A “Dementia Friendly Day at the Movies” has never been done on a regular commercial basis in US, but very successful in UK. Partnering with Emagine Entertainment, every month we’ll show classic movie musicals (eg Oklahoma, Singin’ In The Rain) with lights on and sound lowered, and encourage persons with dementia and friends to talk, clap, sing along, sway, dance—have a good time at the movies with other people on the dementia journey. With community volunteers (including students) monthly events will feature: curbside greeting, with seated reverse valet parking (guest parks while person w. dementia waits with greeter at curbside); welcome/ticket table; customized name badges w. movie’s title; printed movie programs; goody bags w. giveaways; movie memorabilia eg posters; lobby piano playing movie’s theme; purple-hatted volunteers to guide folks to auditorium (and to and from restrooms). Other lobby tables have dementia information and resources such as from Alzheimers Assoc. Show will have soft start with catered snacking and mingling on proscenium before movie, then a Fun Film Facts discussion led by U of M film student before show starts. During show, volunteers will maintain eyes on audience to assist any needing to get to a restroom or to the Quiet Room. After show, soft wrap-up to announce coming attractions and door prizes.
Our team includes person who’s done this in UK. We’ll train Emagine staff (and our volunteers) in Dementia Friendly techniques (which will be useful every day), and the facility will have special signage, extra hallway chairs, and valet parking for walker devices. Emagine plans to use Saline property as pilot for entire 5-state chain. Wide publicity planned, with Mayor and various other officials invited.
Along with our growing Memory Café events for persons w dementia and caregivers, these movie events will help meet the urgent need for enjoyable, engaging activities for Washtenaw’s roughly 12,000 persons w. dementia and their caregivers.
Ֆինանսավորված Ann Arbor, MI կողմից (January 2023)