Skip to the content

Towards room acoustics for an elderly population

Davies, WJ, Cox, TJ, Kearon, AT, Longhurst, BJ and Webb, CL 2000, Towards room acoustics for an elderly population , in: Acoustics 2000, Liverpool.

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (202kB) | Preview


    A qualitative social survey has been conducted on a group of 207 elderly people with a hearing loss. The aim of the study was to determine the extent to which acoustic problems in the built environment affect this subject group. The project was thought necessary because most areas of the built environment are designed using an assumption of normal hearing. The work was conducted as part of the EPSRC EQUAL programme to extend the quality of life for disabled and elderly users of the built environment. It was found that the speech communication of elderly people was significantly affected by the presence of background talkers in a reverberant environment. However, some routine social interactions can tolerate poor speech communication. Considerable evidence of subjects adapting their behaviour to acoustic problems was found. For example, a large number of subjects experienced poor reception with hearing aids. This prompted them to use the aid selectively. Also, poor sound insulation in domestic dwellings gave a strong disincentive for some subjects to use their television sets at a comfortable listening level.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Uncontrolled Keywords: hearing loss speech reverberation
    Themes: Built and Human Environment
    Health and Wellbeing
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Acoustics Research Centre
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics
    Publisher: Institute of Acoustics
    Refereed: Yes
    Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
    Depositing User: Dr W. J. Davies
    Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2012 14:03
    Last Modified: 20 Jan 2014 20:53
    References: [1] S GOLDSMITH, Designing for the Disabled: The New Paradigm, Architectural Press, Oxford (1998). [2] CHABA, ‘Speech understanding and ageing,’ J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 83 p859-895 (1988). [3] A K NABELEK & P K ROBINSON, ‘Monaural and binaural speech perception in reverberation for listeners of various ages,’ J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 71 p1242-1248 (1982). [4] H VONDWEL et al, ‘Selective hearing in the aged with regard to speech-perception in quiet and in noise,’ Acta Oto-Laryngologica, S476 p131-135 (1991). [5] R M COX & G C ALEXANDER, ‘Hearing-aid benefit in everyday environments,’ Ear and Hearing, 12 p127-139 (1991). [6] R PLOMP & A J DUQUESNOY, ‘Room acoustics for the aged,’ J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 68 p1616-1621 (1980). [7] C SEALE (ed.), Researching Society and Culture, Sage, London (1998). [8] P L DIVENYI & K M HAUPT, ‘Audiological correlates of speech understanding deficits in elderly listeners with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. 3. Factor representation,’ Ear and Hearing, 18 p189-201 (1997). [9] H E LINDEMAN & F A PLATENBURGGITS, ‘Communicative skills of the very old in old peoples homes,’ Acta Oto-Laryngologica, S476 p232-238 (1991).

    Actions (login required)

    Edit record (repository staff only)

    No Altmetrics available

    Downloads per month over past year

    View more statistics