White text of "How senior veterans can prepare for independence day" on top of orange background, with an icon of a person with their arm around another person White text of "How senior veterans can prepare for independence day" on top of orange background, with an icon of a person with their arm around another person

How Senior Veterans Can Prepare for Independence Day

The celebratory fireworks that mark Independence Day in the United States are an exciting spectacle that can invoke patriotic feelings. But for some veterans, the sights, sounds, and even smells of fireworks trigger anxiety and fear. Some veterans experience flashbacks, reliving scenes of combat or training. Unfortunately, avoidance is not a good long-term strategy for dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. Here are some ways to prepare.

How senior veterans can prepare for independence day infographic

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an unfortunate reality for many senior veterans. If you are a senior veteran with PTSD, take precautions to make sure the festivities of Independence Day are less disruptive.

  • Know the schedule of local fireworks.
  • Seek the help of a mental health care professional.
  • Create a safe space at home using white noise or calming music.
  • Discuss medication options with a health care provider.
  • Lean on understanding friends or family for support.
  • Utilize desensitization therapy under the supervision of a mental health professional.
  • Engage in distracting activities like crafts or a movie.
  • Safely lower your body temperature with an ice pack or cold shower.

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