Written by Active Minds on Friday the 19th of May 2017.
Though the summer is a wonderful season, where we can enjoy lighter evenings and glorious sunshine, sometimes, especially during the hottest months, temperatures can rise to an unbearable level and it can be hard to keep cool.
This is especially true in the UK where we are not generally equipped for searing sunshine and our homes are not furnished with the appropriate cooling tools, such as air conditioning units.
For people living with dementia the heat can be even more difficult to cope with as they may be unsure how to keep themselves and their home cool.
Additionally, a recent study by Federico Tartarini, a PhD student from the University of Wollongong (Australia), along with care provider Warrigal, found that there was a clear pattern between increased agitation in people living with dementia and hot or cold ambient temperatures. So, keeping their environment at a pleasant temperature will help people living with dementia feel calm and relaxed.
Take a look at our tips to help keep you or your loved ones’ home cool this summer:
It may seem obvious, but keeping your windows open and allowing cool air to flow through your home will lower the heat in your house considerably. As heat rises, if you have multiple storeys in your house, you only need to open the windows on your ground floor to allow a cool draft through your home. However, this will only work if the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside.
Apart from saving energy and keeping your utility bills low, ensuring that you turn your house lights off whenever possible will also help keep your home cooler. Light bulbs emit heat, so take advantage of natural day light to keep your home bright rather than lighting. The same is also true for any other electronics in your home, such as computers or televisions, so make sure you turn them off when not in use.
Though not a quick fix, if you have the time, inclination (or indeed garden), planting shrubbery and trees outside light-facing windows (generally west-facing and east-facing) will provide shade from the sun and keep your home cool. Similarly, drawing the curtains, though a shame to block out the lovely sunlight, will provide shade and stop your room heating up too much.
Heat can build up throughout the day as a result of the sun hitting your roof. To stop the temperature in your home getting too high, consider getting your roof covered in reflective paint. This will mean that sun rays are reflected rather than absorbed into your home.
There is nothing worse than being hot in bed, it interrupts your sleep and can lead to frustration and irritability. Switch your sheets to cotton for the summer months, as this a breathable material that will help keep your body temperature down. Investing in black out blinds in your room will also help keep the temperature down, as well as the added bonus of keeping the early sunshine from interrupting your slumber.