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Film therapy helps Alzheimer's patients

Film therapy helps Alzheimer's patients
25th April 2008

A new method of provoking memories is being trialled on Alzheimer's patients in several US care homes.

Residents from the Essex Park Rehabilitation Centre, Spectrum Adult Day Centre, Brooksby Village and the Hearthstone Foundation in Salem are all partaking in a new trial which sees them watching old movie clips in an attempt to jog their memories.

Dr John Zeisel, president of Hearthstone Alzheimer's Care, told a local newspaper the Salem News: "Science and medicine is doing everything to keep people with Alzheimer's alive longer, but very little is being done to give them a meaningful life."

One participant George Doherty added that he had benefited from watching films such as the Sound of Music and clips from the Three Stooges as they helped him remember earlier parts of his life - such as flying a plane in North Korea.

"These film clips generate emotions," Dr Zeisel said. "After they leave here, they'll feel alive. And they'll remember this event much longer than they will other parts of their life because it's connected to an emotion."

According to the Alzheimer's Society, 64 per cent of people living in care homes have a form of dementia.

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