Like a bridge over troubled water - a qualitative study of professional caregiver singing and music as a way to enable person-centred care for persons with dementia

Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 2020 Dec;15(1):1735092. doi: 10.1080/17482631.2020.1735092.

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the perspectives of caregivers in terms of using singing and music in their everyday work, and of their effect on care and interaction with the person with dementia.Methods: A qualitative design was used, consisting of group discussions with professional caregivers from three nursing homes in a medium-sized city in a rural area of Sweden.Results: The results demonstrate that caregiver singing and music can be powerful and useful in the care of and in communication with persons with dementia. Music, for example, can be used to facilitate socialization as it opens up for discussion, while caregiver singing was preferable when it came to the facilitation of care situations and interaction.Conclusions: Singing and music can be powerful and useful tools in the care of and in communication with persons with dementia. Regardless of whether singing or music is used, the most important factor is that a person-centred approach is adopted so as to make the music a facilitative tool. Caregiver singing and music are ways to connect with the person with dementia and an understanding of their use can contribute to dementia research. This in turn can increase awareness of the possible ways to strengthen the partnership between caregivers and persons with dementia.

Keywords: Caregiver singing; communication; dementia care; music; person-centred care; qualitative method.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Communication*
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Female
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music*
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Singing*
  • Sweden / epidemiology