Multiple Sclerosis is a condition that affects your brain and spinal cord. When someone is living with MS the coating that affects the nerves, called myelin is damaged. More than 130,000 people in the UK are living with MS and most people find out they have MS when they are relatively young, in their thirties, forties and fifties. However, many people find signs of MS start years earlier and symptoms can be experienced long before they get a diagnosis.
According to leading charity, the MS Society there is an estimated 7,000 people newly diagnosed every year in the UK, meaning one in 500 people in the UK are living with the condition and it affects almost three times as many women as it does men. Read more here from the NHS on MS care.
Please get in touch to arrange your live-in care home assessment.
There are many symptoms that present in a person living with MS and vary widely from person to person, affecting any part of the body. Depending on the type of MS you have, symptoms will vary and will come and go in phases or get steadily worse over time.
The main symptoms include:
Vision problems, such as blurred vision
Bladder control problems
Numbness and tingling in different parts of the body
Muscle stiffness and spasms
Problems with balance and co-ordination
Problems with thinking, learning and planning
Types of MS
There are four forms of MS that all require a flexible approach to how care is provided to someone living with the condition:
Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS)
This is the most common form of MS affecting about 75%-85% of people who are diagnosed. People living with RRMS will have temporary periods where symptoms flare up, called relapse or new symptoms appear, then the symptoms disappear – this is called remission.
Secondary-Progressive MS (SPMS)
With SPMS a person’s symptoms will worsen more steadily over time, with or without relapses and remissions. Before disease-modifying therapies were available 50% of people with RRMS progressed to SPMS approximately 10 years after diagnosis.
Primary-Progressive MS (PPMS)
This type of MS is not very common occurring in only 10% of people with MS and is characterised by slowly worsening symptoms from the beginning without any relapses or remissions.
Progressive-Relapsing MS (PRMS)
This is a very rare form of MS occurring in 5% of people with MS. Those living with PRMS have steadily worsening symptoms from the beginning with acute relapses and no remissions, with or without recovery.
Multiple Sclerosis care at home
We have been supporting people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) to live a fulfilled and purposeful life in the comfort of their own home for over 10 years. It can be an unsettling and worrying time for families when a loved one is diagnosed with the condition, but you do not have to face it alone. The Good Care Group’s multiple sclerosis care at home means you can live well with the condition, maintaining as much independence as possible with the right level of care and support.
Home is best for MS care
We know that many people with a diagnosis of MS are relatively young, so the thought of moving into an elderly care home or a specialist residential setting is hugely upsetting.
Receiving compassionate care in the safety and familiarity of your own home has far reaching benefits in improving wellbeing for a person living with MS, enabling them to continue to live life the way they choose. The personalised support we provide from a highly trained and well-matched carer is delivered on a one-to-one basis and is proven to improve quality of life and health outcomes for an individual living with MS. Our flexible approach to providing high quality MS care, with a fully managed and regulated service that families can rely on is setting the standards in live in care for MS patients at home.
MS live-in care
At The Good Care Group, we believe that people needing multiple sclerosis care at home have the right to enjoy a high quality of life, with as much independence as possible. We know how important it is for people to retain choice and control in life, and for many the desire to remain in their own home and community is essential to their overall health and wellbeing.
Our live-in care service for those living with MS is highly personalised focusing on a true understanding of the fluctuating and individual nature of the condition. Our expert care team truly understand the need for proactive and effective medication regimes when supporting a person living with MS. We adopt a compassionate, flexible and holistic approach to care at home recognising the varying symptoms that a person can experience, but also the impact on their emotional, social and psychological wellbeing.
What does our care for MS patients at home include?
Specialist nurse-led care
Importantly for those living with MS, we provide nurse-led care which means our professional carers are trained to monitor and identify any changes in your health, responding appropriately and avoiding any unnecessary hospital admissions. As part of our commitment to delivering a high-quality home care service, we monitor and measure health outcomes to ensure we continually improve the care we provide.
Managing and administering medications
Our professional carers are trained in medications management and use an electronic medications system to ensure all medications are managed proactively and effectively. They will also collect prescriptions from the pharmacy.
Ensuring safe mobility in and around the home
We have an in-house Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper who will provide expert guidance and advice as to what equipment can help improve safe movement and mobility around your home, whilst minimising falls. Jackie is well placed to provide guidance and recommendations on home adaptations that aim to improve the way you live your life in your home.
Companionship as and when you need it
Our carers will provide companionship whilst ensuring your privacy is respected. We ensure that a perfectly matched carer shares similar values and interests to make life interesting, stimulating and enjoyable, whilst being there for you to support your emotional and psychological needs.
Providing discreet and sensitive personal care
This can include the task-orientated aspects of caring for someone, like bathing and getting dressed, but also those that promote self-esteem, like having your nails maintained, or your hair styled.
Planning and cooking meals
Meals will be planned and cooked according to your choice, preferences and nutritional needs, all served at a time that suits you.
Facilitating social arrangements in the home
Your carer will ensure you can invite friends over for socialisation and celebrations, providing the support you need to enjoy yourself and not worry about organising anything.
Trips and visits out of the home in your local community
Our carers know how important it is to ensure you can continue to do as much you wish and that you remain connected to your local community – whether that is a stroll round the local park or attending clubs or groups in the local area or visiting friends or those shops you always have.
This includes cleaning of all rooms and vacuuming throughout to keep your house to the standards of cleanliness and tidiness you always have.
Caring for your much-loved pet
Carers will happily support looking after your pet, including taking dogs for regular walks.
MS live-in care, short term care or respite care
Given the changing nature of MS symptoms and how they present, we provide our specialist MS care service as either 24 hour live-in care, as a short term care arrangement or as respite care.
With a full time, live-in care arrangement a professional carer will live with you in your home providing around the clock care and support, focused on improving your overall health and wellbeing and enhancing the quality of your life. There are many benefits of 24 hour care, not least that the carer will truly get to know you as a person, so not just your care needs are met, but they will be on hand to support you to live life the way you wish, with as much independence as possible.
Respite care or a short term arrangement provides an opportunity for a family carer to take a much needed break from caring for someone living with MS or for you to try live-in care for the first time to see how live-in care works and whether it is the right choice for you in
Holiday services for those living with MS
We know that those living with MS are typically younger than those living with other complex conditions, like dementia and Parkinson’s, which means there is a greater appetite to continue to live life like you always have despite the diagnosis of MS. Our holiday service enables you to go on a much-needed break, either in the UK or overseas, with the support of a professional carer who will accompany you to have the time away you wish.
Case study: Martha’s MS care at home story
My husband and I shared our home together for more than 50 years. He passed away in 2002, but my MS was diagnosed long before that. I have been living with it for 40 years now and have always been determined to lead my own life and to carry on teaching English, which I loved.
I retired, proudly at 65, and it has only been recently that my mobility has worsened, and I have found myself increasingly relying on my daughter Mary.
A few months ago, I fell ill with a bad chest infection. I became so poorly I was admitted to hospital, where there were complications. I had spent so long in bed in hospital, I had trouble even standing up, let alone walking without some help. My appetite was gone. I lost a lot of weight and all I wanted to do was get back home, so my daughter Mary got in touch with The Good Care Group.
One of their managers visited me at home and went through a very thorough assessment, not so much of the house, but of me! The sort of person I am, what I like to do and where I like to go. So, when they introduced me to two of their carers, Janice and Annika, we found we had a lot in common and got on well from day one.
They work on a rota – one for two weeks, then the other takes over. They have both been trained by the MS Society and have cared for people with the condition before which has been a tremendous help. They never try and take over. This is still my home and things are done my way. They just give me the support I need to make life easier and do what I need to do.
To me, they are much more than carers. They are true companions. We talk about books and plays and because my eyesight is not as good as it was, they will often read me my favourite poems. Janice came with me to buy some audiobooks, so I have got the classics on tap! Both have worked with my physiotherapist and every morning and evening we do my exercises together.
And now, three months after coming home, I can get around the house by myself using a frame – it is a big step forward in every sense. My appetite is coming back, mainly thanks to the lovely meals they make for me.
Best of all, Mary is planning a short holiday for us in Cornwall – something I would not have thought would be possible when I first came back home. I cannot wait!
“Seeing my mother come home after such a long stay in hospital and watch her go from strength to strength has been a blessing. The fact that she can now look forward to a holiday has really boosted her self-esteem.” Martha’s daughter, Mary
Why choose The Good Care Group for Multiple Sclerosis home care?
There are many compelling reasons to use The Good Care Group for high quality MS care.
At The Good Care Group we work collaboratively with leading MS charities in the UK, including the MS Society and the MS Trust to provide care for MS patients at home. Their expertise and support enables us to deliver high standards of care to those living with MS in their own home environment.
Our professional carers are trained to support the wide ranging and varying symptoms of the condition working with our clients’ daily routines, needs, wishes and preferences.
Access to our experts
Our expert Occupational Therapist, Jackie Cooper provides our clients with the support they need to live safely and well at home, with all the equipment and any home adaptations they need to help them to live a fulling life, as independently as possible.
We work closely with and liaise with all other healthcare professionals involved in delivering care to someone living with MS, including GP’s, district nurses and physiotherapists to ensure all health needs through a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to care planning.
We have a dedicated in-house Specialist Consultant Nurse, Dr Jane Pritchard who develops, leads and supports our approach to delivering high quality care at home for those living with MS. Dr Pritchard will ensure our care teams are supported to not only effectively manage medications but are able to provide support with several complex medical inventions.
A perfectly matched care team
A live-in care service usually involves two carers working a two-week rotation. They will be carefully matched working with you and your family. We make sure they are skilled and equipped to meet all your care and support needs. Our focus on matching means the care team chosen share common interests and backgrounds. We know this means life is enjoyable for everyone. Your care team really get to know you and your needs, which means you get consistency of care.
Expertly trained carers
All our professional carers are required to complete our leading training programme before they care for our clients. Our programme has been created with leading charities and clinical experts. It goes beyond mandatory requirements in the care sector. Carers are then equipped to provide high-quality care and support for those living with specialist conditions. Our carers never stop learning new skills to further enhance the care they provide.
Continuity of care
Unlike an agency we employ our carers. This means they are committed to us, as we are to them. Carers enjoy the security of being employed, which means they stay with us longer. Those who work for agencies move around more. For families this means that you get continuity and consistency of the same care team caring for your loved one. This means high-quality care can be achieved with improved outcomes and no disruption to your loved one’s life.
Innovative care technology
Unlike any other live-in care provider, we have our own online care community. Families, healthcare professionals and carers can access up to date information about the care being provided. It enables more effective monitoring, which means issues can be responded to efficiently. For our families it provides a reassuring window into the care their loved one is receiving. Our carers also use the online community to share ideas and support each other. It provides a vital connection which is important when remote working. Carers will use the online community so their clients can enjoy time online. This includes video calls with family, so they feel connected. Clients can use it to shop online or browse the web.
Improving health outcomes
Every decision we make is driven by delivering improved health outcomes for our clients. Our digital technology allows us to predict risk and shape the care we provide. We measure health outcomes. We want to know we are improving the quality of our clients’ lives every year.
Our health and well-being aim to reduce:
behaviours that may challenge
Antipsychotic drugs in dementia care
Falls in the home
Re-admission to hospital
Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
They aim to promote:
Excellent nutrition and hydration
Enjoyment in life
Highest service rating from care regulators in England and Scotland
Unlike introduction agencies we are fully regulated in England and Scotland. This means the care and support we provide is regularly inspected. We are the only dedicated live-in care provider in England to achieve an ‘Outstanding’ rating by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We have achieved this rating in all five measures – safe, effective, caring responsive and well-led. In Scotland, our service has been inspected by the Care Inspectorate (CI). It has achieved the highest rating of a 6 (Excellent) for quality of care and support and 5 (very good) for staffing, management and leadership. We know this provides families with peace of mind that their loved one is receiving the best possible MS care.
A fully managed service
Families benefit from our fully managed service delivered by care experts. This means you do not need to worry about supervising and managing the carer looking after your loved one. Our professional carers are supervised by an experienced care manager and supported by clinical experts. We provide this support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your dedicated care manager will be on hand to support you, your loved one and our carer teams. We invest in our care management team to ensure they have enough time to give the support everyone needs. With our fully managed care for MS service, families do not have the burden of managing the care arrangement themselves. We know this means families can have peace of mind, whilst enjoying quality time with their loved one. They do not have to worry about the tasks of caring.
Local teams with national coverage
We operate throughout England and Scotland with a local approach to management of our teams near you. Each dedicated care manager providing care for MS patients at home is local to you and only has a small number of clients to support. This means they can provide higher levels of monitoring and support than other home care providers. It also means a highly personalised approach to care can be delivered.
What is included in our service?
Our highly personalised multiple sclerosis in home care service includes:
Full assessment before care starts
Bespoke and flexible care plan developed with input from the family and other healthcare professionals
Matching of the most suitable care team to meet the holistic needs of our clients
Dedicated care team led by an expert regional care manager
Meal planning and household tasks
Social activities and lifestyle enhancement
Specialist support and expertise – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Access to clinical expertise and medical support
Costs of our MS care
The cost of care for people living with MS and other advanced neurological conditions will be typically higher as it is a specialist care at home service.
It is worth considering however that live-in care is often cheaper than the total cost of domiciliary care for people living with MS. When a person is receiving hourly care, provided by a domiciliary care provider it is likely that you will be charged extras for additional services to support the person’s MS needs on top of the cost of a carer visiting. These extras add up and can become costly over time. The total cost to provide hourly care to someone living with high or complex needs can sometimes exceed the price of an inclusive live-in care service.
MS care at home is typically in line with – and sometimes less than – what you would pay for residential care, with the added benefit of receiving one-to-one tailored care, something that cannot be achieved in a care home.
We are committed to supporting families through their MS journey with information that helps inform their decisions when planning long term care. There are a number of leading charities in the UK supporting those living with MS and their families, including the MS Society, the MS Trust and MS-UK. The MS Trust has a comprehensive range of useful guides and publications covering a number of different topics that you can download free of charge from their website.