Daylight and fresh air are essential to health and wellbeing. If your relative finds it difficult, or impossible, to go outside regularly, there are ways to help them access as much air and light as possible – safely.
- Having even a small window open for one or two hours a day will help to recycle the air inside the home. This should only be done if it does not significantly lower the temperature inside.
- Windows that are high up may be hard to reach – and could be a potential hazard. A good solution is to fit automatic window openers. These often come with a remote control keypad, which can be mounted on a wall in a convenient location.
- Alternatively, consider using a window pull, a long-handled tool with one end designed to loop around window handles or levers, making them easier to reach and open. They come in various lengths; buy one that will allow your relative to reach the window easily.
- Ensure that access to the windows and curtains is not restricted by furniture.
- Keep curtains open during daylight hours. In rooms where privacy is a concern, consider blinds or net curtains as these can be drawn or part-closed while still letting daylight through.
- Ensure that curtain tracks are well-maintained and do not require excessive effort or strength to pull open the curtains. You may also wish to consider curtains or blinds operated by a pull-cord, as these are generally easier to use.
- As with windows, curtains can be set to open and close automatically (and remotely) by fitting an automatic curtain control. These devices can either be operated by a push-button handset, or the curtains can be set to open and close at specific times each day.
- For additional safety, install a carbon monoxide detector in any room where there is a gas appliance, such as a boiler, gas oven or gas fire.