What’s the Best Intervention for Late-Stage Dementia?

Searching for an intervention that will engage your clients with late-stage dementia? Sometimes, the simplest answer is the best one: singing! Singing songs of their childhood will take them back, and allow you to connect with them in a deeper, more meaningful way. For those who have progressed beyond verbal ability, bring them into music making with you or the group using bells and shakers. These quieter, easy-to-play instruments will give them an expressive voice all of their own.

The simple, soulful power of singing a favorite song goes a long way — and all it takes is your voice! See why Meredith Hamons, MT-BC calls it her #1 intervention for late-stage dementia by hitting play below:

If you’d like to REALLY dig in to building a rockstar program for your seniors, then check out Meredith Hamons’ Zero to Full Time: Older Adults CMTE course. By taking the course, you will:

  • Have access to a phone script and business development materials, which will give you the confidence to turn your plans into your first call.
  • Be able to turn misunderstandings into opportunities the next time your role as a music therapist comes in question.
  • Feel more empowered and confident than ever, advocating for your clients and sustaining your program long-term.
  • Walk step-by-step through one simple, manageable business launching checklist that anyone can do, so that all intimidation of running a business is completely dissolved.
  • Create a music-filled, engaging older adult program… and make it your dream job!

If you provide music therapy to older adults, then our course is a perfect fit!


  1. I agree 100% with the recommendation of singing as the best for low-functioning or late-stage dementia. One of the best sessions I ever conducted happened when I had to throw out my plan and had to resort (due to logistics) to just playing one sing-along after another. I had my entire binder with me, and I just flipped through and picked out only the ones I knew were sure-fire hits from way back. By the end of the session, virtually everyone in the group of 18 low-functioning clients were either singing or making eye contact and smiling.

  2. Hi, I am an italian musictherapist and I have been using singing as my major therapeutic tool with not self sufficiency old people and with Alzheimer’s type of Dementia in a long care nursing home where I am working actually. I sing them old familiar songs end 18th and begining 19th centuries italian and Napolitan traditional songs with accompainment of Piano, guitar and I aslo play them old traditional american, irish and scottish waltzes by violin which stimulate them to dance. I keep on studying new songs of the same historical time and some of the 50ies and 6o ies. Only the melody itself, without musical instruments, has the power of very much engaging old people in singing, dancing and playing instruments like drums. My approach of working is related to the teachings of Robin Rio whose book ” Through connecting people with Dementia ” has inspired me to write my thesis : Musictherapy and Alzheimer’s type of Dementia – Singing as a therapeutic tool. Congratulations for your web site which I find interesting in the direction of keeping professionals of musictherapy around the world informed about the opportunities to share own professional experiences in such difficult period we are living now where online learning is becoming an important teaching tool due to social isolation as a result of coronavirus.

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