Spend much time around young children and you’ll be amazed at how much energy they have. But once the average person reaches their 40s that seemingly endless supply of youthful energy starts to noticeably diminish. By the time an adult is in their 60s it’s not uncommon for them to feel tired and sluggish at certain points throughout the day. For some seniors, if that lack of energy isn’t addressed it can threaten their freedom and independence. Thankfully, there are several ways to boost your senior loved one’s energy levels so they can stay more active and enjoy a higher quality of life.
The Elderly Face these Energy Challenges
These are several factors that can deplete the energy of your loved one, leaving them feeling listless and groggy:
- Certain medications, like antidepressants, antihistamines and high blood pressure drugs
- Malnutrition due to a nutrient-deficient diet
- Cognitive decline
- Loss of muscle mass which reduces stamina
- Depression and anxiety
- Circadian changes that disrupt normal sleep patterns
If these energy zappers are allowed to persist it can place your loved one’s health and wellbeing at risk.
Healthy Energy Boosters for Active Seniors
Keeping that special senior in your life recharged and refreshed is possible once they take these five, energy boosting steps:
1. Adjust their diet
Pre-packaged, highly processed foods not only lack essential nutrients, they can make a person feel heavy and sluggish. Animal products like red meat take longer to digest, which zaps energy stores. On the other hand, fresh, whole, unprocessed foods filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants restore depleted energy levels.
Fortify your loved one’s diet with products that contain Vitamin B12, like soy and almond milk, and encourage them to get Vitamin D by spending time in the sun. To prevent dehydration, seniors should drink about two liters of water every day. If your loved one still lacks energy after implementing these dietary changes talk to their doctor about adding supplements.
2. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise benefits seniors in so many ways, including promoting a healthy appetite and better night’s sleep. Exercise also stimulates the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine, which help the body produce more energy.
Once your loved one has been cleared by their doctor encourage them to participate in low-impact forms of exercise 3 to 5X a week like Yoga, Tai Chi, walking or water aerobics.
3. Avoid cigarettes
Although smoking cigarettes produces a nicotine-fueled burst of energy, those effects are short-lived. Not only do smokers tend to experience more drastic dips in energy levels than non-smokers, the resulting diminished lung capacity reduces the oxygen supply to their brain and muscles- all of which can cause fatigue.
4. Reduce caffeine intake
If your senior is an avid coffee drinker, it may be wise for them to cut back. Even though a lot of people use coffee to wake up, it can have the opposite effect when consumed in large quantities. Coffee is also a diuretic and vasoconstrictor, which means it can dehydrate the body.
As a coffee drinker’s blood pressure rises it can leave them feeling lethargic. Drinking several cups of coffee in the evening can also disrupt normal sleep patterns.
5. Get plenty of sleep
The average adult needs 7 to 8 hours of sleep so that their body can replenish its energy supply. Melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that helps you feel sleepy at night, progressively declines with age. As a result, seniors spend less time in deep sleep- the part of the sleep cycle most important for energy replenishment.
That’s why it’s so important for an older adult to nap for at least one hour every day. Taking a melatonin supplement under a doctor’s supervision may also help.
Energetic Caregivers Ready to Assist You
Caring for an aging loved one takes a lot of energy. When you need a well-deserved break contact Adultcare Assistance Homecare (AAH). At AAH we’ve been assisting Arizona families for over 20 years now with our award-winning homecare services. As a locally owned agency our reliable caregivers can perform duties like light housekeeping, companion care, respite care, personal care, transportation, medication reminders and even 24-hour live-in care.
From monitoring vitals to helping with activities of daily living our compassionate caregivers create personalized care plans for each individual person they care for. To learn more about AAH now, or to get a FREE home care assessment for a senior in Phoenix, Sun City or Tucson, AZ, today, please visit us at: www.adultcareassistance.com!