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Monitoring sound levels and soundscape quality in the living rooms of nursing homes : a case study in Flanders (Belgium)

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Abstract
Recently there has been an increasing interest in the acoustic environment and its perceptual counterpart (i.e., the soundscape) of care facilities and their potential to affect the experience of residents with dementia. There is evidence that too loud sounds or poor soundscape quality more generally can affect negatively the quality of life of people with dementia and increase agitation. The AcustiCare project aims to use the soundscape approach to enhance the Quality of Life (QoL) of residents and to reduce Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD), as well as improving the everyday experience of nursing homes for both residents and staff members. In order to gain further insights into the sound environments of such facilities, sound level monitoring and soundscape data collection campaigns were conducted in the living rooms of five nursing homes in Flanders. Results showed that sound levels (dB) and loudness levels (sone) did not vary significantly between days of the week, but they did so between moments of the day and between living rooms. From the perceptual point of view, several soundscape attributes and the perceived prominence of different sound source types varied significantly between the living rooms investigated, and a positive correlation was found between sound levels and the number of persons present in the living rooms. These findings claim for further attention on the potential role of the sound domain in nursing homes, which should promote (and not only permit) better living and working conditions for residents and staff members of nursing homes.
Keywords
OLDER-PEOPLE, FRAMEWORK, DESIGN, soundscape, indoor sound quality, nursing homes, dementia care

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Chicago
Aletta, Francesco, Dick Botteldooren, Pieter Thomas, Tara Vander Mynsbrugge, Patricia De Vriendt, Dominique Van de Velde, and Paul Devos. 2017. “Monitoring Sound Levels and Soundscape Quality in the Living Rooms of Nursing Homes : a Case Study in Flanders (Belgium).” Applied Sciences-basel 7 (9).
APA
Aletta, F., Botteldooren, D., Thomas, P., Vander Mynsbrugge, T., De Vriendt, P., Van de Velde, D., & Devos, P. (2017). Monitoring sound levels and soundscape quality in the living rooms of nursing homes : a case study in Flanders (Belgium). APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL, 7(9).
Vancouver
1.
Aletta F, Botteldooren D, Thomas P, Vander Mynsbrugge T, De Vriendt P, Van de Velde D, et al. Monitoring sound levels and soundscape quality in the living rooms of nursing homes : a case study in Flanders (Belgium). APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL. 2017;7(9).
MLA
Aletta, Francesco, Dick Botteldooren, Pieter Thomas, et al. “Monitoring Sound Levels and Soundscape Quality in the Living Rooms of Nursing Homes : a Case Study in Flanders (Belgium).” APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL 7.9 (2017): n. pag. Print.
@article{8546532,
  abstract     = {Recently there has been an increasing interest in the acoustic environment and its perceptual counterpart (i.e., the soundscape) of care facilities and their potential to affect the experience of residents with dementia. There is evidence that too loud sounds or poor soundscape quality more generally can affect negatively the quality of life of people with dementia and increase agitation. The AcustiCare project aims to use the soundscape approach to enhance the Quality of Life (QoL) of residents and to reduce Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD), as well as improving the everyday experience of nursing homes for both residents and staff members. In order to gain further insights into the sound environments of such facilities, sound level monitoring and soundscape data collection campaigns were conducted in the living rooms of five nursing homes in Flanders. Results showed that sound levels (dB) and loudness levels (sone) did not vary significantly between days of the week, but they did so between moments of the day and between living rooms. From the perceptual point of view, several soundscape attributes and the perceived prominence of different sound source types varied significantly between the living rooms investigated, and a positive correlation was found between sound levels and the number of persons present in the living rooms. These findings claim for further attention on the potential role of the sound domain in nursing homes, which should promote (and not only permit) better living and working conditions for residents and staff members of nursing homes.},
  articleno    = {874},
  author       = {Aletta, Francesco and Botteldooren, Dick and Thomas, Pieter and Vander Mynsbrugge, Tara and De Vriendt, Patricia and Van de Velde, Dominique and Devos, Paul},
  issn         = {2076-3417},
  journal      = {APPLIED SCIENCES-BASEL},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {18},
  title        = {Monitoring sound levels and soundscape quality in the living rooms of nursing homes : a case study in Flanders (Belgium)},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/app7090874},
  volume       = {7},
  year         = {2017},
}

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