Caregiver Awareness: Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Caregiver in North York

As a family caregiver for your aging parents, one of your most important responsibilities is educating yourself about health risks and potential concerns so that you are able to create the care planCaregiver in North York that is right for them. One such health risk is Multiple Sclerosis.

Experts estimate that approximately 2.3 million people are currently living with MS, making it a relatively common disease. Despite this, however, many people still do not understand the disease, its impact on personal health, or how a caregiver for a senior with this disease should create an appropriate care approach. If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with MS, or you are concerned about symptoms that could be early warning signs of Multiple Sclerosis, it is important to educate yourself on the disease, its symptoms, and how you can help your parent cope with it throughout your care journey.

Though MS manifests differently depending on the person, there are some symptoms that are fairly consistent across the population of those coping with the disease. Some of the early warning signs of Multiple Sclerosis include:

• Numbness. For many people, one of the first signs of MS is numbness or a tingling sensation in the face, hands, arms, or body;

• Vision challenges. Changes in vision are common among elderly adults, but it is important to pay close attention to these changes as they could be an indicator of very serious issues. In the case of MS, an early symptom may be blurred vision, pain with eye movement, or difficulty with color vision;

• Tremors. Not as common as other symptoms, but still a possible early indication of the disease, is tremors. These occur because of damage to the nerves that control movement in those areas. These can be very disruptive, particularly for those who use their hands for work;

• Bladder control problems. A particularly stressful early symptom for many people is bladder issues. Fortunately, these are readily controlled using medications and dietary changes;

• Speech challenges. Approximately 40 percent of those who are diagnosed with MS will experience speech challenges such as decreased voice volume, slowed speech, or slurring;

• Difficulty walking. A very common symptom that tends to worsen depending on stimulus is difficulty walking. This can be stiffness, shakiness, scuffling, or even inability to walk even moderate distances. The most common causes of this are muscle weakness, fatigue, or loss of balance.


While there is no real understanding of why MS develops, there are many ways that you can help your aging loved one continue to enjoy an active, healthy, and engaged lifestyle. Encouraging your parent to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, maintain a healthy weight, and participate in physical activity on a daily basis can go a long way in supporting a high quality of life even after an MS diagnosis. Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out more about hiring a home care provider who can help you create a supportive care plan for your aging loved one.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in North York, contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at 905.709.1767.

About Susan Di Michele

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