5 Ways to Treat Fibromyalgia in Aging Adults

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For seniors with fibromyalgia, the pain can be pretty intense. Here are a number of different treatment options to ease the pain as well as other symptoms of the condition.

1. Medication

For some time, doctors weren’t exactly sure how to treat fibromyalgia, but today they rely on medications to combat the symptoms. For example, antidepressants may be prescribed to regulate brain chemistry and prevent anxiety and depression. Pain relievers, sleep aids, and narcolepsy drugs can also treat fibromyalgia.

2. Mild Exercise

Exercise can be difficult for seniors with fibromyalgia, especially for those who aren’t quite as mobile as they once were. However, mild exercise may play a role in symptom relief. Encourage your loved one to aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day, but start slowly. If exercising for 30 minutes isn’t possible, encourage your loved one to start with five minutes of gentle movement and work up from there. Your loved one should avoid intense exercises like running or those requiring balance, such as yoga. Suggest walking, swimming, or stretching instead.

A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise safely. Homecare experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

3. Sleep

Fibromyalgia can interfere with a good night’s sleep, which is especially true for older adults who may already have problems sleeping through the night. Help your loved one take extra steps to sleep longer and more deeply, which includes avoiding naps during the day and cutting back on caffeine consumption. Have your loved one sleep in a dark room, and turn off all tech devices at least half an hour before bedtime.

4. Diet

Many seniors are deficient in certain vitamins and nutrients, which can cause fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up. Help your loved one cut out processed foods as well as foods with additives such as aspartame and MSG, and include more fresh fruits and vegetables in his or her diet. Encourage eating more foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, to reduce inflammation that can cause aches and pains. This can also protect your loved one’s heart and cardiovascular system. 

If your loved one has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and you’re not able to meet his or her needs, consider enlisting the help of a professional home caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Potomac, MD, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care. Our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

5. Heat

Sometimes, no matter what your loved one does, the pain remains. Heat can alleviate the pain. Heating pads, warm showers and baths, and hot compresses can get the blood flowing to those achy areas. 

If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of senior home care Potomac, MD, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Call us at (301) 363-2580 to create a customized in-home care plan.