5 MS Myths You Should Know the Truth About
By Kevin Edwards, President
If you’ve recently become a family caregiver for an older adult with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may be trying to learn everything you can about the disease. Education about the condition is certainly an important step. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it can be easy to stumble across misinformation and hard to tell what’s real and what’s not.
To help you sort out truth from fiction, here are 5 myths about MS and the facts about them.
Myth #1: MS Leads to Death
Truth: People with MS live about as long as anyone else. In fact, people with MS typically die from the same things that other people do, like cancer and heart disease. This myth may stem from complications that develop in some people that worsen overall health and do shorten their lives a bit. There are also rare cases of MS that progress very quickly and result in early death. But, again, these cases are very rare. Most MS patients have a normal lifespan.
Myth #2: There’s No Need to Treat MS if the Symptoms Aren’t Bothersome
Truth: Although some people are fortunate enough to have only mild symptoms, especially in the early stages, it’s still best to follow the treatment plan suggested by the doctor. Receiving treatment for the disease can reduce the number of flare-ups the person has and make them less severe. In addition, medications can make the disease progress more slowly.
Myth #3: People Who Have MS Cannot Exercise
Truth: In the past, experts thought that exercising would make MS symptoms worse, so they advised people not to be physically active. However, doctors today know that exercise is important to help MS patients to stay healthy and strong. It may even help to delay the progression of the disease.
Myth #4: MS Does Not Affect the Brain
Truth: It’s true that MS is thought to primarily affect a person’s ability to move well. However, there is a cognitive aspect to the disease, too. It can affect memory, thinking ability, and how a person processes information.
Myth #5: Family Caregivers for People with MS Don’t Need Help
Truth: Everyone who is a caregiver for an older adult, regardless of their medical condition, could use some help now and then. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with the needs of your aging relative as well as other responsibilities, homecare can help. Homecare providers can take care of many of the tasks you do for your family member, giving you more time for yourself. Homecare providers can clean, cook, do laundry, and run errands. Homecare providers can also offer companionship, ensuring that your loved one is not lonely or bored, and that they are safe.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Homecare Services in the Overland Park KS area, please contact the caring staff at Elder Care of Kansas City, today. Proudly serving Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass Counties in Missouri as well as Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas for over 30 years. Call us at 816-333-3322.
Kevin Edwards, President
Kevin’s life and the lives of his immediate family have been impacted by caregivers – either as a patient or a caregiver – for as long as he can remember. He watched his mother take care of his grandmother until her death at the age of 97. Five years later, his father passed from a neurological disorder that was subsequently confirmed as Lewy Body Dementia. In 2007, his wife, Lori, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. The symptoms of Lori’s disease required Kevin to hire a caregiver during the periods of her relapses.
Prior to purchasing Elder Care, Kevin spent over 20 years in the health insurance industry. In his most recent position, he was in a financial operations role with Humana where he worked with doctors, nurses and other health professionals developing programs to keep Humana members healthy. Their focus on primary care and medication adherence improved the lives of thousands of seniors in Kansas City and the surrounding area.