The changing leaves and cool nights mean fall is fully underway. This season brings plenty of opportunities for seniors to make new memories with their loved ones and friends. The crisp air and fall foliage makes walks more enjoyable, and let’s not forget how fun it can be to watch a grandchild make that tackle or touchdown as football season begins.
With fall comes the first big celebration of the holiday season – Halloween. Whether a senior lives at home or in an assisted-living community, there are many ways to get into the Halloween spirit. One classic décor idea is carving a jack-o-lantern, but seniors can also paint pumpkins as an easier and safer alternative to carving. There are many fall activities for seniors, like the following, that are simple ways to enjoy the season.
Baked Apples with Oatmeal Streusel Topping
1. Slice 3-4 apples in half with a large knife, then scoop out the seeds and stem parts with a melon baller.
2. Mix together:
a little over half stick/quarter cup melted butter or margarine or fat of your choice
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup flour or gluten-free ‘flour’ of your choice
1/2 cup brown sugar (or white sugar with date syrup or molasses or agave syrup)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt
3. Fill and top apple halves with the mixture.
4. Bake at 350 F/180 C until tops are golden brown and apples swell, about 30 minutes.
The following ideas are easy crafts that require few materials and steps, making them perfect for seniors to make with their friends and family. These crafts can be used to decorate a senior’s home or assisted-living community for the fall season and Halloween.
Pumpkin Pouch Goodie Bags
• Orange tissue paper
• Green floral tape
• Candy and treats to fill pumpkins
• Small ball
Take 20″ x 20″ tissue paper, cut it in half horizontally, then cut it in half again vertically, leaving you with 5″ x 5″ squares. Two pieces of tissue paper is sturdy enough to hold several pieces of candy. If you want to add more candy, you may need to use more tissue paper for reinforcement.
Use the small ball or round object as a mold to wrap the tissue paper around to help give it a pumpkin shape. Remove the ball and place small pieces of candy or favors inside. Bring the edges of the paper together to form a stem. Start winding the floral tape around the paper stem, starting from the bottom of the stem and working your way up. If the stem is too long, snip off the top of the paper, then finished the floral tape stem.
Fall Leaf Garland
• Different fall-colored leaves
Gather fresh-fallen leaves from the yard or a nearby park and use a needle to carefully thread them onto the string, securing the ends with knots. Tack the garland onto the edge of a table, along a banister, or across a door frame to add fall color to any space.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
One Halloween tradition that brings together the young and old is trick-or-treating. With the above décor ideas, seniors will be ready to celebrate as local children arrive at their doors in costumes. Even those who live in assisted-living communities can participate in the festivities — simply invite the trick-or-treaters to visit you! Amada Senior Care wishes you and your loved ones a happy and safe Halloween weekend.
Written by Taylor French, Amada contributor.