Why Am I Always So Cold?

Feeling cold all the time is uncomfortable. For older adults and those who care for them, it may also cause worry or stress. There are several reasons why seniors feel cold all the time, or at least more frequently than they used to.

Read on to learn what may cause this phenomenon and when caregivers should seek additional medical advice for their loved one.

So, Why Do Older Adults Get Cold Easily?

Seniors are often more sensitive to cold temperatures, even if things feel comfortable for others in the room. These are possible explanations for why you or your loved one is always feeling cold:

Aging

Older adults often have a harder time regulating their body temperature. This is caused by a combination of age-related factors, including:

  • Decrease in body fat
  • Lower metabolic rate (also known as basal metabolic rate)
  • Changes in circulation due to medications

Underlying Health Conditions

While many of these underlying medical conditions aren’t strictly age-related, older adults are diagnosed with them at higher rates and may experience more pronounced symptoms:

  • Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis

These conditions can lower body temperature; talk to your healthcare provider for relevant testing.

Does feeling cold indicate morbidity or other issues?

No matter the root cause of lower body temperature, an older person feeling cold all the time is more likely to experience hypothermia. For every degree of body temperature below 95 degrees, seniors also face an increased risk of hypothermia and other health problems, including heart attack and kidney damage.

When seniors say they’re cold, take them seriously. Research shows older adults can experience hypothermia in ambient air temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit – and half of seniors diagnosed with hypothermia die before or soon after they receive treatment.

3 Ways: How to Keep the Elderly Warm

Family caregivers are always busy but take careful note of seniors who may feel cold throughout the day. The most important tip for keeping seniors warm is to listen.

1. Turn up the heat.

Make sure the thermostat is set to a comfortable temperature. Even increasing the setting by a few degrees can make a big difference in maintaining a safe body temperature.

2. Layer up.

Encourage seniors to wear layers outside and around the home, too. Consider keeping a blanket or sweater handy in the living room so they can always get cozy.

3. Maintain a healthy diet.

Eating large, healthy meals keeps the body’s metabolism working and naturally increases body temperature. Suggest warm beverages, too, such as herbal teas, to help keep body temperatures elevated between meals.

An older person feeling cold all the time should talk to their healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop safe, effective strategies to feel comfortable. A professional caregiver can provide transportation to a medical appointment and stay with them until it’s time to come back home.

Care That Counts

The trained caregivers at your local Homewatch CareGivers work with local families and medical professionals to identify and manage all facets of aging.

For elder care that ensures your loved one’s comfort and provides you with peace of mind, request an in-home consultation or call 888-404-5191 today to learn more.

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