5.9k Share this

Care homes give refuge to a significant proportion of the elderly population across the UK. Since aged people are less able to care for themselves, it’s of superlative importance that the caregivers to whom they are entrusted do everything possible to support their comfort and wellbeing. 

This includes moderating temperature, variations of which may cause more harm than is commonly thought.

Resident safety

Extreme temperatures are dangerous to everyone; and particularly dangerous for the elderly, who are particularly vulnerable. 

The adverse effects on the elderly of cold weather, especially during the winter months, have been known for years. To mitigate the number of excess winter deaths, the minimum home temperature threshold recommended by Public Health England is 18 degrees Celsius.

The Met Office has warned that heatwave deaths are set to soar as UK summers become hotter as a result of global warming, with vulnerable citizens suffering most of all. 

To make matters worse, a recent multi-authored study found that elderly residents in care homes are insensitive to heat, suggesting that they’re at greater risk of overheating and contracting associated illnesses – without them being able to perceive overheating themselves. 

High-risk groups that are vulnerable to the effects of heat are physiologically unable to cool themselves efficiently once temperatures rise above 26 degrees Celsius. So, care homes should ensure that temperatures do not exceed 26 degrees Celsius.

Even if care home staff choose to use a different temperature range that’s better suited to the particular climates of their region, they should maintain diligent control of temperatures in their facilities. It’s vital that they conduct regular checks with temperature test and measurement devices, in order to protect the wellbeing of their residents.

Resident comfort

We all feel comfortable in our own homes. On the other hand, being thrust suddenly into a new living environment is one of the most uncomfortable experiences possible. It’s important the care homes do everything they can to smooth this transition and help residents feel at ease. 

Temperature plays a key role in comfort. This role is larger for the elderly than for other age groups. Many older people suffer from circulation problems that interfere with their ability to feel the warmth. They also have reduced mobility, which stops them from being able to warm themselves through movement as readily as younger people.

Proper temperature regulation, therefore, is essential for helping this vulnerable group to be comfortable.

Final thoughts

Proper temperature control is important for even more reasons beyond the primary reasons discussed here – including family satisfaction and even staff working conditions. With temperature extremes becoming more frequent year on year, care homes need to make vigilant temperature control a top priority.

5.9k Share this
You May Also Like

George McGavin health: BBC presenter’s ‘verruca’ turned out to be deadly skin cancer

Having become accustomed to travelling the world, nothing prepared McGavin for the…

Monkeypox latest: Cases confirmed in more countries – full list of countries affected

“You can also catch it through coughs or sneezes, and from touching…

Joint pain – is it arthritis or lupus? How to tell the difference between the two

Arthritis is a common condition that causes pain and inflammation within a…

WHO convenes emergency monkeypox meeting amid growing fears about international outbreak

World Health Organization bosses will hold an emergency monkeypox amid growing fears…

Supplements: Three supplements that may carry risk of ‘life-threatening’ heart arrhythmia

He pointed out the importance of differentiating between extremely high doses of…

High cholesterol: Symptoms of high levels may include hammertoe

One thing these conditions have in common is they cause an imbalance…

Dementia symptoms dismissed as ‘just getting old’ – new list of signs you need to know

Alongside the new checklist, the Alzheimer’s Society have released a new campaign…

How to live longer: Eating when most active boosts longevity

Time and resources are increasingly being devoted to the task of extending…