Multiple sclerosis, often referred to simply as MS, is a condition that affects the central nervous system. It damages nerves and causes a variety of symptoms, depending on which nerves are harmed. Although it is usually diagnosed when people are aged 20 to 50, it can occur at any age. Being able to recognize the symptoms in your aging relative could help reach a diagnosis sooner, which means they can start to receive treatment.
Though not all people will have the same symptoms, below are 4 common symptoms of multiple sclerosis to look out for:
#1 FatigueFatigue impacts about 80 percent of individuals with MS. It can be so severe that it makes doing normal activities difficult. Fatigue can be difficult to recognize as it can resemble depression. However, doctors have identified some characteristics specific to MS fatigue, such as:
- It happens daily and is more severe than other forms of fatigue.
- Often happens in the morning, even after a good night’s sleep.
- Gets worse as the day goes on or if the temperature goes up.
- Occurs suddenly and easily.
Home care can assist when fatigue affects your aging relative by taking care of household tasks while they rest.
#2 Numbness and Tingling
Many people with multiple sclerosis experience numbness or tingling in their face, arms, legs, or body. It can range from mild to severe, even interfering with a person’s ability to write, get dressed, or hold things. When numbness affects the feet or legs, it can make walking difficult, putting the person at risk for falls.
Home care can help an MS patient with numbness to get dressed and move safely around the house. They can also write for them and assist with eating if holding utensils or cups becomes difficult.
#3 Vision Problems
Having trouble seeing is the first symptom of MS for many people. However, many people recover from MS-related vision issues. According to one study, vision problems due to MS are more common in African-Americans than Caucasians.
When MS affects vision, a home care provider can help them by reading mail, books, magazine or newspaper articles, and emails.
Weakness associated with MS can be caused by nerve damage, but it can also be a result of not using muscles due to other MS symptoms. Muscle weakness can make it difficult to walk safely or do household tasks.
Home care can handle the tasks that become difficult due to weakness, such as vacuuming or carrying groceries. If the older adult uses a wheelchair due to weakness, a home care provider can push the chair and help transfer the person from the wheelchair to other surfaces.
If youare considering hiring homecare as a way to assist a loved one with multiple sclerosis, please contact the caring staff at ActivePro Nursing & Homecare Inc.