Very little is known about the disease called fibromyalgia and many people are not really familiar with it. May is Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month, which brings attention to this widespread health condition. Family caregivers that look after an aging relative should be on the alert for fibromyalgia symptoms because the disease is particularly underdiagnosed in the elderly.
Medical researchers are not sure what causes fibromyalgia and there is no cure to date. The symptoms include pain, stiffness, and tenderness spread across the whole body. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal distress, headaches, fatigue, and insomnia. Depression and anxiety are also associated with fibromyalgia. The pain fluctuates over months and years, so while it is a chronic condition, there can be periods of relative calm mixed with times of debilitating health issues.
Fibromyalgia can affect adults at any age, however, it is most common in middle-age and elderly women. Seniors can develop the disease for the first time after age 65, so family caregivers do need to be on the lookout for the symptoms in their aging relatives. Because many of the symptoms are also associated with other illnesses, it can be easy to dismiss them.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia in Elderly Adults
With no cure for fibromyalgia, all doctors can do for senior patients is to treat the symptoms. People who suffer from fibromyalgia have found that certain lifestyle changes can help to control the symptoms. Exercise and activity can reduce the physical pain and help the muscles relax. Seniors can take medicines that may help their specific symptoms such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants, only when prescribed by their doctor.
Plenty of restful sleep is another important thing in living with fibromyalgia. This means avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the evenings and even taking a sleep aid as recommended by the doctor. Other lifestyle changes include a healthy diet, plenty of fluids and stress reduction whenever possible. No matter how severe the pain, family caregivers can help seniors manage their fibromyalgia.
Elderly Care Providers and Fibromyalgia
Seniors who suffer from fibromyalgia really benefit from hiring an elderly care provider. The support of a professional assistant can make it easier for the aging adult to manage their condition. Among the many ways that an elderly care provider can help are to encourage them to engage in exercise and activities, prepare nutritious meals, remind them to take medication on schedule, assist with bathing and dressing and attend to their needs during a particularly difficult flair-up.
Elderly care providers are often invaluable when it comes to allowing seniors with fibromyalgia to maintain a certain quality of life. The strategies implemented by the elderly care provider to ease the discomfort and pain for the elderly adult will allow them to concentrate their energy on the most important aspects, leaving the daily tasks like housekeeping and meals to the home care provider. Family caregivers who have family members with fibromyalgia should add elderly care providers to their list of ways to best take care of their aging loved ones.
If you or an aging loved one is considering Home Care Services in Roseville, CA, or the surrounding areas please contact the caring staff at ApexCare®. Proudly Serving Sacramento, Placer, Yolo, Solano, San Joaquin & Stanislaus counties. Call Today 877-916-9111