How to have a dementia-friendly Bonfire Night

At Great Oaks we like to ensure all of our residents’ needs are catered for and that all of our activities at the home are inclusive of everyone.

Here are our tips on how to ensure Bonfire Night is a pleasant experience for everyone, especially those with dementia:

  1. Plan ahead. Ahead of Bonfire Night speak to your neighbours about their plans to celebrate the night, because if they’re setting off fireworks nearby, this may be distressing for someone with dementia. Ask your friend or loved one with dementia how they feel about the festivities and if they would like to be involved. Some people may not want to be alone on Bonfire Night or take part at all, so finding a different activity you can do together may help.
  2. Watch fireworks from a safe distance inside. This allows people to still enjoy a display and the bright colours without the loud noises and big crowds.
  3. Cook Bonfire Night inspired food. Winter warmers like jacket potatoes and hot dogs can help to bring back happy memories from Bonfire Nights gone by, and can still be a fun way to celebrate the occasion without fireworks.
  4. Wrap up warm.If people with dementia are watching fireworks outside, they should wear layers of clothing, ideally with natural fibres such as cotton and wool, which are the most insulating. Drinking hot beverages can also help people stay warm. Ear defenders should be worn help to cancel out the loud bangs.
  5. However, fireworks can still cause distress. If you are finding the person you are with is distressed by the fireworks, talk to them calmly and stay close to reassure them. Audiobooks or music can help counteract the noise outside. Always remember fireworks aren’t for everybody and that’s ok.