(HARTLAND, WISCONSIN) – November is National Family Caregivers Month. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Wisconsin Chapter shares these tips from experts for those who are helping a loved one living with a chronic disease:
- Share the load. Say yes when a neighbor offers to make dinner. If you can afford it, hire help where you need it most.
- Set aside “me time.” Attend your favorite exercise class or meet a friend for lunch. It will help you recharge and avoid feeling resentful.
- Do activities with your loved one that you enjoyed together before the disease affected your life, or find new ways to do what you used to enjoy.
- Seek support. Speak with a counselor or join a support group to learn communication and coping tools and to connect with others in similar circumstances.
- Keep a sense of humor. Smiling and laughter even in a stressful situation can help you let go of some of your frustrations.
[Attribution: “Becoming Carepartners,” by Kelly Pate Dwyer, Momentum magazine, Fall 2014]
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to cognitive challenges, blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million worldwide, including more than 11,000 children, women and men in Wisconsin – believed to be one of the higher prevalence rates in the nation.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
The Society mobilizes people and resources so that everyone affected by MS can live their best lives as we stop MS in its tracks, restore what has been lost and end MS forever. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2014 alone, through our comprehensive nationwide network of programs and services, the Society devoted $122.2 million to connect more than one million individuals to the people, information and resources they needed. To move closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $50.2 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Learn more at: www.nationalMSsociety.org.
Early and ongoing treatment with an FDA-approved therapy can make a difference for people with multiple sclerosis. Learn about your options by talking to your health care professional and contacting the National MS Society at nationalMSsociety.org or 1-800-FIGHT-MS (344-4867), or contact the Wisconsin Chapter directly at 262-369-4400.