Are Fireworks Scary for Seniors who have Dementia?
Treatment for dementia has advanced over the past few decades, but dementia care (also referred to as memory care) is still a difficult and heart wrenching experience. Since seniors who have dementia lose their memories, they often become fearful when they have no idea where they are, what’s happening around them, or why. When they’re in a state of uncertainty, their behaviors often become challenging, and they will withdraw from their environment.
Fourth of July celebrations almost always include fireworks at night, which can be scary for seniors who have dementia. The loud noises will be unfamiliar to them and can create a state of confusion and fear, which will exacerbate their dementia symptoms. With enough preparation, caregivers will be able to keep seniors who have dementia safe and comfortable while still having fun.
Here are a few guidelines that will help you prepare for the Fourth of July:
It’s best not to leave seniors who have dementia alone on the Fourth of July. If you can’t spend the evening with your loved one, consider having a home caregiver help for the night.
Fireworks can sound like gunshots, which can be real scary to anybody with dementia, but especially to a senior war veteran who may start to relive their past. If fireworks are expected, a good idea may be to play their favorite music or an audio book through earphones to distract them from the noise.
Keep decorations to a minimum and avoid decorations that are flashy or ones that make noises.
Fourth of July festivities can get quite crowded. Avoid busy crowds and celebrate by hosting a small get together with family and friends instead. A home caregiver can help organize and facilitate the event.
Prepare your loved one beforehand and explain that there will be more people out and noises. Set them up with fun distractions to keep their mind engaged in something pleasant, such as a favorite movie or puzzle.
Be sure not to put decorations where seniors with dementia may trip over them.
The Fourth of July is the perfect time to form new memories. Ideas of things to do together include making crafts, baking Fourth of July themed desserts, and decorating the house. This can also double as art therapy. Making decorations may have a positive, stimulating effect on seniors with dementia and help them express themselves creatively. And it’s fun!
Looking after seniors who have dementia on the Fourth of July doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the celebration. With enough preparation, this time can be special, and everyone can still have fun.
Alegre Home Care can provide home caregivers for your senior loved ones to help them through the Fourth of July events and with long-term care. All of our home caregivers receive specialized dementia care and memory care training. We also offer training for family caregivers and people who are caring for seniors who have dementia. Learn more here and please contact us if you have any questions!