Ready for a fun way to surprise the elderly this Halloween? How about a Halloween Boo Bucket filled with goodies?
Seniors love Halloween too. And almost everyone loves getting a gift basket, treat bucket or bag full of surprises, right? This is a fun, easy, and relatively inexpensive way to let an elderly loved one, neighbor or friend know that you are thinking about them!
What Should You Put in Your Halloween Gift Bucket?
Your options for treats to put in your gift bucket are limited only by the space in your pumpkin, and the common sense restrictions for the recipient. For example, if a person has dietary restrictions, only add edible food that meets those guidelines. If a person has problems chewing or swallowing, then nothing hard or sticky.
Also, remember that some people with dementia may not be able to safely use some items. Watch for anything that could be a personal risk. A good rule of thumb (depending on the stage of dementia), if you wouldn't give it to a three year old, then don't give it to someone with dementia.
That includes non-edible items that look like food!
Okay, now for the fun part.
My recipient does not have dietary restrictions or dementia. So I just aimed for a fun combination of little items.
From my experience working with the elderly, I find that they like receiving a combination of items. They like practical items. But they also like a few fun things that they can use, but might not really need. And they like some things that are just silly fun sometimes too. (who doesn't, right?)
For my Halloween gift bucket, I have:
- A set of dishtowels
- A fun handkerchief
- Small flashlight
- Candy corn lip balm
- Pen, Halloween pencil, and dry erase pen
- Key ring
- Flarp (Flarp, floam and other slime or doughs are useful for hand exercises and fidgeting.)
- Fun bag clips
- USB drive with photos
- Purse-sized notebooks
- Edible goodies (Poptarts, flavored applesauce, peanut butter crackers, microwavable lunch, nuts)
At the end of the post, I will give a list of other gift ideas.
Stuff the Pumpkin
You can use disposable fillers to help hold items in place if you want. Colored cellophane is always cute. But I like to cut down a bit on waste and fill the bucket with enough items to hold everything in place.
If you use items like dishcloths, they can be rolled and placed in the bottom. The spaces between the rolls are a good place to tuck tall items to hold them in place.
Instead of going for a professional arrangement, where tall items are to the back, coolest item is on display, etc., I like to layer the bucket so that they can see useful things and fun things at the same time. Mixed with that stuff that is fun AND useful.
The elderly person probably doesn't need a Halloween pencil, but they will likely use one if they have it. It is fun, yet useful, and no holiday treat basket should be without a thematic pencil. In my opinion, that is.
|Add an orange bow or a gift tag for some extra style.|
Now it is full. And there is room for more stuff! So I added a few more little items (read about those below).
Final touch, writing the recipients name on the bucket. Use a dry erase pen for this so that your giftee can pass the Halloween bucket along later if they want. If you think they would like it as a keepsake, write a memorable holiday note on the bucket with a Sharpie.
Your Halloween Boo Bucket is Ready!
Now you can take your gift basket to your elderly loved one. Or make several and provide lots of tricks and treats to a local nursing home.
More Halloween Gift Basket Filler Ideas:
Here are a few more items you can put in the Halloween bucket!
- Dollar store reading glasses
- Hand sanitizer
- Several individual mini-treat bags, each holding a $1 bill.
- Rolls of quarters
- Gift Cards
- Paperback books
- Puzzle books
- Small jigsaw puzzles
- Set of dominoes
- Deck of novelty cards (bonus points if they are Halloween themed!)
- Disposable camera
- Halloween drinking straw
- Fun shaped gel ice packs
- Potholders (fall or Halloween towel/potholder sets are great)
- Cooking utensils
- CD or DVD (a DVD will fit. You just have to work for it.)
- Halloween slider puzzles
- Photo album
- Spare phone charger
- IOU Book (make coupons for favors that you will do whenever they want to redeem them.)
- Hobby supplies
- Pudding cups
- Single serve chips or crackers
- Fruit cups
- Flavoring packets for bottled water
- Jerky or sausage sticks
For the lovely senior lady who loves flowers, why not center a bouquet of flowers (fresh or silk) on the center of the bucket and fill around the stems with the other treats? They bucket becomes a fun flower pot afterwards.
Of course, you can (and should) be creative. Browse the dollar stores and see what else you can find. Add home made gifts and treats, too, for the perfect combination of treats!
Happy Halloween from Elder Care Issues!