Community Blog

5 Ways to Deal with Restless Leg Syndrome

By Ketan Shah

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes older adults to experience strange sensations in their legs. The sensations are relieved when they move their legs. The feelings are more likely to happen in the evening and during the night. They can keep your aging relative awake at night. However, there are many ways to relieve RLS and make life with the condition a little easier. Below are 5 tips for coping with RLS.

#1: Stay Active

Seniors may be able to relieve or prevent RLS symptoms by starting every morning and ending every day with some easy leg stretches. It’s also important for them to get some exercise every day. However, it’s important that they not overdo it since that can make things worse. In addition, they should not exercise too late in the day.

Home care providers can remind older adults to do leg stretches in the morning and at night. In addition, they can assist with regular exercise by driving the senior to the gym to attend a class or use the equipment.

#2: Take a Warm Bath

Spending some time lying in a warm bath can soothe legs but getting in and out can be difficult and dangerous for seniors. A home care provider can prepare a warm bath (complete with bubbles, if desired!) and help your aging relative to get in and out of it without falling.

#3: Establish Good Sleep Habits

Good sleep habits can make it easier for older adults to sleep even with RLS. Some things that can improve sleep are:

  • Following a consistent schedule of getting up and going to bed each day at the same times.
  • Avoiding long naps during the day.
  • Doing calming, quiet activities in the evening hours that aren’t too stimulating.
  • Keeping distractions out of the bedroom, like watching television.

Home care providers can improve your older family member’s sleep habits by helping them to get up each morning and prepare for bed each night at the same times. They can also keep them more active during the day, so they don’t nap too much.

#4: Cut Back on Caffeine

For some people, staying away from foods and beverages that contain caffeine can reduce RLS symptoms. Try removing caffeine from the older adult’s diet for a few weeks to see if it makes a difference. Some foods and drinks that contain caffeine are chocolate, soda, tea, and coffee.

Home care providers can help with avoiding caffeine by preparing foods and drinks that do not contain caffeine. For example, instead of caffeinated tea, a home care provider can make a cup of herbal tea.


Sources
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/restless-legs-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377174
https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Restless-Legs-Syndrome-Fact-Sheet
https://www.webmd.com/brain/restless-legs-syndrome/rls-tips

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring caregivers in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.