5 Causes of Leg Weakness in Seniors

By 9  am On


As the body ages, loss of muscle mass naturally occurs. Muscle fibers shrink while fat gradually replaces some of the volume. Thus, the muscles have less ability to contract, and they lose strength. However, other factors can also play a role in causing leg weakness in older adults. The majority of these problems can be remedied with a little effort. 


1. Arthritis

This disorder causes ligament, muscle, and tendon deterioration from lack of use secondary to pain and discomfort due to joint inflammation and irritation. It commonly affects the legs. Anti-inflammatory and pain medications can alleviate the symptoms. Seniors are also advised to continue using the affected limbs as much as possible to promote flexibility and range of motion. 


2. Nutritional Deficits

Leg weakness may be a sign of poor nutrition. Older adults experiencing the symptom often have low levels of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. These nutrients are all necessary for the body to build, repair, and maintain healthy connective tissues, muscles, and bones. Seniors might also be anemic due to a lack of sufficient iron intake. Those who are required to take diuretic medications may have insufficient levels of potassium and sodium. Make sure your elderly loved one is consuming a healthy diet. Diuretics and other medications require periodic laboratory blood tests to monitor for electrolyte imbalances.

Some seniors need help with exercising, preparing nutritious meals, and staying healthy in general. 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. Poor Circulation

Seniors with high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular problems often have poor circulation. When blood fails to flow smoothly throughout the lower body, leg muscles are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients needed to function. Thus, older adults may feel leg weakness, cramping, and fatigue. Seniors need to adhere to their medication regimens as prescribed by their physicians to keep cholesterol levels in check and coagulation levels within normal limits. Increasing consumption of vegetables, fruits, and lean meats while reducing fat intake can also help. 

Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Arlington, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.


4. Inadequate Sleep

Regardless of age, adults need seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. Otherwise, the body cannot make the necessary repairs and obtain the rest needed to rejuvenate for the next day. Without sufficient sleep, seniors may experience general fatigue, which has the potential to cause limb weakness. Consider checking your loved one’s bedroom to ensure the environment promotes peaceful sleep. Discourage your loved one from engaging in activities or drinking caffeinated beverages that may interfere with the ability to fall and stay asleep. 


5. Sedentary Lifestyle

The legs must bear the weight of the rest of the body. However, if your loved one doesn’t engage in physical activity throughout the day, the muscles, bones, and connective tissues may become weak and deteriorate faster than normal. Blood circulation can also slow. Older adults must make a point of changing positions every two hours by standing and walking from room to room. You can also invite your loved one to join you on a short walk each day. 

Some conditions could make it challenging for aging adults to exercise on their own, but help is available. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional home care. Arlington families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while