Music for Person with Dementia

By:  Frank Engelman   |  Posted: February 4, 2022   |  Updated: April 18, 2023

Problem Description


Your loved one would like some personalized music, but they are unable to speak the commands to play music on an Amazon Echo Dot, or manage conventional sources of music.

This problem was sent in by one of the Longevity Explorers. Here is what she said:

“My husband now lives at the Memory care unit at the CCRC where I live. He loves classic music but that’s one kind of music they do not play in that section of the CCRC.

My hope is to provide the classic music in his room without any human intervention.  

We’ve tried Alexa on him but he was unable to start speaking in time and to speak loud enough to Alexa. It was a failure. He’s unable to operate the TV, radio, on his own.  Unable to learn anything new, any new procedures. 

Recommended now by the activity dept., I’ve purchased a clock-radio with a cd player which can set an alarm twice daily. They think it can automatically play his kind of music twice a day. Tomorrow Amazon will deliver it and I will see if really works.

If you have a better idea, I’d like to hear from you.”

4 thoughts on “Music for Person with Dementia”

  1. I did a personalized playlist
    I did a personalized playlist for my Mom who loved Johann Strauss a few years ago. I used an ipod but you can also use a mp3 player. If you go to “”, they will give you instructions on how to do this. I used iTunes for my downloads. It was just for her and it did not interrupt anyone else. Hope this will work for you.

  2. I use an Alexa routine to do
    I use an Alexa routine to do this: it asks if they would like music and says “to play music, say Alexa play music”. And, Also “If you would like the radio on, say “Alexa turn the radio on”. And these simplified commands are set up in turn as routines which shuffle favourite playlists. But you could also just use routines to turn the playlists on and off automatically on a schedule. Eg at 10am, action is “alexa play classical piano music”. The first works quite well for someone who can repeat a simple command.

      • Faengelm- Under Routines tap

        Faengelm- Under Routines tap the + sign. Enter a routine name (play classical music), select "when this happens" and tap "schedule" (enter a time and repeat days or select the days to run the routine), tap "add action" and scroll down to "Music and Podcasts". From here you can create the command 'play "classical music"' select a provider (I have Amazon Music available through prime, but you should be able to link a free Pandora account), and then add a timer if you would like it to turn off automatically. Here is a link for connecting Pandora with Alexa: