How Our Rehabilitation Team Helps Seniors with Multiple Sclerosis

senior in wheelchair with multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an insidious disease, eating away at the protective sheath around nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, eventually damaging the nerves themselves. The symptoms can be subtle at first, with tingling or numbness in different parts of the body, muscle weakness, clumsiness, stiffness in your arms or legs, blind spots, or blurry vision.

Symptoms usually appear suddenly and then go away. But as time goes on, symptoms get worse and last longer. Movements get shaky, walking is difficult, speech becomes slurred. Some people suffer from incontinence. Others experience thinking and memory problems.

There are drugs that can help delay the progression of the disease. Rehabilitative therapies, such as physical, occupational and speech therapies, can also make life with MS easier.

 

Rehabilitation for MS

Because MS affects the nerves and muscles, you should look for rehabilitation therapists with expertise in neurology. Ideally, they’ll have experience treating people with MS. Exercises can be hard for those with MS; it’s easy to become fatigued and overheated (which can make symptoms worse). Your doctor can help direct you to the right multiple sclerosis rehabilitation specialist for help.

 

Your rehabilitation team

Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists will work with you to help you feel your best and live as independently as possible.

Physical therapy — The goal of physical therapy is to improve physical functioning. A physical therapist can help:

  •   Improve posture
  •   Manage pain
  •   Stretch tight muscles
  •   Improve balance
  •   Teach you to use a cane, walker, scooter or wheelchair

Occupational therapy — The goal of occupational therapy is to enhance your independence, productivity and safety when performing day-to-day activities. An occupational therapist can help:

  •   Find effective ways to perform tasks at home, work or elsewhere
  •   Provide strategies to cope with fatigue
  •   Recommend and teach how to use assistive devices
  •   Improve home safety

Speech therapy — The goal of speech therapy is to enhance ease and clarity of communication, as well as promote safe swallowing. A speech therapist can help:

  •   Evaluate problems with speech and swallowing
  •   Retrain muscles to make speech clearer and improve swallowing ability

 

Our rehabilitation team can improve your quality of life.

Our multidisciplinary approach includes physical, occupational and speech therapies. We also offer a dysphagia (swallowing) program that uses VitalStim® therapy in conjunction with conventional swallowing exercises to retrain muscles and improve motor control. In addition, we offer neurologic rehabilitation for MS, stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Our goal is to help seniors needing rehabilitation therapies achieve and maintain their best quality of life. To learn more about our rehabilitation services and short-stay amenities, visit our Rehabilitation page. Or use our Contact form, and one of our team members will be in touch.