Hope M. Baum, 62, who had been active in Cub Scouts, school and civic affairs in Fairfax County before being confined to a nursing home nine years ago, died Feb. 9 at Iliff Nursing Home in Dunn Loring, Va. She had multiple sclerosis.

Mrs. Baum had been paralyzed from the neck down for the last nine years of her life, but she maintained a variety of interests including formation of a poetry reading and writing group. She also dictated letters for the nursing home newsletter.

Mrs. Baum was born in Fairfield, Conn. She attended the universities of Hawaii and North Carolina. She lived in Japan and Charleston, S.C., before moving to the Washington area 16 years ago.

She was active in Fairfax County parent-teacher organizations, neighborhood swim teams and military wives organizations, and she sang in amateur theater groups. Her marriage to retired Army Lt. Col. Melvin Helfers ended in divorce.

Survivors include her husband, Joseph H. Baum, a retired Navy captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, of Fairfax; three children of her first marriage, Army Maj. Eric Helfers of Chevy Chase, and Mrs. Edward Buckley and Mrs. George Gantt, both of Atlanta; a son by her second marriage, Daniel Baum of Fairfax; two sisters, Mrs. Otis Pickett and Mrs. William Harrell, and a brother, Robert Malcolm, all of Charleston, S.C., and three grandchildren.