Frequently Asked Questions

What do participants receive through this program?

One MP3 player with a charging cable, wall charger, over-the-ear headphones, and free music setup. 

What kind of research supports that music can help people living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias?

Research suggests that favourite music or songs associated with personal events can trigger memory of lyrics and the experience connected to the music. This music can calm busy brain activity and enables the listener to focus on the present moment and regain connection to others. This form of music therapy has been well-studied and documented by the distinguished researchers, Dr. Connie Tomaino and Dr. Oliver Sacks.

Studies have also shown that listening to music can help reduce pain by more than 20 per cent. Listening to music often results in decreases in agitation, anxiety, sleeplessness and depression.

What does it cost to participate?

There is no cost to participate in this Alzheimer Society Music Project.

Is there a time limit with the MP3 players?

No. Once a music player is issued to a music recipient, it is theirs to keep for as long as they want. We do request that clients return music players to the issuing Society should the music recipient no longer need or want their music player.

Is the Alzheimer Society Music Project appropriate only for people in the early stages of dementia?

The Alzheimer Society Music Project has shown to be beneficial in every stage of dementia. 

Can music recipients use an MP3 player if they have hearing aids?

Yes, we provide over-the-ear headphones, in most cases individuals are able to use these with comfort.


Would someone qualify if they don't have a diagnosis of dementia?

Unfortunately, no. We only provide MP3 players to individuals with a diagnosis of dementia or cognitive impairment.

What level of participation is required from the individual with dementia?

There are virtually no requirements from the music recipient. All registration and follow-up can be completed with a family member, friend, or healthcare professional. However, where possible, it is best to involve the music recipient to provide input on their music selection.

What level of participation is required from family members and caregivers?

Family members and caregivers are expected to provide technical support with using the music player if required, and they are also expected to monitor the music recipient’s responses to the music and make adjustments as needed. The Alzheimer Society Music Project will provide ongoing support, including technical support, to family members, friends, and caregivers when requested.


How do I select the music?

In cases where a music recipient is unable to indicate musical preferences, many family members and friends are aware of the recipient’s general music preferences. Life experiences and age can influence music preferences. Playing snippets of music to gauge reactions is another way to determine listening preferences.

Are you able to provide language-specific or culturally-specific music?

Yes! We purchase music from iTunes – an online music database with the ability to accommodate language-specific requests. Our music library is continuously expanding to include soundtracks from all genres, decades, cultures, and languages to serve our diverse population.

Will the Alzheimer Society Music Project load the music for me?

Yes. Unless an applicant indicates they want to load their own music at home, we load each MP3 player with the music requested at the time of application.

How many songs are on a music player?

On average, a completed music player will have 150-200 songs.


Founded in 1978, the Alzheimer Society is the leading nationwide health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


A world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.


To offer support, information and education to people affected by dementia, to increase public awareness of dementia, to promote research, and to advocate for services that respect the dignity of the individual.


The mission of the Alzheimer Society is to alleviate the personal and social consequences of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias and to promote research.