The Fourth Without A Bang


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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 area.

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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