How Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Affect Seniors?

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is hard to understand. It’s a disorder that causes a person to experience severe fatigue without an identifiable underlying cause. CFS is believed to affect as many as 24 million people around the world. Despite its prevalence, most people don’t know a lot about the disorder. Gaining some understanding of how it affects your aging relative could help you to be a better family caregiver to them.

CFS Overview

Senior Care Pulaski TN - How Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Affect Seniors?
Senior Care Pulaski TN – How Does Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Affect Seniors?

People with CFS are believed to be extremely sensitive to physical and mental exercise, even normal amounts. However, what causes them to be that way is unknown. One theory is that people who have CFS were born predisposed to the condition, then encounter something that triggers it.

Some possible triggers are:

Viral Infection: Researchers believe that having a viral infection triggers CFS in some people. Some of the viruses being investigated are the Epstein-Barr virus and herpes virus 6. However, they haven’t found a definite link yet.

Problems with Immune System: Researchers have observed a slight impairment in the immune systems of people with CFS, but they aren’t sure the impairment is enough to cause the disorder.

Hormonal Imbalances: People with CFS sometimes have abnormal levels of some hormones, but doctors aren’t sure if they are significant.

Because CFS is a complicated disorder, there isn’t a test that can confirm if a person has it. Instead, a diagnosis of CFS involves ruling out other possibilities. There’s not cure for the disease, but there are treatments that can help to ease the symptoms.

Symptoms of CFS

Some of the symptoms an older adult with CFS may experience are:

  • Persistent fatigue that does not get better with rest.
  • Trouble with memory or concentration.
  • Sore throat.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the arm pits or neck.
  • Pain in muscles or joints with no known cause.
  • Headaches.
  • Severe exhaustion lasting 24 hours or more after physical or mental exertion.

Fatigue is a sign of lots of different illnesses, so if your older family member has not been diagnosed with CFS, it’s important to see a doctor.

Senior care providers can assist older adults who have CFS to live more comfortably in their homes. Seniors with CFS may have trouble doing things around the house, like cleaning and cooking. Senior care providers can allow them to rest while they take care of housekeeping tasks and prepare meals. Senior care providers can also remind the older adult to take medications prescribed to relieve CFS symptoms.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Pulaski TN, please contact the caring staff at Touching Hearts at Home. Serving Middle Tennessee (Nashville, Brentwood, Bell Meade, Franklin, Spring Hill, Columbia, Pulaski, and more!) Call today: 629-203-7925.

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