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Care homes provide essential support and care for thousands of older people across the UK. Individuals who can no longer live at home safely and therefore rely on the support and comfort of the care home.  Ensuring that each part of your care home is properly maintained and focused on providing comfort to residents is key. It is therefore essential to ensure all residents are comfortable, and this includes temperature regulations.

Many people have to move to a care or nursing home because they have mobility or health issues and need 24/7 on-call care. Creating the perfect environment that suits all residents is a challenge. One area that is of particular importance in care homes is temperature control and quality of air. Even minor changes in ambient temperature can make an older / sick person feel uncomfortable. Residents of nursing homes commonly spend the vast majority of their time indoors where they are exposed to indoor air pollutants for long periods.

Therefore, the air quality in hospitals and nursing homes must be the best possible. Air pollution is the biggest cause of shortened lifespan in humans. Indoor air in hospitals and nursing homes unfortunately contains unhealthy substances generated on the premises. These pollutants come from people, textiles, smells, cleaning chemicals, mould spores, paint and building materials, etc. Pollutants can also originate in leaking ventilation systems.

Older People Feel Colder

There are several reasons why someone living in a care home might feel colder than you would expect. As we get older, for instance, the skin tends to thin which means we are more susceptible to changes in temperature. If someone also suffers from circulatory problems it can mean they feel cold despite it being a sunny, warm day.

Those with dementia can also have an altered perception of what cold is and how they feel it which can be challenging for carers.

Older people often have a more compromised immune system which means they are susceptible to colds and flu. Even a slight temperature change may be noticed, especially with the extremities such as hands and feet. Care homes need to be able to have control over areas like temperature as well as features such as air conditioning. Good air quality means that bugs and bacteria are less likely to circulate and cause infections.

Perception of temperature can vary between individuals which makes greater control even more important. Maintaining the right temperature means that, for example, residents get a good night’s sleep which is beneficial to their health and wellbeing rather than struggling with a room that is either too hot or too cold.

Weaker Immune System

As we age, our immune systems become compromised. This means it is easier to catch common sickness bugs such as colds and flu. Pneumonia happens when an individual isn’t able to get warm, which is why people tend to get sick more often in the winter months. Good air quality will reduce the infection-causing bacteria in the care home. An air conditioning specialist, such as Woodhouse Environmental Services, can advise you on the best air conditioning solutions for your care home to ensure safety and comfort.

Reduced Mobility

Many care home residents struggle with mobility and, therefore, may not be able to get up and move about if they wish to warm up. Being mobile helps to boost circulation.

Today’s air conditioning and temperature control systems are highly sophisticated and can be tailored to individual care homes. You can have one control for the shared community areas in your home and individual thermostats and air-con for separate rooms. Providing residents with a cool environment in the summer is just as important as warmth in the colder months. Care homes should have a cool room or area where people can go to cool down. High-risk groups that are vulnerable to the effects of heat can find it hard to cool themselves efficiently once temperatures rise above 26°C.

Contact Woodhouse HQ today for more information on air conditioning, indoor air quality, and the importance of temperature control.

If you missed our previous blog on Heating & Plumbing: The Environmental Benefits to Underfloor Heating Systems check it out.