Do you ever feel tired due to physical work, insufficient sleep, or mental loads such as thinking too much or stress that affects the way you normally work and think? That is called fatigue and many people experience this, especially as we age into our senior years. However, experiencing fatigue too often as a senior isn’t something that should be brushed off as a normal part of aging. We may be asking ourselves, “what causes fatigue in seniors?”
Not getting enough electrolytes and fluid in our system may cause dehydration. Even with slight dehydration, our bodies can feel tiredness and fatigue. Getting even more dehydrated will lead to feelings of fatigue.
Heavy Mental Load or Issues
Depression, anxiety, stress, and other forms of mental issues can drain our physical energy. Consistently carrying a heavy mental load causes stress and takes a lot of mental and physical energy, leaving you feeling tired all the time.
Anemia is common among seniors and often causes fatigue. Anemia might make you feel sluggish and weak most of the time. It can also cause lightheadedness when you try to move around.
Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea can create irregular sleep patterns, causing fatigue throughout the day due to poor quality of sleep.
Hypercalcemia is caused by elevated calcium in the blood. This is caused by overactive parathyroid glands and often results in multiple symptoms including fatigue, confusion, memory loss, and heartburn.
Chronic pain can leave a person inactive and this can cause them to lose muscle strength and mass. It can also contribute to inadequate sleep and can make a person feel tired throughout the day.
Medical Issues such as Cancer, Depression, Infections, etc.
Medical issues such as cancer and depression require a person to take medication or undergo certain processes that can drain their energy. Their energy can also be drained from dealing with the pain of infections and their healing process.
Signs of Fatigue
Fatigue can manifest in a lot of different things. We need to be on the lookout for signs such as:
Irritation and/or aggression
Sleeping excessively at night or taking too many naps during the day
Complaining about being tired
How Can it be Lessened?
There are some ways you can manage fatigue. Here are some tips that might help:
Keeping a Journal
Start by keeping track of your senior loved ones or clients’ energy patterns throughout the day. This could tell you what causes the fatigue and how long it lasts.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Food affects our energy levels. What we eat is what our bodies use as fuel to keep us going through the day and eating empty calories such as fried food and processed sugar won’t sustain us. Having a balanced meal containing lean meats and various vegetables will not only benefit the body but give it the right amount of energy as well.
If your senior loved one is leading a sedentary lifestyle, it would be best if they start getting more physical activity. It might seem counterintuitive, but exercise prevents muscle loss and strengthens the muscles.
Smoking, especially chain-smoking, is linked to a variety of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, etc. It could also greatly affect our breathing which can drain our energy.
Try Power Naps
Taking long naps (30 minutes or more) can leave you feeling groggy and even more tired than before. Taking less than 30-minute naps can help your body recharge so you can wake up refreshed and energized. A 15-minute long power nap can aid in enhancing your psychomotor skills and boost your overall performance.
Everyday life can be very overwhelming at the time and seeking professional help for it is always a good start. You could use counseling as a way to vent out your frustrations and they can give you tips on how to handle your stress. Not properly managing your stress can manifest in your physical health such as irregular sleeping patterns and feeling tired due to the heavy mental load.
Schedule a Health Check Up
Scheduling a check-up with your doctor is important. They could tell you about the issues or symptoms that you may be experiencing. They could also provide more information on your fatigue and refer you to a specialist so that you can properly manage it.
If you still feel fatigued, you might benefit from in-home senior care. Unified Pledge’s in-home senior care service only provides the best assistance, safety, and comfort for their clients without any hassle.
We have our caregivers take the essentiALZ certification training provided by the Azheimer’s Association to provide an added layer of training for interactions with our patients who are suffering from these conditions.
Unified Pledge Home Health provides a FREE consultation. Talk to us about your situation and explore your options!
Hiring professionals from Unified Pledge comes with the following advantages:
Level II FBI background checks of all staff
Driving history checks
Constant communication to patients, family, and care team
Registered Nurse supervision is ongoing with every care plan