Reactions of Persons with Dementia to Caregivers Singing in Morning Care Situations

Lena Marmstål Hammar*, 1, 2, Azita Emami 1, 3, Gabriella Engström 2, Eva Götell 1, 2
1 Department of Neurobiology, Care Science and Society, Division of Nursing, Karolinska Institute, Sweden
2 School of Health, Care and Social Welfare, Mälardalen University, Sweden
3 College of Nursing, University of Seattle, USA

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© Hammar et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Mälardalen University, P.O. Box 883, SE 721 23 Västerås, Sweden; Tel: +70 602 05 33; Fax: +46 21 10 16 33; E-mail:


’Music therapeutic caregiving’, when caregivers sing for or together with persons with severe dementia during care situations, has been suggested as a way to reduce problematic behaviors in dementia care. The present study implemented this technique as an intervention in dementia care. Six caregivers participated in group interviews about their experiences of morning care situations without and with’Music therapeutic caregiving’. Through a qualitative content analysis two themes emerged.’Being in a different reality’ was based on’usual’ morning care situations. The caregivers’ experienced the persons with dementia as absent-minded; communication and cooperation were difficult. The second theme,’Being present’, was based on morning care situations with the intervention. The caregivers described communication as enhanced; the persons with dementia expressed themselves more appropriately, making cooperation possible. The results indicate that’Music therapeutic caregiving’ might lead to a more positive experience of the person with dementia and seems to increase receptivity to caregiving.

Keywords: Dementia, caregiver, singing, intervention, experience, qualitative content analysis..