MS, which is multiple sclerosis, is an autoimmune disease that affects the spinal cord, the brain, your overall ability to balance and often times your eyesight. The effects of MS on the body vary from person to person, as does the severity and the rate of progression of the disease.
MS ‘happens’ when the myelin, which is the tissue that blankets the nerves, is attacked and destroyed by the person’s immune system. No one knows for sure what causes MS, but research has shown that smokers, certain genetic factors, and people who have had certain viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr, are more prone to develop this disease.
The results of MS
People who have multiple sclerosis can have trouble walking due to poor balance and weakened muscles, double-vision, blurred vision, muscle spasms that cause them to fall or tremble to the extent that they cannot perform self-care. They can experience memory loss and the inability to focus their thoughts, become depressed, have sexual problems, poor bladder control, and suffer from painful muscle cramps and tingling.
How you can help
If you or a loved one is suffering from MS you understand the need to retain as much control of your life as possible; meaning you want to take whatever measures are possible to be independent and live safely in their own homes. This isn’t as difficult as you might think—thanks to the home health equipment industry. Home safety is their business and they do their best to help make it yours, too.
Power chairs, scooters, and wheelchairs provide a greater degree of safe mobility to someone with MS by giving them the pleasure of being able to travel, visit family and friends, shop, care for themselves, and get out and about.
Grab bars strategically placed in the bathroom allow for safe self-care.
Walkers and canes provide an added sense element to staying upright and walking with a stronger sense of security.
Tools that help with dressing, eating, and cleaning make many once-easy tasks less stressful.
Awareness is essential
The key to helping your loved one deal with health issues such as MS is to be aware of the symptoms and ramifications of the particular illness and to take preventative measures that will lessen the emotional and physical pain of the disease. It isn’t easy to accept the fact that your body is turning on itself, but it is possible to fight back.