In particular, health problems due to unwanted noise range from hearing problems to a dramatic rise in blood pressure as noise levels constrict the arteries (1). For dementia patients, a poor acoustic environment can lead to feelings of exclusion and confusion (2). This is because people with dementia have a reduced ability to understand their sensory environment, and when noise proves to be overstimulating, they may be prone to agitation or try to remove themselves from the situation (3).
The link between noise pollution and mental health is not one that is often considered within the built environment. However, proper noise control can be extremely beneficial to our health and well-being, and this project demonstrates how buildings can be adapted to create a more peaceful environment - and ultimately to help dementia suffer to stay in the familiar and comforting surroundings of their own home for as long as possible.
1. Münzel and Sørensen, 2016: https://www.ecrjournal.com/articles/noise-pollution-and-arterial-hypertension
2. McManus and McClenaghan, 2010: “Hearing, sound and the acoustic environment for people with dementia”
3. Woods, A.T., Poliakoff, E., Lloyd, D.M., Kuenzel, J., Hodson, R., Gonda, Batchelor, J., Dijksterhuis, G.B. and Thomas, A. (2011) ‘Effect of background noise on food perception’, Food Quality and Preference, vol 22, no 1, pp 42–47.