Being a caregiver to an older adult with multiple sclerosis (MS) can be especially challenging because the symptoms of the disease can change from day to day. In addition, there is still a lot that isn’t known about MS, which can further complicate a caregiver’s job. Below are 5 tips to help make the job of being an MS caregiver a little easier.
#1: Keep an Eye on Vitals
Caregivers can be alerted to a problem by tracking the daily vitals of the older adult. When a change in vitals occurs, it may be time to contact the doctor. Some vitals to keep an eye on are:
- Blood pressure
- Oxygen level
- Breathing rate
- Pain level
#2: Take Steps to Increase Independence
Take a look around the older adult’s house and see if there are ways you can make it more usable for them. For example, if the older adult is in a wheelchair, it could be hard for them to help in the kitchen because the counters are too high. You could set up a table the senior can use as a workstation for cutting vegetables, stirring ingredients, and other tasks. By helping the older adult be more independent, you boost their self-esteem and also reduce the amount of work the caregiver is responsible for.
#3: Find a Support Group
Because being a caregiver is stressful, you may find it helpful to join a caregiver support group. If possible, find one specifically for those caring for someone with MS. That way, you can learn from others who have been MS caregivers longer.
#4: Manage Fatigue and Weakness
Many people with MS suffer from severe fatigue and weakness. Caregivers can help to manage these symptoms by setting up daily routines for the seniors that are manageable. The routine should also include time for the older adult to rest during the day. Exercise can also help to increase energy and reduce weakness, so make sure to include some kind of low impact exercise each day, such as a walk or doing yoga.
#5: Accept Help
Caregivers should not expect to do everything on their own. That can lead to caregiver burnout. Instead, accept help when it is offered. Or, if you find you need help and don’t have friends or family members who can assist, consider contacting a home care agency. You can hire professional caregivers to visit the older adult’s home to assist them while you take a break and do something else.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Health Care in Bethel Park, PA, talk to the caring staff at Superior Home Care today. Call us at 412.754.2600