A resident in a care home in North Yorkshire has died from severe hypothermia. The inquest returned a verdict saying that she died as a direct result of the temperature in her room.
So what do you do if you are worried that a care home bedroom is too cold? Of course you speak to the Manager or a member of staff and ask them to turn the radiator up, or in this case on. But what you don't do is leave.
Wait until the radiator and the temperature in the room is at the correct level before you go home. Also remember that you are probably wearing clothes for outside and you may well be boiling hot in the home - but your relative is wearing indoor clothes.
Put yourself in the shoes, or slippers, of your loved one. They are sitting still with probably summer type clothes on. It is vital that they don't get cold. The recommended temperature for a living space is 21C and the absolute minimum temperature to avoid health risks is 18C.
So if you are worried about the temperature in a care home bedroom there really is only one thing to do -
Now that my husband is beginning to settle into his care home, I wanted to write and thank you for all your help and expertise in finding a suitable care home for him at a time when I was finding life very difficult.
I do not think I could have managed without you. I appreciated your practical support in organising all the visits and even return visits with other members of my husband’s family.
Your knowledge of how to assess a home and to know what to look for in any assessment cut out hours of my time trying to understand reports, particularly at a time when I could not think straight. Your understanding of my emotional situation was a real blessing.
Although the care home we chose is not in my immediate neighbourhood, I am still convinced that it suits his needs and he will settle in well to this new environment.
To find an expert in the unchartered waters of care homes at a time of personal distress was wonderful.
Very many thanks.
With every good wish