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What plans do you have to help your elders celebrate Fall and/or Halloween?


I took my father for an early Fall/Halloween ride yesterday to see a yard elaborately decorated with a variety of ghosts, headstones and more. He enjoyed it, and we spent some time parked across the street taking mental notes.


We're probably going to make some ghosts from sticks and old sheets and put them in the outdoor plant containers. I'm not sure what to use for faces to ensure that they're waterproof. Suggestions? Fabric paint?


One of the neighbors has cut small ghosts from white fabric and pinned them to the bushes.


I'm trying to think of other ideas as well, for both seasons. I don't want any of the inflatables; they're too much upkeep as they seem to collapse daily.


What do others do? Decorate in your parents' home? Yard? At a care facility? Are there other activities you do to make this time of year special for your loved ones?


I'm interested in more thoughts, especially ones that my father can participate in creating.


Thanks for any suggestions!

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I tend to decorate more for fall and have that theme around the house, with lots of brightly colored leaf decor, wreaths, pumpkins, and scarecrows. We go all out and then around Halloween, I'll put some stuff out just for that like some black cats. The only Trick-or-Treaters will be a couple of family members who are kids. Not many stranger Trick-or-Treaters. 

My LO's AL and MC has a Halloween Party, where they have treats, games and prizes. It's for all that are able to enjoy it, even those in the MC unit. (They have to have a family member there to accompany them.) I'm not sure if she will be up to it this year. We'll give it a try. The staff dress the residents in costumes and they vote on their favorite one. They have prizes for many things, so everyone gets something. They have simple games like throwing a bean bag, Bingo, picking out numbers, music, etc. It's fun and the residents really seem to have a good time. The staff dress in costumes too and the residents really get a kick out of that. 
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My hubs used to put a 9 foot tall inflatable Frankenstien in the front yard, until Dad in his last year kept telling us the deflated thing during the day was a wrecked car! No lie, and we live 1/2 mile off the road! He got all worked up over it. We never get trick or treaters because we are so far out, but you can see it from the road. MAybe we'll put it back up this year... it's cheerful and mom may like it?
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I started answering everyone and got mixed up seguing back and forth from the answer box to the posts!

But I appreciate all the answer and am making notes - it'll be fun to implement them with Dad, and see what we can come up with.

Some of the posts are reminding me of when we were kids and went to the corner grocery store to get those wax lips, little wax coke bottles and wax teeth for Halloween. That was a LONG time ago. I haven't even seen anything like that in years.

The trends seem to be more purchased things, especially the giant blow-ups. I did see a cute blow-up black cat with a big smile, holding a big pumpkin. I imagined that it was waiting for someone to drop some little mousy gifts into the pumpkin.
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We had a mail slot in the front door or the house I raised my kids in.

I is Ed beige fabric to make a fairly realistic arm and hand which I stiffed with old panty hose. Stuck it through the mail slot.
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Cwillie
Halloween was a big occasion for my parents and their friends - each year the party rotated houses and had a theme
All homemade costumes in the 1950s and 60s
I used to love to look at the photo album from those parties

I don't think I've ever been to an adult Halloween party
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Jg
Put a bucket of candy on my mom's lap and she'd eat it all - not too unlike Halloween when I was a kid - ha ha
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cwillie, if my mother's nh had those activities, they would not rely on families. The aide who helped with dressing would try to find something black and orange in the closet, and if there was nothing they'd have a black-and -orange scarf, or a baseball cap in the right colors or colorful plastic necklaces. I know, because I've seen them do this kind of thing. Of course if family gets involved, that is awesome. They would also have props for simple costumes if they had a costume party.

What they did do on Halloween night was invite the neighborhood children to come in early (before dark) in their costumes, The residents who wanted to participate arranged themselves in the reception area (most in wheelchairs) and each was given a bucket of candy. The children went to each resident, said trick-or-treat, and got a piece of candy. Fun for all -- and neighborhood was responsible for all costumes. The activities director only had to find buckets and buy candy!
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Some go all out on decorating. My daughter's BIL is one, check out my avatar! They even get notes in the mail each year thanking for the great decorations!
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I think the most fun I had with Halloween was ages 20-24.

It was the tail end of the Disco Era and the adult parties were so over the top - and so much fun. I went as Shirley Temple one year - giant lollipop and all.

This is part of why I get so sad when I read about caregivers in the same age group giving up these years. Oh well - that's another thread.
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Halloween has not always been such a big deal. I stopped probably eleven or so. But, ts1 probably still goes trick or treating. Just any excuse for a party for her.

Even when my kids were young, it was not a big deal. They always had their costumes of course. I think maybe all the big parties and decorating began when it became unsafe for kids to go door to door.

Yes, there are lots of big parties and decorations. Yes fairly new.
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I'm curious, have you Americans always gone big with Halloween parties and decorations, or is this a more recent phenomena? When I was young Halloween was something that you out grew by age 13/14, and the only thing the adults did to prepare for the celebration was stock up on treats (unless you bought ticket for the costume optional Halloween dance).
I picked up the NH Activity Calendar for Oct yesterday, it seems we are having Orange & Black day on the 27th and a costume party on the 31st... love those activities that leave the responsibility of participation totally up to the family 🙄
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My parents were pretty sniffy about Hallowe'en (American import! Not traditional! Nonsense!) so for years I was too, but then had a change of heart and started keeping trays of not-too-horrifically-unhealthy treats ready by the front door for little visitors. Then we moved to the countryside and there weren't any kids around to come and get 'em :(

What about permanent marker on balloons for the heads/faces, GA?
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I wonder if my childhood was different? Not much of a big deal was made over any holiday. Nothing much was done for us (we had Halloween costumes, but I remember being forced to stop trick-or-treating before my friends at a certain age). Since I presume my mother didn't care back then, I'm not doing anything for her now.
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And there are luminarias that can be used to light the walk to the house. Does dad like playing with sand? What about placing some of the cobweb stuff, bought in stores over some trees or bushes outside? Sorry don't know what it is called.
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I used to love to decorate for Halloween

One year, we filled an alumninum bucket - thinking bobbing for apples - with water
Cut the bottoms off of red delicious apples so they have a flat base
Core out the top a bit and place tea candles in them and light on Halloween night in a corner of the lawn near the front door 
A floating light display 

The other fun thing we did was to make a stuffed man and sit him on a chair in the front yard - old clothes and newspaper and a styrofoam head with a mask and hat 

This year, mom will get pumpkin pie and a box of See's candy
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Used to buy orange trash bags with jack-o-lantern faces on them. Served a dual purpose for bagging leaves and decorating the yard. Two birds, one stone.
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