How to Prevent Restless Legs Syndrome in Aging Adults

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Adults over the age of 65 are susceptible to many health conditions, including restless legs syndrome. This health issue can lead to other issues such as insomnia and depression. Here are some of the ways you can help your elderly loved one prevent restless legs syndrome. 

Encourage Moderate Exercise 

Older adults with restless legs syndrome can use exercise to ease its symptoms. Seniors don’t need to take on a strenuous exercise routine. Moderate exercise is all it takes to get the blood pumping and the muscles stretched. Although jogging and hiking are good exercises, simply taking the stairs as opposed to the elevator can strengthen muscles and prevent symptoms associated with restless legs syndrome. Other gentle exercises seniors should try are cycling, swimming, and yoga, combined with daily stretch routines. 

Seniors who require assistance with exercises to keep fit can benefit from a professional caregiver. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Serve Healthier Meals

To prevent restless legs syndrome, your loved one should consume more iron and stop drinking coffee. Iron deficiency is one of the main causes of restless legs syndrome. Therefore, your loved one should eat foods high in iron. He or she can also take iron supplements approved by the doctor. The best sources of iron for aging adults include peas, lentils, dried fruits, iron-fortified breads and cereals, and dark, leafy green vegetables. Consuming higher amounts of calcium and magnesium can also prevent restless legs syndrome symptoms in the elderly. 

Develop Better Sleeping Habits 

Your loved one’s legs are likely to ache and cramp up at night time due to lying down in the bed. Older adults who sleep better at night can stave off restless legs syndrome. Poor sleep hygiene increases the risk of this syndrome as well as other health issues. Your loved one should avoid consuming heavy meals and drinking too much water before going to bed. His or her wind down routine should begin a couple of hours before going to sleep. During this time, your loved one can take a warm bath to relax his or her muscles. Applying ice or heat to the legs may also help him or her sleep better at night. 

If your aging loved one needs help managing an illness that makes it difficult to sleep well, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Some family caregivers also find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. In Wellesley, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Stave Off Chronic Illnesses 

Chronic diseases and some age-related medical conditions put seniors at a higher risk of experiencing restless legs syndrome. Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure, and peripheral neuropathy are some of the health conditions with restless legs syndrome as a symptom. If your loved one is taking medications to treat these health issues, the symptoms of restless legs syndrome could worsen. To prevent chronic diseases and other medical conditions, aging adults need to eat healthier, manage their stress levels, stay active, remain social, and take on other lifestyle changes that can boost their mental, physical, and emotional health. Weekly massages at the spa can also provide the joints with much-needed relief and prevent arthritis, another condition that increases the odds of developing restless legs syndrome.

Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality home care. Wellesley families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at (781) 239-0060 today.

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