Learning To Care For Loved Ones With Multiple Sclerosis

2013-06-07 | |
Last updated: 2014-11-25

Maintaining good health is something that should be important to all of us. We can live the fullest, most enjoyable lives when the body functions at its most effective level. Far too many of us take for granted the fact that we are relatively healthy. In contrast, for people diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), staying healthy is a real challenge.

Multiple Sclerosis is most frequently diagnosed among people between 20 to 40 years old. Due to the degenerative nature of the disease, it can drastically change the life of the person diagnosed especially when they have people around them who are unfamiliar with how to deal with the disease. The disease causes those afflicted to lose proper function of the limbs and their vision while also making balance challenging. Without proper assistance, MS patients can experience a drastic reduction in the quality of life.

However, being diagnosed with this disease does not have to be so bleak. People can live well and do most of the things they used to if they are given good care and support by their family and friends. Since this disease usually strikes when people are in their prime (below 40 years of age), it can have a significant impact on their plans for their future. However, with appropriate changes in lifestyle, MS patients can still achieve much of what they want in life. Taking the following steps can go a long way to helping those living with Multiple Sclerosis:

1. Encourage Those Diagnosed With MS To Accept Life’s Changes

Accepting that life will change is the first and the most important step towards living a better quality of life despite having Multiple Sclerosis. Living in denial will not help MS patients with respect to their health. Those with MS need to think of this disease as one among many challenges in life that they will have to overcome. They may not be as strong as they used to and they may need to rely on help from others to do some things that they used to do easily.

As someone caring for a person with MS, it is important to assure them that they will have support any time they need it. It is also key to help them get all the information they need regarding the disease and to help them learn about those things they will need to cope well with their loss of function. Acceptance will make them ready to deal with the majority of problems they may face due to this disease without frequently feeling sorry for themselves.

2. Encourage Those With MS To Attend Counseling And Therapy

Since this is a life changing condition, going through therapy can be of great help to a person living with MS. There are millions of people out there living relatively normal lives despite having the disease. A person with MS will fare better by reaching out to people going through the same problem and by joining support groups. Other people with MS will have a better understanding of what it is to face the disease and this will help those new to MS emotionally.

3. Make Sure Exercise Is Part Of The MS Patients Regular Activities

According to research carried out by the University of Washington on Multiple Sclerosis patients, regular exercise can go a long way in improving the health of a person living with the disease. Exercising improves the body’s general health, but for people living with this disease an emphasis on aerobic exercises will help keep their hearts and respiratory systems function well. Exercising also helps to improve or at least maintain muscle strength while decreasing fatigue, reducing depression and increasing the energy levels. After a visit to a therapist to determine the best exercise, accompanying a loved one with MS to the gym can help to motivate them to work out.

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