Bonfire Night 2021: Banbury care home shares top tips for supporting those living with dementia

A Banbury care home has shared its top tips for supporting those living with dementia ahead of Bonfire Night.

While a fun tradition for many, the sound of fireworks has the potential to be distressing for those living with the condition, which is why the team at Care UK’s Highmarket House, on North Bar Place, have shared their expert advice on keeping loved ones safe and comfortable this year.

Suzanne Mumford, Care UK’s dementia expert, said: “Fireworks are a large and noisy part of the November celebrations, and although they might be enjoyed by some people living with dementia, others might find them distressing.

“Talking about fireworks and reassuring them that there is no need to be worried, may help. You might suggest that you watch them together, in a nice warm, comfy seat - not too close to the action.

A local Banbury care home is giving advice to families ahead of Bonfire Night (Submitted photo)

“They may not like fireworks at all. For anyone who lived through the blitz or who has seen active military service, the noises and flashes may trigger unwanted memories. Be sensitive to any sign of reluctance or distress and suggest your loved one moves to the comfortable room you have already planned and have the curtains closed in advance.”

But Bonfire Night isn’t just about the bright lights, bonfires and noisy fireworks. Traditionally, many families used November 5th to enjoy treats including sausages or hot dogs, toasted marshmallows, jacket potatoes and steaming mugs of hot chocolate, which may provide an alternative way to mark the occasion with your relative.

Alessandra Knaggs, home manager at Highmarket House, added: “If your loved one struggles to maintain a healthy weight or to be fully hydrated, occasions like these offer opportunities for extra nutrition and hydration in a fun, engaging way.

“Not only that, traditional occasions also provide the chance to reminisce, which can be incredibly beneficial for older people. These activities can help to encourage conversations, as well as evoke happy memories and the associated emotions, particularly for those living with dementia.”

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