Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a genetic disease that can affect those parts of the nervous system that control the movements of voluntary muscles. Most of the nerve cells that control the muscles are located in the spinal cord. SMA primarily impacts the voluntary muscles as they don’t receive signals from these nerve cells. SMA involves the loss of nerve cells called motor neurons and hence the condition is classified as a motor neuron disease. Choosing caregivers for people who are diagnosed with SMA is an important decision. Some people may opt for family members while other might prefer professionals. Below are some qualities to look for while choosing an SMA caregiver-
- Physical fitness
This is an essential quality to look for while choosing an SMA caregiver. A person diagnosed with SMA needs to be lifted from time to time so that they can continue with their daily activities. Some people may need different caregivers for different tasks as well. Whether it is lifting the patient from the bed to the wheelchair, or from the wheelchair to the washroom, they need someone who is physically fit and can do this task with ease.
There are some jobs in the world where all that matters is getting the task done as efficiently and quickly as possible, but caregiving is not one among them. When dealing with an SMA patient, the caregiver needs to be gentle with the patient as doing anything in a hurry can hurt them. While taking care of the patient, one needs to know that their one abrupt move can leave the patient in pain.
SMA patients are fragile and being patient with them is essential. While taking care of them and helping them with their tasks, one needs to ensure that the caregiver allows the patient to take their time, and does not rush things for them. Patience is one of the vital qualities to look for while choosing an SMA caregiver.
A caregiver for an SMA patient has to be someone who makes them feel better and fills everything around them with a positive vibe. When situations are stressful, a good sense of humor or seeing the bright side of things not only helps the patient but the caregiver too. One does not want a caregiver who is constantly cribbing about the work that they have to do, and complaining during difficult times.