Multiple Sclerosis

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a condition of the central nervous system. It is characterised by sclerosis which is scarring that interferes with nerve impulses within the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.

It means that the brain cannot talk to other parts of the body, resulting in a range of symptoms that can include a loss of motor functions.

The symptoms of MS are extremely variable for all individuals and can also change over time, but typically they can include:

 

 

 

  • Extreme tiredness (unusual fatigue)
  • Visual disturbances, such as blurred or double vision
  • Difficulties with walking, balance or coordination
  • Altered muscle tone ie: muscle weakness, tremor, stiffness or spasms
  • Dizziness and vertigo
  • Altered sensation, such as tingling, numbness or pins and needles
  • Sensitivity to heat and/or cold
  • Pain
  • Bladder and bowel changes
  • Emotional and mood changes
  • Sexual changes
  • Changes in concentration, memory and slurring speech

Often diagnosed between the ages of 20 to 40, it’s the most common acquired chronic neurological disease affecting young adults and, in Australia, it affects three times more women than men. As yet, there is no cure.

Support from the NDIS

If and when the condition progresses, people with MS may have an increased need for assistance with personal care and other daily living activities. Progressive symptoms such as difficult to manage bladder and bowel problems, cognitive deficits or severe spasticity can significantly limit mobility and the ability to engage in social interactions.

 

 

The NDIS provides financial help for therapy, assisted living and transport and mobility equipment. For adults to qualify for support from the NDIS, you need to provide one of the following disability evidences:

  • Disease steps
  • Patient determined disease steps (PDDS)
  • Other: Expanded disability status scale (EDSS).

At home with Forsight

Especially as symptoms progress, multiple sclerosis can be socially isolating, but at a Forsight home, it doesn’t need to be. We work to create an engaged and caring environment that looks after all the needs and demands of daily life while also providing opportunities for community engagement and social interaction.

For clients whose progressive condition requires the use of a wheelchair, it’s reassuring to know that all Forsight support staff are trained in manual handling so they can safely and comfortably provide every assistance required – from repositioning to transportation, dressing to assisted sitting.

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