Heros: Tony and Michelle McRae
One husband and wife duo, Tony and Michelle, bring the magic of the silver screen to area nursing homes and senior living facilities.
For more than 10 years, the McRaes have been screening movies from various decades including the 1930s and working with activity directors to bring these films to their residents.
“They spend countless hours each week previewing movies and writing synopses,” Nancy Staiger says. “When I visited them, they were showing seven movies in the coming week.”
The McRaes find suitable movie options for each senior living center’s particular audience with the help of activity directors.
“They make sure the movie isn’t too long, so the residents won’t lose interest,” Staiger says.
The movie chosen by the McRaes provide a new perspective and create conversation. After any screening, Tony and Michelle converse with the residents through an active question-and-answer period.
“They like receiving input from the residents for future movie recommendations,” Staiger says. “Tony and Michele have a special intuition and can gauge the audience at each facility.”
On average, the McRaes do two movie showings a week at area senior living facilities like CHI Riverview, Touchmark at Hardwood Groves or One Oak Place.
In recent years, the McRae’s strength as a unit has become apparent.
“Tony has been diagnosed with having some form of aphasia, where his words get stuck in his brain and cannot always come out” Staiger says.
Michele helps Tony communicate effectively. She first previews the movies with Tony and then provides assistance when presenting a film to an audience.
“They carefully prepare for his movie showing and she quietly assists him with word cues and letters,” Staiger says. “She does this so patiently and quietly, helping to preserve his dignity the whole way.”
Together Tony and Michelle continue to share their passion. It’s easy to recognize their commitment to each other and the entire senior community throughout Fargo.
“They are truly an amazing team!” Staiger says.