Any tips for noise sensitivity?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Pheath, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. Pheath

    Pheath Registered User

    Dec 31, 2009
    1,096
    UK
    #1 Pheath, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
    Just wondered if anyone has any practical suggestions for a way to block out or at least muffle noise? Dad has been in a CH for over a year and has always had slight noise sensitivity but the last couple of weeks it’s got really bad and he’s constantly having to be moved out of the communal areas as he starts shouting loudly and getting very irritated when the activities co-ordinator talks in a slightly raised voice to the group (she's there 9-5) or if there are any conversations within earshot. We’ve been told it’s started to unsettle and agitate the other residents. I’ve been around the shops today trying to buy ear muffs but it’s not really the season and the only ones I found don’t really block out noise very effectively, likewise with headphones. Also considering foam earplugs but they’re a little fiddly and might either fall out else there’s a danger someone could push them too far into his ears causing damage. We still want to leave him with some hearing but just dim the sound around him. His cognition is so poor now that he no longer understands conversation and only hears it as noise which just aggravates him. Any ideas would be gratefully received, can see it becoming quite a problem if we can’t find a solution. There are no really quiet rooms in the CH and he can't be taken to his bedroom during the day as he needs constant supervision. Thanks very much.
     
  2. jeany123

    jeany123 Registered User

    Mar 24, 2012
    19,049
    Durham
  3. Ormsbrindle

    Ormsbrindle Registered User

    Jun 28, 2013
    1
    Harrogate
    If he is willing you could get impressions taken at your local hospital in the audiology dept, they may do home visits, in order to make him a pair of custom made earplugs.
     
  4. mrjelly

    mrjelly Registered User

    Jul 23, 2012
    317
    West Sussex
    Are still any sounds that your Dad still likes? If he could be encouraged to listen to his favourite music or birdsong etc. on earphones / headphones then perhaps that would help him feel more in control of his environment and less threatened by stray noise around him.

    I also wondered if there is any treatment which makes people a bit deafer, although it does seem ethically questionable.
     
  5. Pheath

    Pheath Registered User

    Dec 31, 2009
    1,096
    UK
    Thank you everyone so far for these useful suggestions. Jeany, I think I'll order the cheaper option to begin with and if that fails consider the other. The custom made ear plugs are also something to consider but am not sure how co-operative he'd be enabling an impression to be made.
    Unfortunately there are no sounds he still likes, he used to respond well to music and liked it when the singer came to entertain every weekend but now tells him to shut up after 5mins! It really is sad as his ability to enjoy anything these days has all but gone.
     
  6. Big Effort

    Big Effort Account Closed

    Jul 8, 2012
    1,928
    Brainwave Entrainment to change ones mind state

    Dear Pheath,

    This sounds very distressing for your Dad. Most people want to hear, but it seems he would prefer to be deaf (at the moment).

    I used to be really, really into brainwave entrainment, so listening to soundtracks that gently switch the brain into calmer, more open, relaxed states. There is no doubt that they work, but the problem is most of them sound lousy. I did find one superb set of sound tracks that are wonderful to listen to.

    This could work in a two-fold way. First he would need an iPod to have the tracks on (you could loop it), and then it will shut out the 'people noise'. Second, it may well help soothe him and uplift his spirits, if you can get him out of what I used to call beta-frazzle (the kind of brainwave state we are in when we are agitated and upset or full of circular thoughts and fixation). Once he is out of beta-frazzle and shifts into theta and delta, or at least less buzzy-beta, he may feel much nicer.

    If you are interested in trying this option, just let me know and I will advise on what I liked to listen to. Each track is about 30 mins long, and very very calming. I would advise you to be there while he gets underway as it is very calming, and of course, I have no idea how slow, deep, gentle entrainment reacts to a dementia-brain. But if he is suffering, it is worth a try.

    So sorry to hear about this. It must be so upsetting, and if you have dementia, it must be even worse, as if people are conspiring to irritate. I send him peace and quiet, and will do so in my meditation.

    Hugs to you Pheath. You are such a lovely, lovely person and I so value how you have supported me. I'd be really chuffed if brainwave entrainment could help him to feel in a nicer mental state. Also the effects are cumulative, so each session is one in the bank, as the brain retrains itself to calmer, more open brainwave patterns.

    Sending hugs your way, BE
     
  7. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    #7 CraigC, Jun 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
    Hi Pheath, interesting thread.

    Just my experience.

    My dad was very sensitive to loud noise and this was exasperated when he went into care. There seemed to be an assumption that everyone over a certain age has hearing issues. The staff would shout to give him instructions and the TV would be up loud in shared areas. I could tell that he was stressed in these situations. So I discussed it with care home manager. She had a small area where their were a few residents who preferred the quite, unfortunately this was away from the main shared care area so we had to balance risk. But dad seemed so much happier in the quieter area. In his room I left clear instructions on the volume for the radio, again the assumption was that he was old and therefore hard of hearing, he wasnt.

    The next care home were less sensitive in shared areas but I made an issue of it. And again they split it in two. It is obvious some prefer quite. I do, why shouldn't dad who can speak up for himself.

    So my advice is to tackle the source of the noise and not expect you to come up with methods to muffle out the noise. There should be a quite area and your dad should have that area respected or treated as an individual. Most importantly, staff should be aware that loud noises upsets your dad.

    We had issues with another home that they would play music so loud that I could tell dad was agitated and upset. So we agreed to move dad to his room if this was the case. Low volume voice radio and he was happy. No one should have to endure loud noise if it upsets them and the staff should be aware of this.

    Best of luck, but my personal opinion is that your dad is not the only one upset by loud noise in the care home and they have a duty of care to accommodate his needs.

    Can't be perfect but it cold be better.
    Kindest Regards
    Craig
     
  8. Pheath

    Pheath Registered User

    Dec 31, 2009
    1,096
    UK
    BE - what a creative and innovative idea, no less than i would expect from you though! I think Brainwave entrainment would actually benefit me as well and have just been listening to a bit of it on youtube. Can see how it might tap into unconscious channels inducing deep states of relaxation, i'm sure it could help with insomnia too. Dad's dementia is so advanced now it's hard to say if it would work but am inclined to say almost anything is worth a try. I'm only slightly hesitant as am not sure the carers would have the time/ wherewithal to plug him in as it were(!) and whether he'd even keep the earphones in as he tends to move around a lot and has no understanding of instructions. It could be an expensive experiment but if it did work would be wonderful so would be interested to hear your track recommendations. And many thanks for your lovely words, I can only say ditto to you too!
    Craig - I'm glad your dad's noise issue was largely resolved and do agree with you that the onus should definitely be on the CH to find a way around it. The problem with dad is the noise doesn't even have to be that loud, just people talking at a normal level nearby could set him off or today the noise of a slightly creaky wheelchair going by. This is quite a new phenomena as although he's never liked loud noise, he did have some noise toleration. However, I've got a couple of ideas now so will see if anything works.. Thank you for your response.
     
  9. CraigC

    CraigC Registered User

    Mar 21, 2003
    6,630
    London
    Ear Plugs

    Hi Pheath,

    I can see that it is even more difficult if your dad is over sensitive to noise. I forgot to mention that I use earplugs and have tried just about every earplug on the market (we live on flightpath and I suffer from insomnia).

    I'd highly recommend 'Bio Ears Soft Silicone EarPlugs', just run a google search and you can buy them for about £4 for six. Really comfortable and effective. At least worth a try. Trouble with any earplug is that you'll need to fit them very gently.

    Best of luck
    Craig
     

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