Home-based Music Strategies With Individuals Who Have Dementia and Their Family Caregivers


Journal of Music Therapy




The purpose of this exploratory study was to test a caregiver-administered music program with family members who have dementia. The music protocol was designed to reduce distress and enhance satisfaction with caregiving, while offering the person with dementia the potential to improve mood and psychological state. Fourteen elders with dementia and their family caregivers were recruited, and 8 completed the protocol. Both caregivers and care recipients improved self-reported relaxation, comfort, and happiness, when mean scores were compared between baseline and music conditions. Caregivers showed the most benefit. While drop-out was high (6 families dropped), and caregiving satisfaction failed to improve over time, caregivers expressed enjoyment in reminiscing and participating in musical activities with their loved ones. More direct intervention by a music therapist is recommended to improve impact.

Music and Health Institute Terms

Alzheimer's and Related Dementias; Caregivers; Distress; Elderly; Home Setting; Mental Health; Mood; Music and Healing; Neurodegenerative Disorders; Psychological Outcomes; Quality of Life; Questionnaires; Relaxation Levels; Self-Report Measures

Indexed Terms

Elderly; Caregivers; Dementia; Family Relations; Feasibility Studies; Quality of Life; Social Support; Stress; Surveys and Questionnaires

Study Type

Case Study; Qualitative Methods

PubMed ID


Document Type