Learn About Things You Should Consider Before The Fireworks Begin To Reduce The Stress For Your Senior Loved One And Keep Them Safe
For many, summer means celebrations with family activities that include fireworks displays. You may not realize that you need to take additional precautions to keep your senior safe. Pegasus home care specialists in Pasadena and elsewhere suggest some things to consider before the fireworks begin.
Fireworks represent outdoor fun for most people. However, thousands of individuals are injured each year. Fireworks are also responsible for starting fires, including destroying hundreds of homes.
Fireworks Safety Tips
Experts recommend attending public displays of fireworks. Young and old attendees enjoy a show presented by professionals. If you choose a home display, the following safety tips will help prevent injuries:
- Avoid illegal or homemade fireworks
- Don’t light fireworks indoors, in a container, or relight a defective device
- Don’t set off fireworks if you have been drinking or using drugs
- Keep firework devices away from anything flammable, and don’t hold lit devices in your hands
- Light only one device at a time
- Protect your eyes
- Supervise all children and don’t let young children handle fireworks
As with any activity involving fire, keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, or garden hose nearby. Make sure everyone stands or sits a safe distance away.
Like many individuals, you may regard handheld sparklers as safe. Unfortunately, they can be very dangerous. Sparklers reach temperatures of around 2,000 degrees F and can cause third-degree burns.
As your loved one ages, they may lose some gripping ability in their hands. Do not hand them a sparkler to wave. Provide alternatives such as flags, streamers, or glow sticks for everyone.
Accidents happen, so have a first-aid kit handy. Cool a burn injury, then put a clean and dry dressing on it. If an injury causes bleeding, put pressure on it and seek emergency care.
Eye injuries from fireworks are a medical emergency. Do not rub the eyes or put anything in them. Do not apply pressure or try to remove an embedded object.
Fireworks Can Worsen Dementia Symptoms
Keeping your senior loved one safe during home or public fireworks displays may require changes from past years. You need to compensate for any decline in their physical or cognitive abilities. Individuals with dementia can present unique challenges.
Sundown syndrome affects some dementia patients. It’s a condition that occurs in the late afternoon or after dark. Your senior may become agitated, confused, anxious as the sun sets.
The syndrome has various causes, one of which is difficulty knowing what’s real and what isn’t. Fireworks displays combined with sundowning can worsen symptoms and may lead to panic. If their symptoms have been severe in the past, speak with their physician about appropriate medication.
Your sundowning senior may exhibit only moderate distress at unusual noises as darkness falls. Plan for someone to stay with them in a well-lit room during the fireworks. Soft or familiar music can be calming.
Fireworks Noise And Crowds Can Be Hazardous
Keep in mind that fireworks are very loud. Noticeable vibrations may result from each explosion. The sensations can confuse or alarm your cognitively impaired senior.
Protective ear coverings can muffle hearing or feeling the sounds. Reassuring your loved one that they’re safe may be necessary. Again, rely on a well-lit room and comforting music or activity to reduce their distress.
As pandemic restrictions are being lifted, public displays may be available. Discuss what to expect with your senior loved one before attending. Make sure that being in a crowd of people isn’t stressful.
Remember that children of all ages attend public events. Many of them will be excited and running around. Make sure your senior is securely seated where an errant child won’t accidentally knock them over.
Just because the weather is warm doesn’t mean your loved one won’t get a chill. Bring an extra sweater or jacket. If feasible, something warm to drink might also be a good idea.
Televised Fireworks Reduce Stress
Watching fireworks on television is an option for many. Check local listings for the following, among others:
- A Capitol Fourth – PBS
- Boston 4th July Fireworks 2021 – live stream
- Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes – Bloomberg Television
- Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular – NBC
Television allows you to control the volume and timing of fireworks, parades, and concerts. Your senior loved one is able to enjoy the festivities without becoming agitated or overtired. Stress is reduced for everyone.
You can also combine the televised fare with other family activities. Fire up the grill and barbeque, or make it easy on yourself with take-out. Decorate your home and yard or wear patriotic colors.
As with any other holiday or celebration, the Fourth of July is an opportunity to create new “traditions.” Consider the needs and abilities of your loved ones and exclude fireworks if necessary. The important thing is enjoyable time spent together.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our home care services in Pasadena and our other locations are tailored to meet the needs of your loved ones. We’re dedicated to helping individuals live safely in their home.