How Live-in Care Helps People with MS
What is MS?
Multiple Sclerosis (MS), is an autoimmune disease that damages the protective myelin sheath of nerves. As MS progresses, the myelin sheath starts to break down and problems happen with the signals. Nerve fibers become damaged and die off, lesions can grow on the brain, and spinal cord and bodily functions are affected.
The chronic condition can make daily tasks like walking difficult. Common symptoms that MS clients struggle with daily include fatigue, pain, and cognitive changes. However, with the right support, they can live long, independent and fruitful lives.
Around 130,000 people a year are affected by MS across the UK – Research suggests the proportion of women with MS is increasing and that roughly between two and three women have MS for every man with the condition. 150 years after the condition was first recognised, the cause of multiple sclerosis remains a mystery. There seems to be no one single cause, but there are several risk factors that make MS more likely to occur.
Living well with MS
Depending on the type of MS you have, it is possible to live a normal, largely symptom-free life for many years. There is no cure for MS, so it’s essential to adopt positive lifestyle habits to help slow the speed of the disease’s progression.
Here are our tips for making life with MS easier:
- Eat a healthy diet: MS is an autoimmune disease, meaning levels of inflammation within the body are relatively high. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps to mitigate this and prevent other health complications, including diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Exercise regularly: Exercise is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people with MS. Regular exercise that strengthens your pelvic muscles gives you better control over your bowel and bladder. Regularly taking part in activities you enjoy helps reduce fatigue and improve your mood.
- Focus your energies on the things that are most important to you: When energy is limited and life’s challenges seem to create endless hurdles, it is helpful to prioritise the ways you spend your energy – both physical and emotional – and time. Focusing your energies on the things that are most important to you, and most in line with your goals and personal values, is part of staying on you’re a positive path.
- Engage in mentally stimulating activities: Like exercise for the body, mental stimulation helps the mind stay active, alert and engaged even in the face of ageing or changes caused by MS.
- Focus on the positive: Happiness allows us to thrive, solve the problems we confront in our lives and maintain a strong sense of hope. Like other aspects of wellness, emotional well-being can be nurtured and enhanced, even in the face of changes and challenges.
- Customise your home: Although it might seem expensive at first, adding mobility aids in your home will help you move around more easily and reduce the chance of falls.
When to consider specialist live-in care?
People with MS can live normal lives for several years before the disease causes a level of disability that requires specialist live-in home care.
It may be time to consider liver-in care if you’re experiencing:
- Consistent bouts of incontinence
- Pain that makes it impossible to carry out daily tasks
- Trouble balancing, standing and walking
- Difficulty chewing and swallowing food
- Problems with memory loss, fatigue and brain fog
The benefits of live-in MS carers
A live-in carer will help you or loved one with daily tasks and give you back your independence.
Daily tasks that your carer will help you with are:
- Personal hygiene (showering, brushing teeth) and grooming (getting dressed, styling hair etc.)
- Making sure you’re taking your medicine correctly
- Household chores like light cleaning, cooking and caring for pets
- Grocery shopping, pharmacy collections and other errands
- Daily walks and outings
“99% of live-in clients say the care they receive helps them have a better quality of life.” Live-In Care Hub’s new quality of life study
There are many benefits to live-in care for MS clients, including:
- Enabling a person to stay in their own home
- Enabling a person to stay with their beloved pet (they often have to be separated when moving into an elderly care home)
- Enabling a person to stay with their loved one (again, they have to be separated when moving into a care home)
- Avoiding loneliness and poor nutrition because of the high amount of 1-to-1 care
- A qualified professional can monitor your condition.
- A companion who can provide moral support and take you to and from medical appointments
- Someone to help you facilitate your social life and help you stay an active part of your community
- You can have a trained carer to look out for any hazards or health reasons that may cause a fall. This will help to reduce the risk of injury.
Searching for a suitable live in home care provider can be time-consuming and stressful, as you’ll want to make sure you choose the right carer, with the right experience.
We are passionate about live in care. Our initial assessments and discussions with family mean that we can get the level of care just right. Our carers are chosen for their kind, compassionate nature as well as for their skills and experience.
If you’d like to discuss your situation, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us for a free, no obligation discussion.
If you or your relative has been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis (MS), you need to know what to expect. Get the answers to all of your questions so that you can make informed decisions about diagnosis, treatment, therapies and care support available.
NHS – Causes of Multiple sclerosis
MS Society – Treatments and Therapies
Choosing the right care
MS and your rights