Seniors and Movie-watching: Surprising Benefits and What to Watch

Posted by Senior Solutions Management Group on Apr 29, 2022 3:13:32 PM | 3 minute read

Entertainment in the form of a new or familiar movie can be an enjoyable pastime for people of all ages. In fact, in moderation, television can even provide some benefits, especially for seniors who find comfort in watching their favorite films. For many older adults, watching movies, especially in group settings, can help pass the time, reduce isolation, encourage friendship, inspire emotion and provide a brief mental escape from the outside world.

Benefits of Movie Watching

Let’s face it, getting older comes with a decline in physical and cognitive abilities, making it more and more difficult to maintain an active lifestyle. For this reason, television can be a great source of comfort and stimulation for older adults who have physical limitations. When combined with some form of regular physical activity and planned social events, movie-watching can provide many benefits including:

  • Movie watching creates a relaxing, stress-free environment for seniors who may struggle with chronic health issues or loneliness. For a brief hour or two, they can escape from life’s challenges, stimulate their mind and inspire a variety of emotions and memories.  
  • Mobility, eye sight and hearing tend to decline with age. As a result, many activities and forms of entertainment are limited. Movie watching is a safe and easy source of entertainment that anyone can enjoy to relieve boredom and help pass the time. 
  • Movie watching can be informative and educational for seniors who are experiencing a decline in cognitive function. Watching a film helps to keep their minds active, can provide educational value and informs them about what is happening in the world. 
  • A good, classic movie can inspire pleasant memories for older adults, especially those with dementia. Watching nostalgic films is a great way for seniors to reminisce about their pastime in a positive light and talk about those memories with others. 
  • When watched with groups of friends, movies can help foster opportunities to socialize, nurture relationships with other seniors or family members and provide topics of conversation. 

How to Select the Right Film for Older Adults

When helping your loved one select a movie to watch, consider their likes and dislikes. Do they enjoy romance movies, or do they prefer comedies? It is best to avoid movies or shows with extensive violence or tragedy, as this could inspire negative memories or emotions. If your loved one has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, select a shorter film with a simple plot. Lengthy and complex storylines can be confusing for someone with dementia to follow or understand.

Consider compiling a list of films for your loved one to choose from. Many seniors enjoy older, classic movies from the past that bring about old memories and emotional connections.

According to, the following movies are some of the highest ranked on Netflix for older generations.

  • As Good As It Gets
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • The King's Speech
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • Julie & Julia
  • I'll See You In My Dreams
  • Howards End
  • Highwaymen
  • The Last Laugh

Add to this list, or create your own list one based on the senior’s personal preferences and interests.

In moderation, movie-watching is an excellent source of entertainment for older adults. Set them up for stress-free streaming by installing easy-to-use streaming services and devices. Many assisted living communities also provide movie-watching opportunities throughout the week.

Topics: Activities

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