I’ve just had the most stressful month of my life.
My 76 year old Mom was taken into hospital and became unresponsive, confused, upset and convinced her doctor was trying to hurt her. Nothing the nurses and doctors did changed anything. I just didn’t know what to do. It seemed like she was getting worse and to be honest – I was ready to try anything.
Then I had an idea. What about music?
Music changed everything. Her blood pressure came down, her heart rate stabilised, she became more calm, accepting and began taking her medication again. Somehow the music brought her out of the fog and allowed her to connect to her old self again. It’s over now, and she’s safely living with us. But I’ll never forget the power music had to bring relief to my Mom. Today, she’s never far from her music player.
So what brings you here? Do you have a family member in pain or suffering? Do you love someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s? Or are you just interested in finding a simple and easy music player without all the confusing buttons? Whatever the reason, you’re very welcome to stay a while…
Summary – Here’s our Top 3
- The Simple Music Player – MP3 Music Box for Alzheimer’s and dementia. When we began our review, we thought WOW – this is too expensive. Then we heard from customers, did our research and now feel differently. Yes, there are cheaper music players, but the Simple Music Player has been DESIGNED to work for those who can no longer operate a radio, MP3 player or TV remote. Read some owner’s reviews here. There’s no other player that’s better suited or easier for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients, and it can make all the difference in the World to them.
- The Memory Loss One Button Radio This radio can be set up and controlled completely by just ONE BUTTON. Take the front panel off, choose your station and volume then replace the panel. Has to be the easiest solution for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, memory loss, visual impairment or poor dexterity. Find out more here.
- The Sangean WR-11 AM/FM Table Top Radio – Sangean are developing a great reputation, and this simple player just confirms it for us. We feel the Sangean is suited to those who are still able to use knobs and understand volume and tuning, but given there’s still only 3 knobs – it’s still simple to use. Real walnut, feels nicer in person than the pictures suggest, and you can connect an MP3 or iPod at the back if you wish. Find it here.
Does Music Really Help?
Yes, it does. We are learning more all the time about how to lovingly care for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia, but recent studies by Cambridge, Sydney and Boston Universities (among many others) prove music is one of the most powerful tools we have to alleviate suffering, change mood, re-connect and reduce anxiety, depression and agitation.
Here’s 7 benefits covered in the studies:
- Memory Support – Melody and lyrics may be recalled long after names, faces and dates have been forgotten. The way in which music is stored and processed in the brain uses both hemispheres and varying locations. Researchers believe musical memories are retained longer as they are stored beyond affected areas.
- Triggers – Some of the most important, emotional and memorable events in our lives are accompanied by music. We all feel this. Our first dance, date, kiss… Music triggers these same phenomenon for those with dementia and promotes recollection of places, events and people. Associated emotions may be positive and uplifting as we use music as a form of celebration or occasion.
- Expression – when verbal communication becomes difficult, it becomes crucial to explore ways to communicate non-verbally. Tapping, rocking, clapping – any responsive behavior becomes an opportunity for self-expression, communication and connection.
- Familiarity – music is powerful yes, but the studies overwhelmingly show that personalized music is far more so. If family, friends and carers can take the time to ensure the music played is to the taste, liking, culture and background of the patient, the benefits can be multiplied. Fair enough too! Who among us wants to listen to our least favorite music?
- Social and Emotional Needs – when we are born, it’s the human voice that comforts and soothes us. We have deeply seated needs for inclusion, connection, attachment and comfort. Music can assist in meeting all these needs, especially if we listen, enjoy and create it together.