Motor Neurone Disease (MND) affects 1 in every 50,000 people in the UK. It is estimated that 15% of sufferers inherit the disease, but the most common reason is an autoimmune condition (also called autoimmune disease) where the immune system attacks the body instead of protecting it.
It's most common in the 40 to 70 age group (although most are 50+) but it can affect anyone - as in the case of Professor Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 21 but who went on to live a further 55 years. Children can also be affected by it, but usually this is inherited.
Approximately 7 in 100,000 people are suffering from an MND related disease in the UK today, and more men that women are affected by it.
[Statistics courtesy of the Royal College of Nursing and other sources].
There are two major classifications of MND:
Is it sporadic or inherited?
Does it involve the upper motor neurons [UMN], the lower motor neurons [LMN], or both?
Upper motor neurones affect the head down to the top of the spine, and lower motor neurones the rest of the spine and related muscles.
Motor Neurone Disease is an umbrella name for a variety of different conditions including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis [ALS], progressive Bulbar Palsy [PBP], Progressive Muscular Atrophy [PMA], Primary Lateral Sclerosis [PLS] and Monometic Amyotrophy [MMA].
Although the symptoms of MND can affect almost every part of the body including cognitive and behavioural responses (often similar to dementia), it's the slow atrophying of muscles that cause the most issues when it comes to mobility.
Muscle cramps not only cause pain but can root someone to the spot making it difficult to move to get help.
Spasms can also occur, which increase the risk of accident. This is why it's vital that the correct equipment is installed in bathrooms to reduce the risk of any of these problems, as well as make the bathroom more user friendly to those suffering from the disease.
Breathing is another problem affecting some sufferers, and this can occur when lying down (called Orthopnea), so it makes it especially important when considering installing or changing a bath (manual or electric bath seats are one option, and specialised hoists are another).
The most common symptoms that affect mobility issues are the ability to grip and the ability to walk. This is why a wetroom based conversion is often the best solution, allowing step-free access to every area of the bathroom.
Slip free flooring is also vital for anyone with mobility issues and should always be specified by any competent adaptation company.
Specialist equipment can also be installed and will usually happen in discussion with specialists including occupational therapists.
Eastern Adaptations are the specialists in this area and should be contacted for advice if you are in any way unsure about the best solution to help you or your family cope with Motor Neurone Disease or any of many related diseases that affect mobility in your home.
With a free home assessment and no-obligation quote, Eastern Adaptations work with you and your occupational therapist to ensure you get a bathroom fit for purpose and not just for today, but for the future.
Call our caring team on 0800 955 8810 and let us help you today.
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