The Effect of a Personalized Playlist on Older Adults with Dementia
Dementia is a disease that corrodes one’s cognitive abilities such as their memory, affecting around 5
million people in the United States. While there is currently no treatment available to cure dementia,
music therapy was found effective to help reduce its symptoms. Based on the Music and Memory
program, this study is aimed to examine the impact of listening to a personalized music playlist on
observable behavior, memory, and mood of older adults with dementia. The Music and Memory program
was applied to 6 older adults with dementia at a Retirement Center in Northwest Ohio. The findings
indicated that listening to a personalized playlist had a positive outcome on improving moods and
decreasing disruptive behavior of participants, with more increased eye contact, smiling, face relaxation,
and responsiveness. This study suggests that personalized music is an effective intervention tool;
therefore, social workers should take on the roles of educators, evaluators, brokers, and advocators in
applying Music and Memory program to clients with dementia.
Copyright (c) 2016 Elizabeth Wagner, HeeSoon Lee, Derek Mason
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.