In-Home Care Services for Patients with MS – Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, frequently progressive disease of the central nervous system. It is characterized by inflammation of the tissues and proliferation or rapid reproduction of plaque buildup on the tissues of the central nervous system. The nervous system involves the brain and spinal cord.
The causes are unknown, however, it is believed that infection by a slow-moving virus or abnormalities with the immune system are related to the disease. MS can be one of the most disabling of the neurological diseases that strike young adults during their most productive years (20-40 years of age). Although a number of MS patients have little or no disability for many years after diagnosis.
Signs and symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis can include:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Abnormal reflexes, either absent or exaggerated
- Impaired vision
- Tremor or uncoordinated movements
- Sensation of numbness, prickling or tingling
- Bladder or bowel dysfunction including incontinence
- Skin breakdown related to immobility, sensory loss, and spasms
- Impaired position sense
- Slurring of words
- Emotional euphoria and depression
Intervention and Management for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
- Always include the client in their care and joint decision-making
- Assist with muscle strengthening and range of motion exercises per care plan and supervision of trained therapist
- Avoid muscle fatigue
- Encourage walking exercise per care plan
- Use assistive devices as ordered
- Help the client living with vision and speech impairment by utilizing eye patch (to block double vision) and work with speech therapy as ordered
- Monitor for signs and symptoms of bladder infection (odor, appearance, altered mental status, frequency, burning, decreased urine output)
- Ensure adequate fluid intake
- Monitor bowel control and increase fluids and fiber intake to avoid constipation
- Prevent skin breakdown
- Promote independence as much as possible with activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Help with coping mechanisms
Nutritional Considerations for Patients with MS
Food is not just about nutrition; it also involves/impacts emotional, cultural, and social well-being. Symptoms and medications can get in the way of absorption of vitamins and minerals as well as compromise good nutrition. For people living with MS, nutrition is very important.
The best advice for our clients who have MS is the same as for everyone:
- Eat a low fat diet with plenty of whole grains
- Incorporate vegetables and fruits
- Add high-protein foods like meat or dairy products
- Balance calories in with the recommended amount of physical activity
A person living with MS can become fatigued very easily; therefore three big meals may be overwhelming. Five or six smaller meals throughout the day may be easier to manage. Food is fuel so missing meals can create loss in energy levels.
Clients adapt to illness in many, often negative ways:
Help the client stay in control. Allow time for the client to vent feelings as suppressed anger is destructive.
Allow the client to make decisions and take part in their own care. Allow time for activities of daily living and promote independence by focusing on the client’s strengths and abilities.
Your Trusted Source for Home Health Care and Support Services for Patients with Multiple Sclerosis – In-Home MS Caregivers
Homewatch CareGivers offers In-Home Care Services and Support for patients with Multiple Sclerosis throughout Chicago and the North Shore suburbs including both Cook County and Lake County. We provide our home care, senior care and dementia care services to residents of Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Fort Sheridan, Highwood, Kenilworth, Lake Forest, Morton Grove, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Lincolnshire, Lincolnwood, Libertyville, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka.
As part of the Homewatch CareGivers nationwide family, we are backed with the resources of one of America’s largest and most trusted home care service organizations.