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June Halper: The Role of Caregiver in MS Is Extremely Important

Since multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease with no cure or control, the role of a caregiver or care partner is very important, said June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN, chief executive officer, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.


Since multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease with no cure or control, the role of a caregiver or care partner is very important, said June Halper, MSN, APN-C, MSCN, FAAN, chief executive officer, Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers.

Transcript

How important of a role do caregivers play within the care team for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Caregivers, it depends on how you describe the word caregivers. Are you talking about family members? Certainly, caregivers or care partners are vital in any chronic illness. The care partner, the care partner support is vital to help the patient through the hump of being diagnosed, then the hump of having a relapse or getting worse or starting a new medication.

But also, you could define a caregiver as somebody professional, such as a nurse, a physician, a rehab specialist, mental health expert. So, the caregiving model in MS is extremely important, because it’s a disease that lasts a lifetime and trying to tackle this by yourself is a lonely job. So, everyone needs someone who understands what you’ve been through.

The other caregiver or care partner could be someone else with MS. The role of a support group can’t be underestimated. To have someone that understands your feelings, that feeling of isolation or the feeling of uncertainty. So, sometimes the caregiver or care partner is someone else who is undergoing the diagnostic experience or dealing with the ongoing problems of MS.

I think until we start seeing more of a cure or a control of the disease, that whole caregiving model is a very important model for us to deal with.

 
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