With each passing year, we become more and more successful at prolonging the human lifespan. However, the older we become, the greater the chances are of getting a dementia related disease.
To ensure the best possible care for people living with dementia, an Australia team developed an Environmental Audit Tool (EAT) to combat the negative influences that the built environment can have on people living in nursing homes or other assisted living facilities.
The impact of the built environment
There has been substantial research highlighting the influence that the built environment has on our physiological and psychological well-being. This impact is especially true for people living with dementia, as they are more likely to respond on a sensory level.
The recognition of this impact has led to the creation of a handbook that is designed to help architects and contractors build spaces that are friendly for people living with dementia.
What are the design principles of the Environmental Audit Tool
The underlying principle of EAT is to design in a way that positively influences a person’s lived experience.
The top design principles of EAT are:
- Be small, familiar and provide safety and security for residents.
- Provide good visual cues and avoid over stimulating residents
- Design for wandering
- Be open and build for social interactions
- Create a homely environment
Reduce unnecessary agitation
One of the governing philosophies, when designing for people with dementia, is the ability to manage unnecessary stimulation, which also includes the acoustic environment of a space.
When sound waves hit the hard surfaces found in a room, the hard surfaces reflect the noise back into the space instead of absorbing it. This causes the overall sound pressure levels in the room to rise.
To create a balanced acoustic environment, noise levels need to be properly managed. By considering the acoustic environment from the beginning of the project, a developer can better manage the project construction and the overall project costs.
At Rockfon we are specialists in creating optimal acoustic conditions for any space. Visit your local Rockfon page and discover how we can help you achieve the optimal acoustic atmosphere for your next project.