MS is a disease that affects the entire family. Whether you have MS or you have a loved one who is living with MS, it brings challenges that seem insurmountable. The constant unpredictability is one of many challenges that may seem unbearable. We are here to help. We exist to serve families affected by MS from the time of diagnosis onward and have a variety of programs and services to help you find the support you need.
The Family Matters Program is a focused approach to enhancing the health and well-being of families affected by MS. Some of the programs and services offered include:
In-Person Family Meetings
- Learn more about the disease and valuable community resources. Meetings are customized to meet your family’s needs.
- Connect with a support group or speak with a professional one-on-one through our counseling program.
- Access financial support for the family’s basic needs such as food, shelter, and utilities. We can also consider assisting with items such as school activities or other family-related expenses.
- Obtain assistance with everything from basic family budgeting to long-term financial planning. Utilize this program using a phone consultation or arrange a personalized meeting in the comfort of your own home.
Help In The Home
- Request assistance with day-to-day chores and get a much needed break through our Respite Care Program.
- Attend our symposiums and other education seminars to learn more about advancements in MS research and valuable community resources.
Social & Recreational
- Engage and connect with other families with similar experiences at our annual Walk MS Events, Day at the Bay event for an opportunity to sail, Family Fun Day at Knott’s Berry Farm or our popular Sycuan Annual Holiday Party.
If you are a family member or close friend of someone with MS, more than likely you may find yourself in a caregiver role. Although this role stems from love and concern, it can also be physically and emotionally draining at times. Taking the time to pay attention to your own needs as well as the person you’re caring for is critical for everyone involved.
The chapter has resources available to help when you are feeling overwhelmed, or at a loss about where to get help for yourself or your loved one. Our caregiver retreats, seminars, therapy and more provide education and support:
- Caregiver Education Day addresses the special needs of the spouse, partner or family, providing resources and tools to encourage effective coping.
- Ongoing Caregiver Support Groups are led by professional therapists.
- Reference materials
- Counseling services
- Possible respite options for you and your loved one
- Equipment or home modification resources
For more information, call the Information Resource Center at 1-800-344-4867 or the chapter at 760-448-8400.
Keep S'myelin: Appropriate for children ages 5-12, Keep S’myelin, is a colorful, engaging, informative, and reassuring newsletter to help children and their parents talk and learn about MS together. Each issue is filled with stories, interviews, games, and activities that highlight a specific topic related to MS, as well as a special section just for parents.
To receive Keep S’myelin, call 1-800-344-4867, option “1” or email email@example.com. Issues are also available online in interactive versions (Flash) or print versions (.pdf) .
- Day at the Bay: The chapter collaborates with the Mission Bay Aquatic Center to offer this festive luau held in May of each year. Families in attendance enjoy an island-inspired BBQ lunch, adaptive sailing, face painting and traditional Polynesian entertainment. The chapter extends a big thank-you to all who make this event possible! For more information on this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-344-4867, option “1.”
- Annual Sycuan Family Holiday Party: This joyous event is held each December for people with MS and their families. All who attend enjoy festive entertainment and a delicious brunch buffet provided by Sycuan Casino and Resort. Every year a surprise guest from the North Pole arrives with gifts for all of the children. For more information on this event email email@example.com or call 1-800-344-4867, option “1.”
- Online Resources for children and teenagers
- Online resources for senior discounts
The chapter has contracted with the Southern Caregiver Resource Center and the Orange Caregiver Resource Center to provide respite care for caregivers who need a break. Family caregivers are eligible to receive respite/in-home services that the family may not otherwise be able to afford. Respite care grants are offered to families in need for up to $300 per month for one year. Caregivers utilizing this program are appointed a family consultant to arrange respite hours with the home health agency. This program is offered at no cost to participants and is available on a first-come first-served basis. Contact the chapter at 1-800-344-4867, option "1" for more information.