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It was 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8.8 C) outside this morning and 70F (21C) in the house. Grandma was cold with a long sleeve t-shirt and sweatshirt and slacks on, plus socks. I had lightweight long sleeved clothes on and was cool, but I didn't mind.

I HATE the heat! I usually have the downstairs at around 64-66F in the winter with the upstairs around 68. I obviously can't do that with Grandma there, but I don't know at what temperature I should have it. I know it was around 75 in assisted living and the same-ish at her house (it was drafty so it varied by room).

I've been trying to adjust the vents so all the heat is going downstairs, but that's not working so well. I'm also concerned with the dry air if I turn the heat up. Even with it below 68, it was very dry in here. I don't have anywhere for a big humidifier and those little ones aren't going to cut it. I may end up having to get two heaters for the Living room and Grandma's bedroom. I don't want to, but I don't want to dry out and burn up.

So any suggestions as to what temperature I should set the thermostat? Also, any suggestions on portable heaters that are cheap to run?

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You have hit the nail on the head about the flannel sheets, although she used to sleep on them. I have a hard enough time turning mom as it is. Her legs are drawn up. I get hot at night and stick my feet out, but her feet are cold, she says. Socks are a good idea.
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GivingItMyAll, my Mom loved the Cuddl Duds as they were very light weight but kept her warm... my Mom wouldn't wear the pantliner under slacks, either. I use to have a pair for myself back when I lived up north, and they were so comfortable. Mom also wore a scarf tied around her neck, kinda a throw back to the 1950's.

If someone is cold at night while trying to sleep, a pair of light weight socks will help keep someone warm. Flannel sheets are toasty warm, but a real bear if one is wearing flannel pj's, it's hard to turn over :P
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For my sister, I keep a heated throw handy for the couch and another on her bed. They shut off automatically after a few hours. She is happy with that.
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If your grandma is mobile, it would be better to layer her clothing as opposed to heating the house to oven temps. If she sits in pretty much one room, then your best option is to use a space heater and a lap blanket. I do keep a tabletop humidifier going in her room for the night to help with her breathing. It does blow colder air, though, so I point it away from her bed. Beware of using electric blankets and electric lap blankets. The elderly do have thin skin and thinner blood and can burn easily. Use the lowest temperature available and don't ever let them lay down on it while it is turned on. Another idea, if she will go along, is insulating undergarments. Cuddl Duds is one brand, but skiwear is good too. Mom won't wear the pantliners for some reason, but she will finally wear the long sleeved top.
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BusyMe, same with my Dad's independent living apartment. He had the sun all day long yet he would up the thermostat up to 78-80. His caregivers would come and leave is apartment door open to get some cooler air to come in.... sometimes they would quietly change the temp :)
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Be careful with shutting vents, that could cause Heater to short cycle and have whistling through ductwork.

My mom's AL apartment was always hot in the winter. Her thermostat was set as low as it could go, but she got the sun all day.
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Ah yes, thermostat wars, lol.

When MIL lived with us, she needed the house much, much warmer than we were used to. We got her an electric heater to supplement in the room she was in, an electric blanket for her bed (and I would settle it over her lap when she moved to sit on the couch). We also put an electric oil heater in the bathroom close to the toilet to keep that area warmer, and we put the thermostat up a good 10 to 15 degrees higher than we normally did, plus turned it on 6 weeks earlier than usual.

I was not ever able to get her to modify her dressing habits - so while she was "freezing" she probably had bare feet, light weight pants (or no pants *sigh*) and a t-shirt on.

She still complained that she was freezing, and heaven help us when she left her room and ventured to the bathroom or kitchen - you would think we were trying to freeze her on purpose to hear her talk. We just kept explaining that with an old drafty farm house we were not going to be able to keep it warm enough, we could do our best to keep her one room warm and keep the thermostat higher so the house was warmer than usual. But we were never going to be able to achieve the 78 to 82 degrees that she had at her house.

I guess for us, we figured we needed to make her comfortable first, and we could figure out how to live with it (and pay for it, LOL) after that. It's hard because their bodies are cold and you hate to see someone in such discomfort, but at the same time - the heat takes its toll on the rest of the family. There are just no "right" answers, only what compromise works best for you.

Good luck!
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The hot/cold issue seems to be very common with the elderly- as JessieBelle said. When my parents lived in IL, my dad was on hospice care his last few months. I adored my dad and visited everyday. At the time I was mid menopause with my only issues being hot flashes and night sweats - plus it was summer, at the time. I would leave their apartment looking like I had showered with my cloths on - and no available towels! But - I didn't live there - thank God! Buy your mom some nice, easy to throw on robes and cardigans. Set the thermostat to 70-72, dress in summer cloths and layer - I usually wore a hippy skirt, tank top and a blouse/top that was easy to remove. Invest in a good humidifier even if it becomes the focal point of the room - wouldn't it be worth it if it helps? This won't last forever but if you're going to stay sane and calm - I HATED being hot and sweaty and it made me very grumpy - wouldn't the temporary inconvenience be worth it?
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past? That should be "if you're in its path." :D
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I turn the heat up to 75 in the morning since the weather has cooled. Then I turn the AC onto about 79 in the afternoon as the weather warms. It's the time of year in the south that we put a sweater on in the morning and have heat strokes in the afternoon. (Words stolen from Facebook viral post.) I don't like heat unless it's cold, so I close the vents and open the windows my room and the rabbit's room. Then I do the reverse when it comes time for AC. Ain't caregiving fun?

I think 75 is a fine temperature for older people. Trouble is that a lot of elders want to heat the house instead of putting on something warmer. If my mother is cold I tell her to put on a robe. Then when she says it is too hot, I tell her to take it off.

Having your part of the house upstairs makes it harder, since the heat rises. What I do about humidity in winter is run three humidifiers. The Vicks Cool Mist puts out a lot of water, but is chilly if you're in its past. The warm mist ones don't put out quite as much but won't make you cold. I use the cool mist one in an area that my mother doesn't spend much time in.
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mejjy11, being cold is all part of the aging process.... as we age our skin becomes thinner and we feel the cold more.... plus medicines, like thyroid meds, can make a person of any age feel cold.

I bet Grandma's hands feel like ice, imagine how painful that must be for her. Try setting the temp at 72 during the day. And buy those table top humidifiers which do work quite well. Honeywell makes a really nice one which is very easy to fill without having to take the unit over to the sink. We have two of them in the house, and no more sparking when petting a cat :)

And if that feels warm to you, then time to get out the summer clothes. You and Grandma needs to compromise. My parents had the heat up to 78-80, so it felt like walking into a rain forest at their house.
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Our furnace kicked on this morning as the temp inside dropped to 69 degrees, in winter I generally set it to 70 at night and 74 during the day but mom is never warm enough. If you want an economical single room heater I recommend the oil filled kind, they can really kick out the heat, are safe and are silent... I can't stand the noise of most space heaters. I don't know where you live but if cost is a factor then generally cranking up a gas furnace is much cheaper than paying for electric heaters. I also highly recommend an electric blanket for your grandmother, you can keep the temps much lower at night and she will still be cosy in bed.
I also run a humidifier in the winter, (not because of the heat but because my air exchanger draws dry winter air into the house and expels the more humid interior air) a large whole house unit doesn't really take much space.
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