Movies for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients February 25 2013


Watching a good movie is an enjoyable, passive activity that can provide a variety of benefits for a senior diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. It may reduce symptoms often associated with Alzheimer's disease such as, anxiety, aggression, apathy, and agitation. Many may come away from the “movie experience” with a more positive mood and a greater attention span. They also may be more communicative and engaged with caregivers and peers—sharing a conversation about the program, an actor or actress, or the theme of the film.

It is very important to choose movies that are appropriate for people with Alzheimer’s disease. Select movies that are relatively short in length—under two hours—as with moderate and advanced Alzheimer's disease, the patients may have an extremely short attention span. Choose films that are fun and upbeat. Avoid films with violence, frightening imagery, serious illnesses, or death. Many Alzheimer's patients may not be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, or have anxiety issues and may become upset or agitated.

Movies are a great resource for entertainment, as well as reminiscence therapy. Below is a list of 25 films appropriate for people with living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia:

An American in Paris (1951) Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. However, things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman. (113 min.)

Animal Crackers (1930) Mayhem and zaniness ensue when a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famed African explorer Captain Spaulding. (97 min.)

The Band Wagon (1953) A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition. (112 min.)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building. (115 min.)

The Court Jester (1955) A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. (101 min.)

Easter Parade (1948) Don Hewes and Nadine Hale are a dancing team, but she decides to start a career on her own. So he takes the next dancer he meets, Hannah Brown, as a new partner. (107 min.)

Father of the Bride (1950) A father of a young woman deals with the emotional pain of her getting married, and the financial and organizational pain of arranging her wedding. (92 min.)

Grumpy Old Men (1993) A lifelong feud between two neighbors since childhood, only gets worse when a new female neighbor moves across the street. (103 min.)

His Girl Friday (1940) A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 min.)

In the Navy (1941) Russ Raymond, America's number one crooner, disappears and joins the Navy under the name Tommy Halstead. Dorothy Roberts, a magazine journalist, is intent on finding out what happened to Russ and she tries everything she can to get a picture of him to prove he's Russ Raymond. (86 min.)

It Happened One Night (1934) A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who's actually a reporter looking for a story. (105 min.)

The Little Princess (1939) A little girl is left by her father in an exclusive seminary for girls, due to her father having to go to Africa with the army. (93 min.)

The Long, Long Trailer (1953) Nicky and Tacy are going to be married. Nicky wants to save up money for a house, but Tacy dreams of starting off with their own home on wheels—a trailer. (103 min.)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. (113 min.)

Nothing But the Truth (1941) Stockbroker T.T.Ralston has promised his niece Gwen to double it if she can raise $20,000 for charity. But he connives so those she asks refuse to give her more than the $10,000 she's already raised. (90 min.)

On the Town (1949) Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up. (98 min.)

The Pajama Game (1957) Employees of the Sleeptite Pajama Factory are looking for a whopping seven-and-a-half cent an hour increase and they won't take no for an answer. (101 min.)

Roman Holiday (1953) A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome. (118 min.)

Sabrina (1954) A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family's chauffeur. But it's his more serious brother who would be the better man for her. (113 min)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too. (102 min.)

Singing in the Rain (1952) A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. (103 min.)

Some Like it Hot (1959) When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 min.)

Swing Time (1936) A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer. (103 min.)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. (93 min.)

The Trouble with Angels (1966) Two high-spirited young students at St. Francis Academy for Girls keep things hopping for the challenged Mother Superior and her staff of bewildered Sisters. (112 min.)