Help for Multiple Sclerosis - living & mobility aids
There's a huge range of daily living and mobility aids available to help improve the quality of life of Multiple Sclerosis patients. But it's a sad fact that where you live and how wealthy you are tend to be the all important factors when it comes to acquiring some if any of these aids.
Because of the nature of the symptoms, some people with MS may find that they have trouble walking or coordinating. Simple things like getting in and out of bed, walking up the stairs, or opening a can become a major task. In severe case, sufferers find themselves housebound because they have no way of getting around.
Those who do their best to acquire and make the best use of any practical daily living aids available to them find this has a positive knock on effect in terms of how they cope with their illness psychologically.
Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Jennifer, 41, said: "During relapses I couldn't even open a cupboard or get out of a bath. That was depressing. Eventually I got a hoist for the bath and have lots of little gadgets around the house which make things easier such as a special kettle, a can opener and scissors. They're little things but they do make a big difference."
Help from Healthcare Bodies
The UK is lucky enough to have a National Health Service and the majority of European countries all have some sort of social healthcare. These government health services take care and help with the medical side of the illness and, in varying degrees, meet the daily living needs of Multiple Sclerosis patients.
In some European countries physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments provide various aids that can make an MS sufferer's life easier - wheelchairs, bath hoists, walking frames and grip aids to name but a few. But these departments are normally over stretched financially and equipment is given out on loan rather than on a permanent basis.
Social services departments may help with the provision of wheelchairs and daily living aids. But often these departments are so over worked and under funded that a person in dire need may have to wait several months to be assessed before any decision can be made on what equipment can be made available.
In Britain, a person with MS is normally financially assessed by social services to see how much practical support they are entitled to. If they happen to have some money in the bank they might find they have to pay for certain items.
In many countries the burden falls on charities to help out with the things that make daily living easier for someone with multiple sclerosis.
Voluntary organizations can offer advice, support and practical assistance. Charities such as the USA’s National MS Society (http://www.nmss.org) and the Disabled Living Foundation (http://www.dlf.org.uk) in the UK do provide grants and practical equipment.