How to Become a Better Caregiver for A Loved One With Multiple Sclerosis
Caring for someone with multiple sclerosis is never easy even if you stay calm and do what you think is right. You need to be proactive about preparing yourself and providing the best care possible for the person. Here are some ways to become a better caregiver for a loved one diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Learn About the Disease
One of the best ways to become an effective caretaker for someone with multiple sclerosis is to learn about the disease. You need to educate yourself about all aspects of the disease from the initial causes to the most severe symptoms. See what treatments are used and what home remedies doctors suggest. Knowing what you are dealing with will allow you to act from a position of knowledge if something unexpected occurs.
Remain Calm When Symptoms or Problems Occur
A loved one with multiple sclerosis is likely to have several symptoms over time as you are taking care of the person. It is important that you stay calm when symptoms or problems occur. This might be temporary vision loss, uncontrollable shaking or even emotionally difficult statements from the person. You need to remain calm and deal with each situation individually. Never panic, lose control or ignore what is happening.
Engage Regularly and Stay Constructive
Someone with multiple sclerosis is likely to have many complicated and strong emotions due to the disease. You want to engage with your loved one regularly by talking and having two-way conversations whenever possible. You want to remain constructive in the things you say about difficult topics. The emotional support and constructive attitude you provide can make it easier for that individual to cope with the disease.
Adapt the Home to Your Loved One
A loved one with multiple sclerosis will frequently start to develop mobility, coordination and movement problems. This can lead to a feeling of isolation or being trapped and helpless. You can fight this by adapting the home to match the needs of your loved one. This can mean widening areas so that a wheelchair fits through, lowering items or installing a stair lift to allow the person to be more independent.
Take Care of Your Own Needs As Well
If you neglect your own needs, then you will not be a very effective caregiver. You need to take care of yourself each day. Make certain that you are eating and sleeping right. Take some time off occasionally to talk to friends or do something by yourself. This will ensure you are always prepared physically and mentally to take care of a loved one with multiple sclerosis.
Know When to Call In a Professional
The needs of someone with multiple sclerosis can grow more intense as the disease progresses. If you no longer feel that you can provide the level of care needed, then it is time to call in a professional. A professional caregiver will take care of medical and non-medical tasks that you cannot. These professionals can relieve some of the stress you feel as well.