If your aging mom has recently been diagnosed with fibromyalgia from the doctor, you probably feel overwhelmed at how the condition will impact her life. Fibromyalgia is a medical condition that has no cure, and its symptoms can be so severe that it can prevent elderly adults from living independently.
May is Fibromyalgia Education and Awareness Month, designed to help family caregivers just like you the resources and information you need to provide the most help.
The Basics of Fibromyalgia
The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown and it has no cure. While it primarily affects middle-age and elderly women, it can show up in anyone at any age. Medical researchers believe that it has to do with how the brain interprets signals, because for those with the condition, even the lightest touch feels painful. For most people with fibromyalgia, they can’t get through a day without some pain.
The first thing that you’ll need to become familiar with is the symptoms of your mom’s fibromyalgia. This can be a challenge because they are diverse and may appear differently from one person to another. Also, the symptoms are also associated with other types of chronic illnesses and diseases, so it may be difficult to identify what’s affecting your elderly mother.
The most common symptoms of fibromyalgia in elderly adults are:
- Widespread pain throughout the body, concentrated in the muscles, joints or bones.
- Sleeping difficulties due to increased pain in the night.
- Chronic fatigue and lack of energy.
- Numbness or pins-and-needles feeling in the hands or the feet.
- Migraine headaches and muscle aches from tension.
- Gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, constipation or diarrhea.
- Lack of focus and memory issues.
- Mental health problems like anxiety and depression.
Helping Aging Relatives Thrive with Fibromyalgia
There are many treatment options when it comes to alleviating fibromyalgia symptoms in seniors. While there is no single thing that can eliminate the problems of fibromyalgia, a combination of lifestyle changes and medication can help reduce the symptoms. You can play a big part in figuring out how to help your elderly mom the best.
Activity and exercise can help ease fibromyalgia symptoms, but that can be difficult for elderly adults to do. You can encourage your aging mom to take walks, garden, go swimming or do tai chi to keep her active. A nutritious diet and restful sleep can also help. Some people also find that massages seem to help as well. Doctors may prescribe some medications to deal with some of the pain related to fibromyalgia in serious cases.
Many aging adults with fibromyalgia require the help of an elderly care provider to assist them with basic tasks like bathing, dressing, grooming, and toileting. Seniors may also need help around the house with cleaning, laundry and meal preparation. When family members have other obligations, an elderly care provider can be there for the senior with fibromyalgia so they are cared for.
As you can see, life with fibromyalgia presents numerous challenges for your elderly mom. and are like symptoms of many other conditions. It may be difficult for you to determine, for example if your mother’s sleep problems are from her fibromyalgia or another health issue.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDERLY CARE IN LAS VEGAS, NV, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY 702-800-4616.