How to support your loved one with multiple sclerosis

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The fact that your loved one is suffering from multiple sclerosis affects not only your loved one but also the whole family. You may not know how to support your loved one but one important thing to know is an open communication is a good way to start. A person’s needs and wants may sometimes be completely different. For example, your loved one may need you to help plan for transportation but may only want a hug or someone to talk to. Here are some other ways to help:

Know about multiple sclerosis

What you should do when someone is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is to take the time and learn about it. What is multiple sclerosis? You should know that multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Multiple sclerosis disrupts the signal of information between the brain and body. That means your loved one will not be able to control certain movements within the body. In addition to not being able to control body movements, your loved one may suffer from weakness, fatigue, tingling pain and problems with vision, cognition and bladder/bowel functions. By understanding multiple sclerosis, you can find ways to make life easier.

Encourage sharing

As mentioned above, multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, incurable disease. Being emotional is normal. Some emotions you may be feeling are fear, anger, and helplessness. It’s easy to drown in your emotions. To prevent from drowning, you should talk about your feelings with your loved one. It’s important to be honest with each other. Telling each other you feel fine or you have everything under control will just mask your real emotions. Once you are able to share your feelings, you will see how easy it will be to support your loved one. Keeping feelings bottled up inside will make you more unpredictable and may cause more harm than good.

Stay positive

It’s important to always stay positive. The positive energy will help you loved one get through the hardest days. Being positive means keeping a smile on your face when you are constantly worrying about your loved one. It means focusing on what your loved one can do and not their limitations. It means finding solutions to make daily activities easier to manage and not giving up. This positive energy will infectious and soon everyone around you will start to feel it.

Anticipate needs and avoid pitfalls

Knowing what your loved one needs is important. Be attentive to certain signs and signals. Your loved one will not always tell you what he or she needs. If your loved one is feeling fatigue while walking to the grocery store, take a break. You can also suggest rearranging the house to make things more accessible. If your partner is heat sensitive, learn about cooling strategies. It’s important to plan and avoid any challenges that may arise.

Be patient

With multiple sclerosis, it’s hard to say what is going to happen next. Your loved one will have both good and bad days. Therefore, cheering them when their mood is down is essential. There are several ways to show support. The most important thing is that both of you should be patient and optimistic. You should encourage your loved one to never give up no matter how hard the challenge.  You should communicate with each other of gain hope, confidence and navigation in the battle with multiple sclerosis.

Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis is not easy for your loved one to accept and adapt. By doing the tips above, you can help your loved one fight against multiple sclerosis. If they have serious symptoms of multiple sclerosis, do not hesitate to discuss with the doctor about supportive care.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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