While there is no cure for multiple sclerosis (MS), with diligent treatment, it’s possible to live a full and happy life. Support groups can be an integral part of the treatment plan. There are many support groups in Rhode Island in terms of number of groups as well as types of groups.
What is a support group?
Support groups in the most general sense are gatherings of people who have MS and can, in some cases, include people who know someone with MS. The group meets to discuss coping with the disease. They can take place in a variety of settings. Some are simple meetings with coffee or food, while others feature expert speakers, motivational speakers and other presenters. People with specialized training such as counselors, doctors, psychiatrists or others can facilitate the meetings.
What are some benefits of attending MS support groups?
Patients benefit from attending support groups in many different ways. They might learn new information from speakers or attendees regarding different strategies to fight or cope with the disease. It’s also an opportunity to bond emotionally with people within the MS community who are going through similar struggles. It also offers the opportunity for patients to be helpful to others with MS, which has its own benefits. Finally, developing a sense of community can be empowering.
What are some support groups in Rhode Island?
There are seven in-person support groups throughout Rhode Island according to the National MS Society. Below are the names, location (if available), city, phone number and contact name for these support groups:
- Aquidneck Island: Anthony House Community Room, Portsmouth, R.I.; 774-487-7666 (Tom)
- Dare to Dream: Peter T. Pastore Youth Center, Cranston YMCA, Cranston, R.I.; 401-944-3949 (Ma R.I.e)
- In Touch: MS Society Rhode Island Chapter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 402-738-8383.
- Newly Diagnosed (May dinner): Contact email@example.com or call 402-738-8383.
- Key Club – Social Group: Greenwood Community Church, Warwick, R.I.; 401-737-2767 (Lau R.I.e)
- Positive Perspective: Gregg’s Restaurant (back room), Warwick, R.I.; 401-738-3423 (Sharon)
- The Quahog Group: South Kingstown Public Safety Complex, Wakefield, R.I.; 401-539-2084 (Joan)
There are also various online support groups, including those through the Rhode Island Chapter of the National MS Society. The National MS Society’s Rhode Island Chapter’s website is www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/rir. MS Connection (www.msconnection.org) and MS World (www.msworld.org) are good online MS forums.
How Social Security Can Help with Multiple Sclerosis
If MS affects the patient’s ability to work, he or she can file a Social Security disability claim. There are three different ways to qualify for disability: claimants can meet defined disability listing requirements, prove their condition is equal to a listing, or argue that they cannot perform any job in the national economy.
Once the Social Security Administration determines a person is disabled, that individual may qualify for Medicare automatically after two years of receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be automatically eligible for Medicaid.
A disability lawyer can help you pursue benefits to which you’re entitled. Contact Rob Levine & Associates at 866-LAW-SSDI (529-7734).