Dealing with a multiple sclerosis diagnosis is a challenging experience for the patient, but in many ways it’s just as tough for the caregivers around them – their family and loved ones.
In episode four of Gulf News and Novartis’ five-part vodcast series, MS Talks – Keep Moving Forward, which will be launched this week, host Muna Al Harbi, a respected voice in dealing with the disease, has an honest discussion about the welfare of carers with two experienced MS professionals.
They are nurse Asma Ahmed, who has worked closely with more than 300 MS patients and their caregivers for several years, and nurse Joelle Massouh, the first healthcare professional in the Middle East to be double-certified as an MS nurse and certified specialist.
Both guests acknowledge that the unpredictability of MS can be an emotional strain on loved ones caring for someone with MS. No two days are necessarily the same, so needs vary.
They also advise carers to acquire as much knowledge as possible about MS so they feel somewhat empowered – the unknown being much scarier than hard facts.
“If family doesn't know that the best patients of multiple sclerosis have cognitive impairments like they cannot multitask, they forget a lot, they have trouble processing information… they will misinterpret behaviour of patients,” says Asma.
The nurses also stress the importance of caregivers attending to their mental well-being, advising seeking professional support for feelings of anger, fear, frustrations and depression. There is a wide range of support services in the UAE for families of MS sufferers – it’s just a case of reaching out.
Listen to the episode to get more valuable insights from two of the most knowledgeable voices in the field.
To follow the series click here