Alzheimer’s patients and MP3 Music Players

Patients with Alzheimer’s disease, particularly in the later stages, frequently suffer from anxiety attacks, hallucinations, and depression.   My wife suffers from the disease and began having many occurrences of those symptoms over a year ago.  It is a terrible situation for the patient and the family.  At family gatherings we had all noticed she seemed more tranquil when we had music playing and frequently would sing along (which she never did before) or begin dancing with one of us.  We also noticed she could remember the words to songs from her younger days.  But we were never sure if it was really the music or simply the atmosphere with her family around her.


Then Leslie Orvis (an old friend of my wife) arrived one day with an IPod and a set of headphones.  What a difference in my wife’s life – the music will almost immediately relax her and eliminate her anxieties.  Usually by the end of the first song she is trying to sing along and will have a contented look.  It is amazing to see someone who can’t remember her children but can remember the words to old rock and roll.


We have taken Leslie’s original IPod and replaced it with one with higher capacity, loaded it with 100+ of the songs from her teenage years and from the 10 years following.  She is now almost never without her headphones and the staff at the assisted living center all pay close attention to making sure she the IPod is always charged.  It has been the best thing to happen to my wife in a long, long time.


– Jerry Mayes

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