Thank you to all my financial backers and amazing musicians for making these professional recordings possible. (Read this FAQ for background on this project.)
Downloads are free! However, I gratefully accept donations.
If you work in a commercial setting (such as a long-term care community or hospital), please read about my partnership with CoroHealth.
Classic, Sing-along Hymns
MP3 files of 80+ professionally recorded sing-along hymns and spirituals, specifically arranged for elders with dementia.
Hymns and Services on YouTube
Videos of 80+ dementia-friendly hymns with lyrics, plus numerous, full-length nondenominational church services.
Ready-to-print, large-font songbooks for the classic hymns and spirituals, with or without page numbers.
Piano Sheet Music
Use this music, transposed to a lower key than usual, to play along with the classic hymns recordings.
Sing-along Christmas Songs
20 professionally recorded, beloved holiday carols arranged for elders with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Song List: Single Tracks
Review all 110 hymn and Christmas song titles included in the downloads on this site.
If you have trouble with the downloads, read this troubleshooting guide.
A reminder: These professionally recorded hymns are not typical performance tracks. They are specifically arranged as sing-alongs for elders with Alzheimer’s and other dementias; that is, slower, shorter, and in a lower key than usual. (But of course anyone may enjoy them.)
Here’s a good, simple article about how MP3 files work. As the article says, “MP3 is simply a file format that compresses a song into a smaller size so it is easier to move around and store on your home computer or portable music player,” such as an iPhone or iPod.
How to use these recordings
With this hymns collection, you can:
- Create a personalized playlist for your elder with the songs he or she loves.
- Offer a hymn sing-along session at your eldercare community.
- Provide an hour-long worship service at your eldercare residence, complete with ready-made worship agendas and songs.
- Use the songs as calming background music for someone who is agitated, resting, or nearing the end of life.
- Enjoy them yourself anytime!
If I’m missing one of your favorite hymns, please let me know in the comments below.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
24 thoughts on “Hymns for Elders with Dementia: Free Downloads!”
Elisa, I LOVE these songs! So very well done. Thank you! I look forward to the Christmas collection. I would also ask you to consider adding: Count Your Blessings, There Shall Be Showers of Blessing (I have found it helpful to remind people of their blessings),Christ Arose!,Jesus is All the World to Me, and The Church’s One Foundation.
Barb, thank you! I keep saying I won’t be able to resist adding more someday, and adding praise songs as the elder generation becomes “younger” (that is, they attended churches where praise songs were sung). One good thing: The Church’s One Foundation is already there 🙂 Blessings, Elisa
Thanks for pointing that out, Elisa. I must have missed that one. I’m checking the hymns I suggest to accompany Bible studies against the hymns you already have on your site, so I can recommend that people go there. Still plodding along with my studies and trying not to get discouraged. Sometime I’d love to get up to Boulder and take you to lunch!
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I would LOVE that! Let me know and let’s make it happen 🙂
This is so absolutely wonderful! I used to sing my mother to sleep and she would be at peace as I sung the old hymns. Sometimes she would remember the songs and sing along. Precious memories for me.
Please consider adding ‘Great Is Thy Faithfulness’.
God bless you for this gift to us.
Julie, thank you so much! I agree, the peace that comes from these songs is incalculable. I can’t count the number of times I’ve sung hymns over someone who is passing from this life to the next.
Also: You’ll be happy to know that “Great is Thy Faithfulness” is already recorded and will be uploaded within a week (I hope) with the final batch of 12 songs. Next up: Christmas hymns!
Please consider adding In the Sweet By and By. It was one of my Dad’s favorite’s. My Mom’s favorite was Beautiful Isle of Somewhere.
Oh, I love Sweet By and By – great idea! I don’t know Beautiful Isle, but I’ll check it out. I’m starting a list for next time 🙂 Thank you!
I loved this. Please consider: “Now Thank We All Our God”; “Come Ye Thankful People, Come”; and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.” And since I’m Catholic I’ll also request “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.” On another note, because the audiences may be quite similar, one or two of the “Patriotic” pieces such as the Battle Hymn of the Republic, America the Beautiful, etc…Eternal Father Strong To Save…that sort. Thank you so much for doing this. Bless you.
Thank you for these wonderful suggestions. I’ve started a new list for next time … although next up is a Christmas set!
What an incredible resource! I’ve never seen something so thoughtful, or so knowledgeable on a musical level as well as what is most helpful for the aged. The Lord bless you immensely for making something like this available, and that for free. Wonderful!
Eric, you made my day! Thank you for this kind comment. It is not false modesty to say that I truly receive more blessing than I give. Stay tuned for another batch of hymns coming soon, as well as a Christmas set by end of summer (I hope) — and please spread the word as you see fit.
I could not agree more! Thank you so much!!
I am loving what you are doing here and so grateful I found you through the World and Everything in it podcast. I’m looking forward to speaking with you sometime. I would like to add a request for your next batch: How Firm a Foundation.
Thanks Glenda! You’ll be happy to know that “How Firm a Foundation” is already recorded and will be uploaded after editing.
Do you have anything for a memorial service? Or a suggstion?
Hi Jane — Do you mean hymns, or a full service? Feel free to email me directly; I’d be glad to help: email@example.com
Thank you so much for these hymns. I’m not musical at all. I put some on a power point and projected on the big screen tv and it was amazing how much these hymns are loved by people living with dementia. God bless!
Hooray!! This is exactly why I made them 🙂 Thank you for trying them out, Travis, and for letting me know that they worked for your residents. Bless you for serving these elders!
I’ve been looking for something like this for a long time. I need these precious songs sung in a sing-along fashion so I can learn the words so I may have them in my mind and heart to come to me when I need them. I had a health scare and all that would come to mind was tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. I didn’t know the rest of the song, but I sung that much to myself over and over. It helped so much. When I went to mom’s nursing home to visit, there was a paper in her cup holder on her wheelchair. when I looked at it, it was the words to tis so sweet to trust in Jesus!
Thank you so much for doing this!
Dorothy, your note blesses me so much! I’m so happy you found the sing-alongs, and that particular hymn; you’re right, the words are so beautifully comforting. God bless you, and please enjoy the songs — with your mom as well.
I’m a chaplain at a Senior Living community and we use these songs all the time–the pace, the key, the hymn choices are wonderful.
I have heard from some who are Catholic (the community is 60% Catholic) that they are not familiar with the hymns. Any chance you can add a few Catholic hymns? Like ‘be not afraid’ ‘Eagle’s Wings’ ‘The king of Love my Shepherd is” etc?
Thank you for your ministry!
Andrea, thank you for writing, and for providing this care to your residents! I certainly hope to record more hymns at some point and will put these on the list. In my original recordings, I tried to get a cross-section of hymns from all denominations, but I’m sure I’ve missed many favorites! You can read about the process and see the breakdown here: https://spiritualeldercare.com/2019/03/12/how-did-i-choose-hymns-for-the-hymns-for-alz-project/