Date of Award

Spring 5-18-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

MCM - MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Expressive Therapies


Marisol S. Norris


Dementia is one of the most prevalent diagnoses for elders causing strain and debilitation of their social, mental, physical, emotional, behavioral and psychological faculties. Due to the nature of this condition, treatments for dementia have been structured to aid and improve the well-being and quality of life for those afflicted. Some of the goals that assisted-living services establish include reducing anxiety, increasing levels of comfort, improving mood, memory care and bettering verbal processing. Music therapy has been an intervention that assists with establishing these goals and implementing strategies resulting in short-term and long-term effects for those receiving treatment for dementia.

This paper explored how the literature based on music therapy for elders with dementia has been defined and evolved over time and what could be done to explore more social aspects of the work within an assisted-living setting on many levels (i.e. peer to peer, client to therapist, client to assisted living staff). The literature detailed the results from studies that have explored short-term and long-term effects of music therapy and the varying theoretical approaches developed and implemented. Additionally, the literature presented describe how music therapy treatments are introduced to programs seeking out non-pharmacological measures to treat elders with dementia. In so doing, music therapy is presented as assisting elders to be individually empowered through use and acknowledgement of their personal narratives as well as socially empowered through efforts of clients working and interacting with one another in the same setting along with staff and caregivers who work to improve their lives.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.




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