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Diane Perkins
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi!
  I am hoping this site is what I need.  I have been my mother's primary care giver for over four years and she will be 95 on Thanksgiving Day.  She has PAH, HB and does not eat much.  I have her in the care of a geriatric doctor and a heart specialist.  She has suffered from continuous pain for more than 15 years and they now say that is fibromyalgia.  However none of the drugs for fibromyalgia work and so she is being treated with 72 hr. pain patch and 4
hydrocodeine pills, 1 every 6 hours.  I have the house temp set at 75d and put a space heater in her room (12 x 10) and have that set at 75d.  Her chief complaint is that she is she is cold.  She takes thyroid medication and her last check 6 weeks ago or so ... said she was okay at that level of med.

Her last visit to the cardiologist informed me that he was seeing more "backwash" than at the previous visit.   I am not without some experience with ill  people.  This feeling of being so cold, in spite of warm pj's, and a space heater in her room, I suspect is just her elderly body shutting down.
The doctors tell me there is not much more they can do.  I am a practical person and know that she has had a good long run (being almost 95) and that none of us live for ever.   I just don't know what to make of the "cold" business".   Anybody out there who has more experience that I do on the matter?    I certainly can sympathize with anybody in this care giving postition as it is really a  physical and emotional ride.  My own doctor says I have to watch out for me.  I have had one heart attack and now have a stent, two artificial knees and arthritis in the left foot which means I have to wear a brace.  Again anybody out there confirm my theory?

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Nancy2
Reply with quote  #2 
My mother is 91, and always cold as well. She has Cold Agglutinin Disease (CAD), a type of Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. She is always cold, the heat is up in the room so normal people can't stand it.

On item we have used are the hand warmers hunters use. You just open them up and they heat up by themselves. They last, some of them, up to 8 hours. My mother's hands would turn blue from the cold, when it wasn't even cold, but one in each mitten would warm her up in minutes. They do get very warm, so be careful to wrap them so they don't touch the skin.

They can be tucked in around your mom and would help warm her up.

Good luck. I think  you could be right, that her body is shutting down, but any method of keeping her warm and comfortable would be a blessing for her.

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Taj
Reply with quote  #3 
How about an electric blanket to cover her most always? 
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BC
Reply with quote  #4 
I filled small cotton bags with rice ( 1 or 2 pounds) and warmed them in the micro wave..I warmed her sheets that way when she could get still out of bed before getting her back in.  Later I would put them around her (NEVER touching her skin).
 
A stocking cap helps a lot, even wrap her head in a towel.  Good luck.
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BC
Reply with quote  #5 

BTW, if a person is incontinent, don't plug in a blanket.  You can warm light weight blankets or beach towels in the dryer.

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sierraseven
Reply with quote  #6 
I second the suggestion to have her wear a knit cap. The body loses a lot of heat from the head. The other thing is, make sure she's drinking enough water. Elders often get out of the habit of drinking water, maybe to delay going to the bathroom. Dehydration causes a drop in circulating blood volume, and the person feels colder. I instructed cold-weather orientation for the National Guard here in Alaska, and even young, healthy people will have a big difference in cold tolerance if they are not well hydrated.
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florence
Reply with quote  #7 

my mom is a cancer patient and i bought some heavy fleece blanket material and folded it in half and stitched 3 sides she uses it at the cancer center while get her iv treatment and i get her fleeced lined pants and i buy sweat shirts and cut then down the front's and put a lace trim then she can put them on as a sweater

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Equality
Reply with quote  #8 
I know from my dad's experience that Florence's suggestions work well and best of all are passive solutions.  Polar fleece is a miracle. After dressing my dad in a polar fleece warm up suit, a polar fleece cap and a thinsulate vest, (also putting polar fleece sheets and blanket on his bed) he said it was the first time he was warm in years-in fact he said he was "hot" and enjoyed the sensation. I also recommend heavily padded sport wicking socks to be used inside of warm socks, instead of polar fleece, only because you don't want to encourage a fungal growth. My dad needed the padding, because he lost so much weight there was no fat on his feet. (The best quality polar fleece is at sporting goods stores) Look for tags that say doesn't pill-wash all the garments inside out.

I also bought sports under wear for him-it wicks moisture away from the body. This kind of layered dressing is attractive and not at all bulky.

Unfortunately, my mother refuses to wear these kind of sporty clothes, because she views them as non-feminine. The best I could do with her (she is always cold now) is buy heavy weight flannel pajamas with matching booties. She will only wear cashmere sweaters and sweater vests, because they are pretty and light, but they are not nearly as warm as polar fleece.

When I took my dad on outings I brought a polar fleece wrap with me that had pockets for his hands. I found that gloves were hard to take on and off-mittens are easier and warmer. Consider fingerless mittens inside the house for the winter.



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Equality
Reply with quote  #9 
http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/10/small-measures-with-ashley-heat-saving-suggestions.html
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Janice
Reply with quote  #10 

May sound silly, but you can take your hair blow dryer and warm the bed before getting in. Makes it all cozy warm.

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'daughter'(beth)
Reply with quote  #11 
my mom was always cold too and I do not think she had nearly the health issues (or age) of those mentioned on this thread.  Her cold feelings started around the age of 74.

However, I know her heart was not pumping nearly as good the last two years of her life, and I think that really affects how warm a person feels. The blood is simply not circulating. What a difference that makes, apparently!

Mom would snuggle under her afghan, with a hat on her head (indoors!), in her rocker. The space heater next to her going full throttle, and her furnace thermostat set to 78. Needless to say, when I visited her, I sweltered. Luckily the rest of her house was cold!

We all got her the polar fleece stuff, but she refused to use them because they were "brand new". she wanted to wear out her current clothing and blankets first (they were already threadbare and old) before she used the new stuff.
She never did use it. It is still all in her house. What a shame.

I think, looking back, Mom liked to have something to remark on, and her favorite was "I am so cold! Brrrr!".  I eventually tired of pointing out all the options surrounding her, like all those brand new blankets, one of them an electric polar fleece blanket! Now with that, you surely cannot go wrong. I think she liked to sit and shiver. And turn up the space heater. Her electric bills were a bit high if you can imagine.

beth




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branwen
Reply with quote  #12 
Probably horrendously expensive but hospitals use air-heated blankets called Bair-Huggers to warm up patients
http://www.arizant.co.uk/ProductThumbnails.asp?CategoryID=1&ProductCategoryID=70

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Gavin
Reply with quote  #13 
Has any one tried a infer red light heat the source instead of the air around the sourse
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