How cold is too cold when you are over 65?

Older people die from the cold in the UK at a rate for 201 per day during the winter. That is a phenomenal rate, and is on the face of it almost unbelievable.

However it is true. It is because they are not dying of hypothermia, but of the cold. The government Health advice is that you keep the temperature above a MINIMUM of 18 degrees Celsius when you are over 65. Now we know that for the older generation it is very difficult to spend money on heat. They are used to, and often still live in, very thermally inefficient housing, that is expensive to heat. Or after a lifetime of having to be careful with money and not wasting it, heating the house is seen as an un necessary luxury, and just putting another jumper on is all that is needed.

I am sure most of us have heard that from our parents or other elderly loved ones at one time or another.

The truth is, that if the temperature drops below1`8 degrees, then we know the death rate steadily climbs.

The Science behind cool temperatures.

The problem is that as we get older our circulation gets worse. And as we get colder, the blood in our extremities moves to the core of our bodies to maintain the warmth. All this extra fluid in the core, has to be dealt with, so our bodies then take out some of the water in our blood, to reduce its volume. This means that our blood thickens, and the next thing that happens is a stoke, or a heart attack.

So the final cause is the stroke, but it is brought on by the cold. A 1 degree drop from 18 to 17 degrees, can increase the likely hood of death by 1.4%.


Here at CareBubble, we think one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones as they get older is to ensure they are warm enough. That’s why we are integrating temperature gauges, and sending an alert if we think the temperature is below a set level, to help you ensure that they are always warm, and not just putting the heating on for when you are visiting.