New recommendations for the design of age- and memory-friendly acoustic environments

Demographic changes are placing increased pressure on services in Finland, and it is estimated that the number of people with memory disorders will almost double over the next 30 years as the population ages. This makes it even more important to develop spaces that are memory- and age-friendly.

Ecophon has put together concise information on the special needs of age- and memory-friendly acoustic environments and design methods that promote wellbeing in senior and assisted living facilities.

The age- and memory-friendly acoustic environment guide is based on Viivi Salminen’s master’s thesis “Acoustic design in memory-friendly housing” (Aalto University, Master's Programme in Architecture, 2021). The thesis is part of the MonIA project led by the Research Group for Health and Wellbeing Architecture (SOTERA) at Aalto University, which explores new and flexible living solutions that lie between living at home and in an assisted living facility.

Improving living environments with acoustic design

The study showed that living environments can be made more memory-friendly by taking advantage of acoustic design. Salminen’s thesis highlighted the role of the acoustic environment and its numerous health impacts in housing for people with memory disorders. The study was used to draw up a table of guidelines to use as a tool for designing memory-friendly environments based on space categories and the special acoustic needs of people with memory disorders.

Individuality, communality, recovery support, safety and cosiness emerged as the main factors in designing memory-friendly acoustic environments.

The six main factors in designing memory-friendly acoustic environments.

Download the guide

Architectural visualisations in the guide and the picture in the article: © Viivi Salminen