Living Well with Multiple Sclerosis: the National MS Society website deep dive

If there is one thing I love about being a physical therapist it is being able to direct my patients and clients, their care partners and family members to resources that can make their lives better and easier, help them feel empowered and make them better self-advocates.

During a recent phone conversation with Molly Palmer, Manager of Healthcare Provider Engagement at the National MS Society I was guided to several areas of their website I hadn’t checked out before. If you or someone you care about is living with MS, here are just a few of the resources available to you through the National MS Society website:

Learn More about Multiple Sclerosis

These 3 highlighted sections can be found under the menu. These sections provide comprehensive information about:

What is Multiple Sclerosis

Signs and symptoms

How the disease is diagnosed

-Up to date information on latest medical treatments, which providers make up a comprehensive care team; information about rehabilitation and complementary and alternative medicine

Resources and Support

This section of the website is a literal goldmine.

Library and Education section is filled with helpful resources and accurate information about life with MS. Webinars with experts in MS research and care, patient summits, educational videos, book lists and resources for parents to talk to their kids about MS are just a few of the many resources available in this section

Find Support helps you connect with people who share common life experiences or similar goals. Links to support groups, ways to connect to one on one support and more can be found here

Advanced Care Needs: Despite great care, MS is a progressive disease and some people will continue to worsen over time. This section of the website provides a comprehensive long-term look at how to not only find the best care now but also how to plan for the future and what issues may need to be addressed as time goes on. For instance, in this section you can find guidance on financial planning for a life with MS, advice on deciding if transitioning to living outside of your home is the best option, links to a guide for support partners and much more

-Resources for Specific Populations provides information specifically for Veterans with Multiple Sclerosis and provides information about how the Veteran’s Administration can assist you in your care and provide you support

-Links to programs and services in your area

MS Navigator: MS resource gurus at your disposal

This section right here, the MS Navigator can be found within the Resources and Support section. When I found out this resource existed I was thrilled to share it with my own clients and the readers of this blog.

If you have a question about MS, need support, aren’t sure how to navigate the financial intricacies of life with MS, need modifications to your home and aren’t sure how to afford them, need assistance in applying for disability at your job, are looking for an advocate or maybe aren’t even sure yet all of the things that could be making your life easier, the MS Navigator is your shining beacon of help.

MS Navigators are highly skilled and trained, compassionate professionals who will partner with YOU to help you navigate your own unique journey with MS. These professionals can be reached either by calling this number: 1-800-344-4867 or through the website by clicking here.

Doctors and Resources Locator

This section allows to you search for many different types of care partners by location. Resources for independent living, doctors, rehabilitation specialists, housing, financial assistance and medical/assistive equipment are just a few of the things that can be accessed through this section.

Check it out here: Find Doctors and Resources

Living Well with MS

Living Well with MS highlights areas of life with MS that extend beyond medical care. For example, you can find evidence-based information about diet and exercise specific to the MS community, resources for emotional and spiritual well-being, information about maximizing cognitive health, managing relationships and maximizing participation in all of life’s activities

The Work, Home and Leisure section provides information about staying mobile, asking for reasonable accommodations and advocating for yourself in the workplace and information about recreation and travel.

Finally the Relationships section touches on topics such as how and when to disclose your diagnosis, strategies for parenting while living with MS, maintaining balance in your relationship and provides information about being a caregiver and caring for yourself.

Don’t Forget the Research

Progress in MS care is built on the cornerstone of evidence-based practice. In this area of the website you and your care partners, physicians, rehab specialists and others can find links to current clinical trials, access the latest research updates from around the world, learn about funding your own research projects and get to know more about why the National MS Society values research as a part of their own vision and mission.

Looking for a physical therapist in the Phoenix, AZ area who is board certified in Neurologic Physical Therapy and has had the pleasure of working with many persons with MS? Learn more about how you can work with me!