Training for the thermostat war.

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The time of the year that many of us dread is coming fast. We need to do some training to know how to handle it. The thermostat war has already started here. The house temperature is 75-77F, but Mom wants to turn on the heat. The compassionate part of us wants to turn the thermostat up to 90F. The sensible part of us knows that it will kill us, the pets, and the plants to do that. We can dress in shorts and a t-shirt, close vents, and open windows, but ultimately we are going to have to turn on the air conditioner to make life bearable.

I wondered what people here tell their parent when they want to turn the heat on when it is warm.

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When I was in college I lived in a sorority. Everyone sleep in what was called "an open air sleeping porch" - windows with screens and angled shutters but no glass. My bed always got a breeze and after a bit I grew to love it! Now I still sleep with my windows open, rain or shine. It took about 15 years but now hubby doesn't mind. So yea - what is it with not wanting to open the freakin' windows?!!! During my dads final two months I visited everyday. We're talking June/July, the heat on AND I was right in the middle of menopause with killer hot flashes. I'd leave drenched and have to go home and shower. I also developed a weird skin pigment/rash that still comes back when I get too hot -thank you very much! Now I visit mom - the room is set to 80ish. She's wearing a polar fleece jacket over full clothing and under a blanket. Right now we're experiencing freakishly warm weather - I visited the other day wearing a tank top and she says "aren't you cold"? I think she was teasing...
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Windy, anytime my husband and I would visit, we always stayed in a hotel. The house was too cluttered and dirty. When my brother visits with his wife, they also stay in a hotel. This house is about as alluring as a spider web.

Staying in a hotel is worth the money when visiting. You can get away when you want and just kick back. You can turn on the air. You can watch the TV you want to watch. Really, after visiting 8-10 hours in a day, everyone is ready for a break from each other. And no one has to wash the linens before and after the visit.
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Well, as long as we're whining......I would much rather stay at a nearby motel but my folks would be heartbroken and could not fathom why I would spend all that money when I have my old childhood room at home. On my most recent trip I tried to get them to let me buy some cheap lawn chairs to get them outside a little.
OMG! Are you kidding? No way. We have perfectly good chairs in the basement. Yes, 1970s broken webbed lawn chairs.

But this is dementia with Dad and even though Mom is still pretty sharp her executive reasoning skills are not good any longer. So I do my duty and return after each visit with horrible sinuses and musty clothes from living in a greenhouse for a week. My wife and I are very miserly with the heat and a/c. Keep the house at 68 in the winter, wear fleece and open the windows all spring, fall and summer. It's always a horrible adjustment to be locked up like a hot house petunia.
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Windy, I can relate to that... like what's up with not opening windows? Of course now I can't open most of the windows in my parents house [that is up For Sale] because the windows won't budge after 35 years of being closed... got one opened, whew, but now I can't get it closed :P

When my parents were still living there, I use to keep the front door opened while I was bringing in the groceries, thinking ok we will get 5 minutes of fresh air.... but no, my Mom would shut the door, had to keep the flies out. Flies?

When I was growing up there wasn't this issues as we didn't have central air in upstate New York.... summer was only two weeks in August.... thus had nice breezes going through the house. To this day I always have at least 2 windows opened 24 hours, and at night even more.
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Young people do that, too, Windy. The people around here are mainly in their 20s and you never see any open windows. I love to open windows and have the fresh air blow through. I'm the only person I know who does that anymore around here. So strange. We are given so many things to enjoy, but push it away. I'm shocked now when I mention cardinals or blue jays and young people have no idea what I'm talking about. I would have to message them a picture on their phone before they would see one.
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I live 3 states away from my elderly folks but I make the trip often and stay with them for several days. Dad is always cold and keeps the furnace blasting all winter. It's unbearable when I'm there. I sneak adjust the t stat 20 times a day just to survive.

But my biggest pet peeve is the NO OPEN WINDOWS EVER policy. Drives me plum bug s...t! There are several weeks per year of temperate weather where they live but god forbid you open a friggin window! So we sit inside on a beautiful 74 degree day with the furnace running to keep the house at 78 degrees. I think part of this is from the old depression era they grew up in. Central heat and air are luxuries they never dreamed of. Windows are for keeping this ever so valuable conditioned air locked inside where it belongs. Windows have not been opened in this house since the late 60s when this stuff was installed. I'm not kidding. It's the main reason I hate visiting.
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You guys are lucky. This is my mother's house and she is not going to wrap up warm. And if I tried to put a lock box on the thermostat, she would take a hammer to it. I have to resort to more covert techniques. Sometimes I close my vents, then turn the heat on for just a few minutes, then switch it back off. Seems silly, but it satisfies her psychological need to be in control of things in her house.
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Jessie, time to polish that helmet. My parents had kept their house at 78-80 because Mom was so very cold, and Dad was almost dressed because he was too warm. My limit in their house was 10 minutes at the most. It was like walking into a hot flash !!

Mom had passed and now Dad is living in Independent Living.... good heavens, he is still turning up the thermostat up to 78... I am thinking it is ingrained in his brain because of all the years of doing that.

Repeatably I have told Dad not to fuss with the thermostat, keep it at 74 and don't touch it. One problem I think he has is that he can't read the LED green numbers, so he can't tell a 3 from a 5 from an 8, as the numbers are so small [who's brilliant idea to install such small boxes in senior living apartments].

A former neighbor of my Dad's would come over to visit, and one time I heard him tell Dad not to have the apartment so warm, it's not healthy, could make him sick. I was hoping Dad hearing that from someone else would click in, because what do I know, I am just the kid :P

This week I plan to tape a sign on top of the thermostat saying "keep the temps 74 or lower.. cooler the better". He probably will ignore it like he did with all the signs around the apartment reminding him to take his evening pills.... [sigh].
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If your mom can raise the temp on tstat you can put a lock box on ...it or try a Wifi tstat, but they are pricy. My moms apartment I her AL is always warm and the temperature is set as low as it can go,she still has a sweatshirt on.
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I have said before we have a mock thermostat so Mum doesn't actually know what temp it is but try thermal tops, trousers, vests and underwear they work and I don't have have to die of heat exhaustion although sometimes just sometimes I think ....what the h3ll .....can I just die period!
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