HowToPreventRestlessLegsSyndromeInElderly

How To Prevent Restless Legs Syndrome In Elderly

Several elderly experiences Restless Legs Syndrome. It is a type of condition that is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs. The sensations occur usually at night. Restless Legs Syndrome is often classified as a sleep disorder.

Understanding The Causes

To prevent or treat Restless Legs Syndrome, it is very important to know and understand why it occurs. For some elderly, the condition is mainly genetic. There are about 50% of people with the condition have a family member who experiences it also. However, Restless Legs Syndrome can be brought on by certain medications. If your elderly loved one begins exhibiting signs of this condition after switching prescriptions, you need to check whether it is a side effect of a new medication. Restless Legs Syndrome has been linked to antidepressants, allergy medications, and anti-nausea drugs. It can also be brought on by too much alcohol intake as well as prolonged sleep deprivation.

If your loved one understands what triggers the Restless Legs Syndrome, they may be able to alleviate the symptoms. Help your loved one keep a journal recounting the condition. You may take note of when the symptoms are most severe and try to find what triggered them. Triggers may range from too much sugar intake to insufficient sleep.  If your loved one needs assistance with daily tasks or help to manage an illness make sure you choose a top-rated provider of home care.

Make Healthy Lifestyle Selections

To prevent Restless Legs Syndrome, the elderly need to make healthy lifestyle choices. Regular exercise decreases unpleasant leg sensations as well as limits caffeine intake, especially before bedtime. The Elderly who experience symptoms mainly at night must try to keep a regular sleep schedule. Although the condition wakes your loved one up at night, waking up and going to bed at consistent hours each day keeps the condition from getting worse. 

Discover Medication Choices

If your loved one receives a Restless Legs Syndrome diagnosis from the doctor, there are medical options that might prove helpful.

  • Dopaminergic drugs, which are often prescribed for the elderly with Restless Legs Syndrome, normalize dopamine levels in the brain.
  • Benzodiazepines are another option. These sedative drugs help the elderly get restful sleep at night.
  • For severe cases, doctors may recommend anti-seizure drugs, which control leg movement.  

Iron Supplements Intake

Another common cause of Restless Legs Syndrome is iron deficiency. For some elderly, this shows as an iron deficiency all over the body. For others, the lack of iron is exclusive to the brain. In such circumstances, iron supplementation can reduce the symptoms of Restless Legs Syndrome. 

Consider Non-Drug Therapy and Preventative Measures

While many elderly with Restless Legs Syndrome treat it with medications or healthy lifestyle choices, there are some other options. Several elderly have success with weekly leg massages, while others prefer hot baths. Seniors can also apply heating pads or ice packs to the affected areas. When getting ready for bed, several seniors wrap their legs, which may keep them from jerking in the middle of the night. 

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