Connected Caregiving: Empowering Seniors with Multiple Sclerosis
Caring for someone with multiple sclerosis (MS) can present challenges for friends and family members. This disease can be unpredictable, and there can often come a time when significant difficulties arise, making it essential to find support for the future. Loved ones may find themselves lacking the knowledge and skill necessary to provide proper care. They may also struggle to balance caregiving needs with their own life on a regular basis. Thankfully, trained caregivers can step in and alleviate these concerns.
For people living with MS, bringing on a compassionate, highly-trained, and experienced caregiver can bring about a significant improvement in their quality of life. These care providers know what is necessary to build a nurturing and empowering environment for people with MS. By working together, caregivers and their families can effectively navigate the challenges of this disease while improving overall care and well-being for the individual with MS.
Here are some ways in which caregivers can support seniors with MS:
Creating a safe home environment
Encouraging healthy sleep habits
Promoting beneficial physical activity
Ensuring healthy nutrition
Monitoring medication schedules
How Our Caregivers Support Seniors with MS
Utilizing Years of Training & Experience
Rose’s trained caregivers are constantly striving to better understand multiple sclerosis (MS). They are trained to recognize MS symptoms and progression, making it easier to help seniors when they need support. Our caregivers make efforts to stay informed about the latest research, treatment options, and resources available to people with multiple sclerosis.
Promoting Healthy Diet & Exercise
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential for seniors living with multiple sclerosis (MS). In fact, integrating physical activity and nutritious food can go a long way in improving the quality of life for people with MS. Foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants help nourish the mind and body, while gentle movements can help build strong bodies. Research has shown that people with MS can benefit from aerobic exercises in a variety of ways.
Caregivers can be very helpful for seniors looking to maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine. They can take recommendations from healthcare providers and support seniors in establishing a way of life that boosts their strength, mobility, and overall energy levels.
Building a Safe Home Environment
A trained caregiver understands how important it is to build an efficient and safe home environment for seniors with multiple sclerosis. Doing so can make their lives much easier and significantly cut down on the risk of falls. Caregivers can help install important safety features around the house, and help ensure that essential items are easily accessible. Seniors may also need to add ramps and handrails or rearrange furniture to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers. Assistive devices that encourage independence can help seniors with MS achieve greater levels of autonomy and confidence.
Helping Resolve Sleep Issues
Research has shown a correlation between poor sleep and multiple sclerosis, causing seniors with MS to suffer from restless nights in bed. They can often wake up at unwanted times due to an overactive bladder, depression, or insomnia. Restless legs syndrome is experienced by over half of MS patients, and narcolepsy can even be a concern.
Caregivers can step in by helping seniors with MS stay physically active during the day, but not so much as bedtime approaches. Care providers can also be very helpful in establishing a consistent sleep routine and building comfortable sleeping environments.
Providing Emotional Support
In addition to helping with daily activities and tasks, caregivers play an important role when it comes to providing emotional support to seniors with multiple sclerosis (MS). They can be compassionate and attentive listeners, encouraging open communication and ensuring that feelings are always being acknowledged. MS can be unpredictable, and a good caregiver understands how important it is for them to stay positive, supportive, and flexible.
"A lot of people with MS are trying to improve their diet. As a caregiver, you can step in and join them,"
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society notes that there’s no special diet for MS, but that eating a diet low in fat and high in vitamins and fiber can help you feel better, while maximizing your energy and supporting healthy bladder and bowel function.
Commit to regular exercise
Research shows that people with MS who participate in an aerobic exercise program benefit from improved cardiovascular fitness, increased strength, better bladder and bowel function, and a more upbeat attitude.
Address sleep issues
MS can cause sleep problems, including insomnia, frequent nighttime urination, narcolepsy and leg spasms — over half of MS patients suffer with restless legs syndrome.
Dr. Calabresi says, “Sleep is very much underestimated in brain function. We know there’s a correlation between poor sleep and both Alzheimer’s and MS.
“It’s hard to tell which comes first, since people with MS have disrupted sleep patterns. There can be early morning awakening caused by depression and nighttime awakenings due to overactive bladder. But we do know that poor sleep correlates with poor daytime cognitive ability, which can affect patients’ ability to cope.”