Do You Really Love Grandma?
About five years ago, my Dad passed away. His health had been deteriorating for years and he passed quickly after breaking a hip. He never made it home after the surgery, but the drugs made him quite entertaining for the nurses those last couple of weeks.
Mom has always been independent, but my wife and I didn’t think she should be living alone in her late 70’s. The three of us set out to merge two households of furniture into one and find a rhythm that wouldn’t disrupt any of the life patterns each of us had developed over the decades.
Honestly, it has worked out much better than expected.
Mom’s only goal left in life is to be a zombie, so as long as we feed her from time to time she behaves most of the time.
But, of course it’s not all wine and roses.
Isn’t there always that one thing that just drives you crazy?
That one thing that no matter how hard you try, you just cannot find a happy place to agree on and live in peace?
It’s Not Cold, Mom!
Our average annual temperature is 72 degrees. It can get hot – over 120 a few days last summer.
It can get really, really, really cold too … dipped into the low 40’s a couple of nights this winter.
Hey, we have thin blood – that’s cold for us!
But it is indoors, not outdoors, that we have a problem.
My wife and I like it a little cool. But Mom likes it hot!
How hot is hot?
- 74? Nope – too cold!
- 76? Well, maybe!
- Can you believe 78 … or even 80?
So, we spend every day all winter in thermostat wars.
Mom turns the heat up. We can’t breathe, so we turn it down.
What happens in the summer?
Our thermostat wars continue.
We turn on the air conditioning and feel the cool breeze at a brisk 72.
Next thing we know, we’re dripping in sweat, which is hard to do in the desert.
We turn the temperature down.
Mom turns the temperature up.
Put on a sweater, Mom.
Heck, put on a parka!
It’s July. It’s cooler outside at 118 than it is in the house at 78.
Let’s face it. We’re not going to win the thermostat wars.
Mom is going to win, well, because she’s Mom.
.. and Mom is always cold.
Just like your Mom … or your Grandma.
Why is Grandma (or Mom) Always Cold?
As we age, our bodies lose the ability to retain heat.
All of our bodies, at any age, lose heat in three ways:
Convection: The transfer of heat by means of a liquid or a gas, such as air. This is the principle of heat transfer used by such things as electric convection heaters.
Evaporation: The process by which moisture is changed into vapor. As the moisture evaporates from a warm surface, heat is removed and the surface is cooled. An example of evaporation is the cooling that occurs when you step out of a hot shower.
Radiation: Warmth is radiated directly to cooler objects in the room, such as people, floors and walls. Radiant rays travel in straight lines. Warm objects radiate more than cold ones and no drafts are created.
Radiant heating is not about the heat loss of the room; it’s about the heat loss of the person in the room. Your body is a radiator. If you can control the heat loss of the individual, then you will feel comfort.
Think about our bodies as we age in a similar way as you would think about insulating a building.
Over time, the natural insulating mechanisms of our bodies that retain heat break down and we are unable to retain heat.
The faster we lose heat, the colder we feel.
Just like Grandma … and Mom.
Enough is Enough!
This year we put electric radiant heating in Mom’s Christmas stocking. We easily installed ThermaRay’s Architectural Series heaters both in her bedroom and in her office where she wins millions of dollars of casino coins every day of the week.
Now she sits in luxurious radiant warmth, comfortably accumulating more and more coins for her long-planned zombie tour, while my wife and I enjoy a pleasant 72 degrees year-round.
How about your Mom … or your Grandma?
Show them you really love them too!