The Benefits of celebrating Bonfire Night in a Residential Care Home

Remember, remember: the 5th November is just around the corner.

Bonfire Night, and the days before and after are often filled with excitement, colour and social gatherings but it’s important to remember that older people might not feel the usual seasonal excitement.

As you get older, an individual’s feelings, emotional responses and thought processes could change. Despite these changes, there are still things that you can do – particularly in a residential care home – to ensure that elderly loved ones, and those living with a dementia diagnosis can get the most out of Bonfire Night. 

Churchfields care home will be hosting a Bonfire Night celebration for all residents this year. Take a look at the advantages and benefits to hosting your very own celebrations this year.

Less stress

The crackle, whizz and boom of fireworks is exciting for lots of us. Vivid colours, crisp autumn air, a bustling celebration. Throughout the vibrancy and excitement though, it’s important to remember that Bonfire Night could be a distressing experience for someone who is vulnerable. Not only can the commotion be triggering, but if someone has lived through the World Wars and in particular The Blitz, the loud sounds of fireworks could bring back memories which are upsetting and stressful. 

By celebrating Guy Fawkes night in the comfort of a loved one’s home, you can ensure that it is as stress-free an experience as possible. There are no large crowds to contend with, you can tailor the noise levels to your audience and have safe, familiar spaces to retreat to if it all becomes a bit overwhelming. 

Food, glorious food

There are several food-related advantages to celebrating Guy Fawkes night. Winter treats and homemade goodies provide a warming, homely level of entertainment to fireworks celebrations, as well as something else to think about. It’s also a great opportunity to enjoy autumnal snacks and treats like hot dogs, crispy-skinned jacket potatoes and rich hot chocolates.

Fun food stuff aside, celebrations such as Bonfire Night can be an excellent opportunity to engage an older person with food. Those who have dementia can be reluctant to eat or drink. This can be caused by pain, depression, medication and lots of other things which can in turn have a negative impact on the person’s mood, energy levels and physical strength. Introducing food and drinks to the celebration is an excellent and engaging way to encourage someone living with dementia to enjoy a special mealtime.

A stroll down memory lane

Elderly care takes on many shapes and sizes, and is tailored to the individual and their personal needs; at Churchfields it is essential that every resident, and every relative feels involved, supported and looked after. Celebrating traditional events such as Bonfire Night can have a hugely positive impact for their wellbeing. 

As someone with dementia starts to lose their memories, it is the most recent experiences and events that go first. By delving into past memories, and their younger years, an older person can reminisce, focus on positive feelings and feel less confused and agitated. Talking about the past can also be a great opportunity for care staff and relatives to learn more about their loved one’s life, and take pleasure in reliving those precious memories.

Creature comforts

Comfort is vital for those in care. By hosting your own Bonfire Night celebration instead of attending a large gathering you can ensure that all of those creature comforts and homely touches are only ever at arm’s reach. 

By choosing to host fireworks in the comfort of your own home, you can make sure that the residents: 

  • Are wearing comfortable clothing
  • Have comfortable surroundings
  • Can eat comfort food
  • Are comfortably occupied
  • Have a safe, comfortable space to go to if they become overwhelmed

That’s a plan!

There are so many advantages to planning ahead for Bonfire Night, all of which can have a hugely positive impact on someone’s general wellbeing. Someone who might otherwise struggle at this busy time of year.

It’s important to check in with surrounding neighbours to see if they have plans which could be stressful to your loved one. Knowing both the plan in a residential care home, as well as what is going on in the local area means that you can provide residents with a full schedule, and start preparing them as early as possible to minimise stress and disruption. Lots of residents will be excited to participate in the festivities, but it’s great to have alternatives to hand and safe spaces for those who won’t be feeling as positive.

Bonfire Night is a family-friendly celebration which can be buckets of fun for all involved. At Churchfields, every precaution will be taken to ensure that this Friday 5th November is a fun event. It’s important that there is something for everyone, but to encourage laughter, celebration and socialising Churchfields will be hosting a joint celebration with sister care home Rosebank which is also in Oxfordshire.

Residents from both homes will come together for a bonfire, firework display, sparklers and will enjoy some ‘luxury’ hot chocolates whilst participating in the autumn festivities.



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