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The Benefits of Enjoying Classic Films with Your Loved Ones Experiencing Dementia

Watching classic movies with your elderly loved ones can help improve memory care by stimulating their mind, triggering old memories, and creating opportunities for socialization.

Residents in senior living and memory care facilities are typically in their mid-80s. Coming of age in the 1930s and 40s, they enjoyed the continuous waves of classic Hollywood cinema that were produced rapidly after World War I, starting in the 1910s and continuing through the 60s.

Thanks to streaming services today, we can access and enjoy the classic films that our loved ones grew up with.

Familiar Sounds and Sights Can Trigger Memories

Nostalgia can be a powerful tool when recalling long term memories. Movies include entertainment in the form of visual and auditory stimulation, which can in turn recover memories and spark emotional reactions for individuals suffering from memory loss.

If your loved one shows a strong reaction to a movie or scene in particular, take that opportunity to have a conversation with them about what they’re remembering or feeling in the moment.

Movies Can Be Used to Increase Socialization

Socialization is a critical area of memory retainment, but dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can make social situations difficult to navigate. Watching movies is the perfect tool for passive socialization by creating an environment with a shared experience.

Utilize the time before and after a movie as an opportunity to engage in conversation and encourage socializing with others in the community.

Be Selective With Your Movie Choices

There is a seemingly endless list of classic films to choose from. However, try to avoid genres or storylines that are exceedingly violent, sad, or excessively long. These extreme emotions can trigger negative reactions in some individuals, overstimulating or overwhelming them beyond their comfort level.

Classic movies from your loved one’s transitional years can be a strong tool for improving memory care and increasing their social interactions.

Willow River is Here to Help

At Willow River, we understand the challenges Alzheimer’s and dementia can bring. If you have questions or need help, Willow River has the answers and resources to assist you in this transition. Call Willow River Senior Living at 888-546-1886 or contact us through our website to start the conversation today.