Using music as a means of relaxation is a great way to distract someone who may be distressed. Music can be used in a variety of ways, but it is most important to choose music that your love one connects to and is familiar with. While jazz may soothe one person it could agitate another.
Choose music that is tailored to the person. Ideally, something that the person has heard in their youth. Songs that were popular when the person was in their youth, teens, or early twenties would be a good place to start. To discover the best music, ask questions like these:
Did the loved one grow up with ethnic music and have favorites?
Favorite movie musical, if any?
Favorite Broadway musical, if any?
Is there a favorite WW2 or other war-related song?
Is there a favorite opera? Classical score?
Does/did the loved one attend religious services? What denomination? Do they have any favorite hymns?
You can also find lists of the most popular songs from each decade at Acclaimed Music.
Have a playlist of at least five songs that are soothing. Sit in a comfortable chair and listen