Movie recommendations for people living with dementia

Dementia UK, the national charity providing specialist dementia support, has put together a list of the best films to help families come together to enjoy some time together watching movies that everyone can enjoy.

The charity's Admiral Nurses provide expert guidance and practical support to help families cope with the challenges that caring for a relative with dementia brings. 

Here's their handy guide of what to turn to when it's movie night. 

Mama Mia

Dementia friendly films

Amanda Seyfried stars in the 2008 movie featuring the hits of Abba

What marks Mamma Mia out is the fact that it’s so interactive. People of all ages can sing along to the tunes of Abba helping to connect people with dementia.

Music and songs can bring out strong feelings in someone with dementia too. Other similar recommendations include The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and South Pacific.

Laurel and Hardy

dementia friendly movies

This classic comedy duo were a familiar sight as many people were growing up.

Many people diagnosed with dementia grew up with the slapstick routines of Laurel and Hardy allowing many to reminisce. Their comedic routines can bring enjoyment and distraction.

Films like this are also great to share with the wider family. They can even help to provide invaluable connection between children and grandparents with dementia. Other similar recommendations include Mr Bean.

Top Gun

dementia friendly films

Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis star in this action packed film classic

This may be a suitable choice for younger people diagnosed with dementia. Top Gun’s straightforward plot-line can help to hold a person with dementia’s attention.

Other similar recommendations for younger people with dementia include Ghost and Pretty Woman.

No experience of dementia is the same and families are always best placed to know which films or other activities would appeal to their family member with dementia.

However there are certain film genres or styles which can be appealing to someone with dementia. This can include films which do not have complex story lines and films where there is a strong action, comedic or musical element.

We are seeing more and more screenings of films to cater for people with dementia and their families. Some of our very own specialist dementia Admiral Nurses have been involved in bringing these screenings to local communities for example. They undoubtedly help to elevate a person with dementia’s mood, helping them stay engaged and connected to their families and wider society.”  

Dr Hilda Hayo

Chief Admiral Nurse/CEO Dementia UK

Source: Dementia UK website 18/02/19