The MS Society http://www.mssociety.org.uk/ has an excellent website which is packed with information for people with MS. The MS Trust http://www.mstrust.org.uk/ has lots of information and publications which can be downloaded or ordered.
There is a lot of information now available online from central and local government. Many functions can now be done online as well, from applying for Carer’s allowance to renewing you car tax. The best place to start is at Directgov https://www.gov.uk/
BENEFITS AND YOUR RIGHTS
Financial worries can lead to stress symptoms that can adversely affect MS.
There are financial benefits available to those who have disabilities resulting from MS.
Disability Living Allowance is the main benefit and is split into two components, help with Mobility Needs and help with Personal Care. This new benefit has replaced the old Mobility Allowance and Attendance Allowance.
Disablement Relief is available on Council Tax in certain cases. if you qualify for this relief your Council Tax will be reduced by one band. No relief is available if your property is in band “A”.
Practical help with home adaptations may be available through Social Services
DIET FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
Nothing has ever been proved or disproved that diet has the role to play in controlling MS. Studies of areas of the world where MS is most found were closely correlated to the consumption of saturated fats. These fats are found in full fat dairy products, meats and confectionery. In general doctors believe that people with MS benefit from eating a well-balanced and healthy diet, choosing low fat foods with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Tests have shown that the levels of essential fatty acids in the blood have tended to be low in some people with MS. The Central Nervous System, in particular the brain, is composed of approximately 60% fat. A large proportion of this is formed from the essential fatty acids. One of the essential fatty acids involved is linoleic acid found in polyunsaturated oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil, and sunflower oil. Other sources include fish, offal, lean meats and vegetables.
PHYSIOTHERAPY AND EXERCISE HELPS CONTROL MS
It is also important to take regular gentle exercise if you have MS. Not only will it keep you fit and healthy, build your muscles and make you more supple, all of which can make relapses less disabling and help to prevent long-term muscle wastage or postural problems.
Physiotherapy can teach someone with MS how to recover a good posture for their body – with particular emphasis on the correct way to stand, to walk, to rise from a sitting or lying position, and how best to position oneself for sleeping. The benefits are more normal and easier movement, and as a consequence, the possibility of enjoying a long and active life. Preventative therapy is encouraged early, e.g. regular exercise, in order to help increased disability.
FACE TO FACE AND GROUP COUNSELLING
MS sufferers often need help in coming to terms with the diagnosis and, during the early days they can be helped with the aid of counselling to understand their feelings about MS.
Counselling of this kind can either be on a one to one basis by a qualified counsellor or in group sessions with other MS sufferers.
Spouses are often able to understand more about their partner’s feelings and problems. Children and other family may also be helped to come to terms with their reactions to the diagnosis.
MS can affect all members of the family in one way or another, the uncertain future, a feeling of total helplessness. It is often the case that the carers need as much reassurance as the caree.