There will be a lot of people excited about this weekend's bonfire parties and fireworks. With fewer public events, it is expected that there will be more people buying fireworks to set off over the weekend in their gardens and other open areas.
But this can be a very disorientating and confusing time for many. The noise from fireworks can be very scary, especially if you are not sure why they are going off and what the noises are. Add the possible extra noise from fire crews out and it can be a very anxious time. We can't stop the fireworks, but below are some ideas as to how to reduce some of the stress that this weekend may bring.
- Close the curtains or blinds before it becomes dark and keep windows closed to minimise the noise from the fireworks.
- Using earplugs or noise-reducing headphones may help. Earplugs come in many forms, such as soft foam, but not all people are comfortable wearing these
- Find an activity that is enjoyable and will keep someone distracted from the activity outside. This could be a podcast, audiobook, a favourite TV programme or film – something with sound will work best.
- Headphones can be used to block noise and for the person to listen to music they enjoy. Or have a singalong to favourite tunes!
- Get out during the day when it is less likely that fireworks will be set off. Fresh air and exercise makes us feel good and can help us get a good night's sleep
- Avoid alcohol and too much caffeine. They can add to people’s stress levels and may make things worse.
- Spending time with trusted friends and loved ones can help us all feel calmer.
- If you feel anxious or panicky take longer, slower breaths. If a loved one is distressed, encourage them to do the same. Be reassuring and stay as calm as possible.
- Not all fireworks will be set off on Bonfire night, so it may be worth looking at keeping a quiet area available for most of the weekend, especially at night.
With the shorter, darker days of winter approaching it can be helpful to have supporting strategies on hand should we need them. If you, or someone in your life, requires information or emotional support, our 24 hour Freephone Dementia Helpline is here for you on 0808 808 3000.