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How Does Multiple Sclerosis Affect the Elderly?

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Multiple sclerosis refers to a disabling neurological disease process that involves deterioration of the protective myelin covering of nerves. These gaps cause miscommunication between nerve cells and a variety of symptoms depending on where the damage occurs. Common symptoms include excessive fatigue, mobility difficulties, weakness and physical discomfort. Older adults afflicted with the disease often experience an accelerated rate of symptoms, which leads to life-changing problems. Here are a few that live-in Lincoln caregivers can anticipate.

Loss of Independence

When the nerve damage occurs in the limbs, MS causes a loss of muscle control. Symptoms range from spastic movements to complete paralysis. Without normal use of arms or legs, individuals lose their independence and must rely on Lincoln at-home caregivers. Some may find themselves relying on wheelchairs or motorized devices that can also limit freedom to come and go as desired. However, families can assist loved ones with MS by researching places that allow wheelchair access.

Social Impairment

Having less physical function and a loss of freedom also limits social opportunities. Getting in and out of the house may have its restrictions. Getting around using wheeled devices also limits those with MS depending on the number of places that are accessible. Social activities might become limited to using a telephone, computer or other online device to socialize with others. It may help seniors with MS if their at-home caregiver provides emotional support and helps seniors use technological devices to communicate with loved ones.

Increased Risk of Injury

When MS affects the optic nerve, people experience varying degrees of visual impairment. Some have blurred vision, become color blind, have double vision or see flashing lights while moving. Some experience total blindness. Visual impairments may prevent elderly people from seeing potential dangers. Hiring professional caregiver will significantly reduce the risk of dangers associated with lack of or impaired vision.

Fall Risks

A loss of physical coordination, balance issues and muscle weakness could lead to accidental falls. After a fall, individuals might also lack the ability to get up or get help by themselves. You can avoid these issues with help from a professional caregiver who can monitor your loved one and call for help in the event of a fall.

Contact Lincoln, NE Home Care Assistance today at (402) 261-5158 to speak with an experienced Care Manager about our at-home care. Our customized services are designed to meet each client’s individual needs whether they require companionship, safety monitoring, or personal care assistance. Meet one of our compassionate caregivers when you schedule a free in-home consultation.