Chronic Fatigue

Feelings of exhaustion may seem as though they are an everyday event for many of us. The alarm goes off too early, the demands of everyday life are exhausting, and by the conclusion of our day, as soon as we can once and for all sink into bed, it is often hard to turn off our thoughts to achieve a restful night’s sleep. However, as soon as we do get a good night’s sleep, we awake feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the world.

For older adults, however, there are numerous factors that may lead to chronic fatigue – a condition which isn’t as easily remedied. As March is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, the senior care experts at Hearts at Home In-Home Care have the facts you need to know to understand chronic fatigue in older adults, and to help overcome it.

Reasons for Chronic Fatigue

  • A range of health concerns, such as cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD, kidney and liver disease
  • Prescription medication side effects, such as from antihistamines, antidepressants, and pain or nausea meds
  • Medical treatments, including surgery and recovery, chemotherapy, and radiation
  • Sleep apnea as well as other sleep difficulties
  • Anemia
  • Infections
  • Emotional challenges, like those experienced in depression and anxiety
  • Grief
  • Feelings of despondency or diminished control in life
  • Financial or personal stress
  • Unhealthy eating and exercise habits
  • And a great many others

Many times, the doctor can address the underlying reasons for chronic fatigue, so it’s a good idea to schedule a checkup and consultation if a senior you love is struggling with any of the issues above.

Tips to Help

In addition, the following suggestions can help with overcoming fatigue:

  • Keep a log that details when the older adult feels most productive, and most tired.
  • Incorporate more physical activity into the older adult’s daily routine. (Make sure to get authorization from her or his physician before beginning or modifying any exercise programs.)
  • Modify sleeping habits to eliminate naps longer 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 cause numerous health concerns that can drain energy.
  • Encourage your older family member to speak with a professional therapist, to address and work through stress, anxiety, depression, or other emotional difficulties.
  • Allow plenty of time for fun! Laughter is a wonderful, natural, energy and mood booster.
  • Schedule set times every day for relaxing – listening to soft music, reading, meditation or prayer, or enjoying a favorite soothing hobby, such as knitting or working on puzzles.

The Hearts at Home senior care experts are always available to provide further strategies to conquer fatigue in order to make life more enjoyable for older adults throughout the Kansas City metro area. Call us at 913-440-4209 to request a free in-home consultation and to find out more about our professional care team and our top-rated senior care services.