When introducing a loved one to a new environment it is important to stay alert to how they may be reacting. Make sure to take special note of how they are responding to a change in temperature or light exposure. Some may even be overwhelmed or over stimulated by all of the activity surrounding the Fourth of July, so staying alert and being able to respond quickly to change in behavior is key.
Prepare for the outdoor heat. Since most Fourth of July activities take place outside, we suggest bringing a hat and sunscreen. The hat can help to keep your loved one shaded so that excessive perspiration doesn’t lead to extreme dehydration. Sunscreen is important to protect from the sun’s harmful rays. Making sure that your loved one stays safe around activities such as campfires and grills is also important. Those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may forget some safety precautions during gatherings. A portable camping chair ensures that they have a place to rest and make sure to bring a water bottle to help with any dehydration risk.
If your loved one simply cannot handle the outdoor heat or large gathering situation, that is okay! There are plenty of indoor activities that they can take part in that still celebrate and with our Western North Carolina weather, you never know when a thunderstorm might arise. Be prepared with indoor games or other activities that can be fun for everyone and low stress for your loved one.
Although we are focusing on the Fourth of July in this post, these tips are applicable to any sort of gathering all year round. Taking note of the weather and making sure to stay attentive when changing the environment of a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s is always a key to an enjoyable outing or day.
Happy Fourth of July!