For Seniors: The Challenge of Low Energy and High Demand

Jun 30th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

There is something wrong with this picture.  When I was employed, leading a very active life, there seemed to be ample energy for all the demands.  Not so, now!  If my energy surplus for a day’s activity demand is good for around four hours that’s pretty good.  The litany of reasons, excuses, apologies and ailments will not be inventoried here. 

The needs and legitimate appeals for attention and assistance by others drains what little energy remains by end of day.  Phone calls that come after dusk don’t exact much enthusiasm.  Social interchange that reaches much beyond 8:30 sees me checking out or blinking down.  Where is that sudden burst of energy that once reinvigorated the body after dinner?  Doesn’t seem available!  

I love my 89 year old mother and our 43 year old son, but to deal with much of a serious nature as dusk descends will not likely offer them what they really want or need.  We have had our land line removed.  That was really smart.  Now we aren’t subject to uninvited phone calls of any kind past a predetermined hour.  The cells get turned off.  The lights shortly after that.

Looking forward to a 9 or 10 hour night of restful slumber is one of the most enjoyable anticipations in this phase of life.  Beyond that, a nap in the afternoon is also nice.  To keep up with high demand, however defined, one must cope with adjusting to low energy.  Maybe there is a formula for that, but I haven’t found it quite yet.  Perhaps I am still in shock at being retired these 12 years.  Maybe I am going through another change of life. How many more are there, one wonders!    

There really are some practical considerations which find my looking for the nearest chair or sofa or hammock or lounger.  The knees don’t work so well, nor the hips, nor the back, nor the thorax, nor the ankle bone, nor the neck bone, nor the mind.  Oh, we said we wouldn’t go there.  Well, it can’t just be laziness or sloth or whatever deadly sin applies. 

Maybe the best thing to do is just request that demand and energy be equalized.  My suggestion:  keep both of them low.



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