Music Therapy, Dementia and Geriatric Patients

Maryclaire Hill, Georgia College and State University

Abstract

Lisa Genova describes one woman's descent into dementia in her book ÒStill Alice.Ó Genova describes the fear and humiliation, the stress and anxiety and sadness that the victim endures while the disease works its cycle. Music Therapy strives to both Òsoothe the savage beastÓ and Òsoothe the savage breast.Ó My hypothesis is that music can help those in the early stages of dementia as they deal with the anger and frustration after the diagnosis. I believe music can also help those who weep and scream and wander during the latter stages as the disease takes hold. The purpose of this qualitative study is to research specific music therapy activities that have been used with geriatric patients with dementia in order to soothe and calm. A second portion of my research will be interviewing current music therapists in geriatric settings to learn about what activities they find effective with this population. My method will be twofold: summarizing the peer-reviewed literature from the past five years and interviewing Atlanta music therapists who are currently working in geriatric facilities. Activities will be listed alphabetically with a detailed description for each. Participating music therapists will be asked to sign an informed consent form. No motivation will be offered. Music therapists will be recruited by calling various facilities in the Atlanta phone directory and requesting permission to interview. This study will directly benefit music therapists who are working with this population as well as geriatric patients with dementia indirectly.

 
Apr 10th, 12:15 PM Apr 10th, 1:00 PM

Music Therapy, Dementia and Geriatric Patients

HSB 3rd Floor Student Commons

Lisa Genova describes one woman's descent into dementia in her book ÒStill Alice.Ó Genova describes the fear and humiliation, the stress and anxiety and sadness that the victim endures while the disease works its cycle. Music Therapy strives to both Òsoothe the savage beastÓ and Òsoothe the savage breast.Ó My hypothesis is that music can help those in the early stages of dementia as they deal with the anger and frustration after the diagnosis. I believe music can also help those who weep and scream and wander during the latter stages as the disease takes hold. The purpose of this qualitative study is to research specific music therapy activities that have been used with geriatric patients with dementia in order to soothe and calm. A second portion of my research will be interviewing current music therapists in geriatric settings to learn about what activities they find effective with this population. My method will be twofold: summarizing the peer-reviewed literature from the past five years and interviewing Atlanta music therapists who are currently working in geriatric facilities. Activities will be listed alphabetically with a detailed description for each. Participating music therapists will be asked to sign an informed consent form. No motivation will be offered. Music therapists will be recruited by calling various facilities in the Atlanta phone directory and requesting permission to interview. This study will directly benefit music therapists who are working with this population as well as geriatric patients with dementia indirectly.