A few weeks ago I was tasked to find a simple music player for an individual with dementia.  My search lead me to two wonderful devices that may work for her and many other people.

Simple Music Player

This device allows the user to stop and start music simply by lifting/lowering a switch.  Music tracks can also be skipped with the simple push of a button if user desires. The volume is controlled by hidden switches in the bottom of the device that can only be accessed with a small point such as a pencil.  The video below shows how all of the controls work.

Although the Simple Music Player comes pre-loaded with 40 songs,  you can upload any music and audio books via the USB port on the back of the device as shown on this video with more information available on the manufacturer’s website. The Player also offers a headphone jack so you can use your favorite headphones.

With the upload feature, the person with dementia will be able to benefit from music that is specific to their era which can provide therapeutic benefits as discussed in research I referenced a few years ago.

One Button Radio

The push of one button for on/off is the only control required of the user for the One Button Radio.  All of the other controls (am/fm modes, tuning, and volume) are under a hidden panel that can be set by a caregiver.  The Radio runs on an AC adapter or batteries. The radio dials and the ac adapter can be stored in the hidden compartment in the back when not in use.

The Radio also has an MP3 player.  To play music unique to the user, the caregiver simply takes off the front panel and inserts a flash drive with MP3s and switches the Radio to auxiliary mode.  The only caveat with this is that the front panel has to stay off exposing the controls.

Either of these devices may work well for someone with dementia, brain injury, a vision loss, or limited dexterity and can be purchased in the US on the alzstore.com.

This article was updated on May 31, 2018.

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Jeannie Krull is the Program Director for ND Assistive (formerly IPAT). She is an ASHA certified speech/language pathologist and a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional, who has worked with people with disabilities of all ages since 1991.