In Home Care for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
What is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis is a disease of the central nervous system. It interferes with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
Multiple Sclerosis is a result of the body’s immune system attacking its own myelin — the protective sheath surrounding the central nervous system. White blood cells (part of our immune system response) move from the bloodstream into the fluid that circulates and nourishes the brain and spinal cord. These cells actively attack and damage the protective covering over the nerves (myelin), resulting in the development of scar tissue (sclerosis), patches or plaques.
Usually our body’s immune system defends the body from attack by viruses or bacteria but that is not the case with Multiple Sclerosis. The breakdown of myelin impairs nerve transmission throughout the body which can manifest in a variety of symptoms.
No one knows the exact cause of Multiple Sclerosis, but a mixture of genetic and environmental factors are likely to play a role in the development of the disease.
The most common symptoms are fatigue, nerve pain, bladder and bowel issues, spasticity, problems with vision, cognitive fog and changes in emotion. However, any neurological symptoms may be caused by Multiple Sclerosis. Some symptoms are immediately obvious. Others, such as fatigue, numbness and cognitive fog, can be invisible. These can be hard to describe to others, which makes it hard for family and carers to understand.
Relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis – is the most common form of the disease.
This type of MS is characterised by unpredictable relapses during which new symptoms appear or existing symptoms become more severe. Relapse/remission can last for varying periods (days, weeks or in some cases months) which is followed by partial or total remission (recovery). The time between relapses varies and for some, multiple sclerosis may be inactive for months, even years at a time.
Primary progressive Multiple Sclerosis – this form of Multiple Sclerosis is characterised by a lack of distinct attacks, but with slow onset and steadily worsening symptoms. There is an accumulation of deficits and disability which may level off at some point or continue over months and years.
Secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis – Relapsing remitting Multiple Sclerosis can progress to what’s called secondary progressive multiple sclerosis over time. In some cases, this means there is progressive development of disability often with superimposed relapses.
Progression of MS is largely unpredictable, some people are minimally affected by the disease while in others the impact of the disease is more severe, resulting in swift progress towards disability. Although every person will experience a different combination of symptoms, there are a number of distinct patterns relating to the course of the disease.
A Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis can be extremely daunting to come to terms with. All of a sudden there is a lot of new information to absorb, questions to ask and key decisions to make. It is however, possible to live a fulfilling life with Multiple Sclerosis.
Although generally difficult to predict, the course of Multiple Sclerosis varies greatly from case to case, but most people with multiple sclerosis can expect 95% of the normal life expectancy.
Some studies have shown that people who have:
- few attacks in the first several years after diagnosis;
- long intervals between attacks;
- complete recovery from attacks; and
- Attacks that are sensory in nature (such as numbness or tingling) tend to have a slightly easier journey.
People who have:
- Early symptoms of tremor;
- Difficulty with coordination and walking; and
- Frequent attacks with incomplete recoveries tend to have a more progressive disease course.
MS information hotline MS Connect™ (Free call 1800 042 138 or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Daughterly Care Joyful Living Approach™
At Daughterly Care we understand that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) symptoms can change from day to day so care, needs to be flexible. Our goal is to enable clients with MS to maintain as much independence as possible; this is particularly important for people who are diagnosed in their younger years.
For each new client, we design a person-centred care-plan which is flexible and supports fluctuating needs. Care-plans are reviewed and adapted on a regular basis.
Clients are able to live in the comfort of their home, with the support of carers who are trained to manage the full range of MS symptoms.
Our Caregivers are trained to provide support with mobility, visual, hearing and speech problems, dizziness, tremors, pain or fatigue. We have Registered and Enrolled Nurses on hand to assist with more complex clinical needs and liaise on your behalf if and when needed. We work with our clients to build daily routines around individual needs, wishes, preferences and symptoms.
Call us today to discuss your individual care needs at an obligation free in home consultation. (02) 9970 7333