1. Expert Q&A: Protecting a person with dementia from financial abuse - Weds 26 June, 3:30-4:30 pm

    Financial abuse can have serious consequences for a person with dementia. Find out how to protect a person with dementia from financial abuse.

    Sam, our Knowledge Officer (Legal and Welfare Rights) is our expert on this topic. She will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 26 June between 3:30 - 4:30 pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. Rosie56

    Rosie56 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013

    Is there a boiler that I can have installed that my mum can't meddle with? She lives alone and is forever turning off her heating and hot water at the boiler. Nothing I can say to her, or do (like taping up the controls) makes any difference. What with this and fiddling with radiators and the thermostat, the system's going haywire and constantly breaking down. Luckily she has a care package so they keep coming out to fix it, but it's time to get a new one, especially as they say we've got a cold winter ahead.

    So - does anyone know of a boiler with concealed or lockable controls to defeat meddling fingers? Otherwise any new boiler will soon be as wrecked as the current one....:(

    I know there are ways to take the controls off radiators and we can have a cage put over the thermostat, but those things will only help if she can also be stopped messing with the blasted boiler every 5 minutes...
  2. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Sorry Rosie, I'm not a technical person;) but is there anyway you could 'hide' the boiler/thermostat behind a kitchen cabinet and put a lock on the door? Probably silly answer-I hope others will be along soon with a more practical solution.
  3. jasmineflower

    jasmineflower Registered User

    Aug 27, 2012
    Does your mum have a garage? You could have it installed in there - out of sight out of mind!
  4. sinkhole

    sinkhole Registered User

    Jan 28, 2015
    I've just had central heating installed at my mum's house. She used electric storage heaters and oil filled heaters before that.

    It became clear immediately after installation that she's not going to understand or get on with central heating controls, thermostats etc. A single thermostat control just isn't going to work for her and as I live a couple of hours away and she doesn't have anyone else coming in to help her, it was all going to turn into a nightmare very quickly!

    I looked at tamper-proof controls, but the problem with that is when the weather changes, someone will have to adjust the stats and it's impossible to predict what temperature to set them at as one minute she'll be too cold and the next too hot, even with a constant room temperature!

    So the best solution for my situation is a WiFi enabled thermostat, which allows me to manage her heating remotely. There are several on the market now and they are not all as expensive as you might think to install. Most will fit onto your existing boiler and you can then monitor and control the heating on your PC or smartphone.

    The one I went for in the end is at the expensive end, but it allows control over individual radiators, so I'll be able to monitor the temperature in each room and change it for her remotely. It's all password protected and each control can be locked, so she won't be able to meddle with it. To control 4 zones, the whole system including installation came to £500, but the simpler WiFi thermostats cost around half that.

    I realise this may be too much money/bother for some people and you do need an internet connection at the house, but for me it's going to be the only way I can convince my mum that central heating is the way forward, otherwise I think she'll just plug all her electric heaters in again!
  5. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    Good idea JF. My boiler is in my under house storage-easy to put a lock on the door if needed.
  6. Rosie56

    Rosie56 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Sadly, no. There's a shed, but then the thermostat would always be too cold for the system...
  7. Rosie56

    Rosie56 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    This sounds like a great idea (congratulations on having got something that works for you!) but I live a long way away from her and there's no internet connection at the house (if I installed something just to deal with the heating, Mum would doubtless unplug it or turn off the router or whatever...). The boiler engineer suggested fixing the thermostat at a likely temperature (say 21 c), putting it in a cage and removing the on-off knobs from the rads. That leaves the boiler...

    Since posting I've found one boiler online (made by Bosch ) with concealed controls to prevent children getting at them. I've contacted that company and two others explaining the situation and asking what they can suggest to help.

    I'd love to know if any forum members have actually found/installed a tamper-free boiler, and if it did the trick.

    Edited to add: Sinkhole, do you have any useful info on tamper-proof controls? She has carers and helpful neighbours who could adjust them if needed.
  8. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    How concealed do the controls need to be? We've got a Worcester combi boiler and the controls are all behind a panel that would be quite easy to tape shut.

    What kind of controls is your mum used to? I'm wondering if you could fit a dummy control panel that isn't connected up to anything, but it would help her to feel that she's done something when she wants to change the heating.

    Our problem is that my MIL has oil fired central heating, which she sets to constantly on at full blast, then opens the doors/windows when she's too hot. The bills are through the roof. I did look at remote controlled central heating - there are some clever systems that can sense what rooms you are using and turns the heating on automatically in that part of the house, which seems like a great idea for an elderly person who needs the room they are in heated to a relatively high temperature, but it would be too much of an investment for my MIL since we aren't confident she'll be able to carry on at home for all that much longer.
  9. Pegsdaughter

    Pegsdaughter Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    Our boiler and all the bits except the thermostat are in a kitchen cupboard could you do that and put a padlock on the doors

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  10. sleepless

    sleepless Registered User

    Feb 19, 2010
    The Sweet North
    What a good idea!
  11. Rosie56

    Rosie56 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Thanks, everybody.

    I have a horrible feeling she'd soon pick off tape and find her way in (been there! Nothing deters her for long).

    The dummy control panel is also a good idea but she's so persistent, I think she'd go fiddling around with flaps until she found the real thing.

    Pegsdaughter - the locked cupboard might just be the solution. :) It could be open at the top to let heat out because she wouldn't be able to see that part. I see now that Lyn T also suggested something similar but somehow I missed it (dementia setting in?) - so thanks, Lyn T.

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