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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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].