Feelings of exhaustion may seem like a common event for many of us. The alarm goes off too early, the busyness of everyday life is exhausting, and by the conclusion of the day, when we can finally sink into bed, it’s difficult to stop our thoughts to get a restful night’s sleep. Yet as soon as we do get a good night’s sleep, we awake feeling rejuvenated and able to take on the world.
For senior loved ones, however, there are a variety of factors that could lead to chronic fatigue – a condition that is not as easily remedied. As March is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, the elder care professionals at Home With You Senior Care have the details you need to know to understand chronic fatigue in seniors, and to help overcome it.
Causes of Chronic Fatigue
- A variety of health conditions, including cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, kidney and liver disease
- Prescription side effects, including from antihistamines, antidepressants, and pain or nausea meds
- Medical treatments, such as surgical procedures and recovery, chemotherapy, and radiation
- Sleep apnea or other sleep difficulties
- Mental health challenges, like those experienced in depression and anxiety
- Feelings of despondency or diminished control in life
- Monetary or personal stress
- Unhealthy eating and exercise habits
- And others
Oftentimes, the doctor can address the underlying reasons behind chronic fatigue, so it’s best to schedule a checkup and consultation if an older adult you love is struggling with some of the issues above.
How to Help
Additionally, the following advice can help with overcoming fatigue:
- Keep a log that documents when the senior feels most full of energy, and most sluggish.
- Add more physical activity into the older adult’s daily life. (Be sure to get authorization from his or her doctor before beginning or changing any exercise programs.)
- Change sleeping habits to remove naps lengthier than 30 minutes, and particularly napping during the late afternoon/early evening, to allow for improved sleep at nighttime.
- Quit – or never start – smoking, which is proven to bring on a wide variety of health concerns that can drain energy.
- Encourage your older loved one to talk with a professional therapist, to tackle and deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties.
- Allow plenty of time for fun! Laughter is a fantastic, natural, energy and mood booster.
- Designate specific times every day for relaxation – listening to quiet music, reading, meditation or prayer, or enjoying a favorite soothing hobby, such as knitting or working on puzzles.
Home With You Senior Care is always here to provide additional strategies to conquer fatigue in order to make life more enjoyable for older adults. Give us a call at 410-756-0959 to request a free in-home consultation with our professional care team and to find out more about our top-rated elder care in Howard County and the surrounding communities.