Radios And Music Players Designed For People With Dementia
Our panel tries out players for radio and music that aim to be easier for people with dementia to use.
This issue, we return to our West Sussex consumer panel of people affected by dementia. They tried out some new and existing radios and music players at home, and we caught up over Zoom to see how theyd fared with them.
Summary Here Are Our Top 3
- The Simple Music Player MP3 Music Box for Alzheimers 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 owners reviews here. Theres no other player thats better suited or easier for Alzheimers 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 Alzheimers, dementia, memory loss, visual impairment, or poor dexterity. Find out more here. THIS PRODUCT IS CURRENTLY SOLD OUT!
- iGuerburn Upgraded 16GB Simple Music MP3 Player With just a few cautions, were adding this player to the list for 2020. As long as you are reasonably confident you have someone in the family who can create a USB with your loved ones favorite music on it and set it up you should be fine. Its a quality item, sent in quality packaging that many people are reviewing as one of the best. Has to be the easiest solution for those with Alzheimers, dementia, memory loss, visual impairment, or poor dexterity. Find out more here. THIS PRODUCT IS CURRENTLY SOLD OUT!
Alison Added We Were Very Very Keen I Was Terrified About Setting The Programs But That Was No Problem I Was Practically Doing Cartwheels Round The Garden After Doing That
Both couples thought a longer cable would be useful, which Geoff from Relish said was helpful feedback.
Roger also thought it was excellent. Once its set up, certainly from the listeners point of view, just pressing the button and getting music is so much simpler.
He had already created a playlist for his wife Elizabeth, whos living in a care home, and is looking forward to her being able to hear it on this player.
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Whats The Best Radio For Dementia
A radio is more than just a music player. To older adults, especially those living with dementia, the music and chatter it provides can be a real source of comfort and calm. But with so many confusing tech options out there, how do you know which radio for dementia to buy?
In our bid to make life easier, weve done the hard work for you.
What have we looked for? Large buttons, strong sound, the ability to easily programme and play radio stations and any added extras which makes the tech stand out.
When you really start looking for a simple radio, you realise just how difficult this task is. Functionality is more likely to be added to a device rather than taken away and this could easily confuse.
Luckily, weve found just the solution to the dementia radio conundrum with the Relish dementia radio.
Finding The Best Radio For An Elderly Person
Choosing the best radio for the elderly isnt always an easy task. Sometimes, its not as simple as just choosing the device with the fewest number of complex features. Some elderly individuals will still want the option to connect to the internet with their radio or listen to DAB stations.
However, they might want a more intuitive set of controls to help them find the channels that they want most.
Usually, the most important thing to look for when choosing radios for the elderly is ease of use. Older people, like most of us, generally dont want to have to fiddle around with complex controls and systems that they need to learn how to use with a massive instruction book.
A radio that turns on and starts playing your favourite tunes easily is often the way to go.
Other important things to look at include:
Read Also: Why Does Someone Get Alzheimer’s
Using Spark Memories Radio To Create Memorable Playlists
The groundbreaking app available on Android or Apple devices also makes it easy for caregivers to create playlists for loved ones quickly:
The founders of the app say:
All in all, at every stage of Alzheimers or dementia, we hope that through the power of music, SPARK Memories Radio will improve the quality of life for the patient as well as their caregivers and loved ones.
Is this something you would try for your loved one? Have you seen the effects of music on memory? Share your stories with us in the comments below.
Does It Really Matter Which Radio I Choose
It really can make a difference which radio is chosen for a few reasons.
- If there are too many confusing or unnecessary features, it might be too frustrating to use at all.
- If the radio is not easily portable it limits the situations in which it can be used.
- If the sound quality is poor it affects the overall experience negatively and may discourage use altogether.
Having the right radio with the right features for your loved ones particular needs will make all the difference in how often it is used and the quality of the experience.
And dont forget, if a radio just doesnt work for your seniors needs, there are plenty of other great music-listening options out there! Some seniors may prefer using a record player to play their old vinyl albums, while others might prefer a CD player if thats what they are more accustomed to.
Find what works best for your older loved one and help them enjoy the delights of music with you!
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Relish Radio For Dementia And Alzheimers
Best Radio for Dementia
The Relish Radio is our top pick for the best radio for elderly seniors with dementia or Alzheimers !
This radio features a super streamlined setup, with the simplest design of any radio weve seen. The Relish radio has two large, pressure-based on and off buttons, along with a large volume dial.
The volume dial cant go to zero, which eliminates any risk of confusion a senior might experience. Colors are sleek and contrasting, making the buttons easy to read and understand, even for those with poor eyesight.
This radio also has a customizable panel where you can write the name of a seniors favorite stations and program them as desired. Instead of writing out the station name itself , you can label the program button based on what kind of music the station plays .
The radio also has a USB port for you to plug in your own music when desired.
This radio can run on outlet electricity or batteries, and its large enough to boast serious sound while still staying small enough to be portable.
- Users appreciate the easy to turn knobs and no-fuss simplicity of this radio.
- They love its durable and lightweight portability, and convenient handle.
- Users appreciate the long battery life, and that the AA batteries can be swapped out quickly when needed.
- Many users appreciate the high quality of sound and excellent reception.
These Options Are Set Using More Detailed Controls That Are Then Covered By A Panel At The Back
Mick using his Relish Radio and Music Player.
Chris said, It was really good for Mick. Since weve received it, he has played it every day and weve got lots of things, like Alexa, that he does not use, so he really likes this.
Chris said they both liked the packaging and instructions, and had no problems setting up or using it.
Why Is This The Best Radio For Elderly
Relish consults the dementia community when making new products, and you can see this attention to detail in the design here.
Its a DAB radio and simple music player in one. You can programme it to play four radio stations at the touch of a button, or download your parents favourite songs onto a USB which plugs into the back.
The power of music on dementia is further enhanced when it is personalized to the individual, so the ability for this gadget to play really bespoke tracks makes it even more of a significant innovation.
This dementia radio player is easy to navigate. There are separate large on and off buttons and a sizeable volume dial that never goes to zero.
The speaker maximum output power is 3 watts that equates to about 92 decibels.
When you consider that normal conversation is generally at 60 decibels, and someone shouting in your ear is 110db, you start to understand that the volume has been chosen for people who could be more hard of hearing.
Hearing loss can affect activities like listening to music or watching TV. Read our article on the best devices for the hard of hearing.
As well as looking sleek and clean, the design has been chosen to aid usage. White and grey are used as contrasting colours for the buttons and edges .
We always think its a win when something so useful is portable and this radio for dementia is no exception. Choose between plugging it into the mains or using batteries .
Retekess V117 Portable Radio
Finally, Retekess might not be as well-known of a brand as some of the other manufacturers that weve looked at so far. However, that doesnt mean that its not worth some careful consideration.
If youre looking for the best radio for an elderly person, and you dont need things like internet connectivity, Bluetooth streaming, or even DAB signals, this could be the product for you.
The V117 is a portable radio with FM, SW, and AM signals. Theres a tactile adjustment knob on the side of the device thats similar to a lot of the old-style radios that many seniors are already used to.
Additionally, the large dial panel display is sure to be more familiar to older adults too.
Great for the seniors in your life that like to spend their time in the garden or wandering around the house, the Retekess was designed with portability in mind. The compact design is small enough to put in your pocket, and theres even a lanyard included too.
For just under £30, you get features like:
- AM, FM, and SW radio receiver
- Easy-to-use tactile controls
- Portable radio with AA battery power
- LED battery status indicator included
- Lanyard for portability
- Large dial panel display
- Headphone jack
There are absolutely no advanced extras on this radio. You wont be able to stream music from your phone to the device via Bluetooth, and theres no option to connect to the internet either.
- Very simple and familiar design
- Tactile and easy-to-use controls
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What A Wonderful World
One of Armstrongs most famous hits, this song continues to be a fan favorite decades after its release in 1967. Its hopeful lyrics and easily recognizable melody are among several reasons to add it to your playlist for your loved one. Other songs by Armstrong are great options as well including When You Are Smiling and A Kiss to Build a Dream On.
Whatever songs you pick in the end, music used with a dementia patient can ultimately help maintain their quality of life or even improve it.
For more information on dementia and hospice, read our dementia hospice eligibility criteria.
Relish Radio Best Premium
If you have no budgetary concerns, the Relish Radio is a great option for dementia patients as it was specifically designed for this purpose. This radio has an extremely simplistic design that is sure to be easy to use for those with dementia as well as their caretakers.
The Relish Radio has buttons for On and Off functions placed at the top of the radio. On the opposite side of these buttons is a large rotary dial knob for volume functions. The Relish Radio does come with an attached antenna.
This radio is an FM-only radio. There are a few methods of changing the tuning of the station. The first is by referring to the back of the radio, where a digital tuner is provided. A large screen displays the station identification number.
Secondly, these stations can be programmed into a memory preset, allowing the radio stations to be recalled at any time with the press of a button. The Relish Radio offers 3 programmable presets, with buttons for each of them. They are found at the top of the device between the On/Off buttons and volume knob. These can even be labeled with a pen for easier recall.
The Relish Radio does feature some modern amenities. Namely, it has a USB port that will allow you to play music from a USB stick. This can be easily accessed by pushing the My Playlist preset button below the radio presets, making it a simple process of allowing the dementia patient to listen to their favorite songs.
Item Weight: 3.8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 13.07 x 8.9 x 6.57 inches
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One Button Radio + Mp3 Music Player For Seniors & Those W/ Alzheimer’s
Playing music can vastly improve cognizance and lucidity in those with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss – the effects are dramatic, and are widely recognized by Dementia and Alzheimer’s professionals!
Our SMPL Radio & Music Player allows seniors, even with significant cognitive decline from Dementia or Alzheimers to listen to music they love and helps makes a significant contribution to quality of life.
Pressing the extra large button to Start/Stop the music is all they have to do. Pre-loaded with 75 American Classics from the last century, our MP3 format player can also handle up to 1,000 of their favorite songs or audio books that you can upload to the provided 8GB USB Memory Stick. Large buttons are easy to use for those with Arthritis and red is the preferred color for those with visual impairments.
The Simple Music Player w/ One Button Radio has been designed to be as easy as possible to operate for both the caregiver and for the recipient. The Music Player is ready to play right out of the box, but setting up the player w/ your own music can be undertaken by friends, family or carers, as a one time process.The styling of our retro inspired music player and radio is also reminiscent of old radios and is instantly recognizable as something which plays music.
To operate, there are only three user controls Radio/Music Switch, On/Off Button and Back/Next Buttons!
Does Music Really Help
Yes, it does. We are learning more all the time about how to lovingly care for those with Alzheimers and dementia, but recent studies by Cambridge, Sydney, and Boston Universities prove music is one of the most powerful tools we have to alleviate suffering, change mood, re-connect and reduce anxiety, depression, and agitation.
Recommended Reading: Can A Fall Worsen Dementia
Sleeping: Light Therapy Box
What is it? A light box that gives off cool white light from two 24W daylight spectrum bulbs.
How can it help? Sleep disturbances are common symptoms of dementia, from increased daytime sleeping to frequent episodes of waking at night. A study in 2013, published in the Journal of Alzheimers Disease, suggested light therapy could help improve rest and activity rhythms and sleep efficiency in people with dementia. This research, and a number of other clinical studies, suggests that morning light therapy may have benefits in synchronising the bodys circadian rhythms, which regulate sleep and improve the quality of rest. The simplest way to introduce light therapy is through a light box such as the freestanding Arabica from light company Lumie. Users can gain potential benefits just by sitting beside it for between a recommended 30 minutes and two hours, something thats easy to introduce into a daily routine while they are watching TV or having breakfast.
Where to buy it:www.lumie.com
Features Of Our Simple Music Player W/ Radio
- Music file format: MP3
- User controls: ON/OFF. RADIO/MUSIC and BACK/NEXT track
- Radio: AM and FM Antenna 10 station Radio station memory
- Hidden Volume and radio setting controls: for caregiver use only, on the base of the player
- Headphone socket: Easy to see and use on front of unit
- Power: AC 120 Volts, Plug in -or- Portable: Insert 6 x C size batteries
- Power consumption: less than 300 mA 1A at 9V
- Amplifier: 3W Class D mono audio amplifier
- Dimensions: 10w x 6 1/8 h x 5.75d, 4 LB
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