How to Energize Your Aging Programs

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Fatigue can be debilitating. Here’s how you can help your clients boost their energy levels and get back into top form.

By Colin Milner, CEO, International Council on Active Aging

Whether due to poor sleep patterns, not getting enough exercise, taking care of children and/or parents, poor nutrition, long work hours, drug interactions, stress, depression or a myriad of other issues, the fact is that most adults are in search of energy. And, for your facility, energy-boosting solutions are not just a big idea, they are also big bucks.

Two industries responding to the energy issue are the roughly $32 billion sleep industry, and the $12.5 billion energy drink industry. How are you responding to this opportunity?

Find the source

Before you and your team become energy boosters “and imagine the fun you can have marketing this,” remember this simple fact: To solve a problem, you must know from where it stems. The question becomes, then, what is causing your clients to have low energy levels? Is it hours worked, poor sleep habits, medication interaction, food consumption or lack of it, caffeine intake, depression or disease?

Once you have established why they are tired, you will know where to begin, and whether to create a support team that includes a medical professional, nutritionist, lifestyle coach, schedule organizer, personal trainer or other professionals who can help you create a comprehensive energy-boosting program.

A battery of programs
Your energy-boosting program needs to be multifaceted to address the wide array of issues your clients could be facing. The following are a few typical causes of low energy:

Stress or depression. To reduce stress levels, offer your clients breathing and meditation classes, in-the-moment programming, humor workshops, and/or behavioral modification classes or sessions. You may want to bring in experts to address depression or other mental health issues.

Chronic health issues and/or fatigue from medication interaction. Arrange a time to review your clients’ health status. If you find issues such as chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, be sure to work with his or her health professional to encourage participation, monitor progress and address prescription drug interactions. The goal is to increase energy while reducing dependence on the medications.

Lack of sleep. Fatigue risk management is the buzz term used by marketers to describe the level of tiredness at work, and the effect this could have on a company’s bottom line. Another term making the rounds is “destination napping.” This new program can offer exhausted clients a sleep room or a sleep pod that can have customized lighting, sound (relaxing music, environmental sounds), purified air, aromatherapy, etc. Of course, what would a good nap be without a soft cashmere blanket?


Poor nutrition. If your clients frequent fast food restaurants, such as McDonalds, you will want to bring in a nutritionist to address issues that may also be related to a bigger issue, such as diabetes. You can also offer nutritional educational seminars and cooking classes, especially for men who have never cooked. Remember to stay within your scope of practice.

Scheduling. Whether working long hours, spending too much time commuting, or taking care of kids, grandkids, spouses, parents or grandparents, feeling overwhelmed can be tiring and debilitating. To help your clients address this issue, bring in a life coach or a time specialist to help them structure their time and life. This simple practice can help reduce stress and fatigue, offering your clients additional time to take care of themselves.

Lack of exercise. Sixty-nine percent of older adults exercise to increase their energy levels, yet a significant number state that they don’t exercise because they lack the energy to do so.* It is obvious that education on the benefits of exercise and how it will affect energy levels is needed, as is an opportunity to show potential clients how this occurs.

Bottom line
Fatigue can be a precursor to a major health event, and should not be taken lightly. However, in most cases, it isn’t. Low energy is a lifestyle issue that can be addressed through lifestyle modifications. By offering your clients the energy they need, your business will just be like the Energizer Bunny, and keep going and going and going.

*The Natural Marketing Institute. (2006). “Energy.” The Boomer/Healthy Aging Database. & Age and Ageing 2004; 33: 287-292.

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