Halloween Safety Tips for Senior Citizens

Halloween Pumpkin84936_lowFrom Examiner.com, 2009, Written by Deborah O’Malley | Chicago Crime Examiner

Halloween can be a scary time for the elderly.

The little kids accompanied by parents are not a threat, but hordes of costumed teens pounding on doors is nerve-wracking for seniors who worry masked marauders will take note that an elderly person is frail and living alone.

If you are a senior, one way to avoid problems is to have a younger relative or neighbor drop by to help you greet trick-or-treaters. The presence of a young or middle-aged adult will deter troublemakers and give the impression there is more than one person living in the home.

Another option for seniors  is to go to a neighbor’s house to pass out candy. Leave a note on the fence or front door saying something to the effect of  “Candy for this house is being passed out next door at 100 Main Street, please collect your treats there.” You have the option of either passing out candy with the neighbors or simply giving the candy to the neighbor to pass out on your behalf.

Keep a chain lock in place when opening a door. Candy can be passed through the limited opening the chain provides.

It’s not a good idea to simply turn off lights and keep a house dark to dissuade trick-or-treaters. A dark house is an invitation for burglars and vandals. Turn on the interior and exterior lights, even if you will not be home or you choose not to answer the door.

Finally, never let an unknown trick-or-treater into your home to use the bathroom or make a phone call. Make up an excuse such as “I have company right now, this isn’t a good time, but you can try so-and-so’s house,” and refer them to a neighbor’s home where there are multiple adults.