Starting back in the 70s and through the 80s, and even as far back as the 1968 film Rosemary’s Baby, popular culture began to embrace horror films. What’s now become an interesting turn of events is that many of the early-goers to these films are now seniors. The Shining, which was a horror-mainstream crossover, is now 40 years old. As with any vintage of humans, we carry with us into the future those things in the past which gave us pleasure, which is a long way of spelling out nostalgia.
Part of this love of horror in the digital age is research and finding out that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was in part based on the life of Ed Gein or that Amityville Horror was based on a real home as was The Exorcist. And then part of knowing that and being a horror fan is wanting to visit these various places. But there is some trouble either traveling with seniors or the elderly or seniors traveling to haunted houses by themselves: they are not exactly made well for seniors.
If you grow up playing football, at some point you understand your body can longer endure the sport. But haunted house hunting doesn’t have the same lines of physical limitations, at least on their faces (no pun intended). So if you have or know a senior person who is as head strong as my 92 year old grandmother, think about a couple of things to help keep your senior safe.
Respiratory Issues: Wear or Bring a Mask
Of course this applies to the age of coronavirus very evidently, and during a haunted house might just require mask usage these days, however, haunted homes tend to be older, have less ventilation, have boarded up windows, have lots of stairs, be dusty, the list goes on…and where it leads us is that is creates an environment that is tough for those we respiratory issues, such as asthma, COPD, and emphesyma. Wearing a mask helps reduce potential allergens and irritants that have been trapped in the air and can be released from people walking around. Masks won’t eliminate isses, but they will reduce them greatly…much like how masks work against COVID-19.
Bring Respiratory Rescues
Especially if your senior loved one has asthma or COPD, encourage them to bring their rescue inhaler and to take their preventation inhaler or medicine before stepping foot on the place
Just to stop here for a second and note that haunted houses are difficult on the respiratory system of everyone, not just the elderly, for these specific reasons: stairs, dust, poor ventilation, fear/excitement. These places get your heart racing, so before even thinking about this, be sure that any person is physically capable of taking a tour of a haunted house.
Charge up Their Medical Alert
There are too many brands of medical alerts to name, but whichever version they have, make sure that their alert wristband or medical alert pendant or Life Alert system is charged up, has batteries, and connected to wifi or a cell signal so that medical help can reach them and be provided should something happen. And hey, we are being overly cautious here. It is unlikely that anyone will need to push a medical alert button who wasn’t already physically capable of doing a haunted house tour, but many things strike when we least expect it, thus this is why alert bracelets exist. Just make sure they are functioning, just like you would fill your car up with gas and check the tires before driving.
Good Shoes to Prevent Falls
Studies have shown that fall prevention in the elderly is mainly summed up as “good shoes” silly as that might seem. As we age, we lose our connection to our extremeties for various reasons and it makes it more difficult to plant our feet firmly where our brains expect them to go. Being just an inch off of our landing location or having a slightly raised sidewalk, and down we go. There are tons of senior shoe options available that help reduce falls in seniors, and it is critical that these shoes are worn during tours of haunted mansions, where they are likely to also have a racing heart from being scared and from climbing stairs.