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The Box is Ticked - A Night at the Movies for Someone with Dementia

Movie Night for Dementia Patients

Many of us enjoy going to the movies as an easy and fun night out. For someone with Alzheimer's or dementia, the fun night out may become less enjoyable and they may start to turn down the idea. The person may not know exactly what they find uncomfortable, but they know that it is not as much fun as it once was. Some of the factors may include

  • Not comfortable in crowds
  • Too long without a break
  • Too distracting with all the people and noise
  • Too much stimulation with loud, surround sound systems

Here are some ideas to modify the activity to help the person regain the enjoyment in different ways.

1 - Watch Current Movies at Home

These are all valid reasons, and you can’t really modify the cause but you can modify the activity by watching movies at home instead of going to the theater and that’s our first modification. This allows you to stop the movie at any time to allow for breaks and removes the other distractions.

2 - Watch Old, Familiar Movies at Home

At some point the person with dementia will show signs that they are not able to follow the plot – they will become restless and perhaps say that they don’t want to watch a movie. That’s a sign for the next modification – watch old familiar movies instead of new releases. Because the movies are familiar, the person will already know the plot and will be able to follow it much more easily and enjoy the film.

3 - Watch Old, Familiar TV Shows at Home

As it becomes evident that even these familiar movies are too long and involved for the person, move on to watching familiar TV shows. Being shorter and generally with simpler plots, they again offer a transition that may be appropriate. Just be sure that the show is something that the person watched and enjoyed.

4 - Watch Old, Familiar Movie Clips at Home

Finally, when the person is unable to enjoy even those shows, try watching famous scenes from familiar movies. Before showing the clip, set the scene by telling the person the name of the movie, the story behind it and the plot that leads to the clip you are going to show.


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