September is World Alzheimer’s Month, with a focus on World Alzheimer’s day on 21st September. This years theme is ‘Let’s talk about dementia’. It aims to highlight the importance of taking the time to talk and helping to break the silence around dementia.

The month is a global opportunity to raise awareness around dementia, one of the biggest challenges we face, with nearly 50 million people living with dementia worldwide. it is important for everyone to understand how it impacts the daily lives of people affected by the condition and challenge the stigma that surrounds it. People and organisations have a chance to demonstrate how we can overcome these issues and help people live well with dementia. Find out more about how to get involved in the UK from Alzheimer’s Society.

We can help by working together, collaborating and sharing best practice with one another. We have included some resources below to help get you started. You may want to join the Dementia Friends movement, or help by sharing information with friends, family and colleagues.

Dementia and cinema

Cinema and film can be an inspiring and powerful tool for representation and developing awareness projects. Find some inspiration on this page for further research and planning ideas. There is also some information about setting up online film clubs and resources to help plan in this difficult time due to coronavirus.

Dementia-friendly cinema screenings create a slice of normal life for people living with dementia, a chance to experience film in a relaxed and supported environment. The screenings have adaptations to make the space more comfortable and accessible for people living with dementia to enjoy film, as individuals or with their families. Organisations such as the UK Cinema Association, Alzheimers Society and FAN have worked with cinemas to support them in welcoming audiences living with dementia.

Due to coronavirus, there may be restrictions on dementia-friendly screenings at the moment as public events may be a higher risk activity for some audiences living with dementia, or for people who are living in care homes.

We believe we should be constantly striving to improve access to film and cinema for all audiences and have provided some training resources and information on this page to help you host Dementia Friendly Screenings in your venue, in preparation for when it is safe for you to do so.

These resources may also assist and inspire you towards creating a more accessible and inclusive experience for your events more generally, for example increasing staff and audience awareness, introducing a more relaxed policy to your screenings, providing quiet spaces or improving signage.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) ideas for arts, heritage and cultural organisations

Cinema’s can offer much needed support. The Alzheimer’s Society need organisations to take action and support people affected by dementia at this difficult time to keep them connected to their culture and their community in new and creative ways. Here are some of the key actions they suggest you can do to make a difference to people’s lives:

  • Distribute printed reminiscence packs to allow people to enjoy activities at home.
  • Advertise any virtual tours of places, museums or lend out gift DVD’s
  • Host online screenings or showings.
  • Live stream or televise your planned activities so people can stay active and engaged at home.
  • Reach out to volunteer networks to help you reach people in your community.
  • Signpost for people affected by dementia to our Dementia Connect support line 0333 150 3456  for advice and support.

Share your experiences

We would love to know about your film or cinema project at Inclusive Cinema. If you’d like to submit your own case study, please download this Inclusive screening case study template and submit it to includeme[at], so we can share your experiences, too.    

Carey Mulligan on dementia-friendly screenings - BBC Newsnight