Why do elderly people feel the cold more?

My father, who will be 81 soon, says the cold affects him very badly these days. So much so, that if he moves from a relatively warm room to a cooler temperature, he starts shaking and shivering uncontrollably. In addition he says he feels very cold "inside".

Why is this?

21 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Circulation problems mostly I would say. My mother had kidney disease too, and she was always cold, no matter how many blankets we gave her. I would think if a person if very frail and not much fat on them, that could have an effect, as well as some medications. My niece who had cancer, was cold so much of the time, but she only weight about 100 lbs until she lost a lot more weight during her cancer fight. Neuropathy can also give a sensation of coldness in the legs and feet, even when they feel warm to the touch.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm no expert, but the human body has an automatic 'thermostat' system similar to that which you can control in your home central heating system - by turning or setting a dial. But it's 'automatic' -self-regulating - and ageing makes it less effective or responsive to external changes in temperature. Blood thins, the heart pumps slower, etc. 'Shivering' when cold is more difficult (as a way of generating heat) and those with less 'body-fat' find they are more exposed to cooler temperatures- can't shiver enough to compensate. And when the 'thermostat' can't cope - despite uncontrollable shivering - the cold seems to sink into 'the very bones'.

    It's far from unusual - and the simple remedy is to have an extra layer of insulation handy - a blanket, duvet or whatever. Old people often favour 'thermal underwear' as a 1st line of defence. It means you need to wear less in warm rooms - and not so much extra insulation when the temperature drops.

  • 1 decade ago

    I never felt the cold until 7 years ago when I was put on blood-thinning medication following a heart attack.Having always felt the heat I thought that might make a pleasant change but not so,I still feel the heat.I feel the cold in different ways though,not outside at all as I do dress appropriately but chill coming off stone floors inside our house.We had the misfortune to buy a house with beautiful stone tiles on both the kitchen & bathroom floors & if windows are open in those rooms they seem to waft cold air off the tiles even on hot days presumably the very reason they are used so much in warmer countries.Laminate floors have a similar effect on me & this winter we are changing the main room with a laminated floor

  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Because they have poor blood circulation. Sometimes their arteries are narrowed because of high cholesterol, sometimes they have diabetes, sometimes they just don't move around enough to keep their blood moving, if they spend a lot of time sitting. Maybe their hips are bad and they can't get up and down easily. Have some sympathy. If you are lucky, you will get old, too, someday.

  • Kwe'
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I agree with "mswnana"!! I'm 20 years younger than him but I freeze in the winter and burn up in the summer!! I have an electric mattress pad and love it because of my back!! Was kinda scared at first because I have so much metal in my shoulder and back but it doesn't bother it! I used to have a rod in my leg and it attracted heat and cold but that was in '82 and changes have been made!!!

  • 1 decade ago

    Not only colder, but hotter when the weather is very hot. I think it has to do with not being able to move around as much as one did when younger. Skin also becomes thinner. My sister is 85, and I bought her one of those electric mattress covers which heats up the mattress. She loves it! I guess if it got wet, though, it could be disastrous. An electric blanket may be the thing for him.

  • 1 decade ago

    Blood circulation changes in volumne as we age and our bodies just seem to feel the cold more. Some SCs wear winter underwear year round. That is not a new trend, just a fact You will one day find out if you live that long.

  • 1 decade ago

    I agree with all the answers listed and if people as they get older and don't move much or walk, the harding of the arties will take effect and that makes the blood become more slower.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Breakdown of the body's temperature control and poor circulation plus less mobility. I always say that my bones are cold when I am cold inside.

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