Causes of Fatigue in the Elderly

Feelings of exhaustion can seem as though they are a daily occurrence for many of us. The alarm goes off too early, the busyness of everyday life is exhausting, and by the end of the day, as soon as we can finally sink into bed, it can be hard to stop our minds to get a restful night’s sleep. However, after we do get a good night’s sleep, we wake up feeling invigorated and able to take on the world.

For senior loved ones, however, there are lots of factors that may lead to chronic fatigue – a condition that is not as easily remedied. As March is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, Anthem Home Care have the information you must know to understand chronic fatigue in seniors, and to help overcome it.

Causes of Fatigue in the Elderly

  • A range of health conditions; for example, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, kidney and liver disease
  • Medication side effects, such as from antihistamines, antidepressants, and pain or nausea meds
  • Medical treatments, such as surgery and recovery, chemotherapy, and radiation
  • Sleep apnea or any other sleep difficulties
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Mental health challenges, like those experienced in depression and anxiety
  • Grief
  • Thoughts and feelings of despondency or loss of control in life
  • Financial or personal stress
  • Unhealthy eating and exercise habits
  • And a great many others

Quite often, the doctor can address the underlying reasons behind chronic fatigue; therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup and consultation if an older adult you love is trying to cope with any of the issues above.

Tips to Help

Additionally, the following tips can help with overcoming fatigue:

  • Maintain a log that details when the senior feels most energized, and most fatigued.
  • Include more physical activity in the older adult’s daily life. (Make sure to get authorization from his / her physician before beginning or changing any exercise programs.)
  • Change sleeping habits to eliminate naps more than 30 minutes, and particularly napping during the late afternoon/early evening, to allow for improved sleep during the night.
  • Quit – or never start – smoking, which is proven to cause numerous medical problems that can drain energy.
  • Encourage your older loved one to speak to an experienced therapist, to tackle and deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or any other emotional difficulties.
  • Allow plenty of time for fun! Laughter is a fantastic, natural, energy and mood booster.
  • Schedule specific times every day for relaxing – listening to peaceful music, reading, meditation or prayer, or enjoying a favorite soothing hobby, such as knitting or working on puzzles.

Anthem Home Care is always available to provide further strategies to help beat fatigue in order to make life more fulfilling for seniors. Reach out to us at 361-643-2323 to ask about a complimentary in-home consultation and for more information about our professional elderly care in Corpus Christi and the surrounding area.