Halloween Door Sign: A Craft for Dementia Patients
The scent of pumpkin spice in every store means that Halloween is coming soon.
If you’re caring for someone with dementia, you can still celebrate the holiday while taking a few steps to ensure the change in the routine doesn’t create additional anxiety.
First, prepare your loved one in advance. Doing a craft like this Halloween Door Sign can be a good starting point to remind your loved one that the holiday is coming. Discuss how you’ll be celebrating and explain that there might be more activity around the house than usual.
Keep your Halloween decor simple and avoid frightening objects like witches and bats. Turn off any decorations that make unexpected noises as this can be very unnerving to someone with dementia. You should also keep in mind that sundowning, the phenomenon where some patients with dementia experience increased confusion and anxiety later in the day, can occur, so try to keep all Halloween-related activities to earlier in the day.
If you want to provide candy to neighborhood trick-or-treaters, it can be helpful to put a bowl outside your front door with a note telling themto take a piece. Doing this can help to avoid the confusion of the doorbell ringing throughout the evening. Inside the home, candy should be stored safely out of reach to ensure that your loved one isn’t consuming a steady stream of sugar throughout the day.
Use your time working on this Halloween Door Sign craft to discuss what your loved one remembers about Halloween from their own childhood. Many people with dementia can still clearly recall their youth and enjoy talking about it. Ask them about their favorite costumes and share your own memories of spending time together on past Halloweens.
What You’ll Need:
- Three wooden letters that spell out B-O-O
- Halloween stickers
- Halloween-themed tape
Cover the letters with Halloween-themed tape.
- Decorate one of the letters with your Halloween stickers.
- Use the ribbon to tie each letter together, leaving about two inches between each letter.
- Hang on your door or on a wall.
- You can use black or orange paint instead of tape.
- Get your loved one involved by starting the activity yourself and asking them to join in.
- Activities have the best chance of success in the morning between breakfast and lunch when your loved one is well rested, and, as explained, that’s also the best time especially as seasons change and sundowning can be developed. If they don’t want to participate or get frustrated, don’t force it. Try again at another time.
- Remember that the goal is for you to have fun doing the activity. Don’t worry about what the end result looks like.
- If your loved one has dementia, a hospice care team can provide support for both the patient and family. This added assistance can be key in avoiding caregiver burnout.
See more dementia craft ideas or caregiver tips on our Pinterest board.
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