Understanding What Happens in Late-Stage MS
While the symptoms of multiple sclerosis may vary between individuals, late-stage MS is evidenced by a marked reduction in mobility and increased dependence on others for the most basic of life functions. Early stages of MS may begin with simple muscle weakness, difficulty speaking, tremors or dizziness and these symptoms increase in intensity over time. Understanding what happens during late-stage MS is vital to help provide a caring and safe environment for your loved one.
Mobility Loss and Physical Dependency
During late-stage MS, it’s not unusual for your loved one to no longer be able to write, speak or take care of their personal needs. The disease itself is not fatal, but the subsequent symptoms have been shown to significantly shorten life spans of MS sufferers by up to 7 years. There are no true timeframes for when to expect various symptoms with the disease, as progressions tend to be based on the individual. A few of the symptoms of late-stage MS include:
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Numbness and tingling of various body parts
- Loss of mobility or trouble balancing
- Problems with memory or loss of cognitive skills
- Headaches and hearing loss
- Fatigue, as well as pains in the muscles, joints and nerves
- Coordination challenges, tremors or unsteadiness
While there are no known cures for MS, there are ways that caregivers can bring peace and comfort to those suffering from this disease. During the final stages where ongoing care is required, it’s crucial that caregivers are able to provide ongoing support for their loved ones. Taking time for respite is extremely important to the health and well-being of your loved one and family, as it can easily become overwhelming to manage the care of a late-stage MS patient without adequate support.
At Santé, our caregivers have experience with all stages of MS and are committed to helping those stricken with the disease improve their quality of life throughout each stage. Providing caring and compassionate palliative care can help patients and caregivers alike retain dignity during this difficult time. Contact us today at 480-563-2402 or visit one of our convenient locations to learn more about the services that Santé offers for late-stage MS patients.