Helping Seniors Deal With Fatigue

While fatigue is something we often worry little about, it can impact your overall health significantly. That is especially the case with seniors and their weaker bodies. As such, providers of home health care in California offer some advice in helping older adults deal with fatigue. 

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Understanding Fatigue 

In its simplest definition, fatigue is the feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. It happens when your body is exhausted beyond a certain level. Note that this can be subjective, as people have different tolerances for being tired. While you might feel drained at one time, it might not be enough to feel fatigued. 

Thus, another essential aspect of being fatigued that distinguishes it from ordinary tiredness is your emotional state. Here, you will find yourself unmotivated to get up and do stuff. This can disrupt your daily routine if you feel it for long. 

The Types Of Fatigue

As it turns out, fatigue isn’t just a singular condition. There are several types that you can encounter. Each of these types has unique circumstances that can trigger them. However, they may also overlap in some situations. 

Physical Fatigue

The first type of fatigue is physical. It often results from extreme exhaustion after doing a series of physical activities. For instance, this can come after doing an intense physical workout. Here, you might feel your whole body weakened or confined to a small area. 

Mental Fatigue

While you might sometimes think of fatigue as just being physical, there is also a mental version. This one typically shows up after going through some mentally taxing moments. Its symptoms manifest through cognitive difficulties. For instance, you might find it harder to concentrate and stay alert after such activities. 

Emotional Fatigue

Fatigue can also be due to extreme emotional states, such as anger, sadness, and depression. Here, your body feels weakened because you expend a lot of energy feeling those emotions. Thus, the symptoms can consist of both emotional and mental fatigue. 

Chronic Illness Fatigue 

Sometimes, the fatigued feeling can be due to a lingering illness. That is because the damage caused by it makes your body work harder than it should. Thus, doctors use this type of fatigue as part of their diagnosis of possible diseases. 

Additionally, fatigue can be classified according to its duration. 

  • Transient fatigue: This is fatigue that only lasts for a short period. It usually goes away with proper rest. 
  • Cumulative fatigue: You might experience fatigue after repeated periods of lack of sleep. It can last longer than the transient one and might require intervention. 

Note that the first type can turn into the second one if not dealt with immediately. This case is common among older adults due to disrupted sleeping patterns. 

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The Causes Of Fatigue

As you have already seen by now, many things can trigger fatigue. These other triggers can have a more significant impact than just physical overexertion. That is particularly the case with seniors since their weaker bodies cannot effectively cope with these stressors. 

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle plays a significant role in the overall health of a person. Hence, it is not surprising that it will also affect your susceptibility to fatigue. Some of the habits and lifestyle factors can result in frequent cases include: 

  • Lack of sleep: Frequently staying up late at night causes your body clock to malfunction and disrupts your body’s ability to repair itself. 
  • Too much caffeine: Caffeine is a stimulant that forces your body to be more active. Hence, it tires faster, leaving you drained. 
  • Not eating the right food: Life caffeine, too much sugar, and fat in your diet will overwork your body. This leads to a feeling of tiredness after eating them. 
  • Obesity: Being overweight causes your heart and lungs to work harder, resulting in faster exhaustion and shortness of breath. 

Note that the effects of these lifestyle habits are gradual. As such, you might not feel that exhausted during your younger years. However, once you hit your senior years, you will start noticing changes in your ability to keep up with these habits. 

Medical Conditions

As mentioned earlier, certain medical conditions can have fatigue as one of their symptoms. The following are some of the more prominent ones. 

Seniors often have to deal with two or more of these diseases simultaneously. That can be a very tiring experience, leading to longer bouts of fatigue. 

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Helping Your Older Loved Ones Deal With Fatigue

As it turns out, it can be very straightforward to deal with fatigue. However, you will need to guide your older loved ones. Your goal is to ensure that they can consistently apply and follow through with the various tips. 

Dietary Tips

Along with the general dietary and nutrition strategies, there are some simple ways you can do to ensure that your loved ones get enough energy. 

  • Drink plenty of water: Sometimes, the feeling of fatigue might be just due to mild dehydration. Ensure that your elderly loved ones get the right amount of water daily. 
  • Don’t skip meals: Breakfast is arguably the most important meal, as it gives you the energy to start the day. 
  • Eat iron-rich foods: Having enough iron can help your body fight off anemia, which is one of the common triggers of fatigue. 
  • Control caffeine and sugar intake: You would want to do this, especially before bedtime to help seniors get proper sleep. 

Here, it would be wise to create a diet plan to ensure that your loved ones get proper nutrition. Providers of home health care in California like Amavi have nutritionists as part of their teams who can help you. 

Getting Enough Rest

Proper rest helps your body fully recover and regain its strength. Hence, the other aspect of dealing with fatigue is getting enough sleep. In your older loved one’s case, make sure they have a comfortable room to rest in. Block all the distractions, especially during rest periods.

It is also worth noting that older people’s sleep cycles can change more significantly than younger ones. With that, you need to help them stick to a definite sleeping routine. In particular, you should encourage them to have fewer daytime naps. Such naps can lead them to have a hard time sleeping at night. 

When To See A Doctor

If handled correctly, your older loved ones can cope with fatigue on their own. However, there are cases where medical intervention might be needed. Consider consulting a doctor if you notice the following. 

  • You can’t think of anything that might account for the fatigue
  • The seniors have a higher than normal body temperature
  • There is unexplained weight loss
  • Sensitivity to colder temperatures
  • Feelings of depression

Here, the doctor will conduct a series of physiological and psychological evaluations. They will create a program that will help you deal with the situation. Doctors might also recommend further testing if they suspect some underlying medical conditions. 

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Let The Best Home Health Care In California Help You

If you do need assistance in helping your older loved ones deal with fatigue, we are always ready. With the best home health care in California, you can ensure that they will regain their strength. Contact us today for consultations. 

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