If all this improvement doesn’t warm up their feet or hands (feel them yourself) put extra socks on. Warming up their feet might have the effect of warming up hands, too. But if it doesn’t, raise the room temperature.
Being forced to feel cold is an undeserved misery of the aged.
Others must accommodate to the elderly’s need for body warmth. The thermometer does not tell all. Comfort is paramount for each of us. Younger persons can undress for comfort. The elderly can’t make changes for themselves. usually, by the time they are complaining of cold, they have suffered a long time, feeling too guilty to request a temperature hike. Ask your loved one. They will appreciate it. A shawl, a lap-blanket, woolen sweater, long underwear and fleecy thermal outerwear help a lot. But if your hand still senses cold feet, the thermostat must still go higher. Cold body temperature is an invitation for fungus and viruses to multiply. Viruses escape into the body daily. Don’t give them the advantage.
Fig. 39 Too hot and too cold.
But unless all these things are tried, don’t raise the temperature. It is much healthier to be warmly dressed and breathe cool air than to be lightly dressed in an 80°F room. The heart, especially, benefits by the cooler air temperature.
For this reason, it is important to have air conditioning during the hot season. Keep your elderly person warmly dressed, away from air conditioner or fan drafts, but keep it cool. As cool as their body temperature and comfort will allow. Don’t seat an elderly person under a fan in restaurants. The blowing air not
only chills them, but brings filth in dust that blows in the air currents. Bacteria and viruses are soon to follow.
Being comfortable, knowing you are there to care for them, brings out the best in your elderly person. They might get well enough to long for a genuine relationship again. And put you to the test. The test of listening. This can be very rewarding if they are still able to communicate and distill their life experience into wisdom for you. If you can listen and be interested in their distillations or their ramblings their longing for relationship will be fulfilled. There’s just one catch, if the new found interest in communication can’t be expressed. If they haven’t communicated much for a long time, it would be easy for you to miss a simple fact. They can’t hear!