Making the Devon fireworks season, fear free

For some, the sights and sounds can hold a different meaning

As we all look toward the national celebration of Guy Fawkes night on November 5th, it is often in our minds that for many of our clients, this event isn’t the fun filled celebration it appears to be.

Conditions such as Dementia can mean that the sights and sounds of this evening can be confusing and distressing, and even if there is not a diagnosis in place, older members of our community may have lived through the distress of war and conflict and for them, fireworks simply sound like bombs.

It’s a distressing thought, but we feel that there are ways to prepare for this period. Here are a few simple guidelines:

  • If you can spend the evening of 5th November with your loved one, or can schedule in an additional Care Professional visit, do consider doing so.
  • If fireworks are likely to bring back frightening memories to a war veteran, consider playing their favourite music, or even an audio book through earphones to distract them.
  • Draw the curtains a little earlier than usual, and turn the TV or radio volume up just a little more than usual.
  • Keep decorations to a minimum and try to avoid bright or flashing ones.
  • If you are keen to include your loved ones in family celebrations, perhaps consider keeping gatherings low key, and with just a few people.
  • Have a conversation with your loved on beforehand and explain what they can expect to see and hear. If they are prepared and realise that they will be distracted by another, pleasant task, it may not be such a daunting prospect. Watching a favourite film or completing a favourite puzzle whilst listening to music could work well.
  • Be sure not to put decorations where seniors with dementia may trip over them.
  • If your loved one is keen to be involved in preparations, let them! You could engage in some art therapy and make decorations, seek out a favourite recipe from times gone by and bake firework themed biscuits or cakes together, or perhaps read a Guy Fawkes inspired history book if that’s a genre that your loved one is interested in.
  • Many of our Clients have pets at home – it’s one of the advantages of our Care – and it’s important to consider their welfare too. Classic FM will be airing their Pet Classics radio show, aimed at helping pets relax during fireworks season. Click HERE for details.

Looking after an older loved one, with Dementia on this occasion can be challenging but with preparation, our hope is that it can be managed and perhaps even enjoyed.

We wish you and your loved ones a pleasant 5th November.