Acoustic technology in modern sliding door designs offers far better sound isolation than similar doors of the past, which helps to promote an atmosphere of healing in long term healthcare facilities. Studies have consistently shown that higher levels of ambient noise lead to feelings of disorganization and diminish the overall sense of wellbeing. This becomes even more pertinent when considering patients with dementia, as that condition already entails a degree of disorientation about time and location.
A study in 1994 revealed that 70% of individuals living in long term healthcare facilities suffered from some form of insomnia. Sleep disturbance has negative effects on blood pressure, stress, and the rate at which the body repairs itself. It has also been linked to increased mortality for the institutionalized elderly. For this reason incorporating acoustic doors and other design elements can improve the quality of care a facility can offer. While there are often many factors at play for insomnia cases, a proactive approach with positive designs can set the stage for other solutions.
Sliding door designs offer a modern aesthetic with less of a clinical feel, which can also help with perception of environment to improve mood. Smooth rolling tracks and features that prevent the door from being slammed shut can improve accessibility for users with impaired vision, limited physical strength, or poor balance. For long-term patients this can go a long way, as these types of inconveniences would be experienced for a much longer span of time.
These and other lean design principles offer a lot of space-saving benefits that can make patient rooms and exam rooms more functional, versatile, and comfortable. Open designs with light colors help promote a sense of wellbeing and organization, and acoustic designs also enhance the level of privacy regardless of the room’s specific function.