Late onset multiple sclerosis is not as well-studied as in younger populations. Because only about 5 percent of new MS cases each year happen in people over the age of 50, many people don’t even consider it when an elderly person suddenly develops symptoms. Family caregivers with an older relative should learn more about late onset multiple sclerosis so they can help their loved one should the need arise.
Identifying Late-Onset Multiple Sclerosis in Seniors
Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nerves and how they communicate with the brain. When it comes to the elderly, many of the symptoms mimic more common diseases that appear in old age. Symptoms include numbness and tingling, poor balance, vision problems, lack of coordination and memory recall issues. These symptoms are also common for stroke victims as well as those with Parkinson’s disease, ALS and even dementia.
Eventually, the body is so affected that people can no longer take care of their daily needs. In the later stages of the disease, adults need part-time or full-time senior care for basic tasks like bathing, dressing, hygiene and meals. One big difference between a typical MS diagnosis and late onset diagnosis is that in older people, the disease progresses much more quickly than in younger adults. This means that elderly adults that are diagnosed with MS will need assistance with daily tasks because in the later stages, they won’t be able to live independently anymore.
Treating MS in Elderly Adults
Scientists don’t know exactly what causes multiple sclerosis and it is one of the hardest diseases to treat. While there is not a cure for MS, there are certain drugs that can slow down the progress and lighten some of the symptoms, especially in the early stages. Treatment for MS is mostly the same for all ages of people. However, early diagnosis means a more effective treatment plan so it’s important for seniors to get in to a doctor as soon as possible.
Family members that are caring for an elderly relative with MS will need to devote more of their time to daily tasks as the disease progress. However, full-time caregiving is extremely challenging when they have a career, plus other family members to care for. Many people find that hiring a senior care aide can really relieve them of daily caregiving responsibilities like bathing, companionship, transportation, hygiene, housekeeping and cooking. A senior care aide with experience in caring for seniors with MS can adapt to the senior’s needs and report any issues or problems to the family members.
Living with MS as an elderly person will definitely change their day-to-day experiences and it requires them to receive in-home care. However, with the right combination of family, senior care assistance and friends, their quality of life can be as good as ever.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Houston, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.
Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.
Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week
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