I urge you to check out the medical facilities and services around you that you can go use for a short stay when experiencing an exacerbation.
If and when you have an exacerbation (acute, short-term) and need additional help, you may not want to place the extra burden on your loved ones. Hiring a visiting nurse or relocating to a dedicated facility for a short stay may take some weight off family caregivers.
NOTE: I have never had an exacerbation so severe I needed to go to the hospital (and I've been dealing with MS a looooong time). I've never been in this position, but I do know others who have. So take this info as suggestions, brainstorming if you will.
Recently a friend had hernia surgery. He and his doctor decided that, rather than staying at the hospital or going to a rehab center, he would go home and have a visiting nurse come every few days to check his vitals and change the dressing on his wound. In addition, a visiting physical therapist came once-a-week.
Something like this might serve us when in the throes of an exacerbation. You could ask your doctor or the hospital to order it for you, or you may find a caregiver agency. Again, the time to compare is before you need it.
Also note: Many home care agencies offer hourly nursing services up to 24/7 live-in home health aide support as needed.
An assisted living residence is like an apartment with staff that can visit to provide you personal care support services such as meals, medication management, bathing, dressing and transportation, using the phone, and even shopping. But it also has it's own cooking facilities and it's own bathroom and some even allow pets.
It can be a long-term care option, so you may not be able to go at a moment's notice, like for an exacerbation, but more and more of these facilities do offer short-term stays as well. It's worth a call.
An assisted living community can provide both privacy and companionship.
Unlike assisted living facilities, nursing homes provide more intensive, 24/7 supervised medical care in a fully staffed and monitored facility.
Short-term stay is already generally expected for those who have been hospitalized due to injury or illness and require supervised care while recovering. Call and ask if they allow you to come in on your own.
I urge you to check out the medical facilities and services around you that you can go use for a short stay when experiencing an exacerbation. Before you need them, just in case. Discuss with your family the services you’ll need and might want.
It can take time to research and find ones you like, so doing it now, in a low-stress way, can make the decision to go so much easier. You will know what to expect.
Editor's note: Details have been changed to protect user privacy.