How do you convince an elderly person (who is always cold) to turn on air conditioning in summer?

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I live with my grandma and I have long hair and wear makeup. When it gets hot in the summertime, I have to beg her every year to turn on our central air conditioning because she always gets cold (and it's more expensive to run). It has reached the point again where open windows and fans aren't enough. What should I do?

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I have been through this and would notice it when I would visit my Mother. The elderly are much colder than we are.
As I read your question, I see that it is her house. So, you are probably out of luck. No one likes to be cold. There are stand alone room A/Cs and if you pay the difference in the electric bill, that might work. (It is 113 degrees, here, today.)
This is one of the worst problems to me. I can never understand why older people feel that everyone else has to roast so that they don't have to use a throw or dress warmer. It makes me madder than anything else, because if I can't sleep or work because I'm too hot, I can't stay here. The only thing I have found that works is pointing out that I have the thermostat set on 80. (This keeps the house cooler, because our thermostat is off.) 80 degrees sounds very reasonable, so my mother doesn't protest much.

The thermostat wars can be terrible. Sometimes she is too hot when I'm comfortable, so I end up freezing. Or some mornings she turns on the heat when it is already warm. I am firm with her, though, about not having the house too hot. I wouldn't be able to stay if she insisted, because it would make me sick to be hot all the time.
its hard because its her house. unless you are the one paying the electric bill not much you can do. Now at my house the thermostat is set at 72 and stays there because i live in south texas where its 94 today with 100% humidity and a heat index of 102 . i am not going to sweat for anyone. i get hot i get grouchy. there is a blanket on her chair and a jacket next to her chair. there is also a nice comfy chair outside on the front porch where she can sweat to death if she wants. the best thing i ever bought for this house is the new electronic thermostat. she wont touch it because she dosent know how to use. it. if not, set the tempature to where you want and Take the thermostat off the wall so she cant change it. i had to do that with my son he hated the air conditioner.
I have a friend who is in his 90s and doesn't exercise. The other night he was in the ER because he was constantly cold but they couldn't do nothing for him and send him home. He keeps his place too hot, and I happen to have an overheating disability. In 2013 I had a heat stroke, and my precautions have since increased considerably. I must now prepare for emergencies and setbacks where I have to take timeouts from my activity to lay down. I've always laid down when I got too hot when I realized I had a problem. Since my heat stroke I can't be in places that are too hot. I have repeatedly had to turn and leave my elderly friends when I walked into a literal heat wave in his apartment. His apartment does not have a cold air return vent like some historical homes do, so that heat builds up making it Way too hot for me to be there. He often keeps his thermostat at 80, which makes the heat buildup within minutes, making it feel like in the 90s are close to 100. I must keep my place cooler because of my disability, which is a problem with my auto nervous system. It wasn't so much a problem when I was younger, as it gradually became as I got older. I was warned that my problem would worsen with age, and a heat stroke confirmed that warning to be accurate. Since my elderly friend started realizing that I really do have a disability, he since learned how the digital thermometer works, and recently told me to just tell him if it's too hot. I'm glad that we were able to work it out, and I encourage anyone with a similar problem to just start leaving if they walk into a heat wave that their loved one is living in. All you have to do is politely say, "I'm sorry but it's too hot for me and I don't want to get sick." This will work if you happen to have that same or similar disability that I do, and you're prone to heat illness. If your loved one sees that you're serious about protecting yourself and your health against heat illness, they'll try to make some kind of adjustments if they really care about you. My friend did, and what worked for me can definitely work for you. All you have to do is set a boundary and enforce it. If it's too hot for you when you enter the place just turn and leave, and just don't go back for a while. If your love one questions you, just be open and honest and explain that their place is way too hot and you don't want to get sick because you're prone to heat illness. I'm sure I've gotten very funny looks because I'm the only one in my area that walks around with a bath sheet, which is because part of my disability is severe hyperhidrosis. Severe hyperhidrosis goes hand-in-hand with the rest of my overheating disability where I can get very sick when I easily overheat. Hyperhidrosis and feel like you're burning up inside has a tendency to make you not feel very well. In fact I recently had an incident at my elderly friend's when I started feeling ill, and had to lay down. When I felt well enough to briefly get up, I wasn't a bit surprised to find the thermostat at or around 80. When he wasn't looking, I turned it down; I had to because I was feeling sick from the excessive heat. Hot places and people with my type of disability just don't mix
The "thermostat wars" are a problem at my mother's house, which is one of the many reasons I don't live with her. When I was living there, I bought a very nice window air conditioner for my bedroom, and it's still there for when I stay overnight. When I'm there, I spend as much time in that room (or outside the house) as possible. When I cook for her, I crank up the central air, and she has the choice to either bundle up or go hungry. And yes it is annoying, dripping sweat while I'm changing her bedding, for example. And my mother is not nearly as bad as many others in terms of cold sensitivity. One idea is this: if you can do it, close the air vents in the room she's sitting in (I assume she sits most of the time in the same spot like my mother does) and open them in the rest of the house, keeping as many door shut as possible so the chill doesn't enter her space. And reverse in winter - open windows in the other rooms to let the cold air in when she has the heat cranked up high.
I try to remember how I would like to be treated if the shoe is ever on the other foot. I don't understand old age but older people do understand those younger than they are, after all, they have been there already. I don't really believe aging people really want others to be uncomfortable, so they must really be cold and that is more miserable than younger people being hot.

I'm not that young and I am menopausal so I have hot flashes while I'm the homes of those more aged than me, (I', 60.) and I understand that being so hot is hard. I help aging people by cleaning their homes so I am constantly moving and get very, very warm. My solution is to take a small towel and get it wet with cold water, wring it out and wrap it around my neck. I'm sure there are cool wraps that you can purchase that do the trick better, or ice packs that you can drape around your neck that cool you down without harming your skin. But for a quick immediate solution the towel trick workes well on the spot.

I have so much respect for the aged that they often do offer to turn down the heat for me out of returned respect and I always refuse. I suffer for them and believe they deserve no less than that. And I just keep getting more respect for that, too. It's amazing, but it works. Just get that towel out, get it wet and wrap it around your neck. Your clothes get damp, too, which also cools you off. And those folks love you for it. Nothing beats being loved.
As yes, my parents [age mid-90's] have their house set like a sauna.... my house is set like a meat locker.

It is my Mom who is so cold, and it's from her thyroid condition, her hands feel like ice so that must hurt. So year around she is wearing slacks, thermo undershirt, knit top, sweater, knee socks, shoes, and a scarf around her neck. In summer my Dad is dressed in long shorts, and well, nothing else as their house is too hot for him, but to make Mom happy he deals with it. In winter, he will put on a knit shirt and socks.

Whenever my parents come over to visit, I will set the temps to make the house feel warmer as I figure I can deal with that for 4 hours... it's not set at sauna, but more like sun porch warm. Mom will bring a sweater in case she gets chilled but rarely has to use it.

I was having temperature wars at work... my boss liked the office toasty and I didn't.... I solved the problem by closing off the ceiling vents in my office, and opening all of them in his office.... in summer, I would do the reverse. It has worked out pretty good.
I feel for you. But it has been my experience that they cannot and will not tolerate colder temperatures. Is there a room that you can keep warm for her? Or a room that you can keep cool for you? Be sure she has socks and perhaps long johns to help her keep her temperature up.
Thank you for the advice. We were SCREAMING at each other. My mom is 86 thyroid problems and hasn't moved in 50 years (Dad did everything, now is gone) and I am 58 (ovaries removed), therefore menopausal SWEATS!!! Trying to be with her during this time. I have crocheted 3 blankets for her, she won't use them cause she wants to be in CONTROL. She is starting dementia and that is another bag of problems. Wont take her pills throws them out, looses them etc. Told me and a visiting nurse not to touch her pills, she is in charge. Probably in denial sh stopped taking those and now realizes she needs to take them otherwise she is 10 years old. Don't even ask me about the arguments of her driving!!! Doctor said no, so she blasts me everytime we are in the car....One time she blasted me so violently I almost lost control of the car. Question: Be nice but what advice can you give to me.

She has called in the a/c repairman $$$$$ wasted money cause all he is going to do is jack the temp. Just to prove she is right....

The best thing I heard is to just hide out in a room with a fan or small air conditioner running. She's also complaining about the electric bill. Tough! I told her that she might as well not have air conditioning whatsoever. Turn it the blank off. I will just use a fan and stay out of range of her and outside as much as possible. It will do me some good cause she has me running like a chicken with my head cut off doing immediate errands so (she doesn't forget). We have gotten into the arguments that I won't live as long as her if she keeps this up. Ive been told she is nursing home material but we cannot afford that and for her she feels that is the death sentence. I don't want to do that to her. I will live with her but this is tough, I need advice for myself. Got any?
Caring, here is good news, if your Mom cannot afford to pay for a nursing home you can sign her up with Medicaid and they will help pay for her room/board. If your Mom owns a house, Medicaid will place a lien on it so that they can get paid. Decisions, decisions.

By the way, folks of your Mom's generation think nursing homes are asylums.... that was the stereotypical thinking back then. One would think that your Mom would enjoy not needing to fuss about a house and all the repairs, and be around people of her own generation. Some of these centers are so nice, I am ready to sign up :)

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