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My 90 yr. old mother is living with my husband and me. She has her chair by the sliding glass door which I like leave open for fresh air and a cool breeze, but not too cool. She is always cold. With summer coming I like to open up the house in the morning. It doesn't help when I have hot flashes and I'm just warm all the time. Why is she so cold all the time? Even when it is hot. She does take a lot f Tylenol for pain. Could that be it or is it something else. I hope someone has an answer because I am ready to move her to assistant living. She does have dementia, maybe the 2nd stage. But she drives me crazy sometimes. I have a choice to take in my grandson who is 10 yrs old with ADHD, bipolar and depression. Which would be worse to deal with? I also have mild depression. Thanks and have a great day

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smoking could do it when she was younger mine did & she is cold ..i say your furnace is broke need a new one i wish .well smoking makes her blood vessels shrink bad circulation .maybe get her a electric blanket & keep it on low or where she wants it but make sure she is ok ...
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I was reading about heat rash that it is caused by clogged sweat glands. She has the red type. I am going to have to give her sponge baths on the area to help the glands unclog, and try to prevent the sweating in the future. I think I've convinced her that too many blankets are just not good - because of the effect of sweat not being able to evaporate. Will let anyone reading who cares to know how the treatment goes.....
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Sounds like her internal temperature is up and down, as is my Mom's. With her memory problems, she doesn't remember that she was hot or cold previously, just how she feels "right now." It is very challenging, I hear you. What helps me is prayer. I don't think we can really know how it is with them, but chances are, they really do not know how their issues are affecting others, not really - even when explained - they live in the present. And now my Mom is calling ME. Hang in there, keep being kind. You'll be glad in the end.
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If only that would work. She would hear the AC wasn't turning off and come to me about it running all the time. She tells me it runs all the time even when it doesn't. The first thing she would do when she heard it wasn't turning off would be to tell me to call someone about the thermostat because it isn't working right.
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Jessie, I wonder if you could have a guy friend put in a "thermostat" in your mom's section of the house. It wouldn't be connected to anything, but she could play with it to her heart's content. I think these things are more mental than actual physical comfort. So let her have total control over a fake thermostat. :)
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The only help I know for heat rash is corn starch baby powder.

My mother is cold in the morning and, being diabetic, is too warm in the evening because her sugar goes up. She is always saying to turn off or turn on the AC. I try to keep it on 80, but she pushes up the thermostat even when she says she is hot. Sometimes she pushes it up, then turns on the fan. A box over the thermostat would be nice, but there would be no peace in the house.

I do have a belief that has come about after 8 years of suffering through the thermostat wars. People and animals in the house with an older person should not have to suffer to keep the elder comfortable. Compromise is necessary, but the compromise has to be on both sides. Sometimes the caregiver has to enforce the compromise when the elder wants things their own way. Caregivers do not owe their health to the person they are helping. Living in a hot house is bad for the caregiver.

... As if on cue, my mother just walked by and pushed up the thermostat even though the AC is not on his her section of the house. It is a control issue with her that is very much like contempt for her daughter. I really do worry about the woman's immortal soul, since I go out of my way to be kind even when I have to grit my teeth and fake it. (And no, it's not only the dementia.)
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I am grateful for this original question and answers (even if the original is over 2 years old). The problem is an ever-present one for the aging population and their caregivers. I came on to see if anyone has a solution for heat rash. My Mom insists on me piling on her blankets (including a down and an electric, as well as three others) and wakes me throughout the night to adjust them. Yes, it is difficult. I had to take time off from work because getting up with the 'work alarm' after such a night was hellish.

Because she hates anything confining, any bra we've bought her that might have some chance of elevating her bosom is unwanted, so she goes braless, but the problem is that she is getting heat rash under the fallen breasts from all the sweating that inevitably happens (even with all-cotton tops) because of the blanket pileage (not a word, I know, Grammerly) because she is always cold! Oy vey. Nice to know I'm not alone at least. But does anyone have a solution for heat rash?
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she has dementia too oh she is 80 now be 81 in a few days ...
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i wish we can buy moon suits so they can keep the temp they want but they might over cook them selves my mom breaks out in sweats or she is cold when she does work which is not much she gets hot . getting old has to really suck .i dread it in time oh well maybe i will be able to have a moon suit by then !!!!!!!!!!
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My mother lives with me (she's 80). She is always cold as well. I bought her a room heater. Even in the summer she will use it in the evening along with her afghan for her legs. I don't have to die of heat and she doesn't have to freeze. It works for us.
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I installed a thermostat that locks. Without it, my parents (90 & 93) want to turn the heat on when it's 104 outside. They are insisting that I am freezing them to death. Thankfully, we have a two story. We limit air conditioning downstairs (we have hot summers here) and crank it up upstairs. Thank God. I, too, am menopausal. I feel your pain.

In the winter, it gets tougher because it is cold. I bought the electric throws. My mom loves hers, and Dad refuses to use it (dementia----he worries incessantly about fire). I bundle him up in woolens and we do put up the heat----it's just never on high enough to suit him. Sigh.
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Apparently we are not alone. My 87 year old Dad has come to stay with me for some time. He varies from day to day. He'll be ok for a couple of days and then chilled to no end others. In the house I keep it at 77. Usually 75 in the summer. He wears full pajamas, a t-shirt, a jacket and a blanket. He sure doesn't eat much anymore and I keep him on ensure and strawberry ice cream milkshakes. His digestiive system has gone hay wire. Toots a dozen times a day. I know his metabolism is way down and all I can continue to do is make him comfortable. Our job will always be to care for our parents regardless of the inconvenience to ourselves. Bless you all.
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just do not medicate your self-exercise instead to keep normal body temperature
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Thank you for your reply, JessieBelle, although I'm sorry for your situation, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one. Sharon
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There are some really nifty room heaters that are absolutely quiet and work reasonably well (Dyson makes one). Maybe figure out what her motivation triggers are and see if you can work one in (Luxurious, modern, top-of-the-line, "smart", "sensible", efficient, saves money, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, healthier, everyone-has-one, Dr recommended or whatever)
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I close things off so that I can stay cooler. I decided years ago that my health and comfort were more important than the system. My mother also closes off large parts of the house so she can concentrate the heat in certain areas. She closes off her bedroom during the day, then complains that it is too cold in the evening, so cranks the heat up. It's her house, her heating/cooling system. I just do what I need to stay cool enough. They requires for her to compromise many times, even when she doesn't want to.
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I found this post while searching for a reason my 88-yr-old healthy mother is always freezing....seriously. We live in FL and she still insists sleeping with the system on 80 degrees. As someone else said, she refuses to dress more warmly instead as I live in shorts and muscle shirts (at 68 yrs old!). I used to close the vent in my bedroom, close my bedroom door, and open the window when it's in the 70's outside but I'm learning this is bad for the circulation and air flow of the HVAC system. I even bought her a whisper quiet tower heater but she won't use it. So I am just suffering. As she is healthy, eats well, and is under her own power, this may be my lifestyle for many years to come. Thanks to this thread that allowed me to vent. Good luck to everyone. Sharon
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The woman who moved in with us was a completely different one than I remembered. Not only is she always cold, but she thought we should have turned down the A/C for her. This is SoCal, we've had a very hot year. Finally, I put a piece of plastic on her vent and opened the windows. She is finally happy with the 90 degree temp, but I dread what will happen when it drops below 80 degrees again, then she'll be asking for a space heater in her room with her four cats who also made the move with her. I'm so happy to know I'm not the only one with this problem, I thought I had gone insane. Thanks.
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Just FYI. The original post is almost 2 years old.
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Many older people feel the cold more due to medications, diseases such as thyroid, heart of diabetes or circulation issues. My dad is the same way. I purchased him lined slacks and flannel shirts for winter and he usually wears a t shirt under the flannel. Having taken care of a special needs child and a demented loved one, neither are easy. As a rule, a caregiver must make sure they care for themselves or they won't be able to care for anyone else. Having a child with ADD & bipolar is a real handful and would include behavior and medication management as well as doctor and therapy appointments. someone with dementia could also include behavior and medication management and medical appointments. As her dementia progresses, she may begin to wander or stay up all night-this could pose a serious problem. Only you know what is right for you and your family. There are programs that allow for in home help if she qualifies and programs that will help pay for assisted living if she qualifies. You could also look into an adult medical day care program for your mom. This would get her out of the home for a few hours each day. Assisted living can be a great place for a loved one to go, especially if they have dementia. You can have more pleasant visits when you are not stressed out over her care. You must prepare yourself if you decide to care for your grandson. Speak with his doctors his therapist, ask questions on what to expect, ask questions on behavioral management and medications. If that's what you decide to do, if one thing doesn't work, try something else. There are a lot of behavioral interventions, and remember your grandson will have highs and lows. With your love and support he can be a happy, well adjusted child that grows into a responsible young man. Good Luck.
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My Mom is always cold because of her thyroid... so you will see her with long pants, thermo undershirt, knit long sleeve shirt, sweater, scarf around her neck and also wearing knee socks/shoes. Dad on the other hand, is wearing shorts and a sleeveless undershirt [sometimes with no undershirt at all], and barefoot... at least in winter he goes to longer pants, t-shirt, and socks. Both are in their 90's. And their home feels like a sauna. No wonder they nap so much :P
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Always keep them away from the thermostat, or just keep going behind them turning it up or down. If not you will be miserable. I think it is because their metabolism is lower, and the fat insulation under the skin is thin along with the skin itself. I can understand how they would be cold.
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Yes they are cold all the time as first commenter stated reasons. Same thing for me, I like the fresh air so I invested in several nice comfy throws n sweaters for her and in coldest months an electric throw. Even got her some mittens and fur lined boots n slippers, her feel and hands are the coldest!
Good luck!
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When I go visit my mom in her independent living facility and it's 90 degrees outside, the folks walking around have on sweaters and long-sleeve shirts. So your mom is normal for her age group. My 93-year old mom sits with a wool blanket on her legs most of the time, because her legs get cold and ache.

So just provide your mom some sweaters and afghans to put over her. Or even consider a heating blanket for her. You can be comfortable and so can she!
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One fact of life is that old people get cold. Many will crank up the thermostat to 90 and try to kill everyone else around them in their quest to stay warm. I went through this with my father (age 89-91) and now my mother (86). There are several reasons. First, the metabolic rate goes down, so they are not generating as much heat as they did when young. Second, they are less active, so not generating heat. Third, they are not eating as much bulky food -- a source of heat when being digested. And last, blood flow to the distal parts (hands, feet) is suppressed, making them like ice even when it is warm.

A bad thing is that many older people won't wear jackets or use blankets to stay warm. If it is their house, chances are great they will just turn the thermostat up. One of my favorite examples was a story of a family going to visit Grandma during a blizzard in the north. The kids wore their shorts. :) I can relate.

Around here I keep the vents to my room and my rabbits' room closed. That way she can have her heat and I can hide out in my cooler quarters. I dread summers here, though. It is always a battle when I need air conditioning. I do the best I can for me and my rabbits one day at a time.
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