Why is my client cold all the time?

While most of us feel cold at some time, and maybe more so during the dull days of winter, sometimes it can feel as if our clients are cold all the time.

Older people will lose body temperature faster than younger adults, which explains why they may seem cold all the time, even on mild days.

When the body temperature falls below 95°F there is a risk of hypothermia occurring, so we can see why it is important that we address the issue of cold clients sooner rather than later.

There are several conditions that can increase sensitivity to cold, apart from simply growing older. 

Cardiovascular disease

This disease can affect how the blood flows around the body, in arteries and blood vessels and can play a significant role in how the body can retain heat. When blood cannot flow normally around the body, it will start to feel cold. You will notice colder than normal hands, arms, legs, and feet.


A person who suffers from anaemia does not have enough red blood cells, which are the ones that carry oxygen to the tissues in the body. Anaemic people do not get enough red blood cells to organs like the heart, brain, and kidneys. This will mean cold hands, skin, and feet because there is a lack of blood flowing to them.


This causes several different health issues, most of which affect sensitivity to cold. Because high blood pressure can damage the nerves arms and feet can feel extra cold.

Kidney disease

Kidneys filter out waste material in the blood and if they are not functioning properly, this waste builds and core body temperature can decrease. This disease can also cause anaemia which will leave the person feeling cold.

Medication and cold

New medications such as beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers also lower blood pressure and cause hands and feet to feel cold. These medicines are designed to reduce blood circulation, so extremities feel cold.

So, what can we do to improve things?

One of the most effective ways to warm your client up is to warm the surroundings.

Warm the house

Make sure that doors and windows seal properly. There are many D-I-Y stores that offer insulation to prevent draughts. 

Dress for warmth

Layers are the best way to add warmth to a body so don’t be afraid to add a jumper or a scarf to keep your client warm.

Activity will help

No matter how tempting it may be to stay in bed, a little exercise will go a long way to keeping your client warm. Additionally, movement keeps stiffness away and helps the blood to flow better.

Shower with lukewarm water

While this may sound strange it is a fact that lukewarm water is better than sizzling hot water, even when it is cold outside. Very hot water may result in a sudden change in the body temperature and cause an elder person to get ill. Hot water also makes the skin dry out quicker than lukewarm water.

Keep hydrated

Most of us notice that we drink less water in the cold months. While you and I may not be adversely affected, an older person can become dehydrated. If drinking cold water does not suit them, then offer lukewarm drinks instead.

Final thoughts

If you use room heaters to warm the room, be sure to turn them off at bedtime. Never keep them on as many rooms are poorly ventilated, which can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Don’t ignore the cold. If your client does not warm up or seems to be getting colder even though you have taken steps to warm them up, then it may be time to call the doctor. This is particularly important when feeling cold is affecting things that they may normally do easily.

Remember that the body temperature only needs to drop to 95°F for hypothermia to set in.



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