Dressing-up to collect treats on Halloween (October 31) can be enjoyable for many people of all ages.
However, these activities may not be fun for some elderly neighbours or for those living within your community who are alone or more vulnerable than others.
Halloween goes back more than 2,000 years. It first began as a means of marking the end of the harvest season and the start of winter. The origins of trick-or-treating lie with the Irish and Scottish folk who immigrated to America at the start of the 20th century.
While we all love to have fun and to embrace traditions, the safety and welfare of our service users and the other vulnerable members of our community are priority.
Halloween can mean an increase in safety and security concerns for many, so here are our top tips for those who live alone, would prefer not to be visited by trick-or-treaters and wish to stay safe throughout the celebrations:
- Put a sign on your door and inside your front window facing out for all to see that states if trick-or-treaters are welcome. Many local councils and police groups offer free posters and advice on this.
- Always look through your spy hole and/or window before opening your front door to strangers. If you have one, keep your chain on. Don’t open your door if you don’t feel safe.
- Keep your front door area and hallway well lit.
- Keep your front door area clear to avoid anyone tripping or hurting themselves if they approach your house to see if you do accept trick or treaters.
- Spend Halloween with family members, friends and neighbours. Have your own quiet gathering to keep each other company but take care to travel home safely.
- If you need to go anywhere in your car, drive slowly on residential streets and keep an eye out for people who may be crossing the road whose costumes may be hard to see in the dark.