Each year we encourage our carers to reassure our elderly service users and those with dementia on Bonfire night (November 5) as it can be particularly frightening for them due to the loud noises.
It’s important when planning your Bonfire night celebrations, that you take into consideration any friends, family members or neighbours with dementia, and ensure your evening is as dementia-friendly as possible. Here are some of our top tips:
Ask your loved-one how they feel
Most importantly, you should ask your friend/loved-one with dementia how they feel about the night and if they would like to be involved in any celebrations. They might not want to and might prefer to stay home or do another activity. It’s important to take this into consideration.
If your loved-one would like to attend Bonfire night celebrations, make sure they are wrapped up warm. Layers of clothing in natural fibres such as cotton and wool are the most insulating. Take a flask of tea or hot chocolate to help stay warm too.
Warming food such as hot dogs and jacket potatoes will also help keep you all warm.
Watch from a safe distance
If you’re having a fireworks display at your home, ensure any loved-ones with dementia watch from a safe distance. This could be inside the house through the windows.
If you’re watching at a public event, stand at the back or where there are less crowds. You can also use ear defenders to help cancel out the loud bangs or have them listen to an audio book or music on headphones.
Despite a person with dementia saying they would like to be a part of celebrations, this may change once they start as fireworks can cause distress. It’s important to make sure they feel safe and reassured and if you need to, you can go home if they are not enjoying it.