Emotional support

No one can guess exactly what a person affected by multiple sclerosis is feeling – but we understand what they may be going through and how they may need support. No one needs to wait until they’re at their lowest before reaching out for support. We want to help people living with multiple sclerosis and their families live well, and ensure no one faces MS alone.

How do we provide this?

Featured service: MS Advisor, social work

MS Advisor - Social supportJoanne has lived with multiple sclerosis for some years now. She’d been living with her husband and son in their own home, but became bedbound as her symptoms worsened. 

“As far as what I can physically do,” Joanne explains, “I can talk my head off in the mornings, I can wiggle my toes on good day ... and I can hold the TV controls and direct my wheelchair with my right hand, provided someone helps me to transfer into the chair. That’s about it.” 

Joanne called MS Connect when she’d reached the end of her tether. She was confused and needed help. With a complex family situation, a confusing set of paid supports and a case manager she hadn’t heard from in two months, she was frustrated and didn’t know where to turn. 

Joanne heard that the NDIS was coming, and that she needed to be on the Disability Support Register as soon as possible. But she wasn’t sure whether her case manager was on top of the relevant forms. “Can MS help?” she asked.

As it turned out, we could. We referred Joanne to our MS Social Work Advisor, who listened to her until they were both crystal-clear on the situation and what could be done to improve it. Then, with Joanne’s permission, the Social Work Advisor called Joanne’s case manager, who informed them they had neither the time nor the resources to do what Joanne so desperately needed. They also said the packages Joanne was receiving did not place her on the Disability Support Register, which meant she wouldn’t be prioritised for the NDIS.

The Social Work Advisor worked with Joanne, her family and the case manager to support them in ensuring that Joanne will be prioritised when the NDIS rolls out into her area. In the process, a review of the services Joanne receives was initiated, and her needs were re-examined. With the case manager, Joanne’s support services were adjusted to be more suitable. Her rights about her care were clearly communicated to her and, with a renewed feeling of empowerment, she gained some of the control she felt she’d lost before calling MS. 
The MS Social Work Advisor service complemented existing supports, working in partnership and always including Joanne. And she was hugely grateful for the support. 

“Thank you for everything you have done for me,” she says. “I couldn’t have done it without your help.”


Coping with Christmas 

Dr Sally Shaw is a psychologist who holds a particular focus on the provision of information, education and support to people with neurological conditions and chronic illnesses, and the health professionals that work with them.

In this presentation, Dr Shaw discusses why Christmas is so stressful and what you can do to alleviate the stresses. Learn lots of practical ideas and tips to enable you to make it through the "silly season".
(Recorded 21 November 2017)

Download webinar handouts 

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