In an exclusive interview with Rachel Addley, Executive Director of Charity My Life Films, which run My Life TV, we delve into how the brand can enhance the life’s of your residents.

Please introduce us to My Life Films and what the charity strives to achieve

We work to help people with and affected by dementia. For over 10 years, we’ve made biographical films, providing comfort, reminiscence and improving the mental health of our film ‘stars’, people with dementia. The desire to impact many more people and seeing the challenges faced by those caring for individuals with dementia, lead to us to spend the past 3 years developing, launching and growing My Life TV, working alongside people living with dementia, care staff and partners like the Alzheimer’s Society and NAPA. Encouragingly, clinical research, industry awards and CQC citations have recognised our work in supporting dementia care.

So, tell us about why My Life TV is great for care homes

We all enjoy TV, it keeps us engaged, learning and connected to each other and the wider world. But older people, especially those with dementia and specific cognitive needs, often disengage from TV, due to the drama, adverts and noise/speed of programming. We wanted to offer this audience an alternative, engaging TV experience, whilst providing a resource to support their all-important and wonderful carers.

My Life TV has been developed putting the needs of older viewers at its heart. All content has been specially created or selected to help relax, engage,  stimulate or entertain elderly viewers and people living with dementia, and we now have over 170 hours of programmes and activity videos, all available, whenever you need them.

Ultimately, the service has been created to improve the wellbeing of older people, but also to support carers, helping them to engage with individuals and deliver personalised care, with content to meet different needs, at different times.

What sort of content does it have, for viewers to enjoy?

There’s a wealth of programming, with something ideal for every individual, mood and situation. There are reminiscence programmes, like classic Delia Smith and The Generation Game episodes, a Year in History, shows on the Royal Family, comedies and joyful entertainment, through to calming and sensory content, like RSPB Birdwatching, Royal Parks Slow TV and nature/wildlife content and more. There’s a breadth of hobbies and interests programming, there are activities, from chair yoga, singing-a-longs, to art classes and quizzes for individuals or groups. We’re constantly expanding what’s available and love working with our users to develop new ideas for content they’ll value.

How is it helping care homes?

We’re delighted with the positive feedback we receive from care homes, who tell us it really helps them with residents, on a 1-2-1 and group basis. We love hearing how we’re helping carers better connect with their residents , that it sparks conversations and often helps with those who have withdrawn. A lot of users also tell us how My Life TV is invaluable in inspiring and supporting activities, either on its own, or alongside other resources.

We have also heard many stories of particular programmes helping with practical issues like eating, sundowning or helping ease agitation. And, that it brings back wonderful memories and creates joy and laughter!

How easy is it to set up and use? 

It’s easy. You simply set up an account online (tv.mylifefilms.org), download the My Life TV app on your smart TV, tablet, touch table or mobile, and then log-in and start watching. It looks / feels a bit like Netflix, so it’s easy to find your way around and select what you want to use. But if you have any problems or questions, just get in touch and we can help.

Why not start a 7 day free trial by visiting tv.mylifefilms.org, or drop us a line to hello@mylifefilms.org to find out more.