Movies Suggestions for Seniors with Alzheimer’s

It’s emotionally draining for caregivers to witness the elder in their life struggle with symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

To preserve an elder’s quality of life, it’s essential to find ways that improve their physical and mental health, by fostering positive moments and interactions.

Alzheimer’s patients’ memories can be triggered while watching movies. The right film selection will improve their mood, alertness, and social behaviour, while inspiring warm feelings and behaviours towards loved ones and caregivers.

Make sure the movies you choose are:

  • Easy to follow
  • Upbeat
  • Under two hours
  • Non-violent
  • Don’t portray serious illness or death.

Here are our suggestions:

Calamity Jane

Doris Day is at her bombastic best, portraying the real-life daredevil Martha Jane Canary – better known as Calamity Jane. She runs a saloon in the rough and tumble Black Hills of Dakota. Rugged by nature, Jane finds herself vying for the affections of Wild Bill Hickock, but is rivaled by the ultra-feminine Katie.

Since Calamity Jane is a musical, it’s fantastic for seniors with Alzheimer’s because their musical aptitude and appreciation remains, long after other abilities have been lost. Singing activates the left side of the brain, while listening to music sparks the right side, stimulating brain activity and increasing alertness.

Field of Dreams

Kevin Costner takes his turn as Ray, a husband and father desperately holding onto his family farm. Struggling financially, Ray gains ethereal, time-travelling powers, and builds a divine baseball diamond. He gathers baseball players from different decades, who’ve made sacrifices that cost them their baseball dreams.

This movie evokes positive, sentimental emotions in seniors with Alzheimer’s, encouraging better moods and improved social behaviour. Field of Dreams is about bonds, and bridging generations, which will do wonders for connections between grandchildren and their grandparents.

Grumpy Old Men

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon make a couple of hilarious “frienemies” in this ‘90s classic. The two put down, prank, and prod at one another’s patience throughout the hour and forty minutes of antics. They’ve been feuding for years, and their battle kicks into high gear when they begin vying for the affections of the same woman.

The tongue-in-cheek title of Grumpy Old Men is relatable in itself to seniors, as are the two men portraying the leads. It’s a movie about familiarity, and overcoming old grudges – concepts likely familiar to your elder, which hopefully triggers positive memories.

On top of that, laughter allows for seniors with Alzheimer’s to redirect negative emotions, while easing depression symptoms, tempering aggression, and improving social interactions.


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