What is motor neuron disease?
Motor neurone disease (MND) is a term used to describe a group of diseases that affect nerve cells called ‘motor neurones’. These diseases include:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Progressive muscular atrophy (PMA)
- Progressive bulbar palsy (PBP)
- Primary lateral sclerosis (PLS)
- Kennedy’s disease, also known as spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA)
Motor neurons are part of the body’s nervous system and normally carry messages from the brain to the muscles via the spinal cord. These messages allow people to make voluntary movements like walking, swallowing, talking and breathing.
MND progressively damages parts of the nervous system, affecting the motor neurons ability to send messages to the body’s muscles. Muscles gradually become weaker and waste away, eventually causing paralysis. Currently, there is no cure for MND and it is life-shortening. The speed at which MND progresses and life expectancy vary for each person.
As symptoms progressively worsen, people with motor neurone disease need increasing levels of care and medical support. While the advanced stages require full-time motor neurone disease care, there is no reason why a person with MND cannot continue to live in the comfort and safety of their own home with the right professional care and support.
What are the symptoms of motor neurone disease?
Motor neurone disease is a progressive disease that often starts slowly and worsens over time. Symptoms usually begin on one side of the body before spreading.
Usually, the first things people notice are:
- weakness in their hands and grip
- slurred speech
- weakness in their legs, and a tendency to trip
- weakness of their shoulder, making lifting difficult
- cramps and muscle spasms
Later on, people with MND:
- become very weak and have little or no movement
- have trouble talking, breathing and swallowing
- have discomfort and pain from symptoms
- display behaviour changes and inappropriate emotional responses due to some people developing forms of dementia.
Some, but not all people with MND, develop a type of dementia.
Treatment of motor neuron disease
While there is currently no cure for motor neurone disease there are treatment options that manage symptoms, delay the progress of the disease and maintain quality of life. A person with MND will usually require care and support from a range of health professionals such as neurologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and home care workers.
As the disease progresses, the help of medical devices and home modifications can assist in caring for the MND patient. These might include wheelchairs, hoists, feeding tubes, ventilators and communication technology.
How we help with MND
When you have help and support from a Country Cousin’s carer, you can rest assured that there’s someone always by your side, no matter what time of day or night.
We can match you with compassionate and experienced carers who will be on hand to help with a wide range of tasks to lighten the load, such as;
- Round-the-clock support, 7 days a week
- Help with bathing, toileting, and continence care
- Help with chores and errands such as grocery shopping and collecting prescriptions
- Domestic support like preparing meals, cleaning and laundry
- Administering medication, health monitoring and other support regimens
- Help with mobility and assisted transfers
- Companionship and moral support from a trusted, friendly face
- Provide guidance about options like feeding and breathing tubes as the disease progresses
"Country Cousins have sourced the most appropriate care to look after my mum’s challenging needs. The weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I no longer feel alone. I cannot recommend Country Cousins highly enough.”
- Jacqueline, Client's Daughter
Why Country Cousins?
With a Country Cousins carer by your side, you have peace of mind knowing that you are receiving the best home care and support possible. We are the longest-established introductory live-in care agency in the UK with over 60 years of experience. We are committed to providing care that nurtures dignity and independence in our clients, supporting them to live the best quality of life possible in the home they love.
We offer a free no-obligation enquiry service and are more than happy to provide any information you need. We can advise what services are best suited to your needs and preferences.
If you or a loved one have received an MND diagnosis, or have any other complex care needs, get in touch with us today. Our expert team is on hand Monday to Friday between 8 am and 6 pm ready to take your call. Call us today on 01293224706. Alternatively, fill in our online enquiry form.
Reviews from our clients
Great reviews on Trustpilot