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Caring for somebody with Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple Sclerosis (or MS as it’s commonly known) is often a lifelong condition when someone develops it, making life very uncomfortable for them on a daily basis.

MS can affect different people in different ways, sometimes being quite mild and other times resulting in disability. As symptoms can also be quite unpredictable, it can be difficult to pinpoint whether you or a loved one is suffering from MS to begin with.

More than 125,000 in the UK are thought to have Multiple Sclerosis and while it’s usually possible to treat the symptoms as they appear, there’s currently no definitive cure for the condition. That’s why those living with MS may need to rely on the help and care of others in certain aspects of their daily lives.

What is MS and how does it affect someone?

Multiple Sclerosis is caused by a fault in a person’s immune system, where protective tissue around the nervous system is mistakenly attacked and becomes damaged. Medical professionals are unsure what causes the immune system to behave in this way, but a combination of genetics and environmental factors have been cited as possible reasons.

As a result of the nervous system being affected in this way, messages travelling through nerves, along the spinal cord and to the brain become disrupted. This means that a person with MS may feel numbness or tingling in different parts of the body, stiffness in their muscles and problems with thinking, co-ordination and balance.

There are two prominent types of MS – these are called Relapsing Remitting MS and Primary Progressive MS.

  • Relapsing Remitting MS is the most common form, affecting over 80% of people diagnosed with MS. They may experience episodes of symptoms that get progressively worse over a few days, several weeks or even months, before gradually improving.
  • Primary Progressive MS affects just over 1 in 10 people with MS, starting with minor symptoms that slowly build up over several years with no remission periods or relapses. Their condition may stabilise for a time, but won’t disappear and can leave them dealing with the same level of pain or discomfort for some time.

However MS affects you or your loved one, it’s important to be mindful of their general health to stay as fit and healthy as possible. This will provide some comfort in living with the condition so as not to make things feel worse.

Treating and caring for someone with MS

Living with Multiple Sclerosis is a complicated situation for all involved, from the person with the condition to all their friends and family members wanting to support them. In order to provide appropriate care, whether carried out by close ones or an agency care worker, the extent of the condition should inform the level of care to be given.

Treatments usually depend on the symptoms that are experienced and the specific areas of the body they affect. One typical treatment involves using steroid-based medication to help speed up recovery when a relapse occurs. Various therapies and treatments can also be offered for individual symptoms of MS.

Your loved one may need to rely on the assistance of a care worker at home, either on a part-time visiting basis or as part of a full-time live-in service. By taking into account the specific needs and care requirements, you can tailor the ideal service package given by an agency care worker.

SureCare provides home care services to communities right across the country, supporting the complex needs of those living with conditions like Multiple Sclerosis. Care packages are tailored to the individual so that you or your loved one can be certain that our care workers will deliver the appropriate levels of care to meet your exact needs.

To find out more about care services in your area and discuss a care package for somebody living with Multiple Sclerosis, find your local SureCare branch here and get in touch with the team today.