• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Dad obsessed with heating

Pennyc

Registered User
Nov 26, 2020
11
0
My dad has mixed dementia and has started lots of obsessive behaviours. He leaves the dogs toys in certain parts of her house and nobody is allowed to touch them. He calls them his friends. He is now starting to get obsessed with turning the heating thermostat up to 25. He’s constantly pressing buttons and house is like an oven. My poor mum keeps turning it down but he’s always turning it up.
He sits with numerous layers on and sometimes his coat and is just obsessed with heat. Is this normal? And am I right that people with dementia struggle to control their body heat?
Also when do you know your loved one has moved from the moderate stage to the advanced stage?
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
6,026
0
N Ireland
Hello @Pennyc

It's certainly true that some people with dementia can struggle to control their body heat - my wife is one!

As to the stages, they are very fluid and every person with dementia can be different. That said, a site that gives a lot of detail on the subject can be found with the following link

There is also a Society Factsheet on the subject and clicking the 2nd line of the following link will take you to that
The progression and stages of dementia (458)
PDF printable version
 

Rob_E

Registered User
Feb 1, 2015
201
0
Mum went through a stage where her body temperature was all over the place, she'd be cold, feeling radiators on a summers day asking why they weren't on, then 5 minutes later, stripping off layers complaining she was too hot! She had a thyroid test just to rule it out.

Some people have got around the thermostat issue by having it disconnected and another one installed somewhere that the person with dementia won't be able to find it. However, the old one is left in place so as the PWD still believes they can control the heating. That avoids causing any unnecessary distress.
 

Lynmax

Registered User
Nov 1, 2016
760
0
Mum went through a stage where her body temperature was all over the place, she'd be cold, feeling radiators on a summers day asking why they weren't on, then 5 minutes later, stripping off layers complaining she was too hot! She had a thyroid test just to rule it out.

Some people have got around the thermostat issue by having it disconnected and another one installed somewhere that the person with dementia won't be able to find it. However, the old one is left in place so as the PWD still believes they can control the heating. That avoids causing any unnecessary distress.
Exactly what we did when mum started messing about with the central heating! We installed Hive so could control the temperature and settings remotely and had the new until fitted in a discreet place in the little used dining room. But the original thermostat in the hall was disconnected and left for mum to use. She had no idea about the Hive controller but we had peace of mind knowing the heating was on at an appropriate temperature.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,331
0
Victoria, Australia
My husband's body temperature control is all over the place and I have given up suggesting to him that he needs a sweater, shoes etc because it becomes another thing for him to argue about. He will sit around in a short sleeved shirt when it is quite cool but at other times I have to turn down the temperature several times a night.

We had a very mild summer this year so it has only become very noticeable in the last few weeks.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,873
0
My mother had the heating in her flat cranked up to 30 degrees all year. This meant that she felt cold when she was anywhere else. I've mentioned several times Christmas 2018. We were all at my brothers and mum had a total meltdown as she thought we were deliberately freezing her. The rest of us had stripped to the bare minimum to remain decent and mum was in a coat. The root of the problem seemed to be that mum's knees ached from going up and down the stairs of my brother's house. By mum's reasoning that meant she must be cold.
Mum still feels cold, the only thing I really understood when I visited her in the care home the other week was that her knees ached and she was cold. The place was pretty warm as care homes usually are.
 

Dianej

Registered User
Mar 27, 2021
10
0
My partner struggles with heating issues. He constantly contains he is cold so will turn up the thermostat to 30. Then when he complains he is too hot, he doesn't turn the heating down, but just strips down to T shirt and shorts. He will then want to go out dressed like that, even though it may be freezing outside. He doesn't seem capable of working out that the temperature can be different indoors to outdoors. He will also turn the heating up to 30 on a hot day because he wants to dry a single cloth on a radiator. He gets up at first daylight which is currently about 5 to 5.30am and turns the heating up to 30. I wake up a to a tropical house and my first job is turn it down. We continue turning it upend down all day. I am dreading the next fuel bill.
He does complain that he has a painful knee and having read he previous post, I wonder if that could be linked. I find in general that he gets very anxious about such things as minor headaches and small cuts etc as if they are major health issues when he would just have shrugged them off in the past.
I don't think I could get a new thermostat installed without him knowing. He checks every corner of the house, drawers, cupboards etc all the time so he would notice it. Also he never goes out, so would know about the workman. I am just hoping this heat thing is a phase that will pass.
Another new behaviour I have noticed is that he seems to have become addicted to ice cream. He will sometimes eat three or four bowls straight after each other, obvioulsy insisting that he hasn't eaten that many and this is his first one. I wondered if this has something to do with the temperature thing too.
 

Catastrophe

Registered User
Feb 15, 2019
48
0
We had the same issue with the thermostat. It was constantly being turned up to 30. Dad would sit there in a room that was boiling hot wrapped in two blankets, soaked in sweat, saying he was cold. I don't think he can tell anymore if he is cold or hot so defaults to cold. Which ultimately results in him suffering dehydration and heat stroke. The hotter he gets the more confused he gets. The thermostat situation sorted itself out when we moved it while doing some renovations. It's still in his reach but as its not where it was he doesn't recognise what it is.
Now the issue we have is the electric blanket on his bed. He would have it on all night, then complains that his pyjamas are soaking again. Don't know how to get around this one other than take the blanket away. And don't think I can face that tantrum yet. Any suggestions would be welcome.
 

lollyc

Registered User
Sep 9, 2020
212
0
We had the same issue with the thermostat. It was constantly being turned up to 30. Dad would sit there in a room that was boiling hot wrapped in two blankets, soaked in sweat, saying he was cold. I don't think he can tell anymore if he is cold or hot so defaults to cold. Which ultimately results in him suffering dehydration and heat stroke. The hotter he gets the more confused he gets. The thermostat situation sorted itself out when we moved it while doing some renovations. It's still in his reach but as its not where it was he doesn't recognise what it is.
Now the issue we have is the electric blanket on his bed. He would have it on all night, then complains that his pyjamas are soaking again. Don't know how to get around this one other than take the blanket away. And don't think I can face that tantrum yet. Any suggestions would be welcome.
Can you plug the blanket into a time switch? It could be on when he goes to bed and wakes up, but off during the night.
My Mum also has no concept of temperature. She will say " I want to take my cardigan off, because I'm cold", but doesn't know whether she's hot or cold.
 

MartinWL

Registered User
Jun 12, 2020
739
0
Internet +app based heating controls may help with this. They can be set up to change the temperature setting at regular intervals automatically although not is a bit fiddly to do. It will also be possible to adjust the thermostat from anywhere including in bed!
 

marty21

Registered User
May 4, 2021
12
0
My dad has mixed dementia and has started lots of obsessive behaviours. He leaves the dogs toys in certain parts of her house and nobody is allowed to touch them. He calls them his friends. He is now starting to get obsessed with turning the heating thermostat up to 25. He’s constantly pressing buttons and house is like an oven. My poor mum keeps turning it down but he’s always turning it up.
He sits with numerous layers on and sometimes his coat and is just obsessed with heat. Is this normal? And am I right that people with dementia struggle to control their body heat?
Also when do you know your loved one has moved from the moderate stage to the advanced stage?
Hi @Pennyc
My Dad has mid stage vascular dementia and is also obsessed with having the heating on, almost 24/7. I’d put it down to his other chronic health problems (kidney function, poor circulation etc) but didn’t realise there could be a connection to his dementia. I’ll mention that to my Mum (his main carer) as well. She gets so frustrated with having the heating on so much but this could help explain why.