a punch bowl with apple cider, lemonade, and spiced rum to give a shrunken head look.

Candy Apple Lollipops- Not everyone can eat a candy apple without getting sick. So cut the calories (and the sugar) by making these sweet lollipops instead.

Jalapeno Popper Mummies– Stuffed with cream cheese, jack cheese, and scallions, then wrapped in a dough. Delicious and healthy!

Graveyard Taco Cups– layered with black beans, guacamole, black olives and green onions. Great for a festive halloween party!

Candy Corn Popsicles- Although it is Fall, that shouldn’t stop anyone from eating popsicles. Made with plain yogurt, honey or agave, orange juice, and pineapple juice! Yumm!


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