How do you keep an elder warm without cooking yourself?

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My mother (87) lives with me. Now that winter has arrived, we are having thermostat wars. I want her to be comfortable and not suffer hypothermia. I prefer to keep the heat around 65- 68, but now that she is here have been boosting it to 70-72 and she still complains of being cold. I am too hot! I have her do layers (Cuddle Duds included) for her top half and have warm sweat pants and warm socks for the bottom half. She is concerned about cuddle dud bottoms as she has incontinence and doesn't want to add layers there. She sits ubnder a blanket when watching tv. I guess I could boost the heat even higher & wear summer clothes as long as I am going to stay inside, but then I'd have to change every time I went out. And I can't imagine too high a heat can be healthy, either. Thinking about one of the portable room space heaters, but so many warnings about safety. Anyone have experience with those? Any other ideas? Thanks.

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OMG I know your pain! My parents are even cold in the summer, and hubs and I are more likely to keep it cool. Its a no win situation. The folks have space heaters in thier room and bathroom, and we have several Amish style heaters in the main areas. They even have those pointed at thier chairs! Our electric bills have gone from less than 200 to over 400 since they moved in (luckily they pay that bill) They are all bundled up, under blankets.. sitting on the amish heaters...LOL Meanwhile Hubs and I are in tee shirts. I may never see my nice sweaters and tunics again. I have even driven home from work with the heat off in 40 degree weather! My skin and sinus are all dryed out, and hubs is about dying until they go to bed. Then we turn them all off and put the ceiling fans on.All the space heaters are the safest kind. or I'd be worried about the house spontaniously combusting...
Not easy to deal with when the Caregiver is having hot flashes :P Being in a very hot room makes you feel sick to your stomach and ready to pass out. Don't want my parents to trip over me.
Oh this sounds so familiar..."can't you make it warmer in here I am really cold" ...and the thermostat is set at 76!!!
Well here are some of the items we have addressed:
1. Hot air vents have magnetic shields (plastic and less than $10 at hardware store) that direct hot air toward mom in winter and cold AC away from her in summer.
2. Got one of those electric fireplace/heaters that is also a TV stand. It does directional heat and since TV is pointed at mom's comfy chair - so is TV stand/fireplace. It has a timed heat element that is set at 72 degrees (wont go higher) and can be set for various intervals...easy for quick warm up. Also looks like it is heating when it is only being nice fireplace without heat.
3. Beanbag/microwave heat packs that can be heated and strategically placed (hip, stomach, back, feet) They also make a slipper version that has helped the "Renaud's" in her feet.
4. small polar fleece lap blankets (less than $4 at Walmart) are beside chairs and placed over mom.
5. radiant heater panel for bathroom. During fall and winter, it is plugged in to a motion sensor timer that you set for when it will turn off. We have it set to go on when motion starts and it goes off when no motion is detected for 5 minutes. Makes bathroom warm (I go and trigger it before mom goes in to bathroom for shower) and not a risk of tipping since anchored to wall.
6. Thin "cuddle dud" insulated underwear extra layer...and polar fleece PJ pants for everyday wear.
7. I have found "sleep quiet" tower fan with remote that I keep next to my bed for reducing heat problems in my room. And I close off the hot air vent in my room and close door to change heat difference.
8. Planning to install small flat panel fireplace/heater on wall across from mom's bed. Since it will be anchored and has timer no risk of injury and feels warmer.
Hope any of these can help.
I got dad a radiator type oil filled heater for near his chair, a small delongi. I believe they are the safest. He also has one in the bed room. When he had a taller one he would attempt to hang on to it to stand up...did not work so well. None of that trouble with the little one, and no fan noise.

I use a sunbeam heated pad on the back of his chair, or you could get a heated chair. I just saw that sunbeam or sure fit has a heated slip cover.

For me: I have been spared by a tall Dyson fan. Very little noise, feels like the air is cooled even though it isn't. I set it up pointed at my chair. It can also oscillate, but the stationary position is perfect, Dad does not feel it and I do.

Not asked but also useful. Dad is quiet deaf. I almost went nuts with the volume all the way up. We got Sony wireless headphones for him. It was a saving grace.
When my mom moved in Oct. going into Nov. I though we were going to rip the thermostat off the wall. We also had gas logs that she wanted burning full blast. The dogs tongues would be hanging out. Finally I told her, we were on the way to her primary MD for something ,we were going to get her hematocrit checked, maybe she was anemic, she wasn't, She has Raynaud"s disease, the hands and feet circulation are affected and the person feels cold although the surrounding environment is warm. So I told her I would have to leave the house because she was wanting to keep it to warm and a compromise must be reached. We got her a great, safe space heater for her room which has a thermostat on it.Also my husband gets up about 0430 and turns on the gas logs hi for about an hour that is all we can stand so by the time she gets up the rest of the house is warm. We long ago disconnected the gas heat from the central air as my husband and I were burning up, the house is very well insulated and this was before she came to live with us.She was horrified the first time she saw me walk around the house in insulated underwear,I told her I don't dress formally for dinner either.We also had her thyroid check and it was fine so that ruled out the medical.The space heater she has ,there is a thermometer and senses the room temp,you set the desired room temp and it will cut itself off when the temp is reached, also if it gets knocked over it automatically cuts off.,it is electric.Also do you have gas heat, because that will dry the air so much you will get dehydrated, a younger person might not notice so much but it does effect the elders.I would stick with the electric heaters with the safety features. I've seen to many problems with kerosene heaters because people kept putting gasoline in them and then they would explode.If you get an electric blanket make sure it has a cutoff temp,My mom hates my electric heating pad for her back because it will only keep a hi temp for so long and then cuts off, a safety feature, I told her its better than falling asleep on in and getting burned.
There are fuzzy cuddle duds. Try an electric blanket style lap blanket and local space heater. Leave one room overheated and the others normal temp. Consider getting a lock for the thermostat. Don't let her eat anything cold. I hate the temp my mother and MIL keep their apartments at; about 80 degrees F. Ick!
What Jeanne says in terms of clothing. My mom's NH doesn't seem to be that warm to me, but mom always wears a sweater. thing is, in IL, when she was able to control the thermostat, she always turned it up; opened the windows in the summer and turned off the AC. Temp generally hovered around 89, summer or winter. I had her doc tell her that this was NO GOOD for her BP (the absolute truth). In the NH, she never complains of being cold, simply wears layers. I think that at some point, their temperature regulation mechanism doesn't register anymore.
I too am a veteran of the thermostat wars. It is one of my worst problems here. I have to be ready to respond to any movement of the thermostat or my rabbits and I will be roasted. My father was so bad when it came to the thermostat. He was always cold, no matter how warm the house was. Anytime he passed the thermostat he would turn it up. Summer or winter, it didn't matter. The bad thing was it didn't help him. He had poor peripheral circulation, so no amount of heat would help. To make it worse, he refused to wear warm clothes.

My mother now is starting to get bad. A bad thing for me and her is that when I get too warm, I get grouchy and miserable. A good thing is that I have two separate rooms. In winter I can close off the vents and open windows if needed. Summer I insist on compromise and it is a battle I am winning so far. I would not be able to stay with her if it was too warm. I could get a separate air conditioner if the windows and outlets were different. The way it is now we would have to do construction work before I could add a unit (portable or window mounted).
When Mom visited me I used a small portable space heater. She didn't need it once she was in bed under the covers but we moved it to where she was sitting when she was up. Now in the nursing home they keep the temp pretty high but she still needs a lap blanket, a sweater, and fingerless mittens.
One secret for staying warmer, tuck in one's shirt into one's pants... it makes a big difference.

I have to laugh, when the new twist light bulbs came out, Dad had rushed out and bought new ones for all the lights in the house... he thought he would save a bundle on electric bills.... guess what?.... since those new light bulbs don't put out any heat, Mom felt colder so Dad had to turn up thermostat :P

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