Poor acoustics in a building can have a detrimental impact on people with dementia. Here we look at some of the effects of noise and how the sound environment can be improved.
How dementia and ageing affects our hearing
As we become older, our hearing is often affected as part of the ageing process and we lose the ability to hear high frequency sounds. Childen can typically hear or sense sounds at 20,000 Hz, whereas many people aged 85 cannot hear 8,000 Hz and so have lost a huge part of their range of hearing. In a noisy environment it is difficult to pick out speech and understand conversation; this is isolating, increases anxiety and can become distressing.