Using Our DVDs in Residential Homes

How to use our DVDs in residential care homes

Our DVDs and Reminiscence Guides can be used in a variety of ways in residential care homes with those of us who were born during or in the decades after WW2 for general viewing and reminiscence.

The film clips on the DVDs can be used in a laptop or other device with a DVD player and either shown on the monitor screen or, with the use of a projector, shown on a large screen or onto a wall.The film clips can also be watched on a TV monitor connected to a DVD player.

It is fascinating that as we get older we begin to think back to our younger years. Sometimes those thoughts are about things which bring a smile to the face and other times they are fleeting memories that may make us want to search the Internet and other sources for more detailed information.

Our archive film based reminiscence resources may be even more helpful for anyone of this older age group who is now developing dementia, for whom any form of mental or sensory stimulation makes their life more meaningful.

We know from showing our archive films to many dementia patients in care homes and then having reminiscence conversations with them individually or in groups, that each one has memories stimulated by different things that they see in the film clips. It might be a piece of furniture, an object in a particular film scene (e.g. an object in a kitchen or sitting room), or it may be a scene of a particular location or event which recalls days gone by for that patient.

Although the group will have viewed the same piece of film it is possible that each patient will have had a memory stimulated by something entirely different in the film sequence.

The milkman who appears in the “Home Sweet Home” Pt 1 DVD with his electric delivery float, clinking the glass bottles as he puts them on the doorsteps and helping his customers, nearly always seems to get groups of patients chatting about memories of milk in their early life, even some patients who are normally very quiet in group meetings.

Although our DVDs give the opportunity to play all the film clips one after another without stopping (press “Play All” on the DVD menu), we strongly recommend that the greatest benefits can be gained by watching the clips individually by using the menu at the start of the DVD.

Ideally the relevant section of the Reminiscence Guide will be used to help with creating a list of questions and topics that can be used with the patients after watching the particular film clip.

It is obviously very helpful if you know the background and personal interests of some or all of the patients. You can then tailor the conversation more appropriately and introduce other objects and resources which already have particular meaning for the patients to trigger their interest.