Music for Person with Dementia

By: Frank Engelman.  Updated: February 04, 2022.


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."

More Like This

This is part of a series of "Problems" and DIY Technology "Solutions" to the challenges faced by older adults, by Frank Engelman. 



Suggested Solutions

Instant Remote Music Playing

Here is another solution that keeps your Alexa account and that of your parents separate, but still allows you to start music in the house / room of a person with dementia when you want.


Remote Controlled Music for Person in Memory Care

Here is my solution to providing music for a person living in a memory care unit, addressing a "question" from one of the Longevity Explorers.





from Bev Cobb (unverified) at February 28, 2022

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.

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