Around the world, medical practices, communities, and support groups take time to advocate for family and friends with multiple sclerosis. May 30th is World Multiple Sclerosis Day, and it’s a good time to advocate for your mom’s care going forward with this progressive disease. MS affects about one million Americans. While most are diagnosed by the age of 50, the disease can impact older adults. Your mom having MS isn’t surprising as three times more women than men have the disease. What’s important is that you educate yourself on what happens next and how occupational therapy helps.
Smokers Have a Higher Risk
If your mom smokes, she needs to stop. Studies have found that smokers have a 1.6 time greater risk of developing MS. and that symptoms are more likely to rapidly progress. Occupational therapists can play a part in a successful smoking cessation program.
Balance Skills Can Be Improved Through Routine Chores
Your mom hates to exercise, but she keeps losing her balance and falling. Occupational therapy can teach her how to turn routine chores like washing dishes or dusting to build a stronger core. That helps with fall reduction.
Most Patients Progress Slowly
Even after an MS diagnosis, most patients progress slowly and will live with MS for decades. Around 66% of MS patients are still mobile 20 years after diagnosis. As it does progress, an occupational therapist can help your mom learn how to use assistive aids like a cane or walker to get around her home and community.
Certain Times of Day Are Easier Than Others
Some MS patients find they have more energy and stamina at certain hours than others. An occupational therapist can help your mom find her optimal hours to maximize her ability to get things done.
Occupational Therapy Works on Three Areas
When your mom works with an occupational therapist, they will focus on the different aspects of three areas: leisure, productivity, and self-care. Within each of these areas, your mom will work on skills like these.
- Leisure – Participation in recreational and social events and activities, including family gatherings, community festivals, and outings to theaters.
- Productivity – Participation in activities that leave you feeling productive, like volunteering, yardwork, household management, and finances/bill paying.
- Self-Care – Taking care of your mental and physical needs, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, toileting, and medication management.
Occupational therapy benefits people with MS in many ways. Talk to your mom’s doctor and then call an advisor about area occupational therapy appointments. Your mom may struggle to get to an office, but that doesn’t mean she can’t go without.
Occupational therapists can come to her home and help her learn how to complete her daily activities of living. Arrange occupational therapy and help her navigate the changes MS is going to bring to her life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Occupational Therapy in Media, PA, and the surrounding area, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care. (484) 206-4544
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