5 Things To Know About Multiple Sclerosis in Seniors
Do you or a loved one experience multiple sclerosis (MS)? If you’re familiar with this disease, you know it can be difficult and even painful to live with. Developing MS is more likely as we age, so it’s important to understand the signs and symptoms to look out for in your older loved ones. Here are five things you should know about multiple sclerosis in seniors to watch out for.
What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis, also known as “MS,” is a disease that affects the central nervous system, particularly the brain and spinal cord. When someone has MS, it means their immune system targets and attacks the myelin, or the sheath that protects the body’s nerve fibers. When these fibers become damaged, it can lead to communication problems between the brain and the body. This disease can progress to causing disabilities and difficulty functioning.
Causes of Multiple Sclerosis
Experts don’t know the exact causes of multiple sclerosis, but they can identify certain factors that could increase your risk of the disease. Those who have low levels of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) may have an increased risk of developing MS. People who are overweight may also be at a higher risk of developing MS and could have relapsing events of the disease. Family history also plays a part in your likelihood of developing this disease.
Identifying Multiple Sclerosis in Seniors
One of the biggest symptoms of MS is difficulty walking, but this is something that many seniors already struggle with. This is why it’s important to know some of the other common symptoms of MS. Weakness and fatigue followed by feelings of tingling and numbness in the extremities are other signs.
How Multiple Sclerosis Affects Seniors
Multiple sclerosis can also cause cognitive and emotional changes, which can also be common in seniors. About half of the patients who have MS experience cognitive changes, such as processing times, loss of short-term memories, and difficulty focusing. It can also cause depression due to neurological and physical changes. This is why it’s crucial to know how to identify psychological and cognitive changes in seniors who may have trouble expressing themselves.
How To Treat Multiple Sclerosis in Seniors
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for multiple sclerosis yet. However, there are many known treatments that can help seniors manage their MS symptoms. Seeing a physical therapist may alleviate pain and make daily movements and tasks easier. There are also medications that can help with muscle relaxation and reducing fatigue. Finding a medical team to monitor and manage MS symptoms is crucial, and they will also be able to recommend personalized treatment goals.
Now that you’re more familiar with these five things to know about multiple sclerosis in seniors, you can better address your loved one’s symptoms and get them the help they need. If you’re looking for senior care in Orange County, you should choose a service that understands the issues of MS. At Caring Hearts Premiere Home Care, we can provide assistance with daily tasks to make living with MS more comfortable.