Programs & Services
The effects of MS vary widely from one individual to another. Symptoms for some may come and go, while others may experience a steady worsening of their disease. Each person's specific symptoms vary greatly too. For example, one may have visual problems, numbness, and fatigue, while another may experience impaired mobility, weakness, and depression.
With so many variables, the needs of the MS population are diverse. For this reason, MSAA offers five categories of programs and services aimed at providing individualized assistance to people with MS, their families, and their care partners.
The physical symptoms of MS often have a strong emotional impact. Individuals with MS may feel uncertain about the future and frustrated over the challenges MS may present; loneliness and depression are very common as well. Encouragement and understanding are key to helping an individual get back on track, while valuable information helps to reduce fear and provide positive direction.
Interacting or communicating with others who can relate personally to one's situation can be therapeutic, comforting, and enjoyable. MSAA encourages new relationships and the opportunity for clients to share experiences and information by sponsoring various activities and events in different areas across the United States. MSAA also connects people through its Networking Program, awareness events, and other activities.
One way MSAA helps individuals to find answers is through assistance in acquiring magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is used to help diagnose MS and to evaluate both disease progression and treatment efficacy. Given the nature of MS, with its characteristic flare-ups and remissions, MS can be very difficult to diagnose. Additionally, MS activity is often sub-clinical, which means that the illness may continue to progress without any outward signs or increased symptoms. An MRI exam can often give doctors the answers they need to help diagnose MS and to get an "inside view" of disease activity.
Breaking Down Barriers
For individuals with MS who have limited mobility or who have other physical needs, MSAA may be able to help them with different types of housing options. "Breaking Down Barriers" encompasses two programs that assist individuals with different mobility issues.
Easing Daily Life
"Easing Daily Life" provides products and services that assist clients with their day-to-day needs and comfort. Requested equipment is shipped and loaned to clients at no charge (certain income requirements apply, as well as limits to the number of items borrowed). These products increase comfort, safety, and/or mobility.