Effective Acoustics & its Benefits for Common Areas of Aged Care Facilities

The importance of effective acoustics optimisation in aged care facilities can not be understated. As people get older they are faced with a plethora of debilitating ailments, many of which can affect their hearing and their ability to interpret different sounds properly. For example: elderly people suffering from dementia might not necessarily struggle with their hearing, but they will find it much harder to hear accurately. (So, you can imagine how difficult it must be for someone who suffers from poor hearing & dementia) 

By having well-optimised acoustics installed in the common areas of aged facilities you will be making the environment much more comfortable for the residents. It can be stressful and confusing enough as it is for the elderly without being able to understand what is going on around them. Naturally, in a common area there is going to be lots of conversations happening around them, noise from the television or radio, various people coming and going and much more background noise which can cause confusion. That being said, with effective acoustics it can make sound intelligibility far easier.

Why Sound Ineligibility is so Important in an Aged Car Facility

Besides the obvious fact of it just being nice to be able to hear properly and understand what is going on around you, there are some very important reasons why sound ineligibility is vital. 

  • Reduced Levels of Agitation and Aggression: It’s not uncommon for the elderly to become agitated or aggressive in an aged care facility though it is important to understand why this can occur. One of the main causes of this is being unable to understand what is going on around them. Imagine being unable to hear properly, which will invariably lead to misunderstandings. This can lead to more confusion, ordering the wrong food and people not understanding your wants and requests properly. (Proper acoustics can significantly reduce the chances of this happening)
  • Physiological Effects of Noise & Dementia: As hearing is linked with balance, the effect that unnecessary noise can have on those with dementia can be dangerous, - leading to falls (which for the elderly, can be fatal)
    Noise in Relation to Wound Healing, Weight Gain and the Immune System: As quoted in a fascinating study presented by Michael James Hayne and Richard Fleming, they stated the following: “High noise levels can lead to stress reactions such as anxiety, confusion, increased heart rate, blood pressure and fatigue from over stimulation. Noise has also been demonstrated to delay wound healing, decrease weight gain and impair immune function, with the effect of noise on medical and behavioural health being magnified for a person with dementia.”

Naturally, it just makes sense to create as comfortable an environment as possible for your elderly residents. It’s not just about sound intelligibility, but also preventing unwanted outside noise from making its way in. Of course, elderly people are going to struggle enough as it is to watch their.

favourite television program without having to listen over any noise coming from outside. It can be terribly distracting which again, can lead to agitation.

Improved Carer Performance & Reduced Stress Levels

While the elderly residents in an aged care facility are a priority, it is also important to ensure that all care staff are comfortable as well. With high-quality sound acoustics optimisation, your care staff will have a much more comfortable environment to work in. The reduced noise levels will make it much easier for them to understand what their residents are asking for which will lead to a much better service all-round. In addition to that, it will significantly reduce the amount of stress that they experience whilst on shift. 

Summary

In this light it is important that you consider the benefits of having proper acoustics installed. If you want your guests and your staff to feel as comfortable as possible in your aged care facility then there are many steps that you can take: noise reduction being one of the most effective.

If you would like more information on the various acoustic options available in order to improve intelligibility and comfort for residents with hearing loss; please feel free to get in contact with us today. There are a number of different options available, though ultimately there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. We will tailor our service to your specific requirements, based on a thorough survey of the areas in question. 

META 

Learn about the benefits of effective acoustics for the elderly in aged care facilities. Create the most comfortable environment for our vulnerable loved ones.