Caring for someone with multiple sclerosis (MS) involves unique stresses and uncertainties. The disease is unpredictable, and the journey of a caregiver is filled of ups and downs. Tips on Caring for a Loved One With MS
Being a caregiver is not easy, it can demonstrate your concern to the patients but what you might not avoid feelings of depression, resentment, and isolation
If you’re caring for someone with MS, pay attention to these listed steps. You need to take care of yourself as you care for someone else:
Take care of yourself first
Look after for the patients but don’t ignore yourself. Without your own good health, it is not possible for you to advocate for your loved one. Take breaks when you need. When you eat a balanced diet, engage in regular exercise, get enough sleep, make time for hobbies or activities you enjoy, and schedule time for relaxation, you’re better able to tackle the stress of caregiving.
Prepare knowledge of the disease
MS can present with symptoms that are visible (like weakness or tremors) but other changes may be felt only by the person experiencing them. That could include sensory changes like numbness, pain, or tingling; or it could include dizziness, vision problems, or emotional changes.
You should ask your loved one about what they are going through and the feeling every time. Beside listening to your loved one, educate yourself by reading online or books. The more you know about MS, the more you’ll feel ready to face the challenges multiple sclerosis can pose. Learning as much as you can about the illness and the available treatment options can empower you to help your loved one make decisions regarding his or her care.
Ask for help
Many caregivers and experts say the key to doing a good job as a caregiver is to know when to ask for help. Thinking you have to do it all is a common mistake of caregivers. Instead of turning down offers of help or not following up on them, ask for help from people around. Do you need someone to stay with your loved one while you go shopping to cook dinner? Yes, so ask for help. You need someone help you to lift your loved one cause you cannot do it alone, don’t you? Don’t be afraid to ask. Let them know that you need and welcome their help. People often want to help but don’t know how.
Take a Break
Caregiving is a tiring job. You might be tired because of continuous actions. And like any job, it’s one you need a vacation in a while. Make a point of lining up occasional respite care, either from a professional or from family and friends, so you can take the time you need to rejuvenate. Don’t try to work all times. You will not have energy to continue your caregiver job.
Stay calm and be patient. It is hugely important to be a caregiver, especially when your loved one is struggling with the symptoms of MS. You should understand that they may not always be able to keep up with your pace when MS fatigue rears its ugly head, or simply giving them enough time and space to make sense of an MS diagnosis in their own way. A little bit of patience can make a very big difference.
The day-to-day wear and tear of being a caregiver can really not easy. Don’t ever feel guilty for taking a break or asking for help when providing care for someone with MS. By taking steps to reduce stress and care for your own physical and emotional needs, you’ll have an easier time taking care of your loved one.