6 Tips for MS Patients, Families and Loved Ones
Multiple sclerosis is a difficult disease to live with. With no known cure, patients often find the day-to-day struggle very challenging. But they’re not the only ones who live with the disease — friends, family and loved ones also have to learn how to deal.
To help everyone cope better, we’ve put together a list of six tips for patients, families, and loved ones. (source: National MS Society)
1. With or without MS, relationships are not easy.
All relationships require energy and effort to go through up and downs — even without a disease to complicate matters. It is almost inevitable that multiple sclerosis will add to the challenge.
Recognizing that MS affects the whole family is the first step to coping with MS in personal interactions. Many times, learning to live with the disease brings spouses, families, and friends closer together. It is important to never compare families and relationships to your own, under any circumstances.
5. Clear any negativity associated with caring.
In most cases, the caregivers of patients with multiple sclerosis are family members. Sometimes, patients may feel guilty or sad about the situation. However, there is no reason for associating caring for a loved one with anything negative. In fact, caring for someone you love who struggles with a chronic disease like MS can be very rewarding.
6. Isolation is always harmful.
Multiple sclerosis is a rare disease, but there are 400,000 patients in the U.S. in the same boat — and many others who are willing to support them and help out. There is no reason for a patient to be isolated. Being alone, or feeling alone, can lead to sadness and depression. Patients, family members, and other loved ones can seek help from MS support groups, either online or in person. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society also offers a tele learning program, Tips for People with MS and Their Partners – Planning for the Future.