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When a nursing home gets hot

June 6, 2011
by Kathleen Mears
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I was very warm this past winter, probably because the injections I get to prevent breast cancer recurrence can cause hot flashes. It was so warm that I was comfortable in long sleeved cotton/polyester tops. That was strange, but I have learned as I get older I have to adapt frequently.

Also, because I am quadriplegic, it is difficult to control my body temperature. I have not perspired on my right side since the injury that left me disabled, which I suffered at age 19. So I have to be careful not to get too warm or too cold.

This spring we needed more heat than air conditioning due to the weather. But on the days it was in the 80s, the air conditioning was not turned on. At my former facility, I had a “through the wall” heater/air conditioner, which I could easily flip between settings. Here, when my room is stuffy, I have to open the windows and run a fan.

A month or so ago a nurse told me this facility gets quite warm during the hottest part of summer and suggested I buy a room air conditioner. When I told my sister, she was surprised. She thought nursing home regulations would ensure that the facility did not get too warm.

The week before Memorial Day, after a few days in the 90s, my room was 88 degrees. It was too warm for me to breathe comfortably and my fan had little impact. I told the maintenance man that I was going to purchase an 8000 BTU air conditioner. After he installed it my room felt so much better.

I even experienced air conditioning difficulties at my previous facility. The zone air conditioners there were frequently on the blink, and the through the wall room units were eventually phased out.

Even though many elderly residents are usually cold, I think facilities built in the 70s and 80s need to have the air conditioning upgraded. It’s good for both residents and staff during the hottest part of summer.

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this site needs some major help

Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...