Because lower temperatures and winds can reduce body heat, blood vessels tend to constrict, making it more difficult for oxygen to reach the entire body. Seniors who are thin are especially at risk of cold-related cardiovascular issues because they do not have as much fat to provide warmth and keep blood flowing.
For an older person, a body temperature of 95°F or lower can cause many health problems, such as a heart attack, kidney problems, liver damage, or worse. Being outside in the cold, or even being in a very cold house, can lead to hypothermia. You can take steps to lower your chance of getting hypothermia.
“If it’s extremely cold, rainy, snowy, or icy, exercise indoors,” Dr. Frates advises. A good rule of thumb: skip your outdoor workouts when outside temperatures drop to 32° F or below.
A decrease in fat and thinning skin make it difficult to conserve heat. Aging causes a natural decrease in metabolic rate, which means seniors’ bodies might be unable to generate enough heat to maintain a “normal” temperature of 98.6 degrees. Slower circulation can make it difficult to retain heat throughout the body.
In short, the ideal room temperature for seniors varies slightly because it can be impacted by a person’s health. However, the average room temperature for elderly people is in the neighborhood of 78°F. Comfort aside, those warmer temperatures are also more effective at reducing the spread of disease.
In addition to physical health risks, older people are also more likely to suffer from loneliness or depression during the winter months. When the weather is grim, it’s easy for them to become isolated and avoid going out. You can encourage them to stay active by going for short walks or doing some winter gardening.
How to Keep Seniors Warm
Among adults, the average body temperature ranges from 97°F (36.1°C) to 99°F (37.2°C). Adults over age 65. In older adults, the average body temperature is lower than 98.6°F (37°C).
In fact, exercising in cooler weather has some distinct advantages over working out in the warmer weather. Not only that, you can work out harder in the cold weather —which means you burn even more calories. Heading outside in the winter is also a great way to take in the sunlight (in small doses).
The average—and safe—room temperature for an elderly person is around 78 degrees, according to research published in Age and Aging. To prevent an elderly person from becoming too cold, it’s recommended the room temperature never drops below 65 degrees.
What are some causes of falls? The normal changes of aging, like poor eyesight or poor hearing, can make you more likely to fall. Illnesses and physical conditions can affect your strength and balance. Poor lighting or throw rugs in your home can make you more likely to trip or slip.
When an elderly adult’s blood is not properly circulating, the temperature of their extremities tends to fluctuate. The blood vessels in those areas constrict in efforts to retain body heat, which results in cold hands and feet.
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Primarily, 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is considered the best body temperature for elderly, but anything between 98.2 and 99.9 degrees Fahrenheit is just okay. A body temperature below 98.2 is considered abnormal. Any temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit is a concern.
But that isn’t the only reason many seniors enjoy warmer temperatures. In cold conditions, including sitting for long periods in air-conditioned rooms, older muscles can become stiff, cause pain and restrict ease of movement — one reason warmer temperatures might feel better to an older person.