Program helps keep Senior Citizens safe on Halloween

Posted: 7:58 PM, Oct 28, 2016
Updated: 2018-07-25 01:30:30Z

A company that provides living assistance services is helping to keep senior citizens safe this Halloween.

The Visiting Angels Halloween Helpers Program, which started three years ago, helps make seniors feel at ease on October 31st.

"We have noted our clients get a little nervous and unsettled when their doorbell is ringing and they don't know who is there,” Director of Community Relations Sarah Davison said. “Then, when you add on top of that, it being Halloween, there is a lot of bell ringing, people coming in costumes, sometimes their faces are covered. It can be very unsettling, especially for people with dementia and other disabilities.”

The caregivers, who are assisting 23 clients in the Waco area, make sure the Halloween decorations, such as flames in pumpkins, don’t become a hazard.

The Halloween Helpers also talk to their clients about leaving their lights on for Halloween because many of them think it is better to turn them off.

"A dark house is an invitation for foul play and we don't want the home to look vacated and for our clients to be burglarized or vandalized in any way,” Davison said.

For those senior citizens who want to open their doors to children trick-or-treating, the helpers make sure they have a safe passage way to the door.

"Number one, we don't want them tripping. Number two, we don't want to put them in a manner they can be taken advantage of. Our Visiting Angels don't allow the trick-or-treaters to come inside,” Davison said. “We just offer that extra level of security.”

If clients are unable to walk, they can still participate in the tradition by having the Halloween Helper hand out candy for them.

Jada Stickels cares for Ira Mayo five days a week helping her with chores around the house, checking her blood pressure and providing her companionship.

"It has been wonderful. I have gotten really close with her,” Stickels said.

Mayo said having a caregiver around makes her feel safe.

"You know they take care of you,” Mayo said.

This year, Stickels will take care of Mayo during Halloween night, answering the door for trick-or-treaters and handing out candy.

If senior citizens don’t plan to open their doors to trick-or-treaters, Davison still recommends leaving the lights on with a sign saying they are out of candy so that children will know not to disturb that home.

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