Temperature has impact on agitation, Australian researchers find

Temperatures outside the “comfort band“ of 20 degrees and 26.2 degrees can cause a statistical increase in the frequency of agitated behaviour among residents with dementia, an Australian University has found.

Researchers at the University of Wollongong say that dementia may impair a resident’s ability to adapt to their environment.

Researcher Dr Federico Tartarini collected data from five aged care facilities in Australia. Residents and non-residents (typically aged care staff) were also asked to complete a questionnaire to find out how ‘thermally comfortable’ they felt.

The World Health Organisation suggests that older people should not be exposed to temperatures lower than 20 degrees, while the International Organization for Standardization recommends maximum temperatures not exceed 26 degrees.

Dr Tartarini’s study found:

  • A comfort band of between 20 degrees and 26.2 degrees for residents living in nursing homes
  • Residents felt comfortable over a wider range of temperature than staff members.   
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