Synergy, MDA Jointly Develop Guide for Muscular Dystrophy Patients and Caregivers

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by Charles Moore |

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Synergy HomeCare and the nonprofit Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) have teamed up in a national partnership to improve quality of life and give more independence to people with neuromuscular disorders.

The accord aims to develop a new care guide for newly diagnosed patients and their primary caregivers. The guide will offer educational materials to help families respond to a neuromuscular disease diagnosis and better understand how to tap into community resources; it will also train caregivers to provide for patients’ needs.

“We have a lot of families needing help with home health, not only understanding what it is but how to go about finding it,” Gina Adolphson, director of the MDA’s National Resource Center, said in a press release. “Part of our mission is to help people maintain independence. Keeping people independent is also at the heart of what Synergy HomeCare does, and that is why this partnership makes perfect sense.”

The special training equips the service’s caregivers with expertise to help clients living with neuromuscular diseases maintain their independence, assisting them with such matters as routine personal care, medication regime reminders, meal planning and food preparation in collaboration with a dietitian adapting home environments for safety and greater independence, performing light household tasks, providing transportation to and from medical, community, and social appointments.

Besides helping those with muscular dystrophy, the MDA supports other neuromuscular diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related disorders that rob afflicted patients of the ability to independently perform everyday activities like walking, dressing, eating, talking and ultimately even breathing.

Synergy, based in Gilbert, Arizona, is cooperating with the MDA in creating the new care guide. The company is also training its caregivers to adopt a more personalized approach in helping newly diagnosed patients and their loved ones understand how to best utilize community resources and integrate caregivers into a treatment plan.

“While there are universal components that caregivers understand when working with any of our clients, our care team members receive extensive and specialized training in muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases,” said Carla Sutter, Synergy’s director of franchise operations. “When you meet one person with muscular dystrophy, you’ve only met one person. You must personalize the care to their needs.”