June is Spina Bifida & Hydrocephalus awareness month. In June of each year, people in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington and all across Ontario, are encouraged to learn more about these serious disabling conditions and to appreciate the challenges faced by people living with them. Some of the challenges that individuals with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, and their families face each and every day include physical and social barriers, medical complications and learning disabilities. Using support systems such as premier homecare services or health care agencies are one of the ways that families can help their loved ones diagnosed with these conditions live a better life.
Facts About Spina Bifida And Hydrocephalus
- Spina Bifida is a neural tube defect that occurs within the first four weeks of pregnancy and is the most permanently disabling birth defect in Canada.
- More than 85% of children born with spina bifida also have hydrocephalus.
- Hydrocephalus is an excessive accumulation of fluid in the brain.
- Hydrocephalus can be present at birth or it can develop as a result of a congenital condition.
- There is no single known cause of spina bifida.
- There is no known cure for either of these conditions.
Living With Spina Bifida
Thanks to medical advancements and research, people who are now born with spina bifida have a much longer life span and a better quality of life. However, living with spina bifida is difficult and requires a lot of care and medical support.
Treatment involves surgery and therapy to minimize further neurological damage and as well as to treat current effects of the condition. Treatment can also include medication, physiotherapy and the use of assistive devices. Many people with spina bifida will need mobility supports such as braces, crutches, or wheelchairs. Almost all will have some form of bladder or bowel dysfunction and require assistance to manage these challenges properly.
Living with Hydrocephalus
While hydrocephalus is very common for those diagnosed with spina bifida, the condition can affect any one at any age, and is not just something that presents at birth or as a result of another condition. Acquired hydrocephalus may occur at any time during a person’s life as a result of intraventricular hemorrhage, meningitis, head injury, brain tumours, or an unknown cause. Hydrocephalus cannot be cured but is treated by surgically implanting a flexible tube into the brain ventricles to drain away excess cerebrospinal fluid.
People who live with hydrocephalus may experience difficulty with memory loss and motor skills in addition to visual impairment, seizures, constipation and incontinence.
How Home Health Care Support Can Help
If you or your loved one could use some extra support to manage the treatment and effects of spina bifida or hydrocephalus, a premier homecare service or home health care agency can be the answer. iCare Home Health is a home health care provider serving Burlington, Oakville and the Mississauga area. We offer many services that can support those living with medical conditions such as:
Whatever your needs, iCare Home Health can provide support that is professional and treats patients with kindness and respect. Contact us today to find out more about our premier home care services that will help ease your worries and provide the support and assistance required to thrive.