Home climate a matter of comfort
Many seniors that physician Don Hodson has seen as patients over the years prefer to keep their homes extra toasty. He finds that keeping the temperature hotter or colder than normal is more about preference than medical benefits.
“That’s why nursing homes are so warm,” he said. “You go into a nursing home and it’s like five degrees warmer than everywhere else.”
Elderly often are colder because their circulation isn’t as effective and because they become less active, Hodson said.
“If you sit around all the time, you get cold because your blood isn’t pumping as much,” he said.
Not staying warm enough is unlikely to affect a person’s health unless the person is in extremely cold conditions for an extended amount of time, Hodson said.
“The fact that your mother always told you to put on a coat when going outside and it was cold, that’s mostly an old wives’ tale,” he said.
Alternating being warm and cold temperatures can help the immune system if done properly, Hodson said, like when using a sauna then stepping into snow.
Last modified Oct. 21, 2020