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Family Matters

MS is a family affair. Learn about the variety of resources available for you and your family.

Darren
Diagnosed in 2002
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Family Matters Group

A community for everyone, including partners, parents, kids, brothers, sisters, grandparents and more – the whole family, in whatever way you define it – affected by multiple sclerosis.

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Family Self Advocacy

Tools to explore and address a variety of issues which may arise within the family context.

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In this article

Families

When you were diagnosed with MS, there was an immediate impact on everyone who loves you. Family members may experience similar emotions to yours as they adapt to MS in their lives: fear, guilt, anger, denial, grief, anxiety. Read more about families and relationships.

Your family will have many questions about MS – what will happen to you over time, how can we plan, how do we manage the unpredictability of the disease? The National MS Society's MS Navigators can help you navigate the challenges of living MS with a personalized response to your unique needs and questions.

Family roles and responsibilities are as varied as the individuals within the family. Sometimes, when MS joins the family, roles and responsibilities may need to change. Questions and the need for new resources may arise as, together, your family tackles new roles and shifting responsibilities.

Carepartners

While a carepartner is most often a partner or spouse, the primary carepartner may also be an adult child, parent, sibling or friend. Whoever you are, remember that paying attention to your own health and well-being is essential to being able to care for someone else. Read more about carepartners.

While younger children sometimes assume significant responsibilities when a parent has disability due to MS, they should never be called upon to provide a parent’s personal care. Contact an MS Navigator if you need help identifying carepartner resources in your community and download this resource guide.

For children and teens

A parent’s diagnosis of MS can have a significant impact on children and teens. Children have their own set of unique concerns, fears and questions regarding MS that are important to address. The brochure When a Parent Has MS: A Teenager's Guide (.pdf) is a good tool to open communication with your teen.  Keep S’myelin is a newsletter for children between the ages of 5-12, full of articles and activities. Read more about parenting when you have MS.

Topics to consider

This information is designed to anticipate questions and identify appropriate resources to help you navigate family dynamics and advocate for yourself.

Get the answers and support you need

We offer an extensive variety of programs, services and resources for you and your family. These resources can be accessed in person, online, by phone and by mail. To learn more, contact an MS Navigator at 1-800-344-4867, by e-mail or on our Ask an MS Navigator discussion board.

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