Feeling cold but sweating!

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Gnu, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. Gnu

    Gnu Registered User

    Jan 30, 2015
    Just found this forum, so am interested! It often feels very isolated dealing with dad's Alzheimer's!

    Dad always feels cold during the day. He wears a vest, shirt and a jumper. Has a large cardigan to put on too, he has fingerless gloves and he uses a small microwaveable 'lavender' cushion. His clothes are all cotton or wool. He is able to sit in front of an open fire or close to a warm radiator.

    The problem is that he sweats up to 4 times a day as if he has 'overheated'. He only sweats across his back and chest and down his arms. Since there are no thyroid issues, or any other physiological explanations, the GP suggests that the part of the brain perceiving heat has degenerated but his autonomic response to heat is normal. He says we need to manage his behaviour and resist his attempt to seek heat.

    We do our best but it is hard persuading him to wear fewer layers when in front of a heat source and put on more layers when away from direct heat. The constant changing of clothes is hard for him because he cannot remember the order in which things come off and go on, yet part of him is aware that he ought to know and he hates 'being helped'!

    Has anyone else come across this? Does anyone have any helpful tips?
  2. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    I wonder if some silk long underwear would help. It seems to wick moisture away while providing warmth, which should at least decrease the problem of changing dampened clothes.
  3. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
    Not what you asked but please make sure he is kept hydrated.
  4. ASH74

    ASH74 Registered User

    May 18, 2014
    I work with kids with special needs and many of them have autonomic dysfunction .....their neurologists prescribe various things....may be worth asking the GP for a referral to a Neuro....I know my FIL is the same he is always cold....he is always next to the fire! Best of luck!

    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
  5. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    Maybe try him with modern fabrics. Get him in some skins like people use for running or mountaineering. They are much better than the natural fibres. They allow the skin to breath and are only light yet warm to wear.
    Maybe a skin and a fleece instead of a cotton top and a wooly jumper.
    Less for him to remove too when he gets hot.
    I'm guessing the dr said keep him away from heat sources was a safety issue thing? Easier said than done.
  6. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Hello Gnu.

    Sorry this is not going to be of much if any help. Just to let you know you are not alone
    My mum had mixed dementia. we couldn't let the temperature drop below 80 f else she said she was freezing

    Personally I thought it was because the part of the brain that regulated temperature was being damaged and or her perception /understanding the feeling of heat and cold had become mixed up.

    I never found an answer , other than to keep the rooms sweltering.

    I suggest cooler layers of clothing ie cotton and a few less layers , though I guess that is not going to be that easy.
  7. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    It is easy for a Dr to say oh get him to stay away from the heat source. Much harder to implement the suggestion though. If your body was telling you you were cold then heat is what it needs. I guess I am more of the "do what it takes to keep the person happy and comfortable" brigade and provided he is well hydrated, I would allow him his clothes and his heat source.


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