Emer runs for My Life Films!

Emer Wynne is running the London marathon to raise money for My Life TV! We caught up with her whilst she is training for the big day in April!

What is your motivation for running for the charity?

I love the uniqueness of My Life Film. Carolin and Jorg have taken such an innovative approach, using the creative arts to help people with dementia to improve the quality of their lives in a simple yet powerful and non-invasive way.  Fundraising is so important for small charities and can easily be overlooked.  I’m proud to be able to help in this small way

Do you know anyone affected by dementia?

Thankfully I’m not directly impacted by someone affected by dementia at the moment but I have friends whose parents and loved ones are.  A wonderful friend who has left the corporate world to become a carer has shared how dementia impacts the lives of her patients and their families.  It’s heartbreaking. 

What’s your background in running?

I took up running in my early 50s and had never run before then.  I was encouraged to get fit for medical / wellbeing reasons.  Encouraged by a friend I joined the Bearcats – a local community running club.  They’ve been great.  I’ve run a number of 10k, a few 10 milers and one half marathon.

How is your training schedule going?

My training is ok.  I’m following a training plan, albeit loosely. I’m good at the runs but poor at strength and flexibility training.  I’ve done an online yoga program but there is some improvement needed there! Running alone is a challenge for me. I’m so blessed to have friends who have run with me on the long runs (13 and 17 miles) even though they’re not training for a marathon.  In addition my family are hugely supportive, though they think I’m crazy!  My husband and eldest daughter are a great team, stepping into my Saturday dog walking duties and preparing a fabulous high carb and protein brunch to help me recover from the long training runs. I’ve already had offers from friends and family to pepper the route to keep me going. How lucky am I? It takes a team to run a marathon it seems. I have a great team!

Emer has raised nearly £700 already, you can donate and support her cause on her Just Giving page.

We are hiring!

After a great 2022, My Life Films is growing! Would you like to help roll out our services for people living with dementia? If so, read about our latest vacancies.

Current vacancies

Head of Marketing, My Life Films

My Life Films is seeking a Head of Marketing to oversee our marketing, sales and outreach, developing and implementing our marketing plan in line with our vision. This is a critical role within the charity, leading a small, growing team to significantly scale up our awareness, reach and impact over the next 2 years.

To be successful in this role, you will need a blend of skills, experience and personal qualities. It would suit someone with a wide range of experience designing and delivering brilliant marketing strategies, ideally including B2B, and who is eager to use those skills in a purpose-led, charity environment.

About Us:

My Life Films is an award-winning charity that uses film & TV to enrich and support the lives of people living with dementia and their carers. This includes our My Life TV streaming platform, the world’s first on-demand service specifically designed to meet the cognitive needs of people living with dementia and designed for use within care settings or at home.

My Life TV is carefully curated to enable people living with dementia to feel stimulated and connected to the world, improving their mental health and supporting their essential care. It contains a wide variety of high quality content: interactive shows like quizzes, singalongs, drawing & chair yoga; calming content like animal or nature programmes and slow TV; a wide range of reminiscence programmes from the 1960s onwards and much more. We work with highly respected content partners as well as producing our own programming in partnership with trusted organisations in the dementia care field and more widely.

With the My Life TV platform successfully through its testing phase, we are now in an exciting position to scale up its use, growing the team so we can reach and support as many people living with dementia as possible.

About the Role:

We are looking for someone who can contribute both strategic thinking and hands-on implementation around our Care Home-facing activity so that we can grow rapidly and positively impact large numbers of people affected by dementia. You will also oversee our charity communications, sharing news and demonstrating the impact of our work to wider audiences.

Our goal is not just to grow our subscriber numbers, but to build long term relationships with care homes, listening and learning from their experiences so that we can best meet their needs and the needs of those in their care.

You will be motivated by our work supporting people living with dementia and have a keen interest in how TV and film can play a strong role in complex situations.  Above all you will be a people-person, a natural listener and clear communicator with a passion for securing strong partnerships and amplifying our work.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Building, developing and managing our marketing, sales and outreach function
  • Creating a well-defined and focused marketing plan to enable the effective delivery of our company vision and strategy for growth
  • Effective implementation of marketing activities, with a focus on executing our B2B campaigns to encourage growth in care home subscriptions, as well as charity fundraising support
  • Oversight of all external communications for the charity, including content creation and management of our social media channels, email marketing, updating and managing our website and all marketing collateral as needed
  • Overseeing sales to implement a customer experience journey from lead generation through to the onboarding stage
  • Ensuring our outreach activity builds excellent customer relationships, and responds to queries so that the service is well used and there is a positive ongoing customer experience
  • Participating in industry events and marketing activities e.g. care home shows, learning events, or conferences
  • Working with designers to ensure strong identity and brand alignment throughout our work
  • Effective people management of a small sales & outreach team of 1 or 2.
  • Effective management of the marketing budget
  • Supporting the Director and working with the My Life Films team on other projects and day-to-day work as needed

Person Specification:


  • A multi-disciplined marketing professional with experience across a wide spectrum of marketing disciplines. A strong understanding of performance marketing, content creation, strategy, social media, email marketing, PR, direct marketing and events
  • Experience building a marketing & sales strategy, and implementing the necessary systems and processes to enable its effective delivery
  • A strong track record of delivering effective multi-channel campaigns, working to fixed timelines and budgets
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to write compelling copy for a range of different audiences – the care market, Foundations & Trusts, partner organisations in the dementia field, and the wider public
  • Strong people manager – able to motivate, develop and steer a small team of staff and freelancers to bring out their best
  • Excellent IT skills, ideally including previous experience using sales CRM software such as Hubspot, Salesforce or similar
  • Strong people skills, with an ability to relate positively to, and engage with a wide range of people
  • Ideally you would have experience working in a B2B context, a start-up environment or in a similar context to the care sector


  • Entrepreneurial spirit – able to proactively seek opportunities or imagine new ways to market the My Life TV platform, and not be afraid to test and learn
  • A flexible team player with a willingness to get stuck in when needed – if you like to work on your own to a predefined task list, this may not be the right environment for you
  • A proactive self-starter, able to work under limited supervision when needed, and self-motivated to get things done!
  • A confident, positive attitude – able to bounce back when faced with setbacks and to find creative solutions to any challenges that might arise
  • Caring and empathetic, genuinely seeking to understand and meet the needs of care homes. This is not the environment for aggressive marketing and sales techniques
  • Learning mindset – maintaining knowledge and a pro-active approach to self-development and performance improvement
  • A real interest in and understanding of how TV and film can create positive impact
  • Demonstrable cultural awareness and sensitivity, and an understanding and commitment towards diversity, inclusion and safeguarding considerations

Diversity & Inclusion:

My Life Films seeks to create a working environment that values and respects every individual’s unique contribution. We are committed to diversity & inclusion and positively encourage applications from all sections of society, including those from under-represented groups. Please let us know if you have any accessibility needs which we can support during the interview process.


  • Salary: £40-44k dependent on experience
  • Fixed Term contract – 2 years
  • 24 days annual holiday plus Bank holidays
  • Company pension scheme
  • Full Time role – open to requests for flexible working patterns
  • Hybrid working – minimum 2 days pw in the office, currently in Richmond
  • Start date: as soon as possible

We look forward to hearing from you!

Apple here

My Life Films Presents: Anthony Adkins Piano Concert Fundraiser

My Life Films are finally back and raising funds to help people living with dementia!
You are invited to an evening of wonderful piano music with star pianist Anthony Adkins playing Chopin, Mozart, Bach Mendelssohn and Zarębski.
The event is on Friday 2nd December 2022 at the RHACC Theatre in Richmond & the concert is in aid of My Life Films.
All proceeds of the evening will go to the charity and, amazingly, any additional donations we receive between now and the end of the year will be matched pound-by-pound by a very generous supporter of the charity.
You can double every pound you donate! https://mylifefilms.org/donate/
Date: Friday 2nd December
Time: 7.30pm- 10.30pm
Location: RHACC Theatre, Parkshot, Richmond TW9 2RE
Book your tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/…/my-life-films-presents…

The Daily Sparkle and My Life TV

The Daily Sparkle and My Life TV have partnered to produce inspiring reminiscence-focused video content.

My Life TV are excited to announce their new partnership with The Daily Sparkle – a well loved provider to the care home sector. The Daily Sparkle’s reminiscence newspaper, resources and activities are a great tool for activity providers and enjoyed by so many care home residents.

They now have a dedicated channel on My Life TV, showcasing specially created reminiscence video content and written resources. Their first series ‘Reminiscence with Jan’ sees the Daily Sparkle’s resident Activity Coordinator explore the sights, sounds and smells of wash days and ironing days from years gone by.


Sharon La Ronde, partnership manager at My Life TV said “We are thrilled to be partnering with the Daily Sparkle, together with their knowledge & expertise in providing resources for activity providers and our skills in video production, we’ll be a formidable team and provide even more targeted content for people living with dementia on My Life TV.”

David Nefs from the Daily Sparkle said “It has been a delight to work with My Life TV, as an organisation that so evidently shares our mission to improve the lives of those living with dementia. In designing the ‘Reminiscence with Jan’ series with My Life TV it was important to us to bring a new, more visual element to reminiscence.”

He also adds “Partnering with My Life TV, with their expertise in film production, has achieved this wonderfully. Reminiscence Therapy has been shown to improve the wellbeing of elderly people and those living with dementia. We’re delighted to be able to extend the impact of reminiscence alongside My Life TV in this way”

David Dewis, Head of Dementia & Wellbeing at Advinia Health Care said;

“The partnership between The Daily Sparkle and MyLife TV has really helped to bring the Daily Sparkle alive in a digital and interactive way. Residents love reminiscing about days gone by and the opportunity to interact with the objects being discussed adds another element to the activity making it more enjoyable and engaging”.

Their first series ‘Reminiscence with Jan’ This has been piloted with Advinia Health Care to very positive feedback, and there is a rich pipeline of content planned for future productions!

Find out more about these video sessions at https://www.dailysparkle.co.uk/reminiscence-videos/

We would love your feedback

Do you work with people living with dementia? Such as in care home, supported living, retirement living communities or perhaps you are an individual activity provider?

We would be very grateful if you could spare 2 minutes of your time to fill in the quick survey.

The first 10 people to respond to this survey will be sent a free Amazon Fire stick to be able to easily install My Life TV.  We will also include a free trial of My Life TV.

Please fill in the survey here

Want to know more about My Life TV? It’s the first TV streaming service for people living with dementia. It’s like Netflix with content specifically curated for their cognitive needs, keeping people living with dementia connected to the world and able to enjoy heartwarming, fun and relaxing TV shows.It’s a fantastic tool for caregivers and activity coordinators, My Life TV helps engage residents and give a sense of enjoyment and relaxation.The high-quality programming can give periods of respite and improve communication between residents and caregivers.Find out more about My Life TV for care homes

10 amazing gifts for people with dementia

With Christmas approaching, many of us are getting ready to spend time with our extended network of loved ones, and this often includes buying gifts to celebrate the festive period. However, if you have a loved one with dementia, choosing an appropriate gift can be an additional challenge.

Today, one in fourteen people in the UK over the age of 65 have dementia. According to DementiaStatistics.org, more than half of adults in the UK now know someone who has been diagnosed with the condition, meaning that millions of us will be searching for items to show our appreciation and support of our loved ones living with dementia this year.

Although finding gifts for people with dementia might feel difficult, growing awareness about the things that can help people with the condition live comfortably means that finding the perfect present is now easier than ever.

If you’re looking for ideas for gifts for people with dementia, whether it’s for Christmas, a birthday or another occasion – keep reading to see our top suggestions.

1. A photo book

Let’s start with the simple gifts. The most common symptom of dementia is memory loss, and this can result in distress for both the individual and those close to them, as cherished moments they have shared become harder to remember.

A photo book or album can be a great way to refresh your loved one’s memory and remind them of special moments throughout their life. Nowadays, the options in this category are endless – you can opt for a traditional album of printed photos, a digitally-created book with a range of designs, or even a life story film of fond memories with details from family members. Whatever you choose, this is a thoughtful gift that can prompt reminiscing conversations for years to come.

2. Colouring and activity books

If you’re looking for a small gift for someone with dementia, a colouring or activity book is a great option. Keeping the mind active is vital to promote healthy ageing, but for those with dementia, this is even more important. Activity books with puzzles, crosswords and other simple exercises can maintain brain plasticity, encouraging cell renewal, which promotes healthy mental function.

Adult colouring books, on the other hand, are great tools for reducing anxiety, as well as maintaining manual dexterity, hand-eye coordination, and other fine motor functions. In fact, some health practitioners have even begun ‘prescribing’ them to boost their patients’ moods through this simple, accessible form of mindfulness.

3. Garden membership

Another key way to promote both mental and physical wellbeing for those with dementia is time spent outdoors. As The Dementia Centre explains, spending time outside relieves stress, boosts the mood and provides an important source of vitamin D – which is vital for everything from maintaining mental health, to strengthening bones.

However, for those with dementia, it can become harder to get motivated to go out for daily walks, so a gift that prompts them to do so could be a brilliant option. The natural world can be deeply soothing for us all – but especially for those with dementia – so a garden membership may be a welcome gift for your loved one.

Try to choose a venue that is easily accessible for the gift recipient (both in terms of transport and accessibility), and one that is also easy to reach for friends and family who could attend with them.

A garden membership gift is not only a thoughtful gift, but also provides an opportunity for you to spend quality time with your loved one, visiting the venue together throughout the year.

4. Low-maintenance plants

However, if going to a garden is unrealistic, an alternative option is to bring greenery into your loved one’s home.

Gifting someone with dementia a houseplant is a brilliant way to bring them a sense of the natural world, creating a calming home environment.

In order to maximise the recipient’s enjoyment of the gift, consider how much care they will be able to give a plant and choose one according to this. Green-fingered individuals may enjoy a plant they can tend to, but it may also be wise to choose something a little more resilient, as memory loss can make regular maintenance more challenging further down the line.

5. My Life TV service

Often, dementia is a condition that can be coupled with decreasing mobility, resulting in more of the individual’s free time being spent indoors. In this case, many people end up spending more time watching TV, but as the condition progresses, it can become more difficult to follow certain content and derive the joy and relaxation that it should bring.

If you’re looking for a gift that will allow your loved one with dementia to relax and unwind all year round, a My Life TV subscription is a fantastic option. My Life TV is the first-ever streaming service with content specifically curated for the cognitive needs of people living with dementia. It can be accessed easily on a full range of devices, and features shows on a range of topics, providing something for everyone.

We should all be able to sit back and watch mood-boosting shows with ease and pleasure – not only for relaxation, but also to keep the brain occupied and learning. This dementia-friendly TV platform is a wonderful resource for keeping loved ones stimulated and connected to the world.

6. Nostalgia-inducing items

One common thread that many people who have family members with dementia note is that they often seem to spend more time focusing on memories from childhood or their earlier years as their condition progresses. In this case, a gift that harkens back to a time that the individual often talks about could bring real joy to the recipient.

Whether it’s a favourite game from their childhood, a painting or framed photo of a fondly-remembered holiday destination, or an old film, gifting something nostalgic can be incredibly comforting for an individual with dementia, as well as encouraging them to engage their memory in a way that they enjoy.

7. Music players

Countless studies have shown that music plays a profound role in stimulating the memory, allowing individuals with various memory loss conditions to recall moments they otherwise might have lost count of. This makes an easy-to-use music player a brilliant gift for people with dementia.

One brilliant example of a simple, effective music player for people with dementia is the Relish radio. This device is specifically designed to enable people living with dementia to listen to their favourite music independently, with three buttons to pre-set to their favourite stations, and a fourth for their own music. All you have to do is pre-programme the radio with your loved one’s chosen channels and a playlist of their favourite songs, and then they will be able to access the tunes that get their feet tapping with the simple press of a button.

8. Communication devices

Communication can become a real challenge, as complex technology becomes more difficult to use. Yet, it is vital that those with the condition are able to stay in touch with friends and family, and contact services, in order to get support when they need it.

So, communications aids can make for a functional gift, making it easier to get in touch with people when needed. Devices like the Doro 780X mobile phone can help individuals with dementia to keep in contact with their loved ones by programming key contacts with three easy speed dial buttons. It also provides an important source of emergency support, with an assistance button that sends an alarm should the owner need support.

9. Relaxation sets

Everyone needs time to relax, but for those with dementia, this can be increasingly important. Memory loss conditions can create a real sense of frustration and anxiety in individuals, as they lose the ability to complete certain tasks and remember information. This means that setting time aside to really unwind is all the more important.

However your loved one likes to relax, there are plenty of presents and gifts sets available to help them do so, from scented candles and bath sets to aromatherapy diffusers and fragranced wheat bags. Many of these gifts are also fantastic for pain relief and healthy sleeping, which are important when managing the symptoms of dementia.

10. Subscription services

When an individual develops dementia, they don’t immediately lose all of their hobbies and passions – it can just become more difficult to enjoy them. For this reason, a subscription gift relating to one of their interests can be a great choice, reminding them to engage with their favourite things on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

From craft kits to micro-gardening subscription sets, to tasting subscriptions, today there are endless choices in this category. So, whatever level of mobility and memory your loved one has – and whatever their interests – you will be able to find a gift that empowers them to enjoy their free time throughout the year.

Ultimately, choosing the perfect gift for your loved one with dementia should be informed in part by similar considerations to those you took before their condition developed. Whilst dementia can involve personality changes, the individual will still retain their identity, and in many cases, things that are important to them are retained in the memory.

So, gifts that appeal to their interests and hobbies will often still be received warmly – it may simply be a case of finding items that help your loved one to adapt to the symptoms that their diagnosis presents whilst still enjoying the important things in their life.

Support and helpful tips for carers of dementia patients

There are as many as 700,000 people who are carers in the UK for friends or family who are living with dementia. With the number of people living with dementia continuing to grow, the number of carers will inevitably rise too.

Caring for someone living with dementia is a challenging task, with a variety of experiences ranging across a spectrum that can impact not only the life of the person they are caring for but also their own. Despite some of these challenges that can have both physical and psychological impact, the rewarding feeling of caring for someone living with dementia is profound.

It’s important to remember that as a carer, you also need to prioritise your own wellbeing. The effect of caring for dementia patients can often have an emotional toll, especially if you are caring for someone close to you. Seeing the changes friends or family undergo following their diagnosis can be hard, so understanding what you can do to help manage your own health and wellbeing is important.


Support for carers

Consider joining a carer support group

A big part of managing and processing the effects of caring for someone living with dementia is finding people who can relate to your situation. Finding a support network such as members of a carers’ group can have a positive impact on navigating the effects of being a dementia carer.

A shared experience can help you bond, finding someone that has relatable experiences and understands what you are going through can be comforting. Knowing you aren’t alone can make a big difference.

Carers groups can offer a range of benefits from social interaction with others in a similar situation, talks from professionals that can offer useful insight into caring for people living with dementia, or offering activities such as leisure activities and trips. Find your local support near you here.

Online support groups

If you aren’t able to join a local carers or support group, there are some online that can offer the opportunity to connect with others sharing your experience. They can offer a great place to talk to others, especially if there is no one you can meet with in person to chat with. Even just talking about your experiences can have a positive impact.

Here are some useful online supports that can help give advice and support for carers:

  • Admiral Nurses who give practical clinical and emotional support to families living with dementia
  • The Carer’s Trust who offer advice on their website for carers
  • Carers UK, a national charity for carers, providing information and support
  • Alzheimer’s Society who have information on all diseases that cause dementia and where to find support near you

Make time for yourself

Balancing the care you provide with your own personal time can be tricky, but it’s important to maintain time to care for yourself and of course to spend time with your family and friends too. One way you can achieve this is by sharing the caregiving even if it is only for a short time. If you don’t have the option of sharing the caring with a friend or family member, there are several professional services that can offer assistance, such as day centre or respite care specifically for people living with dementia.

Find your local day centre here from Age UK, and for respite care use this resource for finding more about it.

Access financial support

Even if you aren’t looking after someone full time, you may still be eligible for financial support as a caregiver. The government supports some carers through a range of benefits or credits available if they are looking after someone regularly. There are also support options available through some local authorities that can assist with caregiving. It is worth checking whether you are eligible to access any of these services, as every little bit helps.


Charities, such as Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society, can be a source of invaluable support and advice. Much of this can be accessed online or over the phone, with a range of resources specifically designed to help carers overcome the challenges of supporting someone living with dementia. It’s important to understand you shouldn’t feel guilty about needing your own support, as everyone’s situation is different.


Tips for caring for someone living with dementia

Research from Alzheimer’s Research UK found that the combination of the physical and psychological impact of caring for someome with dementia makes the role of carer particularly exhausting and challenging.

As such, there are some practical tips for how best to care for someone living with dementia. These can help ease the strain of providing such care, managing tasks more effectively and providing better care overall for the loved one. Discover some of these below:

1. Use clear communication

When it comes to interacting with the person you are caring for, using clear, concise communication can make it easier for both of you. Instead of asking open-ended questions, try to ask questions that require a simple yes or no answer. A person living with dementia may have lost their ability to connect information into clear ideas and responses, which can cause anxiety. Simple communication minimises the chances of anxiety for the person you are caring for.

2. Create a comfortable environment 

Dementia can negatively impact problem-solving skills, cognitive activity and can impair judgement. As such, the risk of injury is greatly increased.

It’s crucial to create a safe environment that keeps the person living with dementia out of harm’s way at all times. You can do this by:

  • Checking temperatures: When bathing, it’s important to check water temperature to prevent burns from occurring.
  • Preventing slips and falls: Avoid any clutter that could cause a fall such as extension cords, general ornaments and rugs. It’s also worthwhile installing handrails or grab bars where they are most needed.
  • Using locks: Anything that’s potentially dangerous should be locked away. This could include medicine, alcohol, cleaning substances and dangerous utensils.
  • Taking fire safety precautions: Keep matches and lighters out of reach and ensure a fire extinguisher is nearby. Don’t forget to check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for fresh batteries too.

3. Follow a routine

Even completing everyday tasks can be overwhelming for people living with dementia. To avoid causes of confusion or distress, following a daily routine can relieve the chance of anxiety-inducing tasks. Try to encourage getting out of bed, bathing, dressing, and eating at the same time each day.

4. Provide the right balance of stimulation

Television, among other activities, cannot always be enjoyed the same way by people living with dementia. To avoid unnecessary distress, the concept of slow TV helps carers and their loved ones or patients to enjoy ‘dementia-friendly TV’. My Life TV is a streaming service designed for people living with dementia that allows them to engage, relax and have fun. It can also enable carers to continue on with other tasks while the person they are caring for is entertained in a calming environment.



If you’d like to learn more, then there are very helpful guides online that will cover any further questions that you may have:

The impact of dementia on carers and family members

In the UK, there are around 700,000 people who are carers for a friend or family member with dementia. As the number of people living with dementia (PLWD) rises, this number will inevitably rise too.

There are many challenges that carers and family members face, and the impacts of dementia can be far-reaching. For example, there are often adverse physical and psychological effects, but for many, there can also be a rewarding side to caring for someone living with dementia.


Relationships with other family members may change

Dementia can change the relationships of the surrounding people. Family dynamics can be affected, both positively and negatively, as a result of a family member being diagnosed with dementia. For example, relationships between siblings can become especially strained when caregiving responsibilities are not perceived to be “evenly” distributed or disagreements on decisions relating to care and finances, as the amount of care needed for a parent increases.

According to one survey, 75% of carers feel that others don’t understand the effects of caring on their personal and social wellbeing, which can contribute to further resentment among families.

Males in these roles are statistically less likely to define themselves as carers and more reluctant to seek support, which brings additional challenges, and perhaps also points to broader issues of gender roles and stereotyping in our society. Additionally, carers may not want to burden other family members or even let them know about some of the more complex realities of the situation.


Carers can lose time for themselves

Studies have shown that 57% of carers lose touch with family or friends as a result of their caring responsibilities, leading to further isolation and emotional distress. Caring for a family member obviously also takes up time, with some caring for their loved ones up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They may have to take time out of work and away from their own families in order to care for them, and prioritise this over their hobbies and social lives.

In addition to the actual physical costs of caring for someone, such as higher energy bills, specialist equipment, and care products, this could potentially affect their financial situation, with a loss of earnings or limited career progression.

Reports also suggest that by 2030, dementia caring obligations will cost companies more than £3 billion. In an already tough economic climate, it can be a struggle for families to provide all the necessary care for PLWD, and some may need to make sacrifices elsewhere to make up for this.


Significance on physical and mental health

Being a carer for a PLWD can also have an impact on one’s health. Physically, caregivers may experience a decline in health and fitness, as they are spending less time looking after their own bodies.

The time they may have spent on exercise, sleep and eating healthily can be taken up by other responsibilities that they believe need to be prioritised in order to care for their relatives. Their mental health can also suffer, with studies frequently showing that carers are at an increased risk of stress and depression.

The nature of a carer’s relationship with their patient or family member who is living with dementia is likely to change, and witnessing their struggles and cognitive decline can be incredibly challenging emotionally. The unpredictable nature of dementia brings uncertainty and often anxiety to an already stressful situation.

However, there are many positives that come from caring for PLWD, as well as ways to alleviate some of the negatives. A study reflecting on the strains and gains of caring for those with Alzheimer’s found that up to 90% of caregivers had positive experiences, such as forming deeper bonds, sharing activities, personal growth and enjoying spending more time with their loved one.

Some families may experience a new closeness as they work together to deal with stressful situations and perhaps even develop skills and find hidden strengths. Compassion and empathy are two great qualities that can be learned or developed through caring for someone.


There is support available for carers

There is help out there for those who are struggling or maybe just need a little support or guidance. It can be a good idea to register as a carer with a GP and apply for a carer’s assessment. Some carers may be eligible for financial benefits such as a Carer’s Allowance, or other types of support from their local council.

Charities can provide invaluable support and advice, which can often be accessed online or over the phone. Carers should also look to family members, friends and even support groups, and not be afraid to ask for help. Everyone’s situation is unique, so there should be no need to feel guilty or ashamed about it. There is a lot to gain from sharing experiences and advice with others who are going through something similar.

It is important for caregivers to make time for themselves and their families. This can sometimes mean taking breaks from caring. For some, other friends or family may be able to take over or take turns being a caregiver, however temporarily.

For others, options may include day centres or respite care for the PLWD. As above, everyone’s circumstances and experience with dementia is different, so it is about finding what works best for their own family and achieving a healthy balance.


Dementia-friendly TV can have positive effects on PLWD, and their caregivers

My Life TV could help to reduce the negative impact of dementia on carers and family members. Watching ‘dementia-friendly TV’ can be a way for PLWD to relax, engage and have fun. Carers may enjoy sharing these experiences with their loved ones, and seeing the joy it brings them. It may also give them an opportunity to learn more about them, as they reminisce on past memories, or nostalgic TV and music from their younger years.

It has been shown to combat boredom and loneliness, and help reduce mental health issues for PLWD, perhaps making it easier for carers to deal with difficult behaviours. For those carers who are not spending as much time with them as they might like to, it could help to assuage some of the guilt.

Ultimately, caregivers may be able to find some more time for themselves, and relieve some stress. The benefits of dementia-friendly TV on PLWD will also influence their carers and family members, and make the caregiving experience a much more positive one.

The Father exclusive charity screening for My Life TV

My Life Films held an exclusive preview of the award-winning film The Father on Tuesday 8th June hosted in the private screening rooms of the May Fair hotel in the heart of central London. Plus after the screening, there was a Question and Answer session with the film’s producer David Parfitt.

The film, which is released in the UK on 11th June, stars Anthony Hopkins who plays a man dealing with his dementia and progressing memory loss. He refuses all assistance from his daughter Olivia Coleman as he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances and starts to doubt his own mind, question his loved ones and the fabric of his reality. The actor has won an Oscar for his portrayal.

It was a great evening with some of the charity’s supporters attending the event and raising money for the charity. David Parfitt gave some very interesting insights into the issues involved in pulling a feature film together as well as how Anthony Hopkins prepared for his role.

The charity were very grateful to all those who attended the event.

If you were unable to be there we hope you enjoy the clips!

What was it like being in the Cinema at Sundance with a room full of people for the first time watching it in person?

Very interesting! I think it’s a piece that sort of needs an audience. It’s actually really lovely sitting in the audience tonight, because however many times I have seen it, I haven’t seen it often with an audience. Florian wasn’t surprised but the audience’s reaction, but I think the rest of us were.

I was always slightly concerned that the laughs wouldn’t hit. When you’re dealing with a subject as serious as this, you might feel that the audience is almost afraid to laugh and it’s good that you’re not! As I said, we laughed a lot on the set and it was a joyous experience.

We all know there’s no good end to dementia, but I at least hope that the journey- I think entertaining is the wrong word- but this the film is entertaining and we hope that therefore people think it was worth the journey.

Jorg told us about some of the awards that you picked up. The Oscar nomination came 22 years after the first time you won an Oscar. Was it as exciting this time?

It was a really odd experience because we were all isolating in different countries this time. We couldn’t go to the ceremony in Los Angeles. We were sitting in the BFI on the south bank at 4am, social distanced, wearing masks. There was no alcohol, and it was a long night! So, we turned up at 11pm and stayed till 5am in this very strange atmosphere.

I think there were 13 nominees in London with partners spread out in a 200-seat cinema and only being able to take your mask off when your nomination was up as it were. You moved into a ‘hot seat’ with an Oscar that you couldn’t touch because they had sterilised it.

It was very weird, very weird but it’s not something I’m going to forget! Personally, I didn’t win but it was fantastic that we won one of the first awards for the screenplay. I think that gave us the adrenaline to get through the night to the very last one which was acting, which was a great and unexpected win.

The production of the film is amazing, especially of the last scene. How did the last scene come about?

I didn’t think it was going to be a film, and I wasn’t there for that, I was there for the entertainment. So, when I got the chance later to get involved with production, it was sort of remarkable because I was hoping that what we could get across that feeling that I had in the theatre.

In terms of that last scene, I was on the set (as I was with every scene), and everybody responded on set the way that the audience responded tonight. Which was, first of all, where did Anthony get that from? He had two attempts at it.

The first go was almost like a technical exercise, and I must make clear that this is Florian Zeller’s piece, not mine. He thought about the idea, he wrote the play, he co-wrote the screenplay and he directed this.

He is remarkable. For that last scene, he persuaded Anthony to do it twice, and it took a little while but we got him back on the set and that scene is what you saw. That alone is worth the Oscar, I think. It’s a remarkable, remarkable performance.


It was a joyous shoot and I know that the subject matter is tough, but I can tell you that there was a lot of laughs on the set and a lot of good gossip. Anthony tells a fantastic story and every opportunity whenever we were off set, he’d gather a group around him and tell us great anecdotes.

It was lovely that Florian was incredibly well organised. He planned meticulously. We gave him a lot of time to work with the cinematographer and designer. The design is so central to the film and Florian describes the design as a character in the film.

So, we had a lot of time as a group together before we started the shoot. The atmosphere has started to film quote early. It was obvious that Florian was going to be a relaxed director which was great.

What is Anthony’s process like? To deliver a performance like that at the age of 83 is astonishing, so I was wondering if you could share any of his secrets?

He likes to have time. He said that he likes 3 months to learn the lines and he learns through repetition. He marks the script each time he reads it so he has this fantastic document with multi-coloured highlighter pens which is like a work of art as he has gone through each scene. He has this process where, I can’t remember if it’s 100 or 150 times, where when he hits that mark, he knows it’s deep in his memory which allows him to play around with it on the set which is my understanding.

So, he came to England, having had his three months ready to work. We had no rehearsal, which was something Florian was keen to avoid. We would clear the set at the beginning of every day and give them time to talk through each scene. Because of that complex structure, Florian knew exactly where he wanted everybody to be on the set. So, there was no particular debate about ‘Is this the time to get up from the sofa and walk around?’

He knew he had to get people to a particular spot, else all these complexities of this sort of labyrinth that he built couldn’t work as there was that repeat action, so the actors had to fit in with that.


What is Slow TV and how can it benefit people living with dementia?

For most of us, getting lost in our favourite TV shows is a way to relax, unwind, and switch off for an hour or two. But for some people living with dementia, this can become difficult. When a person is living with a cognitive problem such as dementia, everyday television programmes, movies, and even the news can become overwhelming, difficult to follow or confusing.

But there is a type of television growing in popularity that could be enjoyed by People living with Dementia (PLWD), and it brings a whole new meaning to the phrase slowing down.


What is Slow TV?

Originating from Norway, slow TV is a style of programming that focuses on one topic – filmed in real-time. This subject is filmed as it happens,  the camera is locked off in one shot, everything unfolds at a natural pace, no edits, no loud music, no presenters, no voice-over, just the ambient sound.

The viewer can take in what’s happening as it happens, whether it’s a barge trip down the Kennet and Avon canal, watching dawn break with the sounds of the bird chorus in the English countryside, a bus trip through the Yorkshire Dales or watching a chair being crafted from wood. TV is a shortened version of an event as it happened in real-time.


Where did Slow TV come from?

Back in 2009, the Norwegian public broadcaster aired a live 7-hour train journey. The journey went from Oslo to Bergen, which is one of the most iconic and beautiful routes in the country.

The makers of the programme put cameras on the inside and exterior of the train, so they could capture the essence of sitting on the train and capture stunning and inspiring shots from the outside.

The result was 7 hours of views of pretty towns and villages, valleys, mountains (complete with snowy tops) and wildlife. All filmed live with only the sound of the train on the tracks.

Incredibly, it was a ratings hit with 1 out of 4 Norwegians tuning in, and Slow TV was born.


This was just the start

Based on its popularity, the creators set about on their next slow TV project. A 134-hour live broadcast of a cruise called “Hurtigruten Minute by Minute.” The cruise journey showcased incredible sights – landscapes, seascapes, midnight sun, coastal views, and people in ports. And again it was a hit and was watched by more than half its population. The UK caught on to the Scandinavian trend and the BBC had success in 2015 with The Sleigh Ride – a real-time reindeer journey across the Norwegian tundra.

Slow TV continued to grow, while its benefits started to be felt by viewers.


Can Slow TV help people living with dementia?

The simple joy of slow TV is that it is stress-free, allowing you can bask in the simplicity.  Regular TV shows are usually fast-paced. They require concentration and constant engagement, while slow TV shows are almost a type of meditation.

More importantly, they can connect PLWD with the outside world, especially if they are isolated or unoccupied. This could improve not only their mental health and wellbeing but providing much-needed, gentle entertainment and respite.


Dementia-friendly television for every home

Slow TV has the potential to bring calm and possible stimulation to PLWD and to those who dedicate their lives to looking after them. Without causing stress or worry, creating a safe and enjoyable escape. From relaxing nature scenes to cruising rivers to animals playing, slow TV has the power to wind down, soothe, and entertain.

My Life TV’s groundbreaking new dementia-friendly TV channel allows you to stream on your computer, phone or tablet. Currently, they have a selection of Slow TV including the Hurtigruten Journey, The Royal Parks – Golden Hour, Kitten TV and The Northern Lights. Visit My Life TV and start your free trial today.

The benefits of dementia-friendly TV on quality of life

Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of related symptoms that affect the brain. These often include memory loss, reduced cognitive ability, impaired communication and language skills, and changes in mood and behaviour.

In the UK it is estimated that around 920,000 people are living with dementia, and the vast majority of these are aged over 65. As we have an ageing population, this number is likely to rise.

Mental health and wellbeing can be severely affected for People Living with Dementia (PLWD). This can obviously impact the quality of life, not only for people with dementia but also those around them, such as family members and carers and the Covid 19 crisis has exacerbated these issues.

Prior to the pandemic, the bleak reality was that many PLWD in care homes and at home experienced poor mental health because they were isolated without mental stimulation. Up to 50% of PLWD experience depression which is double the 25% prevalence amongst older people more widely.[1][2] Research has shown that two significant factors in this are social isolation and loneliness and the lack of mental stimulation.[3] The majority of care home residents with dementia spend most of their time engaged in no activity at all, with unstructured time accounting for two-thirds of their day.[4] The COVID-19 crisis has made these problems even worse; 79% care homes have reported a decline in the health and wellbeing of PLWD because of isolation.[5]



TV specially created and adapted for people living with dementia

Television could be one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to address this issue; people aged 65+ watch over six hours of broadcast TV every day on average in the UK.[6] However, mainstream television is not dementia-friendly. 850,000 PLWD (and rising) will be unable to watch normal TV because of cognitive impairment when their condition progresses; memory problems, a decrease in concentration and impaired hearing mean that PLWD struggle with fast plots, complex information and loud music.[7] Put simply, the lack of dementia-friendly television is a barrier to improving the mental health of PLWD.

My Life TV, the dementia-friendly channel is addressing these challenges and enabling PLWD to watch the shows they want to watch when they want to watch them. It is a web-based video on-demand TV platform and being based on the internet means it is easily accessible to PLWD at home or in any care setting via a computer or smart device, and can be cast to a TV.

All of the dementia-friendly content is “feel good” with a broad range of shows available, from interactive programmes like quizzes and armchair yoga, to passive entertainment like nature programmes and archive news. The content is curated for the cognitive needs of the audience and the interactive content created by our in-house production team.


Mental health boost

My Life TV ran a Feasibility Pilot with very positive results, involving a number of participants in care homes and people also living in their own homes. 94% caregivers said My Life TV can improve the mental health of PLWD, and care staff reported it can keep residents “occupied”, “improve communication”, “increase compliance with staff” and “support in improving behaviour that challenges

So, with that endorsement, My Life TV  launched recently with its ground-breaking new streaming service, specifically designed for people living with dementia. Having already formed some great partnerships with the likes of the British Film Institute, Getty Images, British Pathe, Fremantle Media, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the on-demand platform offers lots of excellent dementia-friendly content.

There is a mixture of “lean in” and “lean back” programmes, suitable for all stages of people’s dementia journeys.

So far, the results of dementia-friendly TV have been incredibly positive and promising, and the hope is that it will become an even bigger success and reach across the UK to improve the lives of people living with dementia.


[1] Zubenko, G.S., Zubenko, W.N., McPherson, S., et al. (2003) ‘A collaborative study of the emergence and clinical features of the major depressive syndrome of Alzheimer’s disease’, American Journal of Psychiatry, 160(5), p.857–66. Available at: doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.160.5.857 (Accessed: 21 January 2021)

[2] (2021) Mental health statistics: older people Available at: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-older-people (Accessed: 5 February 2021)

[3] Daly, S., Allen, J. (2016) Inequalities in mental health, cognitive impairment and dementia among older people [Online] Available at: http://www.instituteofhealthequity.org/resources-reports/inequalities-in-mental-health-cognitive-impairment-and-dementia-among-older-people/inequalities-in-mental-health-cognitive-impairement-and-dementia-among-older-people.pdf (Accessed: 10 March 2021)

[4] Lucero, M., Pearson, R., Hutchinson, S., Leger-Krall, S., Rinalducci, E. (2001) ‘Products for Alzheimer’s self-stimulatory wanderers’, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias 16(1), p.43–50. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1177/153331750101600104 (Accessed 10 March 2021)

[5](2020) Thousands of people with dementia dying or deteriorating – not just from coronavirus as isolation takes its toll [Online]. Available at: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/news/2020-06-05/thousands-people-dementia-dying-or-deteriorating-not-just-coronavirus-isolation (Accessed: 21 January 2021)

[6] (2020) OFCOM Media Nations 2020: Interactive Report [Online]. Available at: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/tv-radio-and-on-demand/media-nations-reports/media-nations-2020/interactive-report  (Accessed: 21 January 2021)

[7] Funnell, L., Garriock, I., Shirley, B. and Williamson, T., (2019) ‘Dementia-friendly design of television news broadcasts’ Journal of Enabling Technologies, 13(3), p.137-149. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1108/JET-02-2018-0009 (Accessed: 21 January 2021)

How to watch My Life TV on a TV screen

Coming soon, you’ll be able to watch via Amazon Firestick, Apple TV, and Android Apps. They are currently in development and will be ready in September 2021 to download from stores.

1. If a customer has a smart TV that includes a web browser, they can visit My Life TV from there, same as they would on a computer. However, if you have a smart TV, such as Samsung, it may not be possible to log in or play the content from the built-in internet browser. In other words, it could work, but those browsers are not among the currently supported browsers. If you’d like to try, here are the steps to watch on a Smart TV’s browser:

  • On your TV, open the internet browser and visit the site.
  • Enter your email address, submit, and you will be emailed a link.
  • On a separate device (i.e. another computer or mobile device), open your email inbox, open the login email, and click the LOGIN link.
  • Go back to your TV browser, and you should be logged in to watch.

2. Customers can use a laptop or mobile device and plug directly into a TV using an HDMI cord (much like using a DVD player or VCR)

3. If the customer has an Apple TV Device connected to the actual TV, they can use Airplay Mirroring: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT20428

4. If they have a Chromecast device, you can use that in conjunction with the Google Chrome desktop browser to watch content on your TV

You can Chromecast from a Chrome browser via your computer or an Android mobile device. Instructions on how to do so for each device can be found in the links below:

Desktop browser: https://support.vhx.tv/article/356-watching-chromecast
An Android device screen: https://support.vhx.tv/article/893-chromecast-your-android-devices-screen

Please note at this time, only external Chromecast devices are supported.

ElWell: Calming And Fun Activities For People Living With Dementia

ElWell is the go-to hub for caregivers, offering information and support to people looking after their parents as they get older. The two founders have pooled their personal and professional caregiving experience to bring you in-depth articles on a range of important topics. From what to do if you’re worried about a dementia diagnosis to how to deal with incontinence, ElWell is here to support you. Please have a look at calming activities available for people living with dementia written by Jessica Silver from ElWell

BBC Radio Sussex, My Life TV Feature 29.01.2021

BBC Radio Sussex, My Life TV Feature 29.01.2021


100 Hours of Conversation Campaign Success

As our usual method of helping improve the lives of people living with dementia
was put on hold, due to lockdown, we decided to divert our time and energy in
other ways. We launched our 100 hours of conversation campaign with the aim of
helping those living with dementia feel less lonely during these difficult times.

Many people have struggled with the feeling of loneliness during this pandemic.
However, dementia sufferers already experience isolation and loneliness regardless
of the strict lockdown measures that had been put in place. It is apparent that
many people living with dementia rely on everyday social interactions outside of
the home to survive. Therefore, we took it upon ourselves to help keep people
living with dementia connected to the world. We partnered our film makers with
250 people living with dementia. Our film makers called people, whom we had
previously made films for, once a week for one hour during lockdown. This offered
people the chance to have a friendly chat about their lives, families and even
problems if that was the case. They were free to communicate with someone every
week who really took the opportunity to listen and connect with them.

Our campaign has been a huge success. With reports of improved mood,
decreased loneliness and an increase in overall wellbeing from callers. We received
some lovely feedback from a family member of one of our callers. They begin their
message by saying “Mum’s chats with you are of so much benefit, particularly in
these challenging times”. They continue, “She looks forward to your calls with
eager anticipation and is happy throughout the rest of the day… It also helps me
as I am always so pleased and relaxed to see her so very happy and engaging”.
The family member concludes “How can we ever thank you for that gift?”. It is truly
heartwarming to know, as a charity, we are helping improve the wellbeing of those
living with dementia and that we are making such a positive impact on their lives.

As lockdown comes to an end and people return to their normal lives we are aware
there may be less need for the calls. However, due to the positive reception and
feedback we have decided to continue the calls as long as they are needed. If you
would like to support My Life Films and our dedication to improving the wellbeing
of those living with dementia you can donate here.

100 Hour of Conversation

People living with dementia feel even more lonely and isolated during the current lockdown. Support us to help them.

With our main service put on hold during lockdown, we are diverting our time and energy into helping the 250 people with dementia and families that we’ve made films for already.

We launched ‘100 Hours of Conversation’, where our filmmakers will call our previous beneficiaries for an hour once a week for a friendly conversation about their life, past and present. Our Impact Assessments show how much the people living with dementia love the filmmakers that we assigned them so we are sure that these calls will boost their mood, reduce loneliness and improve their wellbeing. We will also signpost people to local support services and resources, like Mutual Aid groups, if they are in need.

Many experienced isolation and loneliness before coronavirus and relied on social interactions outside of home to survive, like attending a community centre or simply chatting to the shop assistant at the supermarket checkout. Now that they are locked indoors 24/7 and effectively cut off from the world, they really need our help to stay well and connected to the world.


Founder and Trustee Jorg Roth featured on UK Health Radio with Pete Hill

The ‘D’ Word is the UK’s only dementia based radio show. Talking to experts and people living with dementia presenter Pete Hill aims to raise the profile of the condition that affects 50 million across the globe.

Dementia Care Congress

The UK Dementia Congress, the most well-loved annual dementia-focused event in the UK and the whole of Europe, returns again. And My Life Films cannot miss it. As always the congress will offer an exciting mix of plenary sessions, parallel sessions, interactive workshops, symposia, posters, early bird sessions, special events and installations.

This year the congress will take place in Doncaster and we’re heading there now. If you’re there come and say hello #dementia #exhibitionstand @JDementiaCare.

Virtual Reality

We have some exciting projects coming up at My Life Films involving virtual reality.

We are developing for our Stars a virtual walk around their own houses at 360 degree. They will be able to enter all the rooms just with the touch of a button, zoom in to see their favourite spots of a room, family pictures or paintings. This will allow people living with dementia to take their homes with them wherever they go and secure happy memories about the places.

Our first trial has just been finished and our amazing Star loves it!