4 Signs of Multiple Sclerosis in Your Elderly Loved One

Recognizing Multiple Sclerosis in Seniors: 4 Key Signs

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A condition that affects the central nervous system, multiple sclerosis (MS) can lead to cognitive and mobility challenges in seniors. If your elderly loved one develops MS, early diagnosis and treatment can delay the progression of certain symptoms. To help you learn to recognize multiple sclerosis in your senior loved one, here are four common MS signs and symptoms. 

1. Numbness, Tingling, or Nerve Pain 

Numbness, localized tingling, and shooting nerve pains are some of the most common physical symptoms of MS. These symptoms aren’t a normal part of the aging process, particularly when they seem to linger for weeks at a time. If your loved one experiences pain in his or her hands, arms, or other areas that’s severe enough to make simple tasks like picking up a coffee mug difficult, it may be time to consult a physician. 

Older adults who have MS or other serious conditions and need help maintaining their independence while living at home can benefit from professional assistance. When considering senior care, Danville, CA, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

2. Muscle Stiffness or Paralysis 

Another common symptom of senior MS is extreme stiffness in arm or leg muscles. Muscle stiffness may lead your loved one to hold his or her body in an unusual manner, so keep your eyes peeled for limping or an awkward stance. To ensure you detect muscle stiffness, it’s also important to ask questions. Regularly have family members ask your loved one if he or she has noticed any muscle stiffness or loss of sensation and how long those feelings last when they’re present. 

Seniors with MS can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

3. Visual Abnormalities 

Vision problems are an ordinary part of aging, but seemingly random irregularities in normal visual function are also a common symptom of MS. Especially in the early stages of the disease, your loved one may complain of double vision or changes in color perception. While these differences in eyesight may seem harmless, they aren’t normal, particularly if they coexist with any unusual muscle or nerve pain. 

4. Cognitive Issues 

If your loved one begins experiencing cognitive challenges, such as memory loss or mood and personality changes, he or she should meet with a physician. While mental symptoms occur in only about 50 percent of seniors with MS, cognitive issues may be a symptom of this disease or another serious condition, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Take note of any sudden and unusual changes in memory or behavior and report them to your loved one’s doctor. 

The cognitive effects of MS can be especially challenging for a senior who is already living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Even when families have the best intentions, caring for a senior loved one with dementia can be challenging. Fortunately, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help. We are a leading provider of dementia care. Danville families can take advantage of our flexible and customizable care plans, and our caregivers always stay up to date on the latest developments in senior care. To create a customized in-home care plan for your loved one, call us today.