Caregiving is a special skill that some choose to develop professionally, but one that others learn out of necessity.
According to the Caregiver Action Network, there are 65 million family caregivers across the country. Nearly one-third of the adult population is providing an average of 20 hours of care per week. That’s an extensive, unpaid job, one that’s vital to protecting the health and safety of our loved ones, especially those with multiple sclerosis.
MS is a progressive disease that can cause significant physical disability and manifests with a broad range of symptoms, including weakness, sensory disturbance, bowel or bladder dysfunction, impaired mobility, and vision loss. As the abilities of a person living with MS gradually decline, caregivers must perform important functions to help those with MS stay more independent. Informal caregivers such as family members, friends, and neighbors help make it possible for people with MS to remain in their homes even as the need for personal assistance increases and physical and cognitive independence declines.
Caregivers have an important job, but may become highly burdened. Family caregiving, mostly unpaid, can cause emotional distress, isolation, feelings of abandonment, and economic difficulties. In contrast, however, caregiving can also strengthen relationships, improve coping skills, and encourage feelings of pride and accomplishment. Becoming a caregiver teaches you a lot about yourself and empathy.
Read this post in its entirety:
The Impact of Caregiver Fatigue in MS