Getting together with friends and family, enjoying
delicious, fresh food that doesn’t require hours of preparation and
celebrating the freedom that so many people sacrificed so much to
protect for us – for many of us that is what summer and the Fourth of
July are all about! It doesn’t get much better than that. Finishing off
with a grand finale fireworks show just gives the day that last piece of
flare to make it dazzling.
For some seniors, however, watching a
fireworks display is no longer a practical tradition. The light, smoke
and noise from the spectacle can cause everything from dizziness and
spotty vision to temporary hearing loss, breathing trouble and seizures.
Seniors who have mobility issues might also find it difficult to attend
a public fireworks display where spectators often have to travel a long
way, in the dark and over uneven ground, from their cars to the viewing
If your senior has decided to opt out of the explosives
this year, here are some great alternatives that will still keep them in
the star-spangled swing of things.
• The magic of television: PBS is broadcasting A Capitol Fourth
live from the west lawn of the U.S. capitol and featuring the National
Symphony Orchestra and pops conductor Jack Every, beginning at 8 p.m.
EST on Friday, July 4th. The lineup of musical performers including
Frankie Villi, John Williams, Patti Labelle, Michael McDonald and Jordin
Sparks, is followed by the grandest fireworks display in the nation.
Seniors who watch (or listen on NPR) will be sharing their Independence
Day commemoration with the nearly one million American service members,
Department of Defense civilians, and their families, stationed at bases
in 175 countries as well as 140 U.S. Navy ships at sea, who will be
hearing or watching it via the Armed Forces Network.
• Catch a
movie: Whether your senior is a member of the Greatest Generation or a
baby boomer, there are scores of patriotic classics that the whole
family can enjoy. Choose something old (Yankee Doodle Dandy, Mr. Smith
Goes to Washington), new (Captain America, the 2008 John Adams
miniseries starring Paul Gomati) or in-between (Indiana Jones, Forest
Gump), and substitute the sound of bottle rockets with popping corn.
Host a story night: Let your senior know that the spotlight will be on
them and ask if they’d like to invite one or two of their contemporaries
to join the party. Then, encourage the group to tell stories about
their younger days, previous Fourth celebrations, etc.
• Have a sing-along: Well-loved music tends to break down barriers, even those due to health issues, including dementia. Here is a link to song lyrics that can help you and your senior find common ground and make some new happy holiday memories.
For more information about senior health and well-being, please contact us at 480-827-4343 or on Facebook.
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