Music and Dementia Care: Future Possibilities

Nils de Mol van Otterloo*, Sudhir Kumar CT

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and related disorders care is limited by the nature and  course of the disease, the resources available to families that are affected, and the economic limitations that health systems have. This paper suggests a protocol that can be adapted by social workers, nurses, and family members that will improve the state of care for patients and families. This intervention can be easily taught to individuals with no musical ability, making treatment not exclusive to Music Therapists. Music is well known to have analgesic effects for dementia sufferers. It has been shown to have calming traits for patients who are emotionally distressed. This intervention has the capacity to engage neurologic capacities in patients no matter what stage of the disease they are. While there is no cure for dementia, and medications have not been able to reverse to course of the disease, this treatment, Musical Reminiscence Therapy (MRT), can provide emotional benefits for patients and families, and the cost of treatment is negligible so it can be adopted by healthcare organizations with very little resources.

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