Halloween can be great fun for children and young people, with trick or treating playing a big part in their ghoulish adventures. However, some older people who are at home on Halloween may feel scared or threatened, so Age UK is offering some helpful advice.
Tips for trick or treaters:
- Don’t go to houses that aren’t lit up as the homeowners may not want to be disturbed
- Always ensure that young children are accompanied by an adult
- Make sure you know whose doorbell you are ringing. If it’s an older person, consider whether your call might scare them. Perhaps you could take a treat to an older person that you know in your community before it gets dark.
Advice for older people:
- Always put the door chain on and look out of the window or spy hole to see who is there before opening the door
- Take particular care if there is more than one person on your doorstep, which you should be able to check if you have a spy hole installed
- If in doubt or if you do not feel safe opening the door, then don’t. Often, and quite unnecessarily, people feel embarrassed about refusing to let someone in at the door. Only open the door if you feel safe to do so.
- If you are especially worried, you could invite a friend or relative around for dinner. A fun evening should take your mind off of unexpected callers.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said: ‘Halloween can be a particularly stressful time for some older people, particularly those who are in poor health or living alone. Noise at night and unexpected callers can cause anxiety for people who feel vulnerable. We encourage those who will be out trick or treating this Halloween to have fun but to do so responsibly and with respect.’
Hopefully, by being aware of these precautionary measures, older people will feel safer in their homes this Halloween. Age UK has produced a free information guide, ‘Staying Safe’, which contains information about personal security at home and is available free of charge from Age UK Advice on 0800 169 65 65 or by visiting www.ageuk.org.uk
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