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Watching movies can reduce isolation, foster friendships, stimulate empathy, and provide a mental ‘time out’. It is also a wonderful reminiscing opportunity!
Historically, Hollywood has often portrayed elders as forgetful, tired, and grumpy. Recently however, things have changed; the baby boomer generation may have had something to do with it… the grey dollar is just as valuable after all!
Instead of stereotyping seniors, they are now increasingly represented as fun-loving, wise, adventurous, and dynamic people. There are also several recent films about health and age related illnesses such as depression and dementia which have been treated with compassion and respect.
If you don’t already run a regular ‘Movie Night’ at your facility, try it out! All you need is a large screen, some good speakers, and of course popcorn and ice cream to add to the cinematic experience!
Screen movies on Saturday mornings or Friday nights before meals to provide conversation and discussion at the table.
Offer support if a client expresses displeasure regarding a movie and follow up with a debriefing the next day. Sometimes the client has hidden concerns in his displeasure, and talking through the experience with sympathetic staff may relieve the angst.
Resident feedback should be shared with senior staff and documented.
|Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont – After she feels abandoned by her family in a retirement facility, an elderly lady strikes up a friendship with a young man. (2005 – Joan Plowright – Rupert Friend)|
|Strangers in Good Company – Eight female seniors take a trip to the countryside. When their transport breaks down they spend time waiting for rescue in an isolated log cabin. They proceed to reminisce about their lives. It is a gem of a movie. (1990 - Mary Meigs, Cissy Meddings)|
|The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – A comedy-drama about a group of British retirees holidaying in India. (2012 - Judy Dench and Maggie Smith)|
|Cocoon – Aliens return to Earth on a secret mission and give a group of senior citizens the opportunity to recapture their youth. (1985 –Don Amech – Wilford Brimley)|
|The Straight Story – A simple classic film about siblings in their senior years. An elderly man visits his long estranged brother. (1999 - Richard Farnsworth)|
|The Bucket List – Two terminally ill men escape from hospital with a list of things to do before dying. (2007 - Jack Nicholson – Morgan Freeman)|
|Away from Her – Depicts the journey of a woman living with Alzheimer’s Disease and how it affects her and her family. (2006 – Julie Christie)|
|Central Station – A lonely and retired teacher befriends a child and helps him search for his father. (1998 – Fernanda Montenegro)|
|Driving Miss Daisy – When a wealthy, elderly woman is no longer allowed to drive she hires an African-American to be her driver. It is an inspiring story about friendship. (1989 - Jessica Tandy – Morgan Freeman)|
|Trip to Bountiful – Set in the 1940’s in Houston, Texas. An elderly lady forced to live with her bossy son and daughter-in-law wants to see her hometown one last time. When her son prohibits her from going she escapes from the family’s clutches and sets off on her own. (1985 - Geraldine Page)|
|Up – Pixar animated movie about a 78-year-old balloon salesman. (2009 – Pete Docter – Ed Asner)|
|Harold and Maude – Young, rich, and obsessed with suicide, a 20 year old man meets an elderly lady at a funeral and falls in love with her! Not a movie for everyone, occasionally overstepping boundaries but without a doubt a classic dark comedy. It may be a good idea to disclose some of the story before presenting it to clients. (1971 – Ruth Gordon – Bud Cort)|
|Still Alice – Early onset Alzheimer’s Disease is the subject of this amazing movie. (2014 – Julianne Moore)|
We'd love to hear your feedback!
What movies do your residents love to watch?