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I have my vent closed, but still can feel the heat. Her room is the coldest one in the house. I've tried to get her to change with me, but she refuses. In the daytime I spend most of my time in my room where at least I can breathe. She only moves to go to the bathroom. The rest of the day stays in her recliner in the living room with the heat turned up and another space heater right next to her. She dresses in sweats but refuses to use an electric blanket in her chair (she does use one at night). I have been moms only caregiver for 8 years and it gets worse every winter. Anyone have any ideas about how we can continue to live together and keep her warm and prevent me from having a heat stroke?

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I couldn't sleep in sleeves. Mind you, I couldn't sleep in a nightgown either, but even t-shirt sleeves drive me mad at night. Anything (edit: that I'm wearing, not blankets) that moves in a different direction from my body drives me mad at night, all that pulling and tugging - I'm all about the cami and shorts. So I kind of get it.

Winter weight down duvet?
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Those fleece sheet sets are wonderful too.
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Hmm, perhaps she does like to complain!

My mom was cold, but at least she was willing to accept measures to make her comfortable.

Someone who insists on sleeping in a sleeveless nightgown and then complains about being cold, well, that takes headstrong to a new level of meaning, doesn't it?

Is your mother beginning to be cognitively impaired, do you think?

Might she like getting a pretty flannel nightgown as a surprise?
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After posting my question I realized I could "search" this site. I found many others who have the same issue that their elder parents are cold.

I read all of the suggestions and answers and agree with many who replied that their elder parent is unwilling to change anything to address the issue and/or to compromise.

My 90-yr-old headstrong mom will not use the quiet oscillating heater I bought for her room nor use any electric blanket, fearing a fire during the night, and she still sleeps in a polyester short sleeveless nightgown. She won't change rooms with me either (mine is an oven even with vents and door closed, and hers (on the east side of the house, larger, and with a vaulted ceiling) is cold.

Frankly, I'm beginning to think she likes to complain......... :(
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momscaregiver1, I know what you mean, in my parents house my Mom [late 90's] would be dressed like she was preparing for an Arctic exposition... and my Dad [mid-90's] would be dressed like he was at the beach. The house in winter was at 82-85, which made it too hot for me to even breath. I couldn't wait to get back to my 68-70 degree home.

As GardenArtist had mentioned, there is a temperature difference between north facing bedrooms and south facing bedrooms. My home office is in one of the north facing bedrooms and it is darn cold in here... yet the master bedroom on the south side is comfortably warm. Couple years ago I put in new windows and that didn't make any difference, it's just the nature of the beast on the north side of the house.

One thing that did help my Mom are thermo underwear, such as Cuddl-Dudds which are light weight and easy to place shirts/pants over them. And tuck in that shirt into the pants, that can make a big difference. Sleep with socks on.

Now, medicine can make one feel colder.... my Mom takes thyroid pills and so does my sig other and both feel chilled. Some people with diabetes will feel colder, too.
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I can relate. For some reason most seniors stay cold. Every NH and AL that I visit has the heat turned way up. They are multiple reasons for this.

In order to keep your mom in your house and not suffocate from heat, I would try to make a plan to address it. Hopefully, your mom will get on board with it, but if not, that would signal to me that she isn't able to appreciate the problem. So, if she can't appreciate the problem, then I would take measure to address it. If she stays warm, then she will eventually thank you.

Assuming there is something about her room that makes it colder, then I would switch her room, even if she is not able to understand why. If it's not going to make that much of a difference, then don't bother. I would place digital thermometers in several rooms, monitor them for a few days to make sure there is actually a substantial difference.

Can you set up an area for her to watch tv, read, etc., that has a door? That way you can block the heat vents in the rest of the house. You might have to put a thermostat in her room though or the heat will keep running based on the lower temps near the thermostat.

I would be very careful with electric blankets and throws. They have to be carefully monitored and I would not trust a senior to handle it. It can get very hot.

Insist she wear two layers of clothes to keep her warmer. Thick socks and warm boot type bedroom shoes may help too.

I hate to say this, but even with lots of heat, many seniors never get warm enough and will continue to complain of being cold. Even if it's very warm.
When I finally got my loved one to open the door at her house, she had the heat turned to 87 and it was over 75 degrees outside! She was in bed wrapped up in blankets and didn't think it was hot! She was soon diagnosed with dementia, though not all dementia patients stay cold.
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Another thought is to add the clear insulating plastic covers on the windows to help retain the heat, then either purchase or make thick drapes. When I moved in over 30 years ago, I bought bolts of thick corduroy and made drapes from them. With 2 layers of drapes, it helped keep out a lot of the drafts.

You might also want to research other in-home energy conservation methods to see if you can keep as much heat in your mother's room as possible.
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78-80? I could never do that! My comfortable temperature is 73-74. When I lived with my mother, I stayed in my room whenever I could. I had a window air conditioner and it was always on.

It's tough even now when I have to do chores in her house, such as changing the bed linens for her. I always work up a sweat. I try to spend as little time in her house as possible.
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Oh, the thermostat wars. I feel your pain, momscaregiver. I have been a veteran in the thermostat wars for 6 years now. It really isn't the house being cold that makes them cold. And I learned from my father that they can still be cold even if the house is at 100 degrees. Everything else around them wilts and dies, but they are still cold. It is low metabolism and poor circulation due to disease and sedentary lifestyle.

I found the only way through it is to compromise. We set the thermostat on 78-80 in summer and 72-75 in winter. On mornings my mother needs the house warmer during cold months, I close my vents and open the windows. That keeps the rabbit and me from baking. Poor rabbit! Imagine being in a hot house with a fur coat on.

Somehow we have worked it out, but the elders have had to compromise. I would not have been able to stay if they had not. I guess you can call the compromise a treaty that keeps each person reasonably comfortable, though nobody has their ideal conditions. It can be hard for older and younger to live together, since their needs can be so different. Heat stress can harm us both psychologically and physically, so there has to be compromise.
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Thank you all for your answers. The one thing reading them has made me realize is, because my mother is 'stubborn' and refuses to do anything she thinks is an inconvenience to her or changes her routine, nothing will help, because she won't do anything to help me improve her situation. She won't cover up except when she is in bed at night or takes her afternoon nap, she won't go outside the house except to her doctor appointments and an occasional trip to the beauty shop, she won't walk or exercise in anyway to help her circulation, so I guess I just need to deal with it the best I can.
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Leg warmers are also a great idea; I use them when I shovel snow to protect against wind blown chills.
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The colder room might also be that way b/c of a heating configuration, if the ducts have longer runs and the registers are farther away from the furnace. Just an observation, not a professional opinion.

Notwithstanding the tree issue, if that side of the house doesn't get as much sun because of closeness of an adjoining house, direction (i.e., North), those also could be factors.

My furnace is centrally located, but houses are close together and heat doesn't reach the north as easily. That side is always colder, sometimes by as much as 5 degrees.

Insulation could also be a factor.

I had thought that older people became cold more easily because they don't move around as much, but realized that can happen to someone seriously ill as well. My sister and I had always been warm, but she experienced a drastic change to being cold almost constantly during the last months of her battle with cancer.

Moving and being active really does make a difference. Even if you could get your mother to do some gentle arm raises it would help.

You can try to get her to wear 2 sweatshirts, with the one underneath being a newer one as they do tend to lose some insulating value over the years. Fleece and good quality, thick flannel are also comforting and warm. I made a flannel vest to wear underneath sweatshirts.

If you make anything from flannel, make sure it's 100% cotton; some of the synthetics aren't as warm.

Drinking warm fluids might help as well....warm or hot cider, tea.
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When my mother slowed down and just sat all day, she started to complain about being cold. We bought an oil radiator to keep her room toasty warm. The last four years she started to lose body fat and was down to skin and bones. I made her a lap blanket and shoulder shawl and leg warmers since she insisted on wearing skirts and long sleeve Tshirts every day. It is a very common complaint.
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As for your Mom, read up on Raynaud's Disease and the cold people feel when their heart isn't pumping blood in all 4 cylinders. In a nutshell, I think she has poor blood circulation and right now the best approach would be getting her to move about inside and outside the house.
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I have a friend who also complains about the cold, even in the Spring. He's 50. The opioid-based psych meds he takes slow down everything and are probably the source of his misery. In the meantime we're doing yoga, going for long walks, and working out at a nearby gym whenever he's not b ___ ching about how cold it is. ... Yesterday I told him to move back to Puerto Rico where he'll be warm and toasty surrounded by flea-bitten dogs and the insects he misses so much.
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Thanks for your answer. We have had her room checked out. Since it is the coldest one in the house year round, the only thing that could cause it is because it rarely gets any sun on that part of the roof due to a huge tree. We've even had the branches cut way back, but it still gets shade all summer which I was told must be why the room never actually heats up enough for her. She does stay warm as long as she is under the electric blanket, but starts complaining about the cold as soon as she gets up to go to the bathroom during the night or gets ups in the morning (at 5:30am). And she refuses to use an electric blanket unless she is in bed. She thinks if she can't hear the heater running then it's not heating properly. She rarely moves since she can barley walk and uses her hover-round to get around when she does get up and that's a big part of why she is always cold. We don't discuss the 'nursing home' issue since she knows unless I was totally incapable of caring for her she would never end up in one.
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You know, when my mom was in Independent Living (and before thst, at home), she always kept the heat turned up, refused a/c and the like and complained constantly of the cold if she was in someone's house or car, even when wearing a sweater. Now, in the nursing home, she wears sweaters and shawls, and although the temperature is a normal 72 or so, she never complains. I'm convinced it's because she has other stuff to focus on.
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You might try to investigate why her room is so cold and try to alleviate the problem. Add window film to drafty windows, insulate around window frames and along the base of the floor and electrical outlets. Your furnace guy could check the air flow to her room and perhaps add a booster fan.
If she is using an electric blanket she really shouldn't need to have the room so hot, in fact the blanket works more efficiently when the room temp is cooler. Are you sure it is still actually working? My mom is always cold, but once she is under the covers she usually doesn't complain as it is like lying in a bed of coals lol. Some time we just need to accept the fact that the perception of being cold is due to poor circulation and the body not working any more. Tell her that they don't keep it so hot at the nursing home, which is where she may end up if she burns through your good will ;)
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