The Right Indoor Temperature for the Comfort of Older Adults

While the correct home temperature is important for everyone, it’s particularly critical for older adults. Seniors are often more sensitive to temperature changes due to the normal physiological aging process. Because many seniors are more likely to spend more hours indoors, they are accordingly more affected by home temperature.

As always, any health issues affecting occupants of any age should be brought to the attention of a qualified physician. Meanwhile, to keep the temperatures inside the house senior-friendly, here are some seasonal suggestions.

Winter Settings

For a number of reasons, older adults are more affected by cold temperatures. Normal physical changes as we age include less protective body fat to insulate against the cold, as well as common circulatory issues. In addition, certain illnesses and prescribed medications may increase sensitivity to cold for persons in that age group.

Often, seniors will mention feeling chilly at temperatures that younger residents find acceptable. To keep the house comfortable, follow these suggestions:

  • Keep the thermostat setting at 70 degrees or higher. A temperature of 74 degrees is often mentioned as most appropriate for most seniors.
  • Ensure that all heating vents in occupied rooms are open and unobstructed.
  • Maintain the furnace properly, including changing the air filter regularly to support optimal heating airflow.
  • Close off vacant, unused rooms to keep the house warmer.
  • Make sure the house is properly air-sealed to reduce the infiltration of cold outdoor air.

Summer Settings

As we age, our body’s natural defense against heat is less efficient. Older persons don’t perspire as much, and therefore, body-heat regulation can be problematic in warm weather.

  • Keep thermostat settings in the mid-70s range. Never allow indoor temperatures to exceed 80 degrees.
  • Close drapes and blinds during daylight hours to prevent solar-heat infiltration.
  • Verify that all HVAC vents are open and not obstructed.
  • Maintain the air conditioner for maximum cool airflow, including regular air filter changes.

Trust the professionals at Paitson Bros. for experienced advice and service to keep the home temperature safe and comfortable for seniors. Since 1922, we’ve been the Wabash Valley’s choice to maintain a healthy, supportive indoor environment.

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