Caring for someone with MND can be extremely physically and emotionally challenging. The IMNDA endeavours to support families and those with MND through this by providing counselling, funding for extra home help hours, practical advice and how things can be done easier and the confirmation that the caregiver is doing a good job. For the majority of people they will manage, however for others the strain and the physical exhaustion that caregivers experience can be over whelming and a break is imperative. Over many years of practice, our MND nurses are very adept at noticing the signs of burnout in caregivers. Often our nurses will request respite in the hospice for a period to allow caregivers ‘recharge their batteries’.
Some people with MND will develop changes in thinking, reasoning and behaviour. These changes can be subtle and have very little effect on day to day life, however the changes for others may be very distressing as they can present with a person with MND having little or no empathy for their caregivers or families, often being apathetic about events around them and giving the false impression that they have become very selfish. For families that experience this, the day services of the hospice can be their lifeline. This allows families to digest symptoms of MND, acknowledge them and be able to cope with them when the person returns home.
The day services from the hospice have proved to be extremely beneficial for those who have opted to access them. Alternative therapies such as reflexology and art/music therapies are available and the majority of people really enjoy them and the opportunity to be with others who are dealing with their own battles.
The hospice also gives people the opportunity to speak with a social worker who can assist with forward planning or other issues that may arise such as access to a medical card. For more information on Caring for someone with MND, please see our additional online resources HERE.