Mom's getting colder. Is this normal or a symptom of something more serious? - AgingCare.com

Mom's getting colder. Is this normal or a symptom of something more serious?

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Hi, Friends: My 90-yr-old mother is always cold and she seems to be getting colder every day. We live together in Florida where it's still in the mid-80's. Although she would prefer to turn off the a/c and let the house get to 85 degrees, the system is set at 80 and she's still wearing a man's plaid flannel shirt buttoned to her neck.


She is not sedentary. She is up walking almost constantly as she thinks of things that she needs to do so I assume her blood is circulating fairly well. She takes only BP meds and is otherwise healthy.


QUESTION:
Is her "getting colder" issue normal, or a symptom of something more serious?


Thank you!

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I don't know if anybody's mentioned thyroid, but my mom has taken medication for this, is always cold anyway, but her blood level was checked, and they increased her medication. She truly has not mentioned being cold for a few weeks now.
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FF, I'm glad you raised the issue of the cooler light bulbs. I had noticed that as well, but thought it might just be me.

So I guess now we have to change light bulbs between hot and cold weather, like we used to have to change screens on the older windows every time the seasons changed.
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Yes, meds and certain illnesses can make one feel cold. My Mom was on thyroid pills thus she was very cold. What helped Mom was thermo underwear made by Duddl-Dudds. These undergarments were very light weight but kept the body heat in. My Mom wore them year around.

Another thing we noticed, Dad had taken out all of the old fashioned light bulbs and replaced them with those curly fluorescent type bulbs. Dad said it will save him money. Well, much to Dad surprise, Mom complained how cold it was and Dad had to up the heat. So much for saving $$. Those new bulbs weren't putting out the heat that the old bulbs use to generate. Mom wanted the old bulbs put back in, especially at her reading chair.

Another observation, my family room is on a concrete slap. Burrrr in the colder weather. Purchasing a large area rug to put over the builder's rug did make a difference :)  Careful watching one's step.

Oh, and tuck that shirt into one's pants... you will notice a difference.
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You might check out the side effects of her meds.
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My Mother ALWAYS wanted a heating pad across her tummy and across her back,as she sat in her liftchair and a blanket covering her and a warm robe on ALL the time.She had COPD,so I had to keep the house cool and she needed a fan on her to breathe,so we had both hot and cold going on at our house all the time at the same time,but she was comfortable and that's all that mattered.
I hope you find something that helps you.Take good care,Lu
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myrealtygal: The answer to your question depends on the following--
#1 She she taking Coumadin?
#2 Where does she hail from?
#3 Is she a native Floridian? (basically same as #2)
#4 What other underlying factors might she have, e.g. PAD, CAD, edema of lower extremities?
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I am 83 and I turn on my electric blanket almost every night, even in summer. I have it set on low (2 out of 10 settings). I think if thyroid and other health thingies are ok, it is probably just her getting old.
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As we age the circulation is not what it was when younger.
The body has 2 main goals.
1. Keep the "core" warm and functioning.
2. Keep the brain functioning.
In order to do both of those things the blood is circulated to the core, the heart, lungs, liver, stomach..as well as the brain. Because most of the blood is circulating here there is less for the fingers and toes, then later the hands, feet then later the arms and legs.
Keeping a hat on the head will help. Keeping nice warm socks on the feet and if you have them leg warmers will help the feet and legs. A "muff" if you can find one will help the fingers and hands. If you can't find a muff then a nice cozy throw will help.
If the person is ambulatory you could use one of the heated throws or a heating pad but do not use them if the person is not ambulatory or able to verbalize if it is getting warm. And if they have lost any sensation to the extremities do not use on of the electric ones. It is easy to over heat or get a burn.
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As we age our bodies structures change causing us to feel colder (changes in skin, amount of fat) and also our body functions (circulation being a prime factor). Movement is also key - if you are not moving, you are not using your muscles and you are not generating your own heat! Many older adults who don't move well then end up feeling colder. Can your mom get up and move more? If she doesn't walk well, how about some simple exercises? This will not only warm her up, but has positive benefits on improving cognition, mood and overall body functioning. In fact, moving is very important in the prevention of constipation. Try incorporating movement into fun(ctional) activities like batting a balloon back and forth, kicking a ball while sitting, folding towels/clothes, mixing a batch of brownies or a cake by hand, putting together a vase of flowers from the grocery store, crafts.
Hope this helps...a gerontological occupational therapist.
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If the feet are warm most likely the whole body is too - try down slippers - they go above ankle so feet are warm but not much support for the foot -

I go to a pool for warm water exercise several times a week - I am so hot for hours after being in it for an hour - does she have access to similar? - I can steam up inside of my glasses from the heat I absorb - can she also try a hot bath after breakfast?
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