Over the past few weeks we have talked about the impact of invisible symptoms of MS. Symptoms can impact a person’s job, relationships, and ability to manage independently. Some resources to help provide support are listed below.
The medical team for a person with MS should include a variety of professionals. The neurologist is usually the primary healthcare professional and can often be the gateway to other professionals through referrals.
The MS Clinical Care Network: Available through the NMSS website, this resource offers information tailored specifically to different professionals. Clinicians can also sign up for a professional e-newsletter.
Partners in MS Care: Health care professionals recognized as Partners in MS Care demonstrate knowledge and experience in MS care, have a special interest in treating people living with MS and work closely with the National MS Society. To find a Partner in your area visit Partners in MS Care.
Emotional support or services can be critical to keeping a family afloat. It may be important to have a therapist familiar with MS or chronic illnesses.
The National MS Society maintains a database of professionals with experience and interest in treating people with MS and a network of peer-led support groups. Please call 800-344-4867 to request referrals in your area.
Msconnection.org is a website for people with MS to connect with other people with MS. The site offers one-to-one peer connections, forums and resources.
Caregiver.com and the National Family Caregivers Association both offer a variety of resources to support caregivers.
Your own network
Some people have a hard time accepting help and an even harder time telling people what would truly be helpful. There are programs to help coordinate the efforts of caring friends and family and to guide them toward what would be most useful.
CaringBridge is a free service that connects and updates your network about ongoing health status, treatment, surgeries, progress in therapies and recovery. In return, family and friends give support and coordinate volunteering for tasks.
Lotsa Helping Hands is a free web-based service that allows family and friends to more easily assist with household tasks. It’s an easy-to-use, private group calendar, specifically designed for organizing helpers. It’s also a place to keep your network informed with status updates, photo galleries, message boards, and more.
I hope you found the information about MS posted this month to be informative and interesting. Please feel free to contact the National MS Society at 800-344-4867 with any additional questions.
March 11-17th is MS Awareness Week!!! It is the perfect time to join and help build the MS Movement. Visit msnewengland.org and look for the MS awareness week banner for ideas about how can get involved!