Dad’s Thermostat

I have been working with dad’s ALF for a few months to get dad’s heating straightened out. Finally they had the maintenance man take a look at dad’s heater.  He found it was switched to “heat pump” instead of “heat” and that caused it to make a lot of noise and not heat efficiently.  I said I thought it had always been noisy. (And I bet it has been on the wrong setting for years — ever since dad moved in.)

Since then, the maintenance staff has been going into dad’s room and adjusting the heat if he turns it all the way up or if it gets turned off. They suggested a cover be put on the thermostat to keep anyone from changing it and I agreed.  They didn’t have one that fit, so they had to order one.  Last week they finally put it on.  But before I got a chance to see it, dad broke it off the first night.  It was probably on the wall less than 4 hours when dad broke it off!

I asked dad on if he had broken off the cover from the thermostat and he said he didn’t remember. I am pretty sure he did break it off, and maybe he is doing most of the heat adjustments himself.  Though I still doubt he removed the plug or opened the back door.  Anyway, the heat has been staying better this past week since they fixed the setting to heat instead of “heat pump”.  It is way too cold for a heat pump!  The temperature has to be well over 50 for a heat pump to work and it has been in the 40’s lately.

I am pleased his ALF has worked with me on this and a bit frustrated that it took months of complaints before anyone looked at the heater to see if it was on the right setting! Now that it is set to heat, it heats up much faster.  This makes it more efficient and maybe less likely to get too hot or too cold.

I took dad out to lunch on Tuesday and chose his blue jacket for him to wear outside. As soon as I helped him zip it, he said: “This is a really nice jacket.  Where did I get it?”  I told him I had bought it for him from a catalog when before I brought him north because he didn’t have clothes for a winter climate.  I was glad he liked the jacket, though he has been wearing it for 3 years already.  About four more times while we were at lunch dad commented on what a nice jacket that was and how he really liked it.

Other than commenting on the jacket, dad really didn’t talk that much at lunch. He chose different items from the menu than he usually does and ate very well.  I think part of the reason he doesn’t talk is that his hearing is so poor.  I did have to repeat everything the waitress said when she took his order.  He probably lip reads and she wasn’t looking straight at him.

I have been taking him to the same place every week rather than vary the places we go. This way he has come to know his way in and where to sit.  He knows right where the men’s room is and walks straight to it.  They have enough variety on the menu that he can have pasta or seafood and that is what he likes most.  And I also like the fact that it is easy to park fairly near the door and there are no curbs or steps for him to negotiate in his walker.

About letstalkaboutfamily

I am a retired and was the primary caregiver for both my parents before they passed. I have children and grandchildren. This blog is an attempt to connect with other caregivers and share ideas and experiences. I hope you will let me know what worked for you if you had an experience similar to mine. The main issues I am going to talk about are elder care, death and dying, assisted living, family relationships and hoarders and hoarding. Other topics will come up as I address the issues and my relationship with other family members.
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4 Responses to Dad’s Thermostat

  1. jmgoyder says:

    It’s terrible that it took so long for the heater to be fixed!

    • It is frustrating, especially since I didn’t figure out that something was wrong with it! However there was confusion as often it was turned off or turned to cool. I still think some other workers were turning it off or cool when the room got too hot. Though it is hard to tell now that I realize that dad is not able to remember what he has done or why. At least we are on our way to having things work as they are supposed to!

  2. Good observation about hearing loss possibly being an issue with communication with your dad. My Neighbor,Miss D went to the same restaurant 3 blocks away when she was on her own with dementia. Somehow she knew she could manage her world if she did the same thing everyday. She would get take-out from that restaurant every night for her food for the day. They knew her well and it helped with her loneliness. It’s sad she had to do this for as long as she did, but she really is a smart lady.

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