The Fourth of July is a great time to celebrate with friends and family, enjoy the warm weather, and watch spectacular fireworks. However, the Fourth of July isn’t always a cause for celebration for the senior citizens in our lives. The loud noises and bright lights caused by fireworks can be confusing and frightening.
For some seniors, fireworks can trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) responses. The lights and sounds may similarly reflect the environment that veterans experienced in combat. For seniors that are retired from active duty, the PTSD responses and flashbacks may be overwhelming, especially during this time.
For other seniors, dementia and Alzheimer’s may lead to confusion about the fireworks and celebrations outside. The sudden noises and lights can be alarming to some, which is why it is of the utmost importance to provide support for seniors during the holiday.
While celebrating this weekend, we encourage you to offer support to seniors in several different ways. For one, the celebrations and the often-inevitable fireworks should be discussed with seniors before and during the holiday. It is important to emphasize that the fireworks are a cause for celebration even though they may resurface old memories or cause confusion.
After discussing the Fourth of July, we can support seniors by staying with them throughout the holiday and firework shows. It often makes us feel better to have someone there to support us, so it is important to share your time with seniors this weekend.
Another great way to support seniors is by focusing on something aside from the fireworks, such as watching a movie or playing a game. Games are a positive and engaging distraction, and a movie will drown out some of the noise caused by fireworks.
Senior Citizens may experience a variety of emotions during this time, so it is important to remain calm and offer different forms of support. Together, we can support seniors during the Fourth of July to ensure that everyone enjoys the celebration!