Halloween Helpers take fear out of Halloween for seniors

Though trick-or-treating may be a time of good-natured fun for children, it can be unnerving for seniors.

The constant door-ringing and knocking can be too much for them, said Nancy Bostrom, representative for home care organization Visiting Angels, which has an office in Springettsbury Township.

jack-o-lantern logo

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That's where Halloween Helpers come in.

They keep seniors company while also alerting the neighborhood that more than one person is home by turning on lights, putting out signs when there is no more candy and keeping kids from coming inside.

"One-third of all seniors who live at home live alone," Bostrom said in a news release, "and most are women."

Families can't always be home during trick-or-treating hours, she said, and seniors feel extra vulnerable to being alone when they have physical limitations.

Add in the factor of unusual noises and unfamiliar faces for seniors with Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and Halloween can be scarier than anticipated, she said.

The Philadelphia-based Visiting Angels initiated the program nationally in 2014, and it is now in 550 communities across the country — 35 of them in Pennsylvania, Bostrom said.

Manchester-Mount Wolf Halloween Parade, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo


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Seniors who are interested in receiving a helper for this year's trick-or-treating should contact Visiting Angels, 1840 E. Market St., at 717-751-2488.

Trick-or-treating in York County takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Halloween in most municipalities, except for the following:

Thursday, Oct 26: Carroll Township, Dillsburg, Fairview Township, Franklin Township, Lewisberry, Newberry Township, Monaghan Township and Franklintown.