The first Video on Demand streaming service for people with dementia has been launched by London charity My Life Films, the world leader in video-based dementia care. It’s like Netflix for people with dementia.
“Everyone loves watching TV, but sadly this becomes impossible for people with dementia, as cognitive impairment stops them from enjoying regular TV shows. That’s why we have created My Life TV, giving them a way to keep watching TV and be entertained. It could be a lifeline for people with dementia, particularly during COVID-19.”My Life Films Founder, Jörg Roth
The not-for-profit service offers programmes that have been created or adapted for the cognitive needs of people with dementia, from both My Life Films’ in-house production team and content partners including BFI, Off the Fence, Fremantle, British Pathé, Getty Images and Kew Gardens and many more. It will help isolated, unoccupied people with dementia to stay stimulated and connected to the world, improving their mental health and supporting essential care in care homes and at home.
Its development was accelerated in response to the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on care homes and individuals around the country, which has resulted in many people with dementia being isolated alone in their bedroom for many hours at a time, causing a decline in wellbeing.
The service was piloted with a number of care homes in in the London borough of Richmond as well as several households with people living with dementia, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive; nearly all those who took part said the service could improve psychological wellbeing, and several care workers said it helped them to deliver routine care. It can also give primary carers respite.
How to Watch
My Life TV is available now with an introductory offer – free for the first month and then £4 a month, allowing access to the channel on up to three different devices. It is suitable for individuals to use at home or for care homes to use with their residents. All profits will go back into My Life Film’s charitable services which improve the lives of people affected by dementia for free. My Life Films will launch a corporate subscription package aimed at larger care homes in April, allowing access of up to 30 devices for £30 per months. NAPA and National Care Forum Members can try the service for 6 months for free.
“The channel put a smile on our residents’ faces and had so many positive impacts; helping them to relax, jogging their memory, energising them, improving residents’ communication and relationships with each other and with staff, and reducing feelings of loneliness. It helped staff to deliver routine care, enabling them to manage behaviour that challenges and make residents more compliant with eating and taking medication. I would highly recommend it to all care homes.”Fiona Saadat, Manager of Cecil Court care home operated by Central & Cecil (C&C)
About us My Life Films
My Life Films is a charity that uses filmmaking to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. We have created a range of innovative, evidence-based services that help people with dementia and those that care for them to live better lives after a dementia diagnosis. Our vision is a world where people with dementia aren’t defined by their illness.
In our established core service, one of our trained filmmakers creates a package of personalised biographical films for individual PLWD, giving them a lasting form of reminiscence therapy and providing care workers with a quick way of getting to know them. We have made over 300 films for people living with dementia over the past 6 years.
The impact of all our services is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of PLWD, enabling their paid care workers to deliver higher-quality care and giving their primary carers an opportunity for respite. The impact of our biographical films was clinically proven in a 2019 Feasibility Study by South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, which concluded that our personalised life story films can decrease dementia symptom levels, improve quality of life, help paid care workers to deliver person-centred care, support routine care and in some instances, reduce drug use.1
1. Francis, E.R., Smith, J.G., Qayyum, M., Lee, J., Woodgate, P., Lawrence, R.M., (2019) ‘Biographical films as a person‐centered approach to reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms of dementia in residential care: A feasibility study.’ Journal of Clinical Psychological, 76 (1), p.1–9. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.22853