For better or worse, whether we like it or not, television is a part of almost everyone’s life. For a person with dementia, television viewing is often a part of an overall program of activity. This is not necessarily a bad thing: television can be relaxing, informative, and enjoyable. It becomes a bad thing when it is overused, when it becomes the predominant or the only activity available.
We all want the people we are caring for to continue to enjoy as many familiar activities as possible. Program selection is an important consideration when television watching becomes an activity for a person with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the disease affects the way that experiences become memories, a person in even the early stages may find it difficult to follow a plot, to remember at the end of a movie or TV program what had happened at the beginning, and so the story becomes rather meaningless.
The nightly news is not any better: seeing and hearing about what is happening in the world can be upsetting to any of us. Add a cognitive problem to the mix, and the news can become downright frightening. A story about a missing child can become much too real for a person with dementia; the missing child becomes her young son; finding that child becomes an overwhelming concern!
Bombings in Libya or one of the many other hot-spots in the world might be construed as an attack on the neighborhood. A burning building on the evening news can be interpreted to mean that, “My house is on fire!”
Although the news, movies, and regular programming are not necessarily inappropriate, for the most part, they are just not good selections for a person with memory or cognitive problems. Cable and dish access broadens our options to include categories like cooking, travel, history, science, and many others. Cable or dish, if available, provide choices that are the beginning of what we call Alternative Television for Alzheimer’s.
Alternative Television For Alzheimer’s
So let’s watch alternative television. Best Alzheimer’s Products offers several options.
This first category provides an alternative to the nightly news. These DVD’s are similar to a television magazine format such as 60 Minutes. Each edition of Sentimental Reflections includes six regular segments: Cover Story, Scenic America, On a Musical Note, Off the Beaten Path, Time Capsule & a Seasonal Feature. You can see a detailed description of each episode and a sample video clip here.
Sentimental Reflections travels the country to produce a video series that celebrates America’s heritage in story, scenery and song. The videos in this set are about America and Americans, as we are and as we were, and offer unique glimpses of Americana. The 45-minute DVD is released each Spring, Summer, Autumn & Winter. These are truly an entertaining and informative alternative to the nightly news.
We also like the Respite (DVD) Videos. These were produced specifically for those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Each of the thirteen videos provides the caregiver with a way to improve his or her own quality of life by providing an entertaining DVD for the person in his or her care. As caregivers, we can all use a short period of rest or relief from the often difficult challenges of caring for someone with dementia.
These DVD’s are designed to hold the attention of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia through music, light movement, and reminiscence. They also provide socialization and sensory and cognitive stimulation.
The people on the videos become very real friends to the people who are watching. As they have a conversation, or sing together, or remember times in the past, you are able to have some time away from the caregiver role, time to prepare a meal, to write a letter, to read a book.
These DVD’s are wonderful additions to an overall care strategy. All are ideal aids for caring for a person with dementia in the home, and they also work well in a group situation, in care communities and Alzheimer’s day care.
The broad variety of subjects and presenters ensures that there is a video for everyone. You can see an overview of the Respite Videos.
Finally, for a calming experience, our Nature DVD’s are perfect. Entertainment for people with
Alzheimer’s is not much different from entertainment for the rest of us. Sometimes we just want to watch something soothing and relaxing. What better option than beautiful natural scenery and original music?
In our experience, people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia respond very well to nature and beautiful music. These DVD’s are made to bring the world into your home. An undersea reef, the Amazon Jungle, majestic mountains, a Caribbean island; all can be enjoyed in the comfort of your living room. They can be thought of as music for the eyes, and provide a relaxing ambiance whenever they are playing. They are accompanied by relaxing or energizing music, natural sounds, or both.
These magnificent DVD’s provide hours of viewing and listening enjoyment. See our entire collection, or view selected video clips.