June 20, 2023 by Dean Bellefeuille

Senior man napping with dog

Everyone knows the feeling of not being able to get out of bed in the morning. But for seniors with chronic fatigue, that feeling is intensified a hundred times over. As one chronic fatigue sufferer describes it, “I feel like I have a drained battery pretty much all of the time. It’s sort of like being a wrung-out dish rag.”  

Chronic fatigue in older adults is far from uncommon. In a recent study led by Dr. Kurt Kroenke, research scientist at the Regenstrief Institute, 55% of participants complained of fatigue – more than those who were experiencing either back pain or shortness of breath.  

What Causes Chronic Fatigue in Seniors?

Chronic fatigue is a telltale sign that something isn’t right in the body. Possible causes include: 

  • Thyroid problems 
  • Anxiety or depression 
  • Infection or another underlying medical condition 
  • An electrolyte or testosterone imbalance 
  • Medication side effects 
  • Anemia 
  • A poor diet 
  • Long COVID 

If someone you love is struggling with a persistent lack of energy, even with plenty of sleep and little or no exertion, talk to their doctor.  

Strategies to Help Seniors With Chronic Fatigue

Follow the doctor’s advice to address the root cause of the fatigue. Also, inquire about how you can integrate low-impact activities like yoga, tai chi, or walking. It’s important to include as much physical activity as possible, according to the person’s ability level. The goal in managing fatigue in seniors is to gradually increase stamina without causing overexertion. Determine the time of day when the person has the most energy to exercise, and with the doctor’s help, set realistic goals. 

A caregiver from At Home Independent Living in Syracuse, LaFayette, Fayetteville, or the nearby areas can help provide the motivation for a senior with fatigue to engage in physician-approved activities. It’s always better to exercise with a friend! Contact us online or at 315-579-HOME (4663) to learn more about how our home care services can help.