For Adults

Caring for a Loved One with Dementia: Music


"Music hath charms to soothe a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak."

man listening to an ipad with headphones

This quote from the seventeenth century is still true today, with a few important additions. Music calms us and takes us places in our imaginations through our ears. It’s also used to ease depression, stimulate memory, help people living with Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, and autism, and help improve the quality of life for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Listening to music or singing, whether alone or in a group, is not only beneficial to the brain, it’s also a lot of fun!

Whether it’s music from the past or a catchy tune, it’s heartening to see a friend or loved one living with dementia respond to a piece of music, sometimes by moving or swaying to a Motown beat, other times by singing all the verses to Silent Night, remembering all the words when many of us couldn’t get past the first few lines.

While you may think of the public library as a connection to the wider world through books, it’s also a connection through music. With a library card, you can:

  • borrow a wide variety of music on CDs, from early classical to the latest hip hop, and everything in between
  • borrow and stream a wide variety of music directly to your computer or mobile device through Hoopla without being on a waiting list or waiting for your branch to open.

The library’s connection with music extends to free live concerts & performances throughout the year.

It’s an opportunity for an outing that doesn’t involve tickets, dressing up, or an entire evening’s commitment; some time in the afternoon watching beautiful music made in a comfortable setting with your loved one.


Caring for a Loved One With Dementia

According to the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter, Indiana is home to 110,000 Hoosiers living with Alzheimer's disease and 338,000 unpaid Indiana caregivers. Thankfully, there is a growing number of resources available to navigate the often-complicated and frustrating journey of caring for someone with dementia. #indypladults

The 36-hour Day

A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease, Other Dementias, and Memory Loss

Mace, Nancy L.

First published over 30 years ago and now in its 6th edition, this book has become the standard guide for family caring for someone with Alzheimer's and other dementias, including what to do when caregivers feel at the end of their rope.

The Dementia Caregiver

A Guide to Caring for Someone With Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurocognitive Disorders

Agronin, Marc E.

When a loved one develops dementia, their personality and even their physical characteristics can change. This book helps prepare the caregiver for these changes and how to cope with them.

Love in the Land of Dementia

Finding Hope in the Caregiver's Journey

Shouse, Deborah

Deborah Shouse shares her experiences helping to care for her mother, and the lessons she learned about love, courage, and faith.