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02 October 2017

“Going to the pictures” is a regular treat for Coate Water Care residents

As part of World Alzheimer’s Month, cinemas across the UK have been offering special screenings of dementia-friendly movies, from Mamma Mia and Jailhouse Rock to The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca. But for residents at Coate Water Care’s seven care homes, movie nights are more than a one-off experience, they are a regular event.

“Research has shown that people with dementia can recover happy memories through cinema,” says Jamie Smith, Projects & Development Director at Coate Water Care. “Most of us have a few favourite movies and we often associate these films or TV shows with the best times in our lives. For people with dementia, those links between certain films and memories are not necessarily lost.”

“Films can help bring back positive memories and spark conversation,” he continues. “Whether they like black and white films, westerns, musicals or comedies, people with dementia can benefit from watching movies and TV shows as a regular activity.”

Uplifting and fun films with a reasonably short running time are seen as the most dementia-friendly. Surveys have shown that musicals are especially popular with Alzheimer’s sufferers, with favourite actors including iconic names like Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart.

Downs View Care Home in Badbury, near Swindon is one of the Coate Water Care homes where movies are an integral part of the activities programme for residents.

“Every Wednesday our carers take residents to the weekly Seniors Morning at our local cinema in Swindon,” says Downs View manager Amanda Timms. “For people of a certain age, ‘going to the pictures’ was a big part of their young lives and the local cinema’s programme is designed to appeal to that audience with plenty of period dramas, love stories and comedies.”

“But it’s not just the films that our residents look forward to, it’s the whole day out,” explains Amanda. “The cinema is always busy which makes for a lovely atmosphere, and everybody gets popcorn and a free drink before the film. Afterwards, we often round off an enjoyable excursion with coffee at a local farm café.”

Of course, not all Coate Water Care residents, especially those with later stage dementia, are up for a busy day out, so Downs View also stages its own regular film nights on the premises.

“We set up a projector in the main lounge and use a large white wall as our screen,” says Amanda. “Then we black out the windows with curtains to make it as much like the real cinema experience as possible. We’ve even had staff dressing up as ushers with fancy confectionary carts offering popcorn, drinks and cakes.”

Lights, camera, action … it’s the magic of the movies, and it’s coming to a screen near you, courtesy of Coate Water Care!

To find out about residential care or to arrange a visit to any of Coate Water Care’s outstanding care homes, please contact our ‘Welcome Team’ on 01793 821200.

Download a copy of one of our home brochures.

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