4th of July

As you make your Fourth of July plans, remember you need to take a few extra steps to make sure your elderly family members celebrate safely. Scott Silknitter stopped by the Good Morning Show to share guidelines.

First, just like any other activity you must meet your loved one where they are physically and cognitively. For some, the 4th of July means being at home all day and watching fireworks on TV. Family or friends may stop by and that makes it the perfect time to use the holiday as a reminiscing tool. Recommended topics include:

  • How did they celebrate the 4th when they were a teenager?
  • What are their favorite cookout foods?
  • Where was the best fireworks show they ever saw?

For others, you may be able to get out of the house to a cookout with family. If you do, its perfectly fine for you to ask for and accept offers of help. When you do have help, take the time to:

  • Tell them about your loved one before the event.
  • Be honest so there are no surprises (remember, people want to help but they need to know all of the details)

Another important thing to remember, is to plan for loud noises. Fireworks can be very unsettling for people with dementia, and as a caregiver you need to be prepared for a jolt if you're watching a display or if your neighbors has fireworks.

Monitoring TV Time

Silknitter also discussed ways to manage how and when your loved one watches TV.

For many caregivers, sitting down to watch television with their loved one who has dementia can be an opportunity to relax together. It can also be a helpful tool to keep your loved one engaged while you or another caregiver cooks a meal, cleans or takes a quick break to go to the bathroom.

There are several things caregivers need to watch out for though when using the TV as a caregiving tool:

  • Do not let TV be the only thing your loved one does all day
  • Be careful what your loved one watches, since it can be difficult for them to separate fiction from reality and lead to a behavioral outburst

If you want to contact Scott, you can reach him here.