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Why are Older People Cold


why are older people cold and cause of cold hands in elderly


As a caregiver, you may always wonder why older people are cold. Their bodies become susceptible to cold temperatures as they get old. This coldness is because of a decline in the rate of metabolism. Their aging bodies are no longer capable of creating enough heat to hold the body temperature at 98.6 degrees.

Factors contributing to cold sensitivity in old people



The physical capacity undergoes a decrease with old age, and the body does not work as it used to work before. Even if the elderly can dress warmly, a drop in temperature will make our loved ones feel very cold.

Furthermore, skin thinning is another factor that may lead to the “feeling of cold” in older adults. More than usual, the increased sensitivity to cold or feeling cold can mean that your loved one has mild hypothermia.

Different findings indicate that, relative to their younger counterparts, older individuals have low body temperatures. However, it does not necessarily mean that they can feel cold all year round.

Cause of Cold hands in elderly



Another question that came into the mind of people when they care for the elderly is the cause of cold hands in the elderly. Poor circulation, caused by the hardening of blood vessels over time, hypothyroidism, anxiety, or infections, may cause cold hands, mainly if they last longer than average. Blood circulation also contributes to cold hands and feet as well.

What are the signs of coldness in the elderly?



  • Shivering even though the temperature is not too low in the room
  • The skin becomes paler.
  • The respiration rate is sluggish.
  • Loss of memory
  • Somnolence
  • Hands start fumbling
  • Confusion ensues.
  • Older adults become tired.

Reasons Why Are Older People Cold More Easily Than Younger



Let’s take a closer look at the issue, along with ways that you can keep loved ones.

1. Aging



One of the leading causes of cold in the elderly is age, as age brings different diseases and discomfort, so coldness is one of them. According to research, as you grow older, it becomes harder for your body to regulate its temperature. For various purposes, this can happen.

  • It is difficult to retain heat because of a reduction in fat and thinning skin.
  • Aging induces a natural metabolic rate decline, which means that the bodies of the elderly may not be able to produce sufficient heat to sustain a “normal” temperature of 98.6 degrees.
  • Slower circulation makes it more difficult to maintain heat in the body. It is likely due to aging or drug side effects.

2. Hypothermia



Hypothermia is a leading cause of cold in older people. It occurs when the body temperature gets low. A body temperature of 95 ° F or lower can cause many health issues for an older person, such as heart disease, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse.

Hypothermia may be caused by being outside in the cold or even being inside a freezing home. Try to stay away from cold places and pay attention to where you are, how cold it is. To lower the risk of having hypothermia, you should take action.

Although most people assume hypothermia only happens in cold weather, seniors with a slower metabolism may become hypothermic in temperatures as high as the mid-70s! It is especially worrying since half of older adults who succumb to hypothermia die before or shortly after being discovered.

3. Certain medical conditions



Decrease blood circulation



The way your body absorbs heat primarily determine by blood circulation. Your arms, legs, hands, and feet can start to feel cold if your blood can’t generally circulate through your body. It is because your body would prioritize blood supply to vital areas like your brain and heart.

Cardiovascular diseases can affect your arteries and blood vessels blood flow, including heart failure, coronary artery disease, and peripheral artery disease (PAD). Plaque accumulation, for instance, can limit and even obstruct blood flow. So your elderly limbs and hands get colder as blood flows slower across the body.




Anemia is a disease in which you don’t have enough red blood cells to bring oxygen to all of your body’s tissues. Your body can direct oxygen-filled red blood cells to essential organs, such as your brain, kidney, or heart, when you are anemic. As less blood flow and oxygen comes to certain parts of your body, this can leave your elderly skin, hands, and feet feeling cold.

Kidney disease



Kidney diseases are another factor for the cold condition in older adults. Such health disease may cause this process to be interrupted as waste drains out of your blood. When debris builds up in the elderly body, the temperature of your elderly core body will drop. Anemia, which can make you feel cold, is another side effect of kidney disease.




Diabetes can cause several health problems, including kidney failure and anemia, impairing your elderly cold sensitivity. However, high blood sugar, especially in arms and feet, can also damage your elderly. Their arms and feet may feel cold, numb, or tingling when the nerves get harms.

Thyroid problems



Hypothyroidism and other thyroid disorders influence how the body regulates hormones. Certain hormones help regulate the temperature of your body. You elderly may not have enough of these temperature-controlling hormones when you have a thyroid problem, which can leave them feeling cold.


A new medication can cause you elderly to feel cold as a side effect. The research found the cause of cold hands in the elderly can also trigger by beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers, which you elderly can take to lower their blood pressure. It is because the medications will decrease the blood supply to your elderly limbs.

Ways to prevent cold in elderly



There are several ways to keep your elderly warm; however, some essential measures are as follows.

Keep them hydrated



It’s vital to keep your elderly hydrated because it aids in the control of body temperature and is essential for the proper functioning of cells, tissues, and organs. Older people lose more fluids by respiratory water loss in cold weather than on warm days.

Moreover, when you see your breath in the cold air, your body loses its water vapor. Moreover, at older ages, our bodies also work harder to keep warmer and can sweat more due to wearing heavy clothing than we know.

Tips to keep them hydrated



  • Give them water and other fluids regularly.
  • Help to start your elderly day with a tall glass of water.
  • Maintain their healthy diet and add more fruits to their diet.
  • Keep them active will increase their thirst for water.

Warm Clothing



To keep your elderly warm and comfortable, give them warm clothes to wear. Wearing light layers of clothing during the day will help your loved ones control their body temperature. Provide a cardigan or jumper that your loved one should wear over short sleeves to provide an additional layer of warmth. When your loved one wants to go outside, make sure they are dressed warmly in a thick coat, hat, and gloves.

Proper heating system



When the temperatures start to get, lower home heating systems also encounter problems by planning to have their heater tested during a pre-season inspection. Prevent your loved one from being trapped at home in the cold. To help your loved one stay warm, make sure the thermostat is at an acceptable temperature, preferably within the range of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Seniors need extra support to shield them from the cold in their homes with winter on their way, so make the most of numerous heating aids and enough insulation, as well as smart home appliances, hot drinks, and central heating.

Proper healthy diet



Their diet is very critical for preserving their health while caring for an elderly loved one. It can also be a way that they can keep warm! Hot tea and soup are an ideal way to keep the body temperature high from the inside out.

Use humidifiers



Another major factor in keeping a home warmer and providing a healthy living atmosphere for seniors is humidity. Heating and ventilation systems also dry out the air, making it colder and often causing dry skin, mouth, and nose.

The moisture in the air would replace by a humidifier used in conjunction with a heating or ventilation system. Alternatively, invest in an air conditioner or ventilation system with an ambient humidity feature that can adjust to compensate for moisture loss in the air.




So, we have concluded that as our loved ones get old, it happens many health and medical conditions with them. However, coldness is one of the significant issues faced by older adults. Caring poses a variety of problems for a caregiver. Many individuals struggle, especially when providing adequate time, resources, and loving care to older individuals, especially during the harsh winter months.

However, there are many tips and tricks available to keep your elderly warm and comfortable as they get age. You can adopt some safety measures above to help prevent coldness in your elderly and keep them happy.






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