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Is Fatigue Normal for Seniors?

Fatigue In Seniors


Feeling tired is something many seniors deal with, but it’s important to understand when it’s not just a normal part of getting older. As we age, our bodies change, and sometimes these changes can make us feel more tired than usual. But fatigue in seniors can also be a sign that something else is going on.


At Blue Moon Senior Counseling, our team of licensed therapists is dedicated to supporting seniors in their journey toward better health and well-being. Through telehealth services, we provide personalized support and guidance to help seniors overcome challenges like fatigue and reclaim their vitality.


Table of Contents

  • Common Causes of Fatigue
  • Lifestyle Factors Contributing to Fatigue
  • Strategies to Manage and Prevent Fatigue
  • When to Seek Professional Help
  • Prioritize Senior Well-being with Blue Moon Senior Counseling
  • FAQs


Common Causes of Fatigue


Physical Health Conditions


According to the National Insitute on Aging, seniors are susceptible to a range of physical health conditions that can contribute to fatigue:


Heart Disease: Seniors with heart disease may experience reduced heart function, leading to inadequate blood flow and oxygen delivery to tissues. This can result in feelings of fatigue and lethargy.


Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, leading to energy crashes and fatigue. Seniors with diabetes may experience fatigue as a symptom of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).


Thyroid Disorders: Hypothyroidism, a common condition among seniors, occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce sufficient thyroid hormone. This can lead to a slowed metabolism, fatigue, weight gain, and feelings of sluggishness.


Mental Health Conditions


In addition to physical health conditions, seniors may also experience fatigue as a symptom of mental health disorders:


Depression: Depression is a prevalent mental health condition among seniors and is often characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and fatigue. 


Anxiety Disorders: Seniors living with anxiety disorders may experience excessive worry, fear, and apprehension, which can be mentally and physically draining. 


Stress: Chronic stress, whether related to financial concerns, caregiving responsibilities, or interpersonal conflicts, can take a significant toll on seniors’ physical and mental well-being. 


Grief and Loss: Seniors coping with the loss of a loved one, changes in their health, or transitions in their living arrangements may experience profound feelings of sadness, grief, and fatigue.


Sleep Disorders


Research shows that sleep disturbances are common symptoms in adults and are related to various factors, including the use of caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol; sleep habits; and comorbid diseases, which can contribute to feelings of fatigue and daytime sleepiness:


Insomnia: Insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early, can disrupt seniors’ sleep patterns and leave them feeling fatigued and unrested.


Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Seniors with OSA experience recurrent episodes of complete or partial airway obstruction during sleep, leading to interrupted breathing and frequent awakenings throughout the night. Untreated OSA can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and impaired cognitive function.


Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): Seniors with RLS experience uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often described as crawling, tingling, or itching, that worsen at rest and improve with movement. These sensations can disrupt sleep and lead to fatigue and daytime sleepiness.


Lifestyle Factors Contributing to Fatigue


Fatigue in seniors can often be attributed to various lifestyle factors. Understanding these contributors is crucial for effectively managing and preventing fatigue.


Poor Nutrition


Adequate nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and vitality, yet many seniors struggle to maintain a balanced diet. Poor nutrition can leave seniors feeling lethargic and lacking in energy. As we age, our bodies require fewer calories, but the need for essential nutrients remains unchanged. Unfortunately, many seniors may not consume enough fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, leading to deficiencies that contribute to fatigue.


Sedentary Lifestyle


Physical activity is vital for maintaining energy levels, strength, and mobility, yet many seniors lead sedentary lifestyles. Factors such as chronic pain, mobility issues, or fear of injury may contribute to a reluctance to engage in regular exercise. However, prolonged periods of inactivity can exacerbate fatigue and lead to further decline in physical function.




Seniors are at increased risk of dehydration due to age-related changes in thirst perception, kidney function, and medication use. Dehydration can have profound effects on energy levels, cognitive function, and overall well-being. Even mild dehydration can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, confusion, and dizziness, making it essential to address this issue proactively.


Strategies to Manage and Prevent Fatigue


In an article published by the National Institute on Aging here are some strategies you can do to help make you feel less tired:


Exercise and Physical Activity


Regular physical activity is essential for combating fatigue and promoting overall well-being in seniors. Engaging in exercise stimulates the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that promote feelings of happiness and reduce pain perception. Additionally, exercise improves cardiovascular health, increases muscle strength and flexibility, and enhances overall energy levels.


Encouraging seniors to find activities they enjoy and can incorporate into their daily routine is crucial for long-term adherence. Whether it’s taking a dance class, gardening, or participating in group exercise sessions, finding enjoyable ways to stay active can make a significant difference in managing fatigue.


Balanced Diet and Hydration


A balanced diet plays a vital role in maintaining energy levels and preventing fatigue in seniors. Consuming a variety of nutrient-dense foods provides essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants necessary for optimal health and vitality. Seniors should focus on incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into their meals.


Hydration is equally important for combating fatigue, as even mild dehydration can lead to feelings of tiredness and lethargy. Encouraging seniors to drink an adequate amount of water throughout the day, aiming for at least eight glasses, helps maintain proper hydration levels and supports overall energy levels. Additionally, limiting caffeine and alcohol intake, which can contribute to dehydration and disrupt sleep patterns, is essential for optimal energy levels.


Sleep Hygiene Practices


Establishing good sleep hygiene practices is crucial for improving sleep quality and reducing fatigue in seniors. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine signals to the body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Seniors should aim to establish consistent sleep and wake times, even on weekends, to regulate their internal body clock and promote better sleep patterns.


Stress Management Techniques


Mindfulness meditation is a powerful stress management tool that helps seniors cultivate present-moment awareness and develop a non-judgmental attitude towards their thoughts and feelings. By practicing mindfulness regularly, seniors can reduce stress levels, increase resilience to adversity, and improve overall emotional well-being.


Deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing or box breathing, help seniors activate the body’s relaxation response, reducing physiological arousal and promoting feelings of calmness and relaxation. Encouraging seniors to incorporate deep breathing exercises into their daily routine can help them manage stress more effectively and reduce fatigue.


When to Seek Professional Help


Fatigue can sometimes be a symptom of more serious underlying health issues. Seniors and their caregivers must recognize when fatigue may indicate a deeper problem. Here are some signs to watch out for:


Persistent Fatigue: If fatigue persists despite adequate rest and lifestyle changes, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Seniors experiencing prolonged fatigue should consult with their healthcare provider.


Accompanying Symptoms: Fatigue accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, unexplained weight loss, or changes in bowel or bladder habits warrants immediate medical attention. These symptoms could indicate serious conditions like heart disease, cancer, or thyroid disorders.


Sudden Onset of Fatigue: If fatigue comes on suddenly and is severe or debilitating, it may indicate an acute medical issue such as infection, dehydration, or medication side effects. Seniors should seek prompt medical evaluation in such cases.


Role of Teletherapy in Addressing Fatigue


Teletherapy services offer seniors convenient access to mental health support for addressing fatigue and related issues. Blue Moon Senior Counseling provides tailored teletherapy sessions that address the unique needs of seniors, including:


Emotional Support: Seniors experiencing fatigue due to depression, anxiety, grief, or other emotional factors can benefit from teletherapy sessions focused on providing emotional support and coping strategies.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT techniques taught in teletherapy sessions can help seniors identify and challenge negative thought patterns contributing to fatigue. By reframing their thoughts and beliefs, seniors can improve their mood and energy levels.


Prioritize Senior Well-being with Blue Moon Senior Counseling


Understanding and addressing fatigue in seniors is crucial for promoting their overall well-being and quality of life. By recognizing the common causes, implementing effective strategies, and seeking appropriate support when needed, seniors can regain their energy and vitality.


Fatigue should not be dismissed as an inevitable part of aging but rather as a symptom that warrants attention and intervention. Through a holistic approach that encompasses physical, mental, and lifestyle factors, seniors can experience significant improvements in their energy levels and daily functioning.


It’s essential to encourage seniors to prioritize their well-being by incorporating healthy habits into their daily routine, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate hydration, quality sleep, and stress management techniques.


At Blue Moon Senior Counseling, we are committed to supporting seniors on their journey towards optimal well-being. Our team of experienced therapists offers tailored teletherapy services designed to address the unique needs of seniors.


Remember, it’s never too late to take steps towards feeling more energetic and vibrant. Whether it’s seeking professional guidance, making lifestyle changes, or simply practicing self-care, every effort contributes to a happier and healthier life for seniors. Contact us today or call us at 630-896-7160!




  • Is fatigue a normal part of aging?

While energy levels may decline with age, persistent or severe fatigue should not be considered a normal part of aging. It’s essential to identify and address underlying causes to improve the quality of life.


  • Can medications contribute to fatigue in seniors?

Yes, certain medications commonly prescribed to seniors can cause fatigue as a side effect. It’s crucial to discuss any concerns about medication-related fatigue with a healthcare provider.


  • How can I help a senior loved one experiencing fatigue?

Encourage your loved one to prioritize self-care, including regular exercise, nutritious eating, and adequate sleep. Offer emotional support and assistance in seeking professional help if needed.


  • How can teletherapy services help seniors experiencing fatigue?

Teletherapy services provide convenient access to mental health support for seniors experiencing fatigue due to depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns. Blue Moon Senior Counseling offers tailored teletherapy sessions to address underlying issues and improve overall well-being.

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