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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 24  |  Page : 63--73

A soundscape study : What kinds of sounds can elderly people affected by dementia recollect?

1 Fukushima University, Japan
2 Fukushima Medical University, Japan
3 Espoir Izumo Clinic, Japan
4 Fukuoka University, Japan

Correspondence Address:
K Nagahata
Fukushima University, Kanayagawa 1, Fukushima City, Fukushima-960-1296
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 15703142

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In this study, the kinds of sounds recollected by elderly people with dementia were investigated as a first step towards improving their sound environment. Onomatopoeias were presented to elderly people as keys to recollecting sounds, and they told what they imagined from each onomatopoeia. The results are summarized as follows. (1) Generally speaking, sounds from nature, such as the songs of birds and the sound of rain were recollected easily from onomatopoeias, regardless of gender. (2) Sounds of kitchen work were recollected by women only. (3) Sounds from old routines were recollected clearly. (4) Sounds that elicited feelings of nostalgia were also recollected intensely from onomatopoeias. These results show that elderly people suffering from dementia are able to recollect the sounds that had once occupied very important parts of their lives. However, these sounds in themselves are not unusual sounds in their daily lives. This suggests the importance of soundscape design in daily life.


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