Helping those with PTSD, Alzheimer’s cope with firework celebrations

Fireworks show
Fireworks show(KOLO-TV)
Published: Jul. 4, 2022 at 2:00 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Fireworks and the loud noises that go with them can often be heard on many nights leading up to the 4th of July. For some, this makes celebrating the holiday challenging.

“Sometimes we may push a loved one or a family member or a friend to come with us wherever we’re going and that might not be the place for them,” said Dr. Tib Louie, staff physician for St. Mary’s Medical Group.

Louie says those with Alzheimer’s or dementia may know what the holiday is all about if they celebrated as a child, but can still be disoriented by big groups and loud noises.

It can be important to stick to their daily routine.

“Understand that if you are taking them out of their routine, you are increasing their chances of having some problems later on that day,” he said.

You can help by giving them space from the crowds and staying by their side during festivities.

Louie also says some veterans or those struggling with PTSD can feel anxious over the holiday weekend.

“Those people will often let you know as they anticipate the holiday that they are getting a little bit nervous already,” Louie said.

He says some take medicine to combat the anxiety and you can help by making sure their prescriptions are up to date on hand.

But most importantly, be aware of your surroundings and make sure they are comfortable.

“I think most of what we want to remember on the 4th is just to use your common sense and make sure everybody is having a good time.”

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