Towards Sustainable Implementation of Music in Daily Care of People With Dementia and Their Spouses


The Arts in Psychotherapy




Primary caregivers (PCs) of people with dementia deal with stressful daily living, especially spouses whose care recipient is at home. Several programs have been developed to aid caregiving by providing musical strategies, yet successful sustainable implementation of music in the daily lives of the couples awaits further research and development. To promote this, in this pilot study we proposed a music therapy program that included 12 weekly sessions with the couple in their home environment. In addition, there were bi-weekly phone counseling sessions with the PC, to reflect on the joint sessions and to help implement music in daily life. Findings based on the description, analysis, and interpretation of two cases showed that the proposed program provided a strong foundation upon which the treatment could succeed; it relied on natural forces such as the use of songs, which can empower each of the spouses individually, as well as together as a couple; and it included elements of ongoing support that enabled preservation of the accomplishments that were achieved during the sessions. Future research is required to examine whether this program is appropriate for couples in other housing contexts, and in different stages of dementia. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Caregivers; Mental Health; Music Therapy; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Recreative Music Methods; Singing a Song; Stress

Indexed Terms

dementia; primary caregivers; musical strategies; home-based daily care; spouses; Caregivers; Couples; Daily Activities; Home Care; Treatment

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

Document Type