Care provision fit for a future climate

Heatwaves, which are likely to be increasingly frequent with climate change, pose a number of health-related risks, particularly to older people.

This study explores the extent to which older people’s housing is fit to cope with heatwaves. Two residential care homes and two extra-care housing schemes will be subject to monitoring of internal temperatures during summer months. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with managers, carers, maintenance staff and occupants in the case study care organisations. 

The aim of the study will be to examine how internal temperatures in care settings fluctuate relative to normal summer temperatures. There are perceptions that older people are more at risk from cold temperatures, so the study will investigate whether or not this impacts the extent to which people in care settings take action to manage excess heat.

The study will also consider the extent to which good practice guidance is being followed, especially in terms of structural investment in building features that could aid heat management.

Project objectives

The study aims to investigate:

  • The awareness within care settings of the significant health risk posed by high temperatures for older people, who are often thought to ‘feel the cold’.
  • The preparedness for coping with the health risks associated with high internal temperatures during the summer months in care settings.
  • The extent to which heat management processes are implemented in care settings.

Principle investigator

Professor Rajat Gupta; Oxford Brookes University

Manchester co-investigator

Dr Alan Lewis; MICRA, School of Environment, Education and Development, University of Manchester

Other co-investigator

Professor Gordon Walke; Lancaster University


Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Funding period

February 2015 to March 2016

Disciplines involved

  • Architecture
  • Geography



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