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Needing Dementia friendly heater recommendations - Carers UK Forum

Needing Dementia friendly heater recommendations

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.
To set the scene- Dad has wall mounted storage heater on full blast
2 x oil filled radiators- little help towards heating largish room
tower oscillating fan heater (too many knobs!)
Panel heater with a knob that is locked so only one moveable knob)- ok but limited heat.
Endless list of broken convection heaters that have overheated and conked out

To save anyone suggesting the obvious- doesn't like blankets- they are for old people
Ditto hot water bottles
Jumpers/ Cardigans/Fleeces- not keen as he can't put them on unassisted
No gas in the house
No real chimney in the house
No wall space for alternative main heater to storage heater so needs to be smallish/mobile

I need something with a simple on/off up/down preferably a knob and little else in the way of controls. Something that will warm a largish room and nothing that needs programing. Nothing that will overheat and blow up.

Suggestions welcome!!!!!!!!
OMG - you don't want much do you Henrietta ? :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Off the top of my head I can only think of a Ceramic Heater - they come in different formats, some can be wall mounted and others are freestanding and mobile. In general they're not cheap but from reviews I've read they are efficient heaters. (I've been checking the wall mounted ones for my bathroom which only has a heated towel rail which is useless at heating the bathroom !). Argos and Amazon both have a selection you could check out.

your list of 'wants' and 'can't haves' virtually rules out anything else I might have suggested ! But I'll have a think and get back to you later :)
Hi Henrietta
What a concern for you.
Very very expensive but would the dyson heater be any use? I stood in front of one in an electrical store and it was such a pleasant difference to the usual fan heaters. As I say though they are ridiculously expensive.
Sometimes I use a wheatbag, that are warmed in the microwave.
Do hope you find a solution. X
Does he actually 'need' to be that hot, or just 'want' to be - or does he just enjoy fiddling with the controls???!!!! (My friend's live in dementia-dad ENDLESSLY turns radiators on and off, just because he can...)(puts the oven on too!!!!!)

I'm saying this because I'm wondering whether it would be possible to have an electrician install some kind of 'master switch' for the house electrics, which in fact ARE preprogrammed in terms of heat output. THat way, you could have a situation in which your dad fiddles with the controls to his hearts content, grumbles endlessly about the cold, but actually, you know that the temperature is set to a reasonable heat, and therefore your dad isn't actually coming to any hard. Is he 'actually' aware of temperature any more, given that that ability is increasingly lost with dementia?
Henrietta, what a nightmare! My mum was always cold, the house was like a furnace. I couldn't understand until I had an operation and couldn't move much for a few weeks. Then I too was always cold!

Is this for his lounge, where he sits during the day, or for his bedroom?
Is it double glazed? We had sash windows on our cottage, which I lovingly stripped and repainted, but they were useless, especially as we'd just returned to the UK from the hottest part of Australia. We fitted aluminium double glazing in 1977, and have recently upgraded to some UPVC double glazing for various reasons. The difference is amazing.
Does he have a good carpet on the floor? Are the doors draught proofed?

In my bathroom I have a Dimplex bathroom fan heater over the door, which can be pre set to a certain temperature.

Is the room ever really warm? Have you seen the tubular heaters, like a long pipe on short legs? Perhaps one of these on all the time to keep the background temperature up.

Alternatively, how can we get dad to wear more? I wear "golf socks" in winter, over the knee, make a huge difference with two metal knees. My late father in law would wear ankle length "long johns", but I doubt these would be suitable for dad as I seem to remember he has continence issues? Would he wear a thicker shirt perhaps?
How about an infrared heater. Apparently you can get them like curtains or panels, not hot to touch, they don't heat the room apparently but heat you (don't ask me how it works!). One of the ladies who looks after my son has one. In the rented accommodation she used to live in she wasn't allowed to use additional heaters, but she got away with one of these infrared heated curtain things. I think they're quite economical too.
Hi Everyone

Thanks for all your input – I will try to answer all your questions
Susie- is a ceramic heater the same as my panel heater?-my heater is not a convection heater as I have consigned too many of those to the knackers yard.
Pet- I did consider a Dyson and would have been prepared to buy one but when I was reading the blurb, I came across the inevitable word “program” which rules it out.
Jenny- I would say a bit of both- yes he likes fiddling with knobs-yes because he still can but hasn’t got a clue what they do or how anything works. I am endlessly coming along to sort him out, infact he has just called me to sort the tv out as I have been typing this sentence. Yes he does also need to be warm, with nearly end stage kidney disease, he feels the cold plus doesn’t move at all besides a slow shuffle to the loo also downstairs and not far from his chair the other side of the next room. I can't get anything controlled by a super tehrmostat out of Dad's reach and control. To some extent the storage heater already does this. I am looking for something Dad is capable of putting on and off without calling me at any time of day or night for a top up instant heat when he needs it.
BB- yes I quite identify with the furnace, Dad’s room (long room one half sitting room and other half has hospital bed in it) is always like a furnace especially first thing in the morning when no one has been opening the doors or in the evening when the night storage heater kicks in . I have total melt down in there, so do the carers and d/ns. Yes room is double glazed and yes room carpeted, but no insulation on the doors. Answering another one of your questions- yes the room is really really really genuinely warm, so much so that the oil radiators and panel heater keep turning off on the thermostat because room is over the max temperature. No I haven't seen tubular heaters but sound similar to oil filled radiators and we already have 2 of those on all the time.
I’ve suggested Long Johns- no they are for old people same as blankets, I’ve suggested thicker clothes but no – he doesn’t like being all bundled up and/or can’t take them on/off on his own so won’t entertain them. When I am not returning unwanted fires or throwing them away I am returning unwanted clothes!
Emma- we’ve never tried anything Infra red, although I did come across them for bathroom heaters. Can’t quite picture what you mean by a curtain? Is that what the Dyson heater is or is that a ceramic heater or something unique to Dyson. Do these infrareds have one simple on/off, are they mobile and none programmable?
Hi Henrietta
If the room temperature is furnace-like I'd suggest spot heat provided by a wheat bag ( or 3 or 4) which are heated in the microwave. These can then be applied to specific areas such as feet, back, neck, hands. The heat lasts quite a long time and is quite comforting

On the other hand if the fiddling with knobs is becauses he needs to fidget or fuss, then what about some false knobs such as a spare remote or old radio, or a twiddle muff?
Henrietta, so it's really a case of dad can't get warm, rather than the room isn't warm?
I have a Skoda Yeti with heated seats, they are wonderful when it's cold, two miles away from home and I have to reduce the heat. I'm just wondering if there is anything which would heat dad's chair? Never seen anything like that for sale, but this might just prompt someone else's though process.
I bought my mum an expensive heated "throw" to go over her when she was sat immobile in her recliner, constantly complaining of cold feet despite socks and trousers, with an enormous double panel central heating radiator on and a fan heater below the chair! The throw was like an electric blanket in many ways but made of incredibly soft "fur" and was even washable. Sadly, like so many other things, it was a total waste of money, because mum only used it once or twice.
Mrs A
The wheat bags would fall into the same category as hot water bottles- in the way/only for old people/couldn't heat them himself as couldn't use microwave. Spare knobs or cushions to twiddle with are not suitable - his dementia is not that advanced or that "type" at the moment. Dispite some of his dementia symptoms he is still quite "with it" and "switched on". If I gave him anything like that he would think I was the one being stupid ;)
BB- Dad has pressure bubble cusion on chair and not allowed by nurses to put anything on it , not even a towel.
I've got lots of soft furry throws/blankets etc but nope- they are for old people :roll: and dad is only 90 :lol:
Dad can't wear warm socks as both feet in dressings all the time

If it were easy I shouldn't be asking for advice :woohoo: :woohoo: :woohoo: