Motor neurone disease (MND) is a life-changing condition that can be mentally and physically challenging for both those diagnosed and their loved ones. Living with the illness can mean constantly readapting as the symptoms progress over time, and you may require additional support both medically and emotionally in order to deal with these changes. However, we know that remaining in familiar surroundings, in your own home amongst loved ones, is an excellent way to cope positively with the challenges of MND and remain as comfortable and independent as possible.
Motor neurone disease is a relatively rare condition; it is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones in the body, which leads to muscle weakness and wastage. Around 5,000 people suffer from MND in the UK; it is usually diagnosed in those around 60 years of age. However, it can also affect both younger and older age groups. Whilst the condition affects both men and women, it is twice as likely to be diagnosed in males.
The symptoms of motor neurone disease begin to show themselves slowly over the course of weeks and months. They usually occur on one side of the body to begin with, and will get progressively worse. Early symptoms include slurred speech, weakened shoulders that makes lifting the arm problematic, weakened grip – leading to difficulty holding or picking up objects, and a ‘foot drop’ caused by weak muscles in the ankles. Motor neurones control important muscle activity such as walking, swallowing, gripping, speaking and breathing. In MND the motor neurones stop working properly, making muscle activity increasingly difficult, causing the above symptoms.
Damage to the motor neurones will progress over time, meaning symptoms can spread to other parts of the body making the illness increasingly debilitating. Eventually, a sufferer may be find moving, communicating, swallowing and breathing extremely difficult. However, providing a person with the right support to make them comfortable, and compensating for the loss of bodily functions with medical equipment can ensure they maintain the best quality of life possible.
Home Care Preferred understand that caring for a loved one with motor neurone disease, and dealing with the progressive nature of the symptoms, can be very upsetting and daunting. That is why our team members are fully trained to minimise the disruption an MND diagnosis can cause by providing the support sufferers, families and friends may need to help them cope. Together, we create a support plan that is tailored to your specific needs, allowing you to stay in the comfort of your own home, and continue to participate in the daily activities you enjoy, with dignity and as much independence as possible.
Specially trained to provide expert MND support, our support assistants offer a wide range of assistance such as help around the house, medication administration and personal care. From meal preparation and household chores to more sensitive issues– such as toileting, bathing and continence care – we are there to carry out all the practical care aspects with empathy and discretion. We can help you monitor your medication, including Riluzole and pain relief, to ensure you are comfortable and managing your symptoms. This gives your family and friends the opportunity to spend more quality time creating special memories.
Our support assistants understand that as the condition progresses some extremely difficult decisions may have to be made. They are there to offer emotional support and companionship. Our team members are there to discuss your choices as symptoms begin to worsen over time, guiding you through options such as feeding and breathing tubes, with compassion and knowledge – always keeping your loved one’s specific needs and desires at the heart of everything we do. A chat about shared likes, dislikes and hobbies can really boost morale and improve quality of life. That is why we ensure you or your loved one is matched with a support assistant with a complementary personality, as well as the relevant skill set to make the entire family feel as at ease as possible.
Deciding to let a support assistant into your home for you or a loved one can be difficult. Deciding how best to support and treat the resulting issues of an MND diagnosis is something that, understandably, worries people considering homecare for a motor neurone disease patient. Our experienced, friendly team members are here to explain all aspects of the MND care and support services we offer, and provide quality, impartial advice and information.
Contact us today to learn more about MND care support services from our expert team.
Find out more about motor neurone disease from the Motor Neurone Disease Association.