Celebrations like the Fourth of July bring family and friends together for backyard BBQs, pool parties and firework displays. For the person caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, the holiday can also bring additional safety challenges. By taking a few minutes to review the following safety tips, families can safely enjoy Fourth of July festivities.
- Limit your loved one’s exposure to the sun. Place lawn chairs in shaded areas and stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Encourage your loved one to wear a hat and sunglasses.
- Remind your loved one with Alzheimer’s disease to apply and reapply sunscreen when outside for long periods of time.
- During the summer, it is especially important to drink lots of fluids. Keep a cool glass of water within arm’s reach as a reminder. Add a flavor to the water to make is more interesting and tasty. Provide non-alcoholic beer or lemonade for backyard BBQs.
- Loud noises and crowds can increase anxiety. Consider watching fireworks from your home or in the quiet of the car and parades on television.
- Never allow unsupervised access to fire pits, and the hot surfaces of BBQ grills or campfires.
- Do not allow an individual with Alzheimer’s disease to swim unsupervised, and do not leave children in the pool under the supervision of the person with Alzheimer’s disease, even for a short period of time.
- Family and friend reunions can be overwhelming to the person with Alzheimer’s disease and may rely greatly on their ability to recall names and faces. Consider limiting the amount of visitors and prepare both the guests and the person with Alzheimer’s disease in advance for the visit. Try using fun name tags and get everyone involved to reduce embarrassment for the person struggling with names. Have a back-up plan that will allow for a quiet place to rest if things become overwhelming or confusing.
While our Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter offices are closed for the Fourth of July holiday, you can always reach us for support at our 24/7 Helpline: 800.272.390.