What is Motor Neurone Disease?
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) is a neurological condition where the neurones that transmit messages between the brain and spinal cord to the muscles deteriorate. As these messages are not getting through the muscles are no longer used, leading to them becoming weak and gradually wasting. Symptoms can be well managed to maximise quality of life.
What are the common difficulties associated with Motor Neurone Disease?
Motor Neurone Disease (MND) can cause a wide range of challenges in daily life. Some of these include:
- Difficulty moving in and around the home arising as mobility deteriorates. Particularly getting up and down the stairs, using the bath or shower and getting on and off chairs, beds or the toilet.
- Challenges completing previous work roles as the condition and symptoms progress.
If you would like to learn more about how we as occupational therapists can help people overcome common difficulties associated with Motor Neurone Disease, you will find some useful links at the bottom of this page.
How can occupational therapy help with the difficulties of Motor Neurone Disease?
Occupational therapists work with people with Motor Neurone Disease and their families to provide advice, support and guidance during their journey. For some they may require recommendations for a specific item of equipment whilst for other clients we are involved in more substantial home modifications and support as their needs change with the progressing condition. Below are some ways that an occupational therapist can help:
- Providing advice on new techniques to continue to complete everyday activities such as dressing and meal preparation for as long as possible as the condition advances
- Support with sourcing the right equipment to help with difficulties as they arise, such as beds or chairs
- Making longer term recommendations to ensure the home environment will meet both current and future needs. This includes considering adaptations such as wet rooms or through floor lifts.
- Working with a client and / or their employer to advise on ways to remain at work for as long as possible. This may involve pacing strategies to maximise energy or work place changes to ensure you are positioned correctly
- Helping manage fatigue by identifying priorities for the day’s energy, whether that be getting the children to bed or maintaining a work role, and then planning how to conserve energy levels for this.
- Ensuring the correct seating and wheelchair are provided to maximise function and independence
- Recommending environmental controls which allow the control of functions in the home such as opening curtains, turning on lights or adjusting music or TV settings to be controlled by the client from their wheelchair, armchair or bed. An occupational therapist will work with a client to identify the most suitable environmental controls for them that will preserve their independence for as long as possible