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Dad’s Multiple Sclerosis is Getting Worse: What are the Steps to Making His Life Safer?

Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive neurological condition that affects a person's mobility. Depending on how long your Dad has been living with his Multiple Sclerosis and how quickly it's progressing, his mobility and the number of things he can get done independently, are going to become more and more challenging as time goes on. Of course, your primary concern is going to be his safety, followed very quickly by his desire to live as independently as he can, for as long as he can.

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What Can Dad Still Do Alone?

Think about your dad's mobility issues and how much he still can and can't do by himself. Driving, for example, is an obvious red flag where safety is concerned. Deciding when to stop driving is an individual decision, but certainly if your dad is experiencing vision changes, an inability to physically drive, even with adaptations to his car, or cognitive changes  are impacting his ability to make quick decisions, it may be time to start the difficult conversation about giving up the car keys.

In his own home, it would be wise to assess how well he is able to manage everyday tasks including meal preparation, bathing, or managing a bedtime routine such as going upstairs, undressing and getting into bed. You will have more peace of mind if you can keep your dad safe while completing these difficult, and possibly hazardous, tasks.  

Making Adaptations to Dad's Home

These more risk-filled tasks happen in key areas around the house that you can make easy adaptations to with elder safety devices in order to create a safe environment. In the bathroom, for example, installing grab bars is essential, while an elevated toilet seat, non-skid mats in the bath or shower floor and a seat for showering are easy adaptations that make life safer.

Access to a lower work surface your dad can use while sitting down will minimize the risk of accidents. Easy access to the items he needs most often and modified utensils will also cut down on dangerous scenarios.

Make sure your dad has direct access to a phone, panic button or medical alert device and keep a list of emergency numbers where he can clearly see them.

Think About the Long-Term Plan

Caring for someone with Multiple Sclerosis can be difficult and your dad's in-home care needs are likely to be unpredictable. The most common type of multiple sclerosis has periods of remission followed by periods of relapse, which means Dad might be able to cope well for some days or weeks, and then suddenly need a drastic increase in support.

Often, the family members who are providing care, are unable to manage the responsibility of care alone. Investigate your future options now, even if you think you can manage for a little longer on your own. Doing your research ahead of time will make it easier for you to make decisions when a crisis arises, later.

Home Care services are an option that can work for your dad if you or whoever is the main caregiver needs some respite. You can also organise for a home health aide to help if there are some crucial times of the day that you can't be there. This option also gives you the peace of mind that comes with having a reliable, regular Home Care professional in your dad's home.

Building a relationship with a caregiver from a Home Care company when your dad's Multiple Sclerosis is not at a very critical stage could be a good idea, as it gives your dad the opportunity to build a trusting relationship - before his health declines.

If you need assistance finding the right caregiver for your dad now that his Multiple Sclerosis is getting worse, please call our experienced and compassionate team.

Founded in 2008, Ezra Home Care offers live-in home care, 24-hour care, and hourly senior care.
All our caregivers are state-certified and provide services like personal carehousekeepingcompanionship, help with medication, and transportation assistance. We've spent 15 years refining our caregiver selection process to ensure families' peace of mind. Reach out for details and quotes.

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or call us at 617-527-9000

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