Cinemas across the UK hosted dementia-friendly screenings as part of World Alzheimer's Month

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Rio cinema in Dalston for example offered a dementia-friendly screening, inclusive of tea, coffee and cake for £2 a ticket.

The theatre is specifically designed to be as calming and comfortable as possible. The cinema seats can be moved to make room for theatres, the lights are dimmed so people can move around, the volume is turned down and participating along with the film is encouraged.

Duty manager of the Rio Dalston says:

“The idea for people with dementia, is that they recover their childhood memories through cinema, so the Hackney Pensioners Project started with classic Hollywood movies,”

The screening at the Rio Dalston first began in 1983 as part of the Hackney Pensioners Project (later named the Classic Matinee in 1990). The project was created to establish a precedent of community events specifically aimed at reducing loneliness in elderly people.

The venue is 100-years old and the décor has barely changed in that time, which means elderly visitors recall memories from when they were young. For example, Vanessa Edwards, a lifestyle coordinator at Lennox House care home in Islington, tells of one resident who hadn’t visited the cinema since she was a child and was moved to tears:

“Last year, a woman who hadn’t been since she was a child came to one of the screenings. We took her up to the circle and as soon as the lights went down, she burst into tears. She remembered coming to the Saturday morning kids’ club when she was young.”

The Rio screening was just one of many across the UK as part of last month’s World Alzheimer’s Month. As part of the initiative, the BFI Film Audience Network, UK Cinema Association and Alzheimer’s Society have created a dementia-friendly cinema guide that allows any cinema to obtain guidance on how to reach isolated people with dementia.

Having a variety of leisure and social activities such as this initiative is instrumental to a care home’s success. The importance of having an operational leisure and activity programme is essential in maintaining and improving the health and mental wellbeing of care home residents. Some care home residents with conditions like dementia will struggle to interact and develop meaningful relationships with others. In providing an operational activity programme, residents are encouraged to interact with others and develop relationships that then enable them to become more independent in their daily living.

To discover more initiatives helping to improve the quality of care in nursing homes, register for your free ticket to attend the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo here.

If you offer such initiatives and want the opportunity to sell to 3,000 care home owners, please contact Nick Woore, Event Director, now on:

Tel: 0117 929 6097