Approximately 10 percent of the total adult population and 2 percent of the total child population of the United States is currently living with a condition known as Restless Legs Syndrome. Also referred to as RLS, this condition can be challenging for your elderly loved one, potentially leading to physical health complications as well as higher risk of emotional complications such as depression, anxiety, and stress primarily caused by loss of sleep. As a family caregiver it is important that you understand what this condition is and how it can impact your loved one so that you are able to help them recognize their RLS symptoms if they occur, and can give them the care that they need to manage them properly to reduce the risk of serious complications and effects.
RLS is a disorder of the nervous system. Because the effects primarily occur at night, impacting the sufferer’s ability to sleep properly, it is often considered a sleep disorder. Due to the area of the nervous system that this condition impacts, it results in a compulsion to move the legs. These sensations tend to be uncomfortable and feel irresistible. Often described as an itchy feeling or as though something is crawling inside or on their legs, these feelings give the sufferer the urge to stand up, walk, shake, or otherwise move their legs.
It is important to keep in mind that this condition is frequently misdiagnosed. It is often thought to be insomnia, depression, or another neurologic disorder. This makes it extremely important that you pay close attention to your parent’s behavior and symptoms and advocate for them to ensure that they are truly getting the care that they need.
If you suspect that your aging parent has been dealing with RLS, or you have noticed symptoms or challenges that are different or new, do not hesitate to get in touch with their doctor to discuss these symptoms. This will help to get them an accurate diagnosis so that they can get on the course of treatment and management that is right for them and their needs.
If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with a medical condition or health complication such as Restless Legs Syndrome, or they are showing new or worsened symptoms or challenges, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting elder care for them. Hiring an elderly home care services provider is a way for you to ensure that your parent is getting everything that they need, filling any care gaps that might exist in the care efforts that you give them and providing a highly personalized set of services tailored to them as an individual. This care provider can help your parent to manage their individual needs, assisting them in fulfilling their activities of daily living, providing safe and reliable transportation when needed, and offering companionship and support that encourages them to stay active, engaged, and independent, and to see as much meaning in this new chapter of life as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Niles, IL, please call the caring staff at A-Abiding Care today. Serving North and Northwest Chicago and the surrounding area for over 30 years. Call 847-698-1400.