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Alzheimer in the Movies

Still Alice

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring.

The Savages

Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman play siblings in this tragic comedy about adult children caring for a parent with Dementia.

The Notebook

released in 2004, stars James Garner as a man whose wife, played by Gena Rowlands, is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's disease. Garner's character attempts to rekindle his wife's memories of their long history by reading to her from his notebook. With Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams playing the couple in their younger years.

 Choosing the Right Movie or TV Show
A good movie experience can leave a person with Alzheimer’s in a better mood and more engaged with others. It can also help bridge generations, giving grandparents and grandchildren something to share.
How do you Choose the Right Movie or TV show for a loved one with Alzheimer’s? Generally, it is a good idea to find movies that are:
  • Fun and upbeat
  • Shorter in length (under two hours)
  • Not violent and do not portray serious illness or death
  • Simpler in terms of plot and number of characters
Recommended Viewing for Alzheimer’s Patients
When surveyed, families that care for Alzheimer loved ones compiled a list of movies and TV shows that they enjoy the most. By far, musicals (and any TV shows with music) received the most recommendations. Some favorite actors include Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, Elvis Presley and Humphrey Bogart.
Here are the top suggestions on films and TV shows for seniors with Alzheimer’s:
In addition, reality TV shows, like American IdolAmerican Pickers and Dancing With the Stars were recommended because they are easy to follow, and you do not have to keep up with a running plot. Some people indicate that ambient videos intrigue and calm Alzheimer’s patients. One example, A Fishy DVD, provides the fascinating, colorful and ever-changing view of life in an aquarium.
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