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How Can Older Adults Keep Restless Legs Syndrome at Bay?

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Restless legs syndrome (RLS) causes uncomfortable sensations that include aches, crawling, or prickling feelings beneath the skin along with spastic leg movements. Since the disorder usually activates during the night, seniors have difficulty falling or staying asleep. The exact cause of the anomaly remains unknown. However, age, gender, and genetics may play a role. Seniors who want to prevent RLS should consider the following tips. 

Stay Active 

Older adults who lead sedentary lives are more often afflicted with RLS than active seniors. Brisk walking, cycling, swimming, and engaging in other forms of moderately strenuous activities can keep the disorder at bay. Getting 20 to 30 minutes of exercise three to five times per week has been known to reduce the symptoms of RLS. 

Restless legs syndrome is not the only age-related issue older adults are susceptible to. 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. Bethlehem families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.

Keep Hydrated

Getting sufficient amounts of water and other fluids each day has been shown to prevent or reduce the symptoms of RLS. However, older adults should consider limiting their caffeine intake because stimulants can contribute to the development of the disorder. Alcoholic beverages should also be limited to two drinks daily for men and one for women. 

Stop Smoking

The nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco products constrict blood vessels and interfere with blood circulation. Nerve tissue is more likely to function improperly when deprived of oxygen and nutrients. 

Prevent Anemia

Many seniors are deficient in B complex vitamins and iron, which lead to different types of anemia. The compounds are necessary for healthy muscle and nerve function. Older adults can prevent anemia by consuming sufficient amounts of protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. If feeling tired or sluggish, seniors should consider having their blood checked for mineral and vitamin deficiencies. 

Maintain Proper Sleep Habits

Regardless of age, adults need between seven and nine hours of restful sleep every night. Avoid stimulating activities before bedtime. Make your loved one’s bedroom as conducive to sleep as possible. If outdoor lighting is an issue, install window treatments that block exterior lights. Encourage your loved one to take a relaxing warm bath or shower before bed. 

Stretch 

Your loved one should consider performing various stretches just before bedtime as well as the first thing next morning. Stretching alleviates stress in the body that leads to spasms. Seniors should bend forward, backward, and do upper body twists. They can also join a beginner yoga class to learn some poses that promote leg and lower body stretches. 

From exercising to performing simple housekeeping tasks, older adults with RLS may need help with an array of activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Bethlehem seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Alleviate Stress

Although it is impossible to eliminate all of the stressors that occur in life, seniors can relax and reduce stress by alleviating tension in the body. Encourage your loved one to meditate, go for a walk, listen to his or her favorite music, or perform another de-stressing activity. Your loved one should engage in activities that bring a sense of peace and enjoyment.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elderly care. Bethlehem, PA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a customized in-home care plan for your elderly loved one, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.

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