Music Therapy in Managing Dementia


The use of music is deemed a fundamental framework that could be applied to help patients overcome dementia. The chronic nature of the disorder bears the implication that the adverse effects of it are protracted. The conventional mental process is broken that leads to severe memory disorders, the impairment of the sense of reason and an overall change in the personality of an individual. In most of the observed cases patients lose their speech ability and are devoid of the chance for effective communication. Those people who can barely speak recreate the sense of logical reasoning that was inherent before the manifestation of the disorder. This paper aims to describe the potency of music to manage anxiety or agitation of the patients with dementia.

The purpose of using music is the recreation of past events that happened when the music was played. It is an approach that would be necessary in the process of memory recollection of patients under the treatment of dementia. A combination of song lyrics and the received messages ensures that a therapist can comprehend the challenges of the patients. This consideration is essential in the establishment of relationships with a patient in order to ease the problem of anxiety. Very often music is played during the day. The reminiscences of past experiences would be tantamount to invoking the normal state of patients suffering from dementia. They would get a possibility to re-establish their former state of happiness, which they had during the time when the music was played.


Memories are bound to be re-lived with the help of a direct contact with the environment of occurrence. Therefore, it is logical to expect that depression, caused by the dementia disorders would be eliminated owing to the joy that comes from music. Patients, who undertake the treatment, are likely to get engaged in the mood of music in order to arouse association. Irritability is also likely to be triggered by dementia, especially in cases when patients have remained immobile or incapacitated.


Does musical therapy help to decrease the level of anxiety or agitation in patients with dementia? The problem considers the issues of integrating theory, evidence, clinical judgment, research, and inter-professional perspectives by using the translational process in order to improve practice and the associated health outcomes for patients. Particular drawbacks appear due to attempts made to attain a sufficient management of dementia. The affected individuals tend to be isolated as they lack any physical or psychological ability to initiate any contacts that may be established with others in the society. A withdrawal from communication is a main reason of failures that are often exhibited whenever therapy is staged with an intent to resolve the already existent defects of dementia.

Music is considered to be the source of initiating contact with individuals, so that the core challenges that perpetually curtail their positive progression is alleviated. The key to attaining the desired objectives in therapy sessions with intent of curing the patients is the establishment of a relationship with them. Troubles that emanate from dementia make the affected individuals suffer from the eventual implication that trust would be lost. The use of music would thus be an ideal recovery approach due to the potency that it has in familiarizing patients with the past.

Literature Review

The article by McDermott and Ridder indicates that intervention that considers the psychological effects of music in the treatment of dementia is ideal. The deduction answers a research question that focuses on establishing the relevance of music in reducing anxiety among dementia patients. The theory given in the form of the stimulation, which is caused by music, meets the criteria of learning objective. There is evidence that music calms the nerves during anxiety and provides an alternative to the improvement of health outcomes.

Johnson and Taylor identify that the adaptation made in the environment alludes to the attachment to music. An environment, in which a particular type of music was played during the process of recreation, is an equivalent of the improvement of the patients’ conditions. The observation is related to the research question, which directly confirms the use of music therapy, as it is crucial in reducing the level of anxiety, caused by dementia. The article expresses the students’ learning objective owing to the use of research to gather evidence of the application of music in calming agitation among dementia patients.

Eells claims that music has both calming down and exciting effects. Depending on the objective of therapy, it is likely to amount to the desired or undesired memories and eventually affect the emotions of dementia patients. The calming effect of music is relevant to the research question, because it would be helpful for the reduction of the level of agitation or anxiety in the observed cases of dementia. The article underscores the learning objective in the form of evidence, owing to the desire to improve the patient care outcomes, based on the evidence presented on the possibility of managing anxiety.

Ridder, Stige, Qvale and Gold analyze the effects of dementia and consider memory, perception, and attention as some of the adversely impacted aspects. Music provides a possibility to improve the engagement of patients and to mitigate the dementia effects in the process of it. The article expounds on the research question by providing a solution to dementia in situations when engagement is used to eliminate the withdrawal effects of dementia. The integration of theory and evidence makes the study relevant to the student learning objective. Clinical judgment and decision-making depend on the observed suitability of music therapy for dementia patients.

The Contributions and Roles of Nurses in Health Care

The primary role of nurses in health care is to provide help that corresponds to the patients’ needs. When music therapy is used to decrease the level of anxiety or agitation in patients with dementia, the role of nurses would be to foster inter-professional collaboration. Therefore, teamwork encourages the desired cooperation among other caregivers to adopt the proposed treatment framework. Another contribution focuses on delivering quality care through the identification of the precise needs of patients. Due to the attachment to dementia patients, it is sufficient to anticipate that nurses would realize that music therapy would be an ideal approach to treating the condition.

Selected Healthcare Policies

The global health care policy and the health workforce policy share the same goal of delivering a quality care. Global considerations investigate the individual patient care needs, so that the suitable techniques are implemented to meet the pre-determined goals. The same is consistent with the health workforce policy, designed to guarantee that adequate workforce meets patient needs and that the objectives set to deliver quality service remain suitable for the realization. Contradictions in the systems are manifested in the form of the sphere of influence. Global systems are often designed to attain universal relevance, but the health workforce policies may vary depending on the healthcare facility, in which they are implemented. These policies are created with an aim to use music therapy to reduce anxiety among patients with dementia by identifying the most appropriate approaches to the patient care. Treatment strategies that would transform into the anticipated outcomes are often chosen.

Ethical Issues and Decisions faced in Health Care

When using music therapy to treat patients with dementia, the emerging ethical issue would be the approach to be considered in the adoption of the end of life programs. Some of the dementia patients tend to be in critical condition. The use of music is thought to be crucial in recalling their past experiences, but once it fails, there would be the challenge of making a decision to stop the therapy. There would also be a responsible decision to inform the family that medication is no longer working, so that they may accept the reality.

Global Healthcare Delivery Systems

A coordinated health care delivery system is crucial for the consideration of the patients’ perspective. The recovery of dementia patients would be aided by taking into account the suggestions, which they make about the required treatment approach. Non-medication strategies usually bring the most useful results due to the fact that they consider patients’ assertions. The strategies that are proved to work the best should be disseminated in the entire caregiving team. A health care delivery system, which emphasizes an evidence-based practice, would be essential in the management of the challenges, imposed by dementia. There would be an intention to establish the best approach to treatment in order to improve patients’ conditions. A decision would be made, basing on the established evidence.

Program Level Student Learning Outcome

The student learning purpose would be achieved when music therapy is implemented as the basis for managing anxiety that emanates from dementia. The rationale behind this idea lies in the integration of the theory that the soothing effects of music would be an equivalent for the treatments, used to calm the nerves of the patients. It would also familiarize them with friendly environments, in which the music was played in the past. The evidence is presented on the basis of the observed response of the patients. The essence of clinical judgment would be applicable in the observation of the patient progress, conducted to determine whether the treatment approach is effective.


In conclusion, there are adverse effects of dementia on patients, so the consideration of music as a solution, with a help of which the disorder effects could be curtailed, is very important. The use of music therapy would inform clinical judgments about the progress, made by the patients. It would be possible to realize the quality objective of patient care in case of implementation of inter-professional collaboration within the caregiving team. Decision-making and timely responses of patients to the therapy would be improved due to effective coordination. Managing dementia stems from the awareness about its symptoms, so that early interventions could be eliminated before deterioration.

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