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I've noticed that my mom really responds to music these days and seems much happier when listening to it or singing along. Music entertainment happens only once a week at her assisted living, so I'd like for her to have it in her room every day. It's wonderful to see her happy. She doesn't even know how to use a phone or turn on the TV any longer. Not written directions because I'm not even sure she can read now, although I see her with opened books occasionally. I think she's just looking at pictures.

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Try getting a simple activating button. See https://enablingdevices.com/product/compact-switches/

As a special education teacher, I see many children and adults who use activation buttons easily. This is only one company's website. There are many more assistive technology companies that offer similar products.
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Reply to Pr0f3ss0r
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My mom can't remember having the conversation about anything and doesn't read notes left around.  She kept going to the front desk saying she didnt' have my phone number.  It is written on a bright piece of paper and taped to the phone.  Not only is the memory gone, but any awareness is gone.  My mom hides everything too, so if I had any type of device in her apartment, she would unplug it and hide it in between the mattress.  Your mom may not be as far along in the process as mine, so maybe Alexa would work.  It does record things, so you may have to have permission from the facility.
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Reply to Jamesj
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Try putting a sticker close to the on off button. Show her how to find it and turn it on. May work.......
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Reply to anonymous1016858
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Use Google.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Google Home lets me turn things on and off using my phone. Alexa might have something similar. It also let me set up times when I wanted it to play music and turn lights off. I could make additional adjustments to the timers I had on lights while I was out of town using my phone. She would not have to do anything. You would control things from your phone.
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https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Music-Player-Alzheimers-dementia/dp/B01B9THLUW

I bought the red one for my dad. It comes with music from the big band era. You can add music by following the simple instructions which are included.

Hope this helps.
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Reply to katherinemoody
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We use the Alexa Show. I have not set this up, but I was told by Amazon to set up a Routine to play music between certain hours say 7pm and 9pm. Alexa has been a godsend for me. I live out of state and want to see Mom daily. Alexa allows me to call Mom and dropin without her having to tap on the Alexa Show to answer. She is also able to watch her favorite show Golden Girls through HuLu.
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Reply to Dperson
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I know I'm reitering but a good timer will do the trick . I'm a "long distance " care giver a e mom will respond great to music. I just have her stereo softly from 3pm to 11pm
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Iamstillhere Feb 5, 2020
What music devise are you using that allows you to use a timer?
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There is a site out there that has an old time radio box - you lift the lid and it plays many songs from the 20's to the 50's (Big band) - I will dig up the site name!
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rocketjcat Feb 5, 2020
The OP already bought one.
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The Clapper, is that still around? I think it would be perfect
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 4, 2020
I remember those commercials. Hahaha 😂 Weren’t they only out at the holidays like the chia pets?
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The Alzheimer's Store (Website) has a radio that you lift a lid and it starts and to turn it off she just closes the lid.  It plays big band hits but you can also download songs to it.  The site has other versions of this radio but to me this is the most simple.   The ones available are demo/refurbished and that's what I purchase and it works great.  They're not cheap but well worth it.

https://www.alzstore.com/music-player-p/2114.htm
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ArtistDaughter Feb 4, 2020
Thanks. Already ordered it.
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With a system like Alexa there is no need to use controls. Just speak! Alexa is cooperative to voice commands.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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Plug it into a timer, it will turn it on and off.
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ArtistDaughter Feb 4, 2020
Thanks, but her schedule isn't really regular. I don't know when she will be in her room and when she will be out in the common areas. I think with the music maker she'll be able to work it when she's in one of her hermit moods.
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Get Alexa
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JoAnn29 Feb 3, 2020
Facility may not allow this. Its a privacy thing.
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I gave up on any tech stuff for my dad. Just not capable anymore. He might be able to learn something in the moment but it’s gone 30 seconds later.

The only thing I’ve found for my dad with dementia is a simple CD player. He can’t make it go but I play his favorite music when I visit and his aides will also turn it on for him.

When finished we put it and the CDs on a high shelf so he can’t lose them or break the player.

His old country music tunes are so calming for him. He can still sing along a little .
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Reply to Windyridge
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She only knows how to unplug. If someone asks her if she would like to listen to music she says no, she's fine. It has to be just turned on for her. I doubt she would remember to clap. I ordered for her the music player from the Alzheimer's store. It looks simple enough. I will put it right next to her chair with a huge note saying MUSIC. We'll see. Thank you for the suggestion.
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rocketjcat Feb 3, 2020
It comes with big band music loaded on it which Mom loved and “danced” to in her chair. If your Mom doesn’t like that music and you’d like something else, it’s basically an MP3 player so you can load music onto a stick and copy it onto the player. The directions are online. When she eventually needed more calming music at night I took the big band stuff off and loaded piano music on. When Mom passed away, I gave the player to her roomie with her country CDs loaded on it. I hope your Mom enjoys it.
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This is hard. Because she can't remember. You could show her a hundred times and she won't remember. They may not allow an Alexa in the facility.

This may sound stupid but what about a clapper. Set the radio up to a good station and volume. You clap to turn on and off. Maybe she can be conditioned to do that? Otherwise, its asking an aide to turn the radio on when Mom is in her room.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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You can program and Alexa to do whatever you want 'her' to do. I have 3 in my house and sometimes each one is playing different music.

If I asked her to start playing "Chopin' at 8 am, she would until she was 'told' to play something different at a different time. She wouldn't have to say "Alexa" or even remember the commands. And one set fairly close to mom, but not within her reach could be very workable.

Alexa keeps lists, rings alarms, etc. Your mom wouldn't even have to touch it, And if pre-programmed, she wouldn't have to talk to it.

When you visit, you could change the settings by voice command. So she gets a variety.

I'm NOT a fan of TV, so the Alexa, for me, since I practically live alone (DH travels 3/4 weeks every month) is very soothing and fills the 'empty space'.

My SWEET SIL has HIS Alexa programmed for 'songs for mom' on it. All my faves. The g-kids hate it, but what a sweet gesture on his behalf, right?
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bolliveb123 Feb 3, 2020
Alexa may also be able to be controlled remotely from the app.
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I will be attempting to research this during the coming week for my LO.

She also has NO capacity to connect a radio or the ubiquitous non-used TV in her room with any sort of pleasant experience for herself, so whatever could work for her would need to be TOTALLY AUTOMATIC on a timer that I could control myself, preferably from MY HOME (a distance of about 3 miles).

I have some access to some electronic audio technicians- will post if I find anything helpful.

MANY THANKS TO YOU, ArtistDaughter. I’ve been letting this VERY IMPORTANT ASPECT of her care go unaddressed for far too long, in the endless swirl of meeting basic needs. You’ve given me a much appreciated kick start!!!
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ArtistDaughter Feb 3, 2020
Thank you for any information you may find. The other residents at my mom's assisted living will love having more music too. One lady complains though if the music in the dining area is not to her taste, so they keep it off. I think music instead of stupid TV shows will help them a lot. One lady gets up and dances when music is playing. She otherwise can barely walk.
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91.1 in la has music from 1920 - 1950.
88.1 had other music.
my aunts care place has direct tv, that has music channels in it. from 1920/s to 1990. jun t listento.
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Reply to MAYDAY
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I got Mom a music player from the Alzheimer’s store. She only had to flip the lid open and the music plays big band music. You can also load in other music. I put a big arrow on it that said LIFT. It shuts off when it’s closed. Moms aids also knew how to work it for her. It worked really well for her.

https://www.alzstore.com/simple-music-player-dementia-alzheimers-p/2115.htm
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Isthisrealyreal Feb 3, 2020
That is awesome.
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Can she turn a knob from on to off?

If yes, you could get a radio and a set of speakers that has an on/off knob. Give her access to the speaker that controls the volume and she can not mess up the settings and she could turn it off if she tires of it. OR you can set up the same setup with a timer that turns the radio on and off. You can get ones that have multiple settings, so it could be on for a few hours multiple times throughout the day. Hiding the radio and mounting the speakers would protect them.

I hope you find a good solution for your mom to have some music.
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ArtistDaughter Feb 3, 2020
Thanks. She cannot turn on and off. But she can unplug anything and everything in the room. She knows where the power is coming from.
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I was just able to get music to start playing on my Amazon Echo from my Android phone. So if you could get an Echo set up for your Mom (it requires wireless), and Amazon Music and the Alexa App on your phone, you should be able to do this from wherever your smartphone is.
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ArtistDaughter Feb 3, 2020
I'll look into that. Technology is not my strong point. I'll ask my grandson to help
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Would you be able to ask the aid to turn on the music for her? My Mom is not at this point, but I believe at her place they would be happy to do this.
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Hello, buy a radio and set the alarm to what ever time of the day. You can set it to music instead of a buzzer. It turns off after an hour but will turn on at the same time everyday (morning, afternoon, or evening). May work until you find something that works bettter. My radio also turns on with a CD. I've had it forever. By now, They may have some where you can insert a flash drive.

Hope this helps.
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ArtistDaughter Feb 3, 2020
Thank you. This may work well.
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Does her room have WiFi? I can use the Alexa app on my iPhone to play music on my echo dot in another room. Maybe you could play it for her?

I like this CD player but I wouldn't want her to start pulling on random cords. https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B0714DX1Z3?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_dt_b_product_details
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ArtistDaughter Feb 2, 2020
She wouldn't remember to say Alexa.
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Is there a TV with a 24 hour music channel?   There was such a tv in my father's room; one of the pastors on staff found the channel for me; it remained on until Dad passed, providing very, very soothing music 24/7, with nary a commercial. 

Radios would also work, especially stations with minimal commercials.

I read in your profile that your mother's in a small AL home; could you make arrangements with the staff or owner, for perhaps a nominal extra amount, to turn on a radio or the tv in the morning, and shut it off at bedtime...or maybe just leave it on all night as the music may soothe anyone else who hears it?
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ArtistDaughter Feb 2, 2020
I will try the radio. The TV totally confuses her. I will try to find a radio that is very simple and put it on a music only channel. I do worry that she won't know how to turn it off when it bothers her.
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Is she being left alone?
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ArtistDaughter Feb 2, 2020
No, she's in assisted living now.
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It's SO darn hard when they have no memory. My mother can't for the life of her remember the day of the week. So I bought her an Alz. clock which is very large and bright and displays the day of the week, time of day, date, and whether it's day or night. Well, I call mom and she's asking Oh is today Tuesday when it's Saturday! I say, what does your clock say? And she says Oh I forgot to look at it! UGH.
I can't possibly imagine how you'd get your mom to be able to listen to music unless it was on all the time at a low volume and maybe she'd just have to turn it up or down? Would she know to do that? UGH again. I so hate this disease.

Wishing you the best of luck trying to figure this out. Sometimes no matter WHAT we do it doesn't work.
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Bella7 Feb 3, 2020
I got the same clock for my mom too and she does the same as your mom 🙁
hate this disease
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I think there comes a time when ALZ patients don't remember that they can have happiness through their audio sense, so it never occurs to them to turn it on. I gave mthr a radio to use when she first moved to MC. She used it the first night she had it, took notes even in what had become a desperate attempt to keep thoughts in her head, but never used it again. The best thing I can think of is a radio that operates on a timer.
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ArtistDaughter Feb 2, 2020
I think the radio tuned to a certain channel might work, and yes, someone would have to turn it on or have it set on a timer. Good idea. I will have to find a channel that has music she remembers. She will start singing along when something from the early 1900's comes on. CD's don't work for her. I already tried that when I lived with her.
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