Using the Television

It can seem a bit counter-intuitive to schedule in time for the television with your activities – but, used in the right way, the TV can be a great and positive resource. Here are some of our top tips for using the television in activities.

Schedule Programs In: Do a weekly plan of programmes the residents might like to watch and print it out for them to see so they can choose what they want to see.

Sporting Shows: Big events like the Grand National, Six Nations, Oxford/Cambridge boat race, Wimbledon, Ladies Day Ascot and the football World Cup are always well-received and can often form the basis for some other activities too.

Go Big: If budgets or resources allow for it, having a screen with a projector helps those with less good eyesight to see the television and connect with the things that visually spark memories for them.

Music: Old musical videos or pop shows are often really positive, it’s lovely to talk about the outfits, the presenters and the songs and what they remember doing when they first heard them.

Turn it off: Having the TV on all day as background noise is distressing for those living with dementia, who can’t filter out background noise and can find the constant stimulation tiring.

Dedicated space: Have some tv-free lounges, that allow for a quieter environment and makes a clear distinction between when it’s being used and when it isn’t.

Film Night: Show films and make it an event. Have a weekly schedule and allow residents to look forward to their favourite movies. Can you theme food and drink around it to serve during the film too? Sometimes films can be too long, so look for comedy sketches or musical medleys, which are always popular, or show films in three separate sessions.

Be Respectful: Everyone has their favourite guilty pleasure, and even if it’s Judge Judy or a bad soap opera, if it makes a resident light up, then it’s worth everything.