TV Shows for Those Suffering From Dementia
TV shows and movies can be a great tool for caregivers to provide those who are suffering from dementia. However, finding the right shows can be very difficult. It is important to choose shows that are positive, as negative storylines can actually cause distress to those with dementia. Interestingly, even commercials or news can cause patients to become anxious and stressed.
Those who suffer from cognitive disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s process things differently than those who have normal function. For instance, it is difficult for these patients to distinguish the difference between what is reality and what is fiction. They can also feel emotion so strongly that they can actually take on the feelings of what they are watching. This can be both negative and positive feelings.
But, a positive, uplifting TV show or movie can actually help those who are suffering from dementia. It can make them in a happy, cheerful mood. It can help encourage patients to socialize. They can also actually help bring forgotten memories to the surface. Watching shows can be an excellent activity the patient can share with loved ones, both young and old. Movie nights are a great way to spend time with a loved one who has cognitive impairment. There are many movies and TV shows available that would be great options. Here is a list that has some great options:
Classic TV Shows (can be found on DVD)
- I Love Lucy Show
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show
- Happy Days
- Andy Griffith Show
- Golden Girls
- Lavern and Shirley
- Three Stooges
- Gilligan’s Island
- The Love Boat
- Carol Burnett Show
- The Walton’s
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- Cheaper by the Dozen
- Guys and Dolls
- It’s a Wonderful Life
- Grumpy Old Men
- White Christmas
- Singin’ in the Rain
- Easter Parade
- South Pacific
- Westside Story
- The Sound of Music
- Calamity Jane
- Paint Your Wagon
Some DVD’s have been created especially for those who are suffering from cognitive abilities. They incorporate lovely music, beautiful imagery, and will even promote brain stimulation. Some example of these are:
- Curious Kittens
- Baby Face
- Puppy Tales
- Horse Power
- America the Beautiful
- Garden Delights
Present Day Reality TV
- America’s Funniest Home Videos
- The Voice
- So, You Think You Can Dance
- America’s Got Talent
- American Idol
Classica TV stations such as TVLand and Turner Classic movies offer many great options for your patient or loved one. Just make sure it is appropriate before you begin watching.
If you are wondering whether or not a certain show is good for your patient or loved one, ask these 6 Questions before starting:
- Can this show be enjoyable without having to pay attention too closely?
- It is happy and positive?
- Does it have graphic images, language that is offensive, or is it violent?
- Is the plot easy to follow along? If it is too complicated, it may promote feelings of confusion.
- Is it under 2 hours long? If it is too long you may lose the attention of the patient.
- Does it promote feelings of joy and laughter?
The bottom line is the best movie or TV show to watch with those suffering from dementia are the ones that promote joy and happiness. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments below.
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