A spouse, family member, or friend of someone newly diagnosed may have questions to answer and fears to work through regarding MS. The Information Resource Center and the Chapter website that you're browsing right now can offer a wealth of information to help fill in the blanks about MS.
AS SYMPTOMS PROGRESS
When a loved one's MS advances, many of these same people may become Care Partners (also known as caregivers)--and sometimes unexpectedly find themselves emotionally overwhelmed and physically and financially overburdened. That's why being prepared for the Care Partner journey is of utmost importance. To help Care Partners better understand the responsibilities of their critical roles and make sure they and their loved ones with MS can successfully navigate life's challenges, the Greater Illinois Chapter would like to suggest the following resources:
Care Plan Checklist for MS Care Partners
When symptoms of MS progress, it's important for Care Partners to take stock of what needs to be done. Our new, downloadable PDF checklist provides important questions to consider as families and loved ones face their own individual issues, problems, and challenges of life with MS that has progressed. The checklist is an excellent tool for gathering information and answers in advance of meeting with a loved one's medical team or home-health or social-service case manager.
- Download the Care Plan Checklist for MS Care Partners PDF.
Support Resources for MS Care Partners
Knowing there are others who are enduring similar challenges can be a great relief, and learning how others are dealing with these challenges can be educational. To connect with other Care Partners, call the Information Resource Center for information about the Greater Illinois Chapter's statewide network of supportive groups, which are free to attend. In addition, Care Partners who have attended the Chapter's MS Care Partner Support Groups have suggested several websites to be helpful sources of information*, including:
- The National Family Caregiver Association
- The National Caregivers Library
- The Family Caregiver Alliance
- Family Caregiving 101
- American Heart Association Caregiver Page
- Empowering Caregivers
- The Caregiving Blog
- The Caregivers Marketplace
(*Note: This list should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the National MS Society.)