Monthly and weekly support groups
These groups offer an opportunity for MS clients and family members to give and receive support and feedback for the accomplishments and challenges in their lives. These uplifting groups operate on two basic premises. First, while MS affects the person with the disease, it also impacts family and friends. Second, the best sources of support for someone coping with MS come from others facing the same challenges. Among others, discussion topics may include:
Relationships with medical providers
Bi-weekly and monthly social groups: These groups are led by others with MS and provide an opportunity for sharing and support.
Special Care: When a client has a special need for mental health services, the agency will help arrange for that care as well.
Obtaining Health Care and Treatments
Weekly exercise/physical therapy groups in both Colorado Springs and Woodland Park. The two groups in Colorado Springs are offered through Memorial Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. They are led by a trained therapist and focus on flexibility, strength, coordination, and balance. A similar format is followed in Woodland Park where group classes are held at the Spinal and Extremity Rehabilitation Center. All classes are offered at no charge to the client although many participants contribute a small amount in appreciation for the class. To participate you must register through the MSA office and have a doctor’s referral.
Financial assistance programs for medications. MSA works with pharmaceutical companies to help clients obtain their drugs at a substantially reduced rate.
Living Safely and Independently
C.A.R.E.S. (Client Advocacy Resources Education Services) is a case managment program for people facing difficult life decisions and issues due to the impact of MS. Skilled case managers will conduct home visits to assess a person’s situation and work with them to establish personal goals to improve their safety and independence. When possible, other family members and friends are brought in to help with developing a support system.
Home Safety: The client service director can assist with determining how to improve the safety of your home or changes that might assist you with living more independently.
Equipment: Occasionally, the agency has medical equipment such as wheelchairs, scooters and other equipment available for donation.
Education and Knowledge About the Disease
Initial Consultations: Professional staff are available by phone or by appointment to consult with individuals newly diagnosed or those facing changes in their disease or their families.