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Does My Elderly Loved One Have Late Onset Multiple Sclerosis

March 14th, 2019

By: Lenora Alabi

When an elderly adult develops symptoms like weakened muscles, fatigue, tremors, cognitive decline and poor vision, plus numbness and tingling in the fingers and toes, most family caregivers would not think about these symptoms as multiple sclerosis. Other age-related conditions such as poor circulation, arthritis, ALS, post-stroke effects, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and more can also have some of these symptoms. Late onset multiple sclerosis often goes undiagnosed due to this confusion. Family caregivers can learn more about MS during March’s National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month and perhaps detect the true cause of their elderly loved one’s symptoms.

Identifying MS Symptoms in Elderly Adults

Family caregivers are always on the lookout for what kinds of symptoms their aging loved one displays. When it comes to late onset multiple sclerosis, it’s important for family caregivers to recognize some of the telltale signs that their relative is dealing with this neurological disease and not something else.

Common symptoms are:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling in the fingers and toes
  • Rapidly diminishing vision
  • Cognitive and memory recall problems
  • Muscle weakness and lack of coordination
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Poor balance

In seniors, multiple sclerosis progresses rapidly and from the time these symptoms appear, seniors are often dealing with serious health issues just a few months down the road. In a matter of months, elderly adults will start to struggle with daily tasks like laundry, getting dressed or making a meal. For aging adults who want to remain in their own homes, it can be a real challenge for them to do so.

In-Home Care for Seniors with MS

Multiple sclerosis in seniors eventually leads to a point where they need help with all their daily needs. Most elderly adults end up in a wheelchair and require assistance just to get up and down from beds, chairs and the toilet. For those family members that think they can take on all the responsibilities of care for their elderly loved one, they may not understand all that is involved with multiple sclerosis. Plus, many elderly adults often have other chronic illnesses that are age-related, making in-home care really challenging.

bigstock-173611739.jpgHiring a home care provider is an excellent way for elderly adults facing the challenges of MS to remain in their homes. Caring professionals with experience in assisting seniors with physical and cognitive disabilities can relieve much of the daily tasks from seniors and family caregivers. They can do light housework, laundry, meal preparation and all the self-care tasks that are needed to keep elderly adults with MS comfortable. Family caregivers also get some respite from looking after their aging loved one, relieving some of their stress and giving
them a chance to avoid burnout.

One thing that National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month will show family caregivers and their elderly loved ones is that MS will certainly change everyone’s day-to-day life. For seniors that want to live at home and family caregivers that are seeking help, home care providers may be the best way to face the future with this progressive neurological disease.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HIRING HOME CARE IN HYDE PARK, IL, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT BRIGHTSTAR CARE CHICAGO. CALL TODAY: 312.382.8888.