We refuse to bathe the elderly in such a winter. Homes criticize lowering the temperature to 20 degrees

We refuse to bathe the elderly in such a winter. Homes criticize lowering the temperature to 20 degrees
We refuse to bathe the elderly in such a winter. Homes criticize lowering the temperature to 20 degrees

Old people usually need more heat than young people. Their thermoregulation doesn’t work as well and they move less, so they get even less warm. This is pointed out by the directors of homes for the elderly, who reject the Ministry of Industry’s proposal to limit heating. The resort plans to lower the temperature in the bathrooms to 20 degrees. But the proposal can still change, apart from the homes, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is also against it.

According to the still valid decree from 2007, it should be 24 degrees in the bathrooms, according to the new proposal four degrees less. For living rooms, i.e. dining rooms, bedrooms or living rooms, both the old and the new decree stipulate 20 degrees. The new one is supposed to be the maximum temperature, while the original rules allow heating to more than one degree. The decree has not yet been finalized, it is supposed to come into effect from October.

“An elderly person who has difficulty moving or is constantly lying down needs more heat in the room than a person who is active. Therefore, it is absolutely clear that at 20 degrees our clients will be cold in the room,” fears the director of the Home for the Elderly in Čáslav Aleš Shorf. He considers it senseless that old people should even wash at such a temperature. “I can’t even imagine that clients would be cold during the period of respiratory diseases,” he adds.

Šorf does not know how many degrees the home is normally heated to during the winter. According to him, it is individual, seniors have the possibility to regulate their temperature with the valves on the radiators. If the decree were to enter into force, Šorf would have to reduce the set water temperature in the boiler room.

Homes for the elderly would feel the most about the hygiene of the clients. According to the decree of the Ministry of Industry from 2007, it should be 24 degrees in the bathrooms, according to the new proposal four degrees less. For living rooms, i.e. dining rooms, bedrooms or living rooms, both the old and the new decree stipulate 20 degrees. However, the new one is supposed to be the maximum temperature, while the original rules allow heating to more than one degree.

Seniors are often cold even where it is warm

For example, in the Home for the elderly in Uherské Hradiště, the heating is normally set to 24 degrees in winter. “Most of our clients are immobile people, caring for them involves undressing and performing care tasks several times during the day. Elderly people have a problem with thermoregulation and are comfortable with a higher temperature. The suggested temperatures are designed without knowledge of the specific needs of clients of residential facilities for the elderly, and such therefore, I consider the solution to be completely inappropriate,” says home manager Lenka Šupková.

This home also has its own gas boiler room, there are thermostatic heads in the individual rooms. “If the heating were to be limited, we are able to lower the temperature by lowering the temperature of the heating water,” adds Šupková.

Even the director of Domov Na Zátiší in Rakovník, Pavel Jenšovský, does not agree with the proposal of the Ministry of Industry. “I don’t know if the author of the proposal is even aware that our clients suffer from a whole range of geriatric problems, including the fact that they have problems with thermoregulation,” explains Jenšovský, why seniors often feel cold even in an environment that seems pleasant to a healthy person heated.

He considers a temperature of 20 degrees completely unacceptable for performing personal hygiene. According to him, it would threaten the health of seniors who are used to temperatures between 24 and 25 degrees.

It heats up to 23 degrees in the Home for the elderly Bažantice in Hodonín. “We are not able to respect the regulation to heat to 20 degrees,” says the director of the Home, Vladimíra Křižková. He mentions the same reasons as the other interviewed directors, i.e. problems with thermoregulation or the need to keep the bathroom warmer.

The proposal is still subject to change

Homes for the elderly found support at the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. He described this decrease in temperature as a direct threat to the life and health of users, which must not occur even in an emergency.

“The suggested temperature was really low, that’s why, as part of the interdepartmental comment procedure, they submitted a proposal that this reduced temperature does not apply to social services facilities,” says the ministry’s spokeswoman, Eva Davidová. According to Davidová, the Ministry of Industry accepted this comment and will correct the proposal.

However, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Miluše Trefancová, did not confirm this. She only admitted that the decree could still be changed, as the settlement of comments is currently underway.

“The comments made by social service operators on the draft decree will of course be dealt with by mutual agreement,” says Trefancová. However, according to her, at present, it is not yet possible to say what specific changes will be involved.

VIDEO: The Czechs suffer from the heat, they should reduce it by a few degrees. I will also save, says the analyst

You will have a hard time forcing the owner of the boiler to lower the temperature himself. It will depend on economic pressure and the government’s persuasive campaign, Jiří Gavor thinks. | Video: Daniela Drtinová

The article is in Czech

Tags: refuse bathe elderly winter Homes criticize lowering temperature degrees

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