It is a busy and exciting week, this week. Dementia Action is all about getting communities to pledge some action towards helping people living with dementia to be inclusive in the community.
Today Monday 21st May 2018, our first day locall; Cineworld in Dalton Park, County Durham had a dementia friendly showing of The Greatest Showman. Which was a brilliant film I might add; the music was wonderful, and all the people I asked as they were leaving enjoyed it immensely. The music was memorable and definitely worth being played in any care home for their residence to enjoy!
So what changes did they have to make for a dementia friendly film showing?
Lighting: Well, they left a minimal amount of lighting on during the film. This didn’t make any difference to the quality of watching the film, in fact I didn’t really notice it, but it was comfortable if you needed to visit the toilet during the film. Also for people with dementia it meant that there was not a scary blackness around you.
Sound: The sound was lowered to an acceptable level. All too frequent the sound in a cinema can be so loud that it is quite traumatic for people with dementia, and also for people with any autistic spectrum. It was not so low you couldn’t hear what was being said, but was comfortable and loud enough for the singing to wonderfully uplifting. Music is so important to people living with dementia, they may not speak, or appear to respond but give us wonderful musical and you can reach parts that you never knew were still excited by such sounds.
Time: the film did not start until everybody was ready, seated comfortably and happy for it to start. No, this did not really take long at all, and we all waved to the guy in the box at the back running the film: and he gave his thumbs up – what a perfectly British acknowledgement that there is someone working in the back!
Being Comfortable: Being a dementia friendly showing, it was fine if anyone wanted to talk during the film, Maybe they were remembering a time when they sang or danced and wanted to talk about it to whomever they were with. It was fine for them to do so.
In the foyer some of the ladies asked for tea, not fizzy and popcorn but a nice cup of tea!
At present the floor in the foyer is a very shiny sparkly black polished granite type of flooring and there are several red florescent strip lighting overhead, which is supposed to reflect on the black…. heck I felt I was on a rolling boat as the red reflections appear to roll along as you walk. Very show biz!! but not very dementia friendly. However, they will be rolling out a red carpet along the floor, I presume for days when they are showing dementia friendly films. Who on earth are these architects with their heads in the clouds or worse…
Cineworld at Dalton Park has really tried hard to accommodate all the people living with dementia and the manager must be commended for being so accommodating. Hopefully this can be a once a month event for all people with disabilities and dementia.
I got to say a few words and was so pleased to see so many people with dementia enjoying this wonderful film.
So, this was my first day in supporting dementia friendly events in my new local community, and one which is one that is becoming more dementia friendly.
Tomorrow is another event….