Everyone loves to watch a classic movie – it gives us the feeling of nostalgia and helps us escape back to the first time we watched it.
Richmond Villages’ activity team in Northampton, UK, with its residents, organised a dementia friendly screening at their local independent cinema but with all the conventional cinema rules thrown out.
The special movie screenings at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse is open to all members of the public, but particularly focused on welcoming those living with dementia to enjoy a classic film in a relaxed and supportive environment.
Everything is tailored to the needs of the people living with dementia, with the cinema room a little more lit and the volume turned lower to make the experience more enjoyable. The films are also free of adverts and trailers. Everyone is encouraged to treat the cinema like their living room, moving freely between the seats as they wish. A number of people knit while their watching their favourite film too.
Chris Rayatt, Head of Activities, recently organised a visit to watch High Society – the classic American musical comedy film starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Chris said: “We were first aware of the idea a few months ago when it was advertised in our local paper. We have since visited the cinema on three occasions as the screenings are once every other month. We saw an opportunity to offer our residents living with dementia a way to relax and escape from their daily routines. It’s a good way for them to share time with their friends and family in a place where they can feel safe in their surroundings. Everyone has personal memories associated with films and it’s a great way to rekindle these for those living with dementia.”
He added: “The impact of these activities has meant that residents living at the Village are able to live as part of the wider community, improving their quality of life. This is an example of putting our Person First approach into care. The feedback has been so great that we’ve decided to run visits for every available show at the film house.”