Individual And Family Support
Individual and family support, often called casework, is a one-to-one service provided by the Regional Community Worker. They work with the person with MS or/and their family to work through any issues or concerns. These issues may include those related to health and wellbeing, emotional factors, available services or welfare needs.
They are there to listen to your concerns, provide you with information you may need, support you in coming to terms with your diagnosis and refer you to other services and organisations if needed. Learn more about individual and family support.
Contact our office today to speak to a Regional Community Worker
Living With MS Programmes
Our programmes are a great way to learn more about MS, meet other people and pick up tips and hints from others. We provide a range of programmes including newly diagnosed seminars, support groups, physiotherapy and exercise classes, symptom management sessions and other information and professional advice programmes. These are run for people with MS, carers, families and health professionals.
MS Ireland believes physiotherapy and exercise is an important part of managing the impact of MS. Through our Getting The Balance Right programme and research we have devised various physiotherapy and exercise classes for people with varying levels of ability. In our region we run a number of these types of classes.
Check our calendar to find our what programmes are currently running.
Counselling is offered on a time limited basis to people with MS who wish to express their feelings and emotions related to MS in a safe environment. In this confidential environment, a counsellor works with the person to explore skills and enable people with MS to better cope with their illness and related issues.
Our Regional Community Workers also work with other local agencies to improve and organise better services for people with MS locally. They also work closely with our voluntary Branches, create awareness of MS in their communities and work with healthcare professionals to improve their knowledge of MS.
The Regional Office is grateful to the Voluntary Branches, many of whom financially support the services above.
The following services are run by our dedicated teams of voluntary Branches in the Mid-West. Services differ from Branch to Branch so please get in touch with the Regional office for further details.
MS Ireland can offer financial assistance to people with MS to help cover the costs of some expenses associated with the condition. Voluntary Branches raise this money through their fundraising activities. The Regional Community Worker liaises with the applicant and the voluntary Branch to ensure money cannot be sourced through state funds. Financial assistance is administered through a payment made by the voluntary Branch and is governed by national regulations.
Social Events and Activities
There are many types of events and activities organised to meet other people with MS in a comfortable, safe and friendly setting. Ranging from coffee mornings, socials and outings, these events are great ways to learn from others and share experiences in an informal setting.
Some voluntary Branches fund various therapies for people with MS in their area. These may include physiotherapy, chiropody, massage therapy or other complementary therapies.
All our voluntary Branches fundraise extensively to fund their services and the contribute to the overall services of the Mid West. From church-gate collections and bag packs to fun runs and concerts voluntary Branches rely on the generosity of the local community. Check out our calendar to find out what fundraising events are coming up in this region.
Issue 4 is out now! MS Research is a bi-annual research eZine. In each edition we will be sharing the latest updates from scientific and social MS research, from here in Ireland and internationally. In this issue Research prioritisation survey results Research event reports Causes of MS Biotin Physiotherapy Psychology Stem cells Myelin repair ECTRIMS And so much more…. Get in touch Contact Harriet Doig, Information, Advocacy and Research Officer: email email@example.com or call (01) 6781600
Many people with multiple sclerosis experience falls, which can have significant consequences for the individual. The MS Research Team at the University of Limerick, led by Professor Susan Coote, have developed a falls prevention programme for people with multiple sclerosis and we would like to assess how suitable and effective the programme is. What do I have to do? The 'Better Balance' programme consists of 12 weeks of twice-weekly classes run by a chartered physiotherapist. The classes will consist of 45 minutes of exercises aimed at improving balance, strength and walking and 45 minutes of education on topics such as fear of falling, task analysis, getting up from the floor, what devices can assist you – these will include group discussions and problem solving. There will also be a home exercise programme provided to each participant. The classes will take place in Limerick and Galway and will be offered in the morning and/or evening depending on the preference of the individuals attending. Beginning in January, interested individuals will be asked to attend an assessment day where a chartered physiotherapist will test your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. We will then give you falls diaries to complete for two months. This is like a calendar where you will write down if you had a fall. After these two months, the classes will begin. When the 12 weeks of classes are finished you will again have your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls assessed and complete another two months of falls diaries to see if the intervention has been successful. After completing the two months of falls diaries you will attend one last assessment with the researcher to assess your strength, balance, walking and feelings about falls. Who can participate? To be eligible to take part you must have multiple sclerosis, be over the age of 18 years, have experienced a fall in the last three months, and be able to walk for 10 metres with or without a walking aid (one stick or one crutch). Get in touch If you would be interested in taking part in this study or have any further questions about the study you can contact the researchers by calling Laura Comber on 086 0231335 or email Laura.firstname.lastname@example.org or Prof. Susan Coote on (061) 234278 or email email@example.com
Letter to Minister Simon Harris regarding ocrelizumab Today, (Monday, 11th December) MS Ireland have written to Minister for Health Simon Harris regarding new medication ocrelizumab, which is the first ever medication to be indicated for primary progressive MS. MS Ireland are asking the Minister to take action to ensure that this medication is made available to people with MS in Ireland as soon as possible. Further reading Download letter to Minister Simon Harris. Information about ocrelizumab Get in touch Questions or comments regarding this letter can be directed to Harriet Doig, Information, Advocacy and Research Officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
Irish life sciences company, Genomics Medicine Ireland (GMI) have announced an important scientific research study aimed at unlocking the mystery of the genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to MS. Volunteers with MS currently being treated at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, Cork University Hospital or Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry are invited to participate in the study which aims to identify these factors in order to find better treatments, diagnoses and, ultimately, a cure for MS. GMI also hopes to rollout additional study sites around the country in future. MS Ireland welcomes this exciting new study as an opportunity to further understand the causes and mechanisms of MS, which will hopefully lead to better management and treatment of the disease in the future. Further information on the study is available in the third issue of our research eZine, Interested volunteers should speak with their clinical team at one of the current research sites for more information. Further information: Read the full press release from Genomics Medicine Ireland RTE News
This week from the MS & Me blog archive Joan Jordan shares how she is *learning* to have a stress free Christmas. This year, I will celebrate my eighth Christmas with my MS diagnosis. I choose the verb celebrate very carefully as it is not the first one that springs to mind when I consider how this unwelcome guest affects the way I mark the festive period. In Christmases past I have stubbornly battled to ignore the fact that I have a chronic illness. I grabbed every party invitation December threw at me just to prove that I still had it. I pulled out all the stops and did my level best to swing from the chandeliers. This ended in exhaustion and tears of frustration at my altered self. On one occasion, I paid for it dearly with a January relapse. I have also tried another approach whereby I assumed the role of the Grinch at Christmas and cut myself off from the people I love, the very people who genuinely wanted to spend time with me- despite my MS. The people who accepted my limitations and were willing to find a middle ground where we could still enjoy ourselves. The people who didn’t constantly harp on about how much craic the old Joan was. This led to a lonely time where some of these lovely people eventually stopped making the effort. As time passes, I take good advice from wise companions who have travelled the MS path for longer than I have. I am learning to strike a balance, the right balance for me which strangely enough is also the right balance for my friends and family! I now think carefully before I accept an invitation. If it is feasible, I accept it but make it VERY clear that sometimes- because of my illness, I need to cancel plans at the last minute. If the invitation is not realistic, I explain why and suggest a compromise. Things have changed. The thought of the traditional meander down thronged shopping streets on Christmas Eve now seems like the opening scene of an Indiana Jones movie BUT the prospect of a hot-chocolate in our favourite coffee-shop a few streets away (where we know we will get a table) ticks all the boxes. The frantic dash around department stores to snap up last-minute gifts has been superseded by on-line shopping where the parcels are delivered right to my door. A trip to a jam-packed restaurant has been upgraded to a take-away in front of the fire where we don’t have to worry about making swift exits due to my unpredictable bouts of fatigue. This blog is titled ‘Having a Stress Free Christmas’. I’m afraid that I don’t have all the answers but I know that as the years pass I am learning how to help make Christmas less stressful and hopefully, more enjoyable for me and those around me. What do you find works for you? I would love to hear your suggestions. And most of all- I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2018. Blog originally published December 2016
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