What Audios Would You Recommend for a Dementia Resident with High Anxiety?


I have a question regarding an advanced level dementia resident that has high anxiety and becomes very anxious with environmental stimulation (noise, other residents that act out, loud TV’s, etc.) . He is able to express to staff when his anxiety level rises. When he does, we removed him from the chaos (stressor) and a caregiver will sit with him in a quiet place to redirect and help him to lower his anxiety.

I feel that your play away would be very effective for him. What pre-loaded program would you recommend for an advanced level dementia resident with high anxiety?

Thank you for any advice that you can give. I am a big fan and believer in your work, I have been using it professionally and personally for years with great success.

Best regards,


Thank you, Kelsey, for the kind words. I would actually go for two extremely calming music pieces by Steve Kohn before I'd try anything else. Your dementia patient may prefer one over the other, but I'd start with Meditative Reflections, the music Steve wrote to score our imagery for panic attacks and anxiety. It's very soothing, and it has the added advantage of playing for 64 consecutive, uninterrupted minutes, so he'd get a good zap of relaxation just from pressing 'PLAY' once.

The other music that is deeply calming, and is available on Playaway, is the third track of Inward Journey, which was the music Steve wrote for people in hospice and palliative care. It's just wonderfully soothing, and I'd bet it would have a profoundly settling impact on your guy. The only downside there is, it has 2 other tracks on it, and the playing length wouldn't last as long as the other piece.

I mention Playaway because it’s an extremely good choice for someone with dementia or anyone who is easily confused by too many bells and whistles. Playaways are simple, preloaded, all-in-one hand-held players, and very user-friendly and unconfusing – basically, you just have to press PLAY and they get the one thing that’s loaded in there. Pretty fool-proof!

I hope this helps him. Nothing like music for this.

All best,