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Understanding the Effects of Multiple Sclerosis on Your Senior Loved One

By Manpreet Dhalla, 9:00 am on

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks the protective coating of nerves. While seniors can develop the disease, only five percent of patients with MS are diagnosed after the age of 50. Seniors with late onset MS tend to have progressive MS, which has slightly different symptoms. When seniors are diagnosed with MS, the symptoms of progressive MS combined with the symptoms of aging cause them to experience the disease in a different way than their younger counterparts. Here is what Ft. Lauderdale live-in caregivers can expect.

MS Symptoms Constantly Worsen

Normally, people with MS experience remissions where their symptoms are not as intense, but seniors with MS do not often experience symptoms that come and go. Rather, most seniors with MS tend to have symptoms that get progressively worse. As nerves continue to deteriorate, seniors with MS consistently experience trouble moving, tingling feelings in the hands, weakened muscles, numbed limbs, and vision problems.

Seniors With MS Have Less Depression

A 2014 study in the Psychology, Health, & Medicine Journal found that people diagnosed with MS after the age of 50 do not have the psychological symptoms of younger people with MS. Seniors with MS are not as likely to experience depression or anxiety after their diagnosis. The study authors think this may be because most seniors have already become used to physical abilities declining.

Bladder Problems Are More Likely

The nerve degeneration of MS makes it hard for the bladder and kidneys to work properly. Since old age already causes weakened bladder and kidney functions, seniors with MS commonly experience frequent urination, kidney stones, and even urinary tract infections.

Cognitive Impairment Happens Rapidly

MS normally causes white matter damage in the brain, which results in cognitive impairment. This makes it difficult for seniors to focus on things, remember items, and think logically. When the cognitive impairment of MS is combined with the associated brain degeneration of old age, difficulty thinking becomes evident quickly.

You can help your loved one meet the challenges of MS with help from a trusted senior care agency in Ft. Lauderdale such as Home Care Assistance. We provide personalized home care to meet your loved one’s individual needs and overcome the challenges associated with MS. Our professional caregivers offer personal care assistance to manage your loved one’s disease with the dignity and respect he or she deserves. Contact a knowledgeable Care Manager at (954) 909-0370 to learn more about our services and schedule an at-home consultation.