Older adults have a thinner layer of fat under the skin, making them more susceptible to cold. Conditions like diabetes, peripheral artery disease and kidney disease can restrict blood flow and lower body temperature.
Our circulation decreases as we age due to the walls of our blood vessels naturally losing their elasticity. When blood moves slower through our bodies, our extremities are colder and get cold faster. Another possible cause of feeling colder as we age is the thinning fat layer under our skin that conserves heat.
Several factors can lead to a lower body temperature in older people. For instance, as you age, you lose fat under the skin in your extremities and your skin becomes drier; both of these changes cause loss of body heat. Metabolism, which also generates heat, tends to slow as you age.
With advancing age, the body’s ability to endure long periods of exposure to cold is lowered. Older people also are at risk for hypothermia because their body’s response to cold can be diminished by certain illnesses such as diabetes and some medicines, including over-the-counter cold remedies.
Normal body temperature does not change much with aging. But as you get older, it becomes harder for your body to control its temperature. A decrease in the amount of fat below the skin makes it harder to stay warm. You may need to wear layers of clothing to feel warm.
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.
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.
Those factors include: Age-related changes to the skin such as poor blood circulation and inefficient sweat glands. Heart, lung, and kidney diseases, as well as any illness that causes general weakness or fever. High blood pressure or other conditions that require changes in diet, such as salt-restricted diets.
Cold intolerance is a well known symptom of hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones. These hormones help regulate metabolism and temperature. When the thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormones, the body’s processes tend to slow down.
Seniors typically have lower body temperatures than younger people, so make sure you have a baseline reading of what is typical for your senior loved one. Body temperature rises in reaction to illness or infection.
Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their body’s response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, some medicines including over-the-counter cold remedies, and aging itself.
The most common causes of hypothermia are exposure to cold-weather conditions or cold water. But prolonged exposure to any environment colder than your body can lead to hypothermia if you aren’t dressed appropriately or can’t control the conditions.
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.
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).
What Are Normal Vital Signs?
The hypothalamus helps keep the body’s internal functions in balance. It helps regulate: Appetite and weight. Body temperature.