Bonfire Night will soon be upon us as many people we care for and elderly people across Surrey and South West London make plans to attend bonfire parties and local fireworks displays.
It is worth remembering that at this time of year there will be many elderly and vulnerable people who will experience fear and confusion at the sound of popping fireworks above. Bonfire Night can be especially confusing for older people that suffer with dementia, especially war veterans. The smells and the sounds of Firework Night could take them back to what would have been very frightening childhood experiences.
There are a number of ways that we can help show respect for older people as we celebrate Guy Fawkes Night:
- Let elderly neighbours know about any plans you may have to let off fireworks in the back garden or if you are hosting a bonfire party
- Check in on your elderly loved ones or neighbours to make sure they aren’t overly alarmed by the noise of fireworks and to reassure them
- Try to distract your elderly relatives or neighbours from the sound of fireworks if they are disturbed the noise. Turn the volume on the TV up or put on some music to help drown out the noise
- Encourage older people to use ear defenders or ear plugs
- Ask older relatives or neighbours to close the curtains early so they cannot see the flashes and lights of Firework Night
- If you are a carer for an older or vulnerable person, check the times of local firework displays and prepare to give reassurance to the person you care for if they are disturbed or upset by the noise, lights, crowds of people and smells
Watch fireworks from a safe distance, or perhaps even inside if someone is feeling particularly anxious. It’s possible to enjoy displays without the loud noise or too large of a crowd, and this can make it much more enjoyable for everyone.
Wear appropriate clothing and remember that the elderly will feel the cold more than most people. They may also need high visibility clothing if they are walking in the dark – and take some lighting if the area is going to be dark.
Although the idea of including an elderly person can seem quite daunting, planning in advance and being aware of what your loved one wants, will help to make it a more pleasurable experience for everyone. If they don’t want to, or can’t take part, don’t feel disappointed, perhaps take lots of photos and videos to share with them after the event.
Live in care offers complete reassurance that your loved one will have the company and support they need at this time of year and all year round. If you live in the Surrey or South West London area and are interested in receiving live-in care for yourself or your loved one, please get in touch now with our live-in care team.