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If you have a connection with a dementia patient, it can become a sort of personal mission to add value to their life. Just because they have dementia doesn’t mean that they have to miss out on some of their favorite activities, such as listening to music. In this article, we will cover the best radios available on the market that are ideal for dementia patients.
Relish Radio – Best Premium
If you have no budgetary concerns, the Relish Radio is a great option for dementia patients as it was specifically designed for this purpose. This radio has an extremely simplistic design that is sure to be easy to use for those with dementia as well as their caretakers.
The Relish Radio has buttons for On and Off functions placed at the top of the radio. On the opposite side of these buttons is a large rotary dial knob for volume functions. The Relish Radio does come with an attached antenna.
This radio is an FM-only radio. There are a few methods of changing the tuning of the station. The first is by referring to the back of the radio, where a digital tuner is provided. A large screen displays the station identification number.
Secondly, these stations can be programmed into a memory preset, allowing the radio stations to be recalled at any time with the press of a button. The Relish Radio offers 3 programmable presets, with buttons for each of them. They are found at the top of the device between the On/Off buttons and volume knob. These can even be labeled with a pen for easier recall.
The Relish Radio does feature some modern amenities. Namely, it has a USB port that will allow you to play music from a USB stick. This can be easily accessed by pushing the “My Playlist” preset button below the radio presets, making it a simple process of allowing the dementia patient to listen to their favorite songs.
This radio is also equipped with a pair of 3-watt speakers, ensuring the highest quality possible from a tabletop device.
There will be no concerns of a dying battery with the Relish Radio, as the device is only powered by a DC power supply, plugged into an outlet.
Overall, the Relish Radio is a worthwhile device for any dementia patient. It has an ease of use that was specifically designed to accommodate these patients, with over 12 years of experience and research going into the design. Having presets available at the push of a button, as well as the ability to play music from a USB stick presents a great opportunity for the dementia patient to be able to hear their favorite music.
Item Weight: 3.8 pounds
Package Dimensions: 13.07 x 8.9 x 6.57 inches
Panasonic RF-2400D – Best Budget
If you’re looking for a great radio for a dementia patient, but not looking to spend too much money, the Panasonic RF-2400D is a great choice. This radio is extremely easy to use and has a familiar design.
The RF-2400D is effectively a tabletop radio powered by an AC adapter, though it can easily become portable due to its ability to be powered by 4 x AA batteries. A convenient carrying handle (which can be folded down) is located at the top of the radio for easy transportation.
The radio has both AM and FM capabilities, with each radio mode accessible with an easy-to-locate switch placed on the front of the radio. This same switch is also used to turn the radio on/off. An antenna is also provided for better signal reception.
The RF-2400D comes equipped with a large 10-centimeter speaker that can handle a wide range of sound frequencies with a balanced mix. To control the volume, a convenient turning wheel is able to be located at the side of the radio.
Above the volume wheel, you will easily find a rotary dial that can be used to tune into your favorite radio stations. The dial is unmistakably easy to see as it protrudes slightly from the side of the radio.
The RF-2400D makes it easy to see which station is being tuned into, as the radio band features extremely large white printed numbers against a black backdrop. The location of the tuning band is also easily identifiable as it has a neon orange color that stands out amongst the printed station identification numbers. This fluorescent indicator also makes it extremely easy to see in the dark, allowing the radio to be used at all hours of the day and night.
This radio also has a headphone jack located near the volume wheel, making it not only ideal for the casual listener but for those that enjoy the privacy of listening through headphones as well.
Overall, the Panasonic RF-2400D is a great option for dementia patients, as it is a no-frills radio that is extremely easy to use. The classic design breeds a sense of familiarity and will likely feel like something the patient has used in the past. The large numbers and bright tuning indicator are wonderful additions that make this a very accessible radio for dementia patients.
Item Weight: 1 pound
Package Dimensions: 9.21 x 4.8 x 3.23 inches
One of the very best radios that dementia patients will likely have no issues with is the Sangean WR-11. This radio has a simple design, lending itself to familiarity with its vintage styling.
The WR-11 is capable of tuning in both AM and FM radio stations. A large station tuning knob is provided, allowing for the channels to be dialed in manually.
As seen on older radios, a tuning band is provided to visually show the listener which radio frequencies they are tuning into. However, the WR-11 takes it a step further and provides an LED light on the tuning band for extra reasurrance when tuning into a radio station.
The WR-11 also features a full spectrum 3 inch 6.5-watt speaker with an enlarged speaker magnet. This gives the radio a depth and clarity in sound, with a balanced sound mix coming from the speaker itself.
The volume can be easily controlled with its dedicated volume knob. Similarly, the radio has a knob for listening to AM or FM stations, or turning the unit off completely.
The WR-11 does feature some modern amenities on the back of the radio. A 3.5mm auxiliary cable port is available to listen to music from an external device. A headphone jack is also provided for quiet listening. A REC-Out port is also provided, allowing you to route the audio into another device for recording purposes.
The WR-11 does feature an internal antenna, though an external antenna can be easily installed on the device.
This radio does not have battery power capabilities. However, it can be plugged into the wall with either a DC or AC adapter.
Last but not least, the WR-11 features an excellent aesthetic design. The body of the radio is made completely out of a Walnut wood veneer, which helps the look as well as the overall sound coming from the radio.
Overall, the WR-11 is an excellent radio that any dementia patient will likely have no issues operating. Its simple 3-knob design lends itself to ease of use, with an LED on the tuning band to ensure that the correct radio station is being tuned in. Modern amenities are included for those that are inclined to use them. This familiar-looking device will be right at home with the dementia patient.
Item Weight: 5.2 pounds
Package Dimensions: 9.38 x 6.75 x 4.68 inches
What To Look For In A Radio For Dementia Patients
It can be a little difficult to determine what radio is best for a dementia patient, largely because it can be a little confusing to figure out which features are necessary without complicating the radio’s function. If you keep the following points in mind, you will likely have an easier time choosing which radio is best for your individual situation.
Simplicity & Design
It goes without saying that the ideal radio for a patient with dementia will need to have a simple design. Every aspect of the radio needs to be easily found and recognizable. Of course, there can be a thing as something being too simple, as this can cause confusion if something is not easily found.
Generally, something with a sense of familiarity will likely be best. Familiar products will likely incur the smallest learning curve as the patient may have used something similar in the past.
An ideal radio should also have an easily readable radio station band so that there is no confusion when finding a station due to the inability to correctly see the identification numbers.
You will also want to take into account your ideal budget for a radio. There are some radios that can be quite expensive that do offer a very simple design. However, because a simple design is what you’ll ideally be searching for, you might find a very practical radio at an affordable price. The best way to stay within your budget is to determine which features are necessary and research the radios in your price range that offer said features.
Best Brands For Radios Designed For Dementia Patients
There is a wide range of manufacturers producing radios on the market, with some even marketed towards those who have dementia. Because of this, it can be a little overwhelming when deciding which radio to go with. However, you likely can’t go wrong with a radio from the following brands, as they each have a reputation for a quality product.
Sangean is an electronics company based in Taiwan. They have been creating quality radios that are ideal for a number of conditions including the shower and on a job site. The company has been around since 1974.
Relish is a company that specifically designs products for those with dementia. The company produces items, such as games and radios, for every stage of dementia to improve their quality of life. Each product is backed by over 12 years of research in the field.
Panasonic is an extremely well-known electronics company based in Japan. The company was first found in 1918 and initially produced light bulb sockets. Today, the company is a major producer of a wide range of consumer electronics.
Best Radios For Dementia Patients, Final Thoughts
There is quite a bit of solid evidence that music can play a therapeutic role in a dementia patient’s life. A song can induce a sense of nostalgia, recalling thoughts and memories that might otherwise have been lost. It can be devastating to see someone live their life with dementia, but an easy-to-use radio can greatly improve the patient’s quality of life.