MSWA Bulletin Spring 16

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THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF <strong>MSWA</strong> mswa.org.au<br />

SPRING 20<strong>16</strong><br />






NURSING Our MS nurses are usually the first point of contact after the neurologist’s<br />

diagnosis of MS. We’re committed to providing holistic supports; providing a greater<br />

understanding of what to expect.<br />

Lou Hatter, Manager: 9365 4809 or Community Nurse: 9365 4888<br />


29 Parkhill Way (08) 9365 4888<br />

Fax (08) 9451 4453<br />

Freecall 1800 287 367<br />

See Health Team Dept contacts on this page<br />

PHYSIOTHERAPY Our team aims to provide treatment interventions to develop and<br />

maintain mobility and function. Our physiotherapists are experts in movement and function,<br />

and work in partnership with you to attain the highest possible level of independence.<br />

Dave Hathron, Manager: 9365 4837 or Physiotherapy Department: 9365 4834<br />




Sue Shapland: 9365 4840<br />


Manager Community Care Programs,<br />

Gail Palmer: 9365 4851<br />

NDIS TEAM 1800 287 367<br />


Wilson Outreach (Mon-Thurs): 9365 4830<br />

Beechboro Lodge (Mon, Fri): 9377 7800<br />

Southside Outreach (Fri): 9592 9202<br />

Bunbury Outreach (Wed): 9791 2472<br />

Albany Outreach (Fri): 9841 6657<br />


9 Ramsay Street 9791 2472<br />


1/21 Cammilleri Street 9754 2320<br />


Manager, Chris Rush: 9385 9574<br />


Manager, Liz Stewart: 9356 2747<br />


Manager, Jayne O’Sullivan: 9331 5780<br />



Manager, Linda Kidd: 9725 9209<br />


If you would like to comment<br />

on anything you read in this<br />

<strong>Bulletin</strong> please email<br />

bulletin@mswa.org.au<br />

or write to<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong>, Locked Bag 2,<br />

Bentley DC WA 6983<br />

The <strong>Bulletin</strong> can also be viewed at<br />

mswa.org.au/bulletin<br />


Greg Brotherson (Editor), Marcus Stafford (CEO),<br />

David Bugden, Sue Shapland, Ros Harman,<br />

Libby Cassidy, Sandra Wallace, Narelle Taylor,<br />

Leonie Wellington, Bhavna Jagtiani, and Dawn Burke.<br />

The Editor welcomes unsolicited submissions.<br />

All articles are subject to a reviewing process.<br />

The views expressed are those of the Authors<br />

and do not necessarily reflect the view of the<br />

Society’s staff, advisors, Directors or officers.<br />

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY Occupational Therapists enable Members, and clients,<br />

to continue their work and other interests for as long as possible through advice, aids<br />

and equipment.<br />

Sandra Wallace, Manager: 9365 4804 or OT Department: 9365 4888<br />

SPEECH PATHOLOGY Our Speech Pathologists provide a targeted service addressing<br />

swallowing difficulties of our Members and clients. Education is given to understand the<br />

associated risks, and strategies for safe swallowing are recommended. Information may be<br />

given for language and articulation difficulties.<br />

Jamaica Grantis, Speech Pathologist: 6454 3140<br />

COUNSELLING Talking with a Counsellor creates a safe, respectful and confidential<br />

environment for you and those close to you to explore options, create change or<br />

gain understanding about your life. Attending counselling with our tertiary qualified<br />

practitioners enables opportunity for personal growth and exploration in a nonjudgemental<br />

environment. To make an appointment please call:<br />

Lisa Papas, Manager: 9365 4836 or Main Counselling line: 9365 4811<br />

SOCIAL WELFARE Social Welfare Officers assist people living with MS and their<br />

families to access services and supports to remain living independently at home. They<br />

specialise in case management, advocacy and sourcing funding options. They provide<br />

information on benefits and entitlements through Centrelink and other government<br />

departments.<br />

Irene Gallagher, Senior Social Welfare Officer: 9365 4835<br />

INDIVIDUAL OPTIONS We provide long-term and time limited in-home supports<br />

including assistance with personal care for people with MS, to help them remain in their<br />

homes. Care and supports are provided through a combination of funding from the Disability<br />

Services Commission (DSC) and our own fundraising efforts. We manage both DSC and<br />

NDIS individually funded care packages.<br />

Contact us on 9365 4851 for more information.<br />

THE NDIS TEAM We provide a convenient and fast one stop shop to enable you to<br />

easily transition to the NDIS as it becomes available in your area. We help you determine<br />

whether you are eligible for assistance under the NDIS; we guide you through the application<br />

process and then we help you develop a comprehensive NDIS plan to maximize your<br />

entitlements.<br />

We support people with all neurological conditions.<br />

Mark Douglas, NDIS Operations Manager: 9365 4824<br />

CAMPS & RECREATION <strong>MSWA</strong> provides separate recreation camps for Members,<br />

carers, and families, primarily funded by Lotterywest, and for a nominal cost to participants.<br />

These camps provide a break from daily routines, and strengthen friendships and support<br />

networks.<br />

Coordinator for Camps & Recreation: 9365 4843<br />

2 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

Letter from the Editor<br />


According to Professor Bruce Taylor of the Menzies Institute<br />

for Medical Research, disease-modifying therapies with<br />

proven effectiveness that reduce relapse have been available<br />

for people with multiple sclerosis in Australia since 1996.<br />

What is not known is whether those people on treatment will<br />

acquire less disability over the course of their disease than<br />

those who are untreated.<br />

What is known, however, is that worldwide near enough<br />

to half the 2.3 million people with multiple sclerosis have<br />

a progressive type of the disease. That is, if they were not<br />

diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis in the<br />

first place their relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis has<br />

moved on to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. There<br />

is no treatment for progressive types of MS which is why the<br />

International Progressive MS Alliance is so important.<br />

Research money raised by the Alliance is being channelled<br />

directly to the problem, Dr Giancarlo Comi from the Department<br />

of Neurology Scientific Institute in Milan tells us to gather<br />

together scientific experts to speed up new treatments to end<br />

progressive MS. You can read more about progressive MS in<br />

Sue’s research roundup article on page 7.<br />

In the previous issue of the <strong>Bulletin</strong> you may recall I asked for<br />

contributions from people with multiple sclerosis to tell your<br />

story on how you are ‘stronger than MS.’ Well the answers<br />

came, and in a most remarkable manner.<br />

The news from the Outreach Groups, with pictures, are<br />

absolutely fabulous. People are joining in, contributing and<br />

enjoying the organisation set up by their nimble-minded<br />

coordinators, and as people with multiple sclerosis, and as<br />

Inside | <strong>Spring</strong> 20<strong>16</strong><br />

Letter from the Editor 3<br />

From the desk of the CEO 4<br />

A message from the General Manager – Member Services 5<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> History Project 5<br />

Round-up of research and other items of interest 6-7<br />

Everything you wanted to know about<br />

the NDIS but were too afraid to ask 8-9<br />

Overview on type 2 diabetes 10-11<br />

Five tips for getting a mental health boost for people with MS 12<br />

Dr Google – To believe or not to believe? 13<br />

Employment Information Forums 14<br />

Purchasing equipment? We recommend you speak to an OT first! 15<br />

News from social welfare <strong>16</strong><br />

New Perth Bus Port Information Links <strong>16</strong><br />

muMS Group - A shared space to talk about motherhood and MS 17<br />

Newly Diagnosed Seminar 17<br />

a group of like-minded people, they convincingly prove that<br />

they are stronger than the disease. Their actions speak louder<br />

than words ever can.<br />

So is Dawn Burke’s news about the volunteers. People enjoy<br />

working as volunteers at <strong>MSWA</strong> because the people they<br />

are helping are doing their best to be stronger than MS. And<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> is all that much better for it, once again proving to be<br />

stronger than the illness, a nasty piece of work at the best of<br />

times.<br />

In this issue of your <strong>Bulletin</strong>, you will also find a two-page<br />

spread by Nigel Carey, Manager NDIS Business Development,<br />

on page 8 which contains everything you want to know about<br />

the NDIS. There is also an added bonus of a magnificent<br />

hamper, if after having read the article, you are the first<br />

person to email Nigel with the correct answers to the three<br />

questions.<br />

There is an excellent article about self-compassion being<br />

your greatest ally when dealing with MS by <strong>MSWA</strong> Counsellor<br />

Simon Rolph. Dr Ong joins the conversation and talks about<br />

how important life skills are when dealing with calamitous<br />

situations.<br />

Of course there are our regular contributions from Ros Harman<br />

and Narelle Taylor, neither of whom are ever stopped short<br />

from living life to the fullest. Ros somehow always sees inside<br />

or through a situation to the meaningful side of what life has<br />

to offer. Narelle tells us what she and her family were doing<br />

when she was diagnosed, and she hasn’t taken her foot off<br />

the accelerator ever since. Coming from different directions,<br />

both ladies are inspirational.<br />

Self-Compassion: Our greatest ally 18-19<br />

That’s life with Narelle 20<br />

Anywhere with Colin 21<br />

Life skills: What does it really cost? 22-23<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> awards Pharmacy 777 for their ongoing commitment 24<br />

Fundraising Round Up 25<br />

> Mega Home Lottery > Everywoman Expo > Dinner Auction <br />

Volunteering Update 26-27<br />

iPad donation well-received by<br />

Fiona Stanley Hospital Medical Day Procedure Unit 28<br />

Margaret Doody Respite House news 28<br />

South West regional round up 29<br />

Wilson Outreach news 30<br />

Albany Outreach news 31<br />

Beechboro Outreach news 31<br />

Southside Outreach news 31<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 3

From the desk of the CEO<br />


Times of change require strategic vision, steered by the<br />

steady hand of confident leadership.<br />

The disability world is currently going through significant<br />

change via the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The<br />

Scheme represents Australia’s most significant change within<br />

the disability sector, and will mean that people living with a<br />

disability will have the choice and control over how they receive<br />

their services and support. But with any change of this scale,<br />

there are teething problems, delays and sometimes confusion.<br />

I hope, through our continued communication, you feel informed<br />

about the impact of the NDIS and what it means for you.<br />

The Scheme has been in a trial phase in WA since 2014 in<br />

three key areas and in the next couple of years, the whole of<br />

WA will be covered. The next step started this month, with<br />

trials expanding to cover Armadale, Murray and Serpentine-<br />

Jarrahdale and Bayswater, Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay,<br />

York and Northam.<br />

Prior to the roll-out in your area, we will be in touch to help<br />

you with every step of the process.<br />

The reality, however, is that the NDIS won’t deliver as much as<br />

we’d like for everyone, most notably for the newly diagnosed<br />

and low support Members; and for our Members aged over<br />

65, it won’t deliver at all.<br />

That’s where our service provision to people with other<br />

neurological conditions comes in. While it’s nothing new and<br />

a service we’ve been delivering for years, it takes on an even<br />

greater importance in the current climate.<br />

Basically the NDIS ‘dollars’ that flow from people with other<br />

neurological conditions, and their NDIS funding, will finance<br />

our ability to serve people with MS who aren’t eligible for<br />

inclusion in the Scheme.<br />

This will allow <strong>MSWA</strong> to more formally extend our service<br />

provision to the people we are here to serve, and continue our<br />

growth plans and ambitions.<br />

I believe now is the perfect time to embrace a new-look logo<br />

that builds on <strong>MSWA</strong>’s history and reputation, but presents a<br />

more contemporary and accurate look and feel. Put simply,<br />

we need to tell the story of who we are now and what we do.<br />

So, I am delighted to present this first <strong>Bulletin</strong> to you with our<br />

new logo and branding, which you would have seen from our<br />

cover page, but here it is:<br />

So change definitely awaits us, and we are ready and excited<br />

by the opportunities that this change brings. The strong<br />

foundations that we have built over the last decade position<br />

us perfectly to continue to provide more and more services to<br />

people with MS, and to cement our leadership position as the<br />

highest funder of research in Australia.<br />

We recently consolidated this position, with a record breaking<br />

contribution of $2.2 million towards MS research. That<br />

includes a second year of funding for the five WA based<br />

research projects that received fellowships from <strong>MSWA</strong><br />

in 2015. This important work ranges from bio-medical to<br />

applied research and leaves me with an optimism I have not<br />

felt before.<br />

We also continue to grow and develop our Member Services<br />

Team, delivering physiotherapy, nursing, occupational therapy<br />

and care support work – and all points in between, for people<br />

with MS and all neurological conditions. Services have been<br />

going up 12% year on year, with the highest quality rating.<br />

I am also really pleased with our progress for new developments<br />

across WA which are all in various stages of progression:<br />

• our Bunbury Community and Health Services Centre will be<br />

completed before Christmas;<br />

• our northern suburbs accommodation and services facility<br />

in Butler is currently in the hands of the planners and is next<br />

in the pipeline; and<br />

• once the various building requirements have been<br />

met, we will commence the build on our Shenton Park<br />

accommodation facility.<br />

Where some see the problems, we only see the opportunities.<br />

We say that now, but it hasn’t always been that way. A<br />

decade or so ago we were well intentioned, with lofty goals,<br />

but little substance. Today we are acknowledged as a leading<br />

organisation with the finest team of over 600 staff. That<br />

allows us to relish the opportunities that the new world of the<br />

NDIS marketplace presents.<br />

It allows us to continue the strong growth of Member services<br />

and to continue to lead research funding in Australia.<br />

Importantly it also allows us to say, with confidence, that<br />

we will support you on every step of your unique journey.<br />

Whether it’s about grappling with the difficulties of new<br />

diagnosis, struggling with the planning process of the<br />

NDIS, or something else…we will be there for you.<br />

4 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

A message from the General Manager –<br />

Member Services<br />


“We should always have three friends in our lives - one who walks ahead who we look up to<br />

and follow; one who walks beside us, who is with us every step of our journey; and then,<br />

one who we reach back for and bring along after we’ve cleared the way.” Michelle Obama<br />

There is so much going on at the moment both here and<br />

overseas it’s hard not to get caught up in the hype and feel<br />

that at times we live in a slightly crazy world; but also a pretty<br />

lucky country.<br />

I know you should never talk politics, but the possibility of<br />

Donald Trump being the next President of the USA is a bit of<br />

a challenge for me! The ongoing random acts of terror make<br />

us both concerned but also grateful that for the most part we<br />

live in a country buffered from much of this unpleasantness.<br />

Watching the news isn’t always enjoyable although the<br />

Olympics provided some much needed respite.<br />

I think we can often focus on the negatives and then fail to<br />

appreciate what we can be grateful for both now and into the<br />

future. We are really lucky we have subsidised access to all<br />

of the MS therapies; many countries including the UK don’t.<br />

This provides greater choice and the opportunity to switch<br />

therapies if things aren’t going as planned.<br />

Our health system has its faults and issues but overall it’s<br />

pretty good and the standard is high and access relatively<br />

easy. Although if you have been ramped in an ambulance<br />

waiting to get into a busy ED that may be harder to reconcile!<br />

The NDIS is another reason to be glad we are living in Australia.<br />

When this scheme reaches full roll out, over 400,000 people<br />

with a disability will be participating and receiving funding to<br />

access the supports they need. Whilst access is currently limited<br />

to designated trial sites, the planning for full roll out is underway;<br />

see our double page NDIS spread in this issue on page 8. We<br />

hear many positive stories, from Members and others, who<br />

are now in receipt of individual funding for the first time. This<br />

continually validates the decision for this massive policy change.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> has had another fantastically successful financial<br />

year! The amazing job done by our Fundraising and Events<br />

Teams is envied by most. As a profit for purpose organisation,<br />

this provides additional income for us to support research and<br />

to grow supports and services for our Members.<br />

We delivered a 12% increase in Member Services hours<br />

compared to last year and our staff has grown steadily to<br />

accommodate the increased demand of NDIS and WA<br />

NDIS funded plans. We have, and will continue to grow our<br />

programs and supports. Just recently, we added yoga in<br />

Bunbury and massage in Margaret River and Northam to our<br />

suite of programs.<br />

Construction of our Bunbury Services Hub is steaming ahead<br />

and we look forward to completion towards the end of the<br />

year; the regional staff and Bunbury Outreach Groups can’t<br />

wait! This is really very exciting and <strong>MSWA</strong> has funded the<br />

land purchase and build through our own funds.<br />

We recently farewelled Marilyn Sylvester, long term Manager<br />

of Physiotherapy. Marilyn had been here at <strong>MSWA</strong> for 23<br />

years and saw much change and great improvements in what<br />

we could offer, and staffing levels, during her term. We wish<br />

her well in her retirement and thank her for all her hard work<br />

and dedication.<br />

The weather has been pretty cold and the flu season has<br />

been upon us. I hope you have managed to keep warm and<br />

stay well and I know we are all looking forward to having an<br />

enjoyable spring!<br />

Please remember our Member Services team is here<br />

to provide you with information, advice and support;<br />

please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 08 9365 4888.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> HISTORY PROJECT<br />

The History Project has been brewing for some time (since<br />

1987, actually, when <strong>MSWA</strong> moved from Clontarf to our new<br />

Centre here at Wilson), but now we are getting really serious<br />

about it all. We have assembled a small team of writers and<br />

set the rather ambitious target of completing the project by the<br />

end of next year.<br />

Now we are asking for your assistance. If you have any<br />

photos you think might be useful, you can mail them to<br />

us at <strong>MSWA</strong> Locked Bag 2 Bentley DC WA 6983. Should<br />

you like to write to us about your recollections our e-mail<br />

address is: bulletin@mswa.org.au<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 5




Here we bring you some interesting research updates from<br />

various sites around the world.<br />

Does the month you were born affect your risk of<br />

developing MS?<br />

A large study which included a very detailed survey was<br />

undertaken to determine whether there is a pattern to birth<br />

month for people with multiple sclerosis.<br />

Data from more than 21,000 people with MS in the UK was<br />

included and the study found that people diagnosed with MS<br />

are more likely than average to have been born in April, and<br />

less likely than average to have been born in November.<br />

The results of the study suggest that environmental factors very<br />

early in life contribute to the risk of MS. One of these factors<br />

could be low sunlight exposure during winter pregnancies,<br />

leading to low maternal vitamin D levels which in some way<br />

increase the risk of developing MS later in life. Other factors<br />

such as the mother’s exposure to seasonal infections or<br />

seasonal differences in diet could also play a part.<br />

Comment by authors: Birth month is only one of a number<br />

of environmental factors that could influence the risk of<br />

developing MS. Others include smoking and exposure to<br />

infections, especially Epstein-Barr virus which causes<br />

glandular fever.<br />

Rodríguez Cruz PM, Matthews L, Boggild M, et al.<br />

Are headaches more common<br />

during a relapse?<br />

Headaches are more common in<br />

people with MS and this study<br />

investigated if headaches were<br />

more likely to occur during a<br />

relapse than remission.<br />

The study in Iran compared the reports from<br />

57 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and 57<br />

people without a neurological condition (controls).<br />

People with MS were questioned during a relapse and again<br />

three months later. It was found that headaches were more<br />

common during a relapse, particularly migraines. However,<br />

headaches were also more common in people with MS during<br />

remission, when compared to the general population.<br />

Nearly 50% of people with MS having a relapse also<br />

experienced a headache, compared with 38.6% in remission<br />

and 27.7% in the control group. The most common type of<br />

headache to experience during a relapse was a migraine,<br />

followed by tension headache.<br />

Headaches during a relapse were reported to be severe and<br />

described as compressing. People who had been diagnosed<br />

with MS in the last three years were more likely to experience a<br />

headache during relapse than those who had been diagnosed<br />

for longer.<br />

Togha M, Abbasi Khoshsirat N, Moghadasi AN, et al.<br />

Could Pilates have cognitive<br />

benefits as well as physical?<br />

In the past, people with MS<br />

were advised to avoid exercise,<br />

especially activities that might<br />

be tiring. However, a number of<br />

studies have shown that regular,<br />

moderate exercise is a good thing.<br />

Pilates is one of many options<br />

available to stay active.<br />

This study included 20 people with MS, split into two groups.<br />

The first adhered to clinical Pilates and the second a traditional<br />

exercise program for eight weeks.<br />

The study found that both clinical programs improved<br />

performance on some physical tests. Those in the Pilates<br />

group had significant improvements in balance, fatigue<br />

and tiredness and they had greater improvements in their<br />

cognitive symptoms and quality of life when compared to the<br />

traditional exercise group participants.<br />

Küçük F, Kara B, Poyraz EÇ, Idiman. J Phys Ther Sci. 20<strong>16</strong><br />

Mar;28(3):761-8. Epub 20<strong>16</strong> Mar 31.<br />

Some forms of MS may be hereditary<br />

After many years of saying that MS is not passed down the<br />

generations, new research is now saying the opposite.<br />

Researchers from Canada, led by Prof. Carles Vilariño-Güell,<br />

report they have proven that MS can result from a single genetic<br />

mutation on a gene called NR1H3. This, they say, produces a<br />

protein that acts as an ‘on-off switch’ for other genes.<br />

6 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

Just one in 1,000 people with MS have this specific mutation<br />

according to the researchers. However, the finding uncovers the<br />

biological pathway that leads to the rapidly progressive form of<br />

MS, which accounts for 15% of people with the disease.<br />

The researchers used blood samples from 4,400 people with<br />

MS and 8,600 blood relatives as part of a 20-year project<br />

funded by the MS Society of Canada and the Multiple Sclerosis<br />

Scientific Research Foundation.<br />

They found the mutation in two Canadian families in which<br />

several members lived with a rapidly progressive type of the<br />

disease. In these families, two-thirds of the people with the<br />

genetic mutation developed MS.<br />

Childhood obesity linked to higher risk of MS<br />

A collaboration between researchers from Canada and the<br />

UK has found a causal relationship between obesity and the<br />

risk of developing multiple sclerosis. Several observational<br />

studies suggest that obesity (measured by Body Mass Index<br />

or BMI) in a person’s earlier stages of life is associated with an<br />

increased risk of developing MS. The research also suggested<br />

a relationship between the decrease in vitamin D levels as a<br />

person’s weight increases as a possible mechanism for the<br />

increased risk.<br />

The Progressive MS Alliance Updates<br />

More than 2.3 million people live with MS worldwide; over one<br />

million have progressive MS. Up to 15% are diagnosed with<br />

primary progressive MS. Whilst there have been advances in<br />

understanding other forms of MS, progressive MS remains<br />

difficult to understand and treat.<br />

The International Alliance was set up to focus research efforts<br />

on progressive MS; Australia is represented through MSRA.<br />

Initial funding was allocated for 22 projects designed to<br />

improve understanding of genetic and biological processes,<br />

repurpose existing drugs and speed up clinical trials. These<br />

one to two year research projects began in 2015, and focus<br />

on six areas:<br />

• Clinical trials and outcome measures<br />

• Biomarkers of progression<br />

• Gene studies<br />

• Rehabilitation trials<br />

• Underlying pathology of progression<br />

• Developing new disease models<br />

Cancer risk associated with Mitoxantrone<br />

Mitoxantrone is an anti-cancer drug that was sometimes<br />

used to treat active MS. Dosage was limited as it is known to<br />

cause damage to the heart muscles. It is already known that<br />

there is an associated increased risk of cancer. This study<br />

followed a group of German patients for a number of years.<br />

They reported that 5% of people or 1 in 20 got cancer. Whilst<br />

life is associated with a cancer risk, this appears high and is<br />

one of the reasons that use of this agent has dwindled.<br />

Conclusion: While the overall incidence of malignancies<br />

was only mildly increased, the risk of leukaemia and<br />

colorectal cancer was heightened. If confirmed, post-therapy<br />

colonoscopy could become advisable.<br />

Buttmann M, Seuffert L, Mäder U, Toyka KV. Malignancies<br />

after mitoxantrone for multiple sclerosis: A retrospective<br />

cohort study. Neurology. 20<strong>16</strong> Jun 7;86(23):2203-7.<br />

Websites of interest:<br />

MS in children online resources from MSIF<br />

Here you can find information about MS in children and<br />

download a parent’s guide.<br />

Visit: msif.org/about-ms/childhood-ms/<br />

MStranslate<br />

This Australian website seeks to bring together “the wealth of<br />

information on MS in a way that makes it accessible to every<br />

element of the community”.<br />

There are a range of links and summaries of various research<br />

studies including those looking into lifestyle modification e.g.<br />

the multiple benefits of exercise.<br />

They collaborate with a range of Australian researchers<br />

including Professor George Jelinek, head of the<br />

Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne.<br />

Visit: mstranslate.com.au<br />

Read more at:<br />

mswa.org.au/researchupdate<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 7





There may still be some confusion and uncertainty about the<br />

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and what it can<br />

deliver for <strong>MSWA</strong> Members.<br />

We hope the following article cuts through any misconceptions<br />

about the NDIS and clearly outlines how it will increasingly<br />

benefit you.<br />

As an extra incentive, you also have a chance to win a<br />

magnificent hamper! Read further to find out more.<br />

What is the National Disability Insurance Scheme or NDIS<br />

for short?<br />

In a nutshell, it’s a Government scheme to support those<br />

people living with a disability which affects their ability to take<br />

part in everyday activities.<br />

This includes people living with all neurological conditions<br />

including MS, Stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Motor Neurone<br />

Disease, Huntington’s Disease, and Acquired Brain Injury.<br />

The NDIS can provide funding for supports to assist you with<br />

your daily living, home help, personal care, carer respite, allied<br />

health interventions, community participation and funding for<br />

aids, equipment and home modifications.<br />

There is also a focus on early intervention where access to<br />

early supports can potentially reduce the longer term impact<br />

of disability on individuals.<br />

This is highly relevant for people with MS. For example, NDIS<br />

can provide funding to help people with MS who want to stay<br />

in the workforce but struggle with fatigue. NDIS then comes<br />

in to play to fund home help, transport assistance and even<br />

aids in the workplace.<br />

What is so different about the NDIS from what happens now?<br />

There are a number of important differences. Firstly, more<br />

timely access to funding for necessary supports.<br />

And for the first time, you will be in the driver’s seat! You<br />

will have choice and control on how, when and where your<br />

supports are provided; and by whom.<br />

Funds are allocated directly to you for this purpose.<br />

You can also choose the service providers you want. As <strong>MSWA</strong><br />

is a registered service provider, we hope you will allow us to<br />

continue to provide you with the services and supports you need.<br />

Another important difference - once you enter the NDIS, it is<br />

an entitlement for the remainder of your life. You do not need<br />

to keep applying for the services and you can have increased<br />

supports if your needs change.<br />

Sounds great. There must be a catch. What are the eligibility<br />

criteria and what will it cost me?<br />

To be eligible you must be under 65 years of age and a<br />

resident of Australia.<br />

The scheme is free and there is no co-payment required for<br />

services.<br />

The scheme is currently available in the following areas:<br />

• Shires of Kalamunda, Shire of Mundaring and the City of Swan<br />

• Lower Southwest, Cockburn and Kwinana<br />

• Armadale, Murray and Serpentine-Jarrahdale (as of 1 October)<br />

From 1 Jan 2017, it will also be available in Bayswater,<br />

Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay, York and Northam.<br />

The full state roll-out will take place from July 2017.<br />

Am I eligible for NDIS supports even if I am employed full<br />

time or part time?<br />

Yes, the NDIS is not means tested and there is no co-payment.<br />

It is based on need and what is reasonable and necessary for<br />

achieving your goals.<br />

It seems to open up supports and services for a lot more<br />

people. So how do you apply? Is it complicated?<br />

All you need to do is complete a simple eligibility form.<br />

What then?<br />

If you are eligible, you meet with an NDIS planner and review<br />

the following:<br />

• What do you want to improve in your life?<br />

• What are the personal goals you want to achieve?<br />

• What are the barriers to achieving these goals?<br />

• What support do you need to help you achieve your goals?<br />

Can you provide some examples of goals?<br />

They can be wide and varied.<br />

A goal can be aspirational such as, “I want to return to the<br />

workplace” or “I want to go on holiday with my family with<br />

supports in place”.<br />

A goal may relate to maintaining your current life activities,<br />

your social network or your garden.<br />

A goal may even relate to everyday activities such as getting<br />

dressed, taking a shower, making meals or getting out of bed.<br />

8 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

That certainly seems a more comprehensive approach!<br />

Do you then put in supports to help achieve these goals?<br />

That’s right!<br />

For example, if your goal is to be more social, say to go to<br />

family events or join in on social outings, your funding can<br />

provide in home cleaning, shopping assistance, relevant<br />

mobility equipment and transport. This enables you to more<br />

fully participate in the community.<br />

Another example; say you run your own business but fatigue<br />

issues are affecting your ability to manage both work and<br />

home life. NDIS can provide funding to support you to manage<br />

fatigue and cognitive issues, including OT assessments of<br />

your work place and transport for the days you can’t drive.<br />

This sounds ok in theory but what about in practice? Does it really<br />

work? Do you have any real life examples of how its worked?<br />

Later in this article; you can read about the lived experiences<br />

of two <strong>MSWA</strong> Members who have been through the process.<br />

They have certainly enjoyed and benefitted from their NDIS<br />

journey!<br />

So how can <strong>MSWA</strong> help its Members navigate the NDIS?<br />

We know many Members don’t know what the NDIS is all<br />

about and even what they can ask for.<br />

We now have a dedicated NDIS team ready to help you assess<br />

your eligibility and to understand your goals and develop a<br />

comprehensive plan with a range of supports.<br />

Our team is here to answer all your questions and help you<br />

develop tailored plans which maximize your entitlements.<br />

We also understand MS, its individuality, its variable course<br />

and unpredictable nature. This experience allows us to more<br />

effectively advocate for you.<br />

Incidentally, we will also work with you after the plan is<br />

implemented, to ensure it remains relevant and meets your<br />

changing needs.<br />

In summary, the <strong>MSWA</strong> NDIS team ensures a smooth and<br />

easy NDIS customer journey.<br />

I want to contact the <strong>MSWA</strong> NDIS team immediately! How<br />

do I do this?<br />

You can contact any of the following <strong>MSWA</strong> NDIS team<br />

members:<br />

Mark Douglas: Operations Manager<br />

Email: mark.douglas@mswa.org.au Ph: 08 9365 4824<br />

Christine Richards: Client Relationship Coordinator<br />

Email: christine.richards@mswa.org.au Ph: 08 9365 4867<br />

Pranjal Pawar: Client Relationship Coordinator<br />

Email: pranjal.pawar@mswa.org.au Ph: 08 9365 4810<br />

The <strong>MSWA</strong> NDIS team has sent out letters to our Members<br />

in Armadale, Murray and Serpentine-Jarrahdale. These areas<br />

are in the new trial site which began on 1 October. We hope<br />

to have the opportunity to meet up with you personally if you<br />

live in these areas.<br />

We will also be present at a number of expos and events in<br />

the upcoming months. Please contact us to find out more.<br />

We would be happy to talk further with you!<br />

Finally, your chance to win a magnificent hamper!<br />

Just answer the following three questions about the NDIS:<br />

• What does the acronym ‘NDIS’ stand for?<br />

• What is the age limit for the NDIS?<br />

• Which areas did the NDIS expand to on 1 October?<br />

Email your answers to nigel.carey@mswa.org.au<br />

However, be quick!<br />

Only the first correct reply wins!<br />

My NDIS Story: The Lived Experiences of <strong>MSWA</strong> Members<br />

Anita Gamba<br />

Before <strong>MSWA</strong> and the NDIS I was sad, scared, isolated and lonely.<br />

My body and my life were atrophying. My future looked bleak.<br />

Enter <strong>MSWA</strong> and the NDIS and immediately life exploded with<br />

possibilities and potentials. I was nurtured, cared for and befriended.<br />

Let me list a few of the gifts I have received through the NDIS and<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> partnership. I have had railings installed in my bathroom,<br />

pool, and walkways. I receive physio and occupational therapies.<br />

A bespoke wheelchair was designed and gifted to me. I can now<br />

move safely around my home and in the broader community.<br />

What greater gift is there other than rekindling my passion for life?<br />

I only hope that I can give back as much as I have received<br />

from these dedicated people.<br />

Kylie<br />

Kylie lives in the Lower South West. She experiences cognitive<br />

symptoms as part of her MS. She is very aware of these<br />

symptoms and they are a cause of great stress and anxiety<br />

for her.<br />

Kylie’s WA NDIS plan included a transdisciplinary approach<br />

to allow her to maintain her independence and well-being at<br />

home and in the community.<br />

Over the last 12 months Kylie’s <strong>MSWA</strong> OT has been able to<br />

provide the following services:<br />

• Custom scripting of a new light weight manual wheelchair<br />

to maintain independent mobility within the home.<br />

• Trial, scripting and purchase of a mobility scooter to allow<br />

Kylie independent access to the community. She is now<br />

able to independently take her puppy for walks and venture<br />

into town without having to rely on others for assistance.<br />

• In-home strategies to help Kylie manage her cognitive symptoms.<br />

One of Kylie’s therapy goals was to be able to prepare a meal<br />

independently for her husband and herself, one day a week.<br />

Kylie’s <strong>MSWA</strong> OT completed a home visit and task analysis of<br />

Kylie cooking a recipe which she selected.<br />

Her OT was able to provide strategies during this task to support<br />

Kylie in:<br />

• Managing MS cognitive and physical fatigue<br />

• Reducing anxiety<br />

• Managing cognitive symptoms which make this seemingly<br />

mundane task very difficult and overwhelming for Kylie<br />

Outcome:<br />

Kylie is now able to prepare a meal independently for her and<br />

her husband, using individualised strategies put in place by<br />

her OT.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 9



Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition in which the body<br />

becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or<br />

gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in<br />

the pancreas. We do not know what causes type 2 diabetes,<br />

but it is associated with several modifiable lifestyle risk<br />

factors. Type 2 diabetes also has strong genetic and family<br />

related risk factors.<br />

It is diagnosed when the pancreas does not produce enough<br />

insulin (reduced insulin production), the insulin does not work<br />

effectively, and/or the cells of the body do not respond to<br />

insulin effectively (known as insulin resistance).<br />

Type 2 diabetes represents 85 to 90 percent of all cases<br />

of diabetes. It usually develops in adults over the age of 45<br />

years but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups<br />

including children, adolescents and young adults. It is more<br />

likely in people with a family history of type 2 diabetes or from<br />

particular ethnic backgrounds.<br />

For some people the first sign may be a complication<br />

of diabetes such as a heart attack, vision problems<br />

or a foot ulcer.<br />

Type 2 diabetes is managed with a combination of regular<br />

physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction. As type<br />

2 diabetes is often progressive, most people will need oral<br />

medications and/or insulin injections in addition to lifestyle<br />

changes over time.<br />

What happens with type 2 diabetes?<br />

Type 2 diabetes develops over a long period of time.<br />

During this period, insulin resistance starts and this is where<br />

the insulin is increasingly ineffective at managing the blood<br />

glucose levels. As a result of this insulin resistance, the<br />

pancreas responds by producing greater and greater amounts<br />

of insulin to try and achieve some degree of management of<br />

the blood glucose levels.<br />

As this over production of insulin occurs over a very long<br />

period of time, the cells in the pancreas that produce<br />

insulin wear themselves out, so that by the time someone<br />

is told that they have type 2 diabetes, they have lost<br />

50-70% of those insulin producing cells. This means that<br />

type 2 diabetes is a combination of ineffective insulin and<br />

not enough insulin. It is a progressive condition and the<br />

progression is related to the ongoing destruction of the<br />

cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.<br />

Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy<br />

eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most<br />

people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many<br />

will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just<br />

the natural progression of the condition, and taking tablets or<br />

insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer long<br />

term complications.<br />

What causes type 2 diabetes?<br />

There is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, but there are<br />

well established risk factors. Some of the risk factors can be<br />

controlled and other people are born with it. People are at a<br />

higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if they:<br />

• have a family history of diabetes;<br />

• are older (i.e. over 55 years of age) as the risk increases as<br />

we age;<br />

• are over 45 years of age and overweight;<br />

• are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure;<br />

• are over 35 years of age and are from the Pacific Islands,<br />

the Indian subcontinent or Chinese cultural background; and<br />

• have given birth to a child over 4.5 kg, had gestational diabetes<br />

when pregnant, or have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.<br />

Symptoms<br />

In type 2 diabetes many people have no symptoms at all.<br />

As type 2 diabetes is commonly, but not always, diagnosed<br />

at a later age, signs are sometimes dismissed as a part of<br />

getting older. In some cases, by the time type 2 diabetes<br />

is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be<br />

present. Symptoms include:<br />

• being excessively thirsty<br />

• passing more urine<br />

• feeling tired and lethargic<br />

• always feeling hungry<br />

• having cuts that heal slowly<br />

• itching / skin infections<br />

• blurred vision<br />

• gradually putting on weight<br />

• mood swings<br />

• headaches<br />

• feeling dizzy<br />

• leg cramps<br />

10 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

Eating Well<br />

Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are important for<br />

everyone, including people with diabetes. Having a healthy<br />

diet and being active is an important part of managing<br />

diabetes because it will help manage the blood glucose levels<br />

and body weight.<br />

Meals that are recommended for people with diabetes are<br />

the same as for those without diabetes; there is no need to<br />

prepare separate meals or buy special foods.<br />

Everyone including family and friends can enjoy the<br />

same healthy and tasty meals together. As a guide, it is<br />

recommended people with diabetes follow the Australian<br />

Dietary Guidelines - Healthy Eating for Adults and Children.<br />

What should I be eating?<br />

Eating the recommended amount of food from the five food<br />

groups will provide you with the nutrients you need to be<br />

healthy and prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and<br />

heart disease.<br />

To help manage your diabetes:<br />

• Eat regular meals and spread them evenly throughout<br />

the day<br />

• Eat a diet lower in fat, particularly saturated fat<br />

• If you take insulin or diabetes tablets, you may need<br />

to have it between meal snacks<br />

• It is important to recognise that everyone’s needs are<br />

different. For individualised advice, all people with<br />

diabetes should see an Accredited Practicing Dietitian<br />

in conjunction with their diabetes team.<br />

Energy balance<br />

Matching the amount of food you eat with the amount of<br />

energy you burn through activity and exercise is important.<br />

Putting too much fuel in your body can lead to weight gain.<br />

Being overweight or obese can make it difficult to manage<br />

your diabetes and can increase the risk of heart disease,<br />

stroke and cancer.<br />

Limit foods high in energy such as takeaway foods, sweet<br />

biscuits, cakes, sugar sweetened drinks and fruit juice, lollies,<br />

chocolate and savoury snacks. Some people have a healthy<br />

diet but eat too much. Reducing your portion size is one way<br />

to decrease the amount of energy you eat. Being active has<br />

many benefits. Along with healthy eating, regular physical<br />

activity can help you to manage your blood glucose levels,<br />

reduce your blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and<br />

maintain a healthy weight.<br />

Exercise<br />

Everybody benefits from regular exercise. For people who<br />

have diabetes, or are at risk of diabetes, it plays an important<br />

role in keeping them healthy.<br />

For a person with diabetes, exercise helps:<br />

• insulin to work better, which will improve your diabetes<br />

management;<br />

• maintain a healthy weight;<br />

• lower your blood pressure;<br />

• reduce your risk of heart disease; and<br />

• reduce stress.<br />

Taking care of the feet<br />

Ulcers or other lesions on the feet are a serious danger for<br />

people with diabetes. It is important to avoid foot damage<br />

especially for middle-aged and elderly people.<br />

It is important to:<br />

• always inspect your feet before and after exercise<br />

• avoid exercise that causes stress to the feet (e.g. running)<br />

Exercise which poses minimal weight or stress on the feet<br />

is ideal i.e. riding an exercise bike or brisk walking in good<br />

footwear. Wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes. See a<br />

podiatrist for foot care and advice.<br />

Maintaining a healthy weight<br />

One of the most important aspects of diabetes management<br />

is to maintain a healthy body weight. Being overweight not<br />

only increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and some<br />

cancers, it also makes diabetes harder to manage. Small<br />

changes in diet such as reducing portion sizes and swapping<br />

to low fat dairy products, can help to achieve a healthy body<br />

weight and manage diabetes.<br />

A small weight loss (5-10% of body weight) can make a big<br />

difference to diabetes management and, as a consequence,<br />

reduce the risk of developing complications like heart<br />

disease, stroke and some cancers. If there is a risk of<br />

pre-diabetes (impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose<br />

tolerance), losing 5-10% of a person’s current body weight<br />

can prevent type 2 diabetes in up to nearly 6 out of 10 people.<br />

Article Credits:<br />

Diabetes Australia<br />

Dee Lucey, Community Access Nurse<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 11





Multiple sclerosis is a condition that affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. It is by no means a rare condition, yet it<br />

can make daily life stressful and overwhelming. Maintaining mental health is very important for all people but maybe even more<br />

so for those with a physical ailment. Here are some ways to help improve your mental health and positive outlook when you’re<br />

living with multiple sclerosis.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

Find a support network<br />

When no one around you truly understands what it’s like<br />

to have MS, your mental well-being can suffer. Finding<br />

an MS support group puts you in contact with people<br />

who may have been dealing with the effects of MS<br />

longer than you, or are experiencing similar challenges.<br />

These groups offer advice, support, and empathy which<br />

can be hard to find in loved ones who do not fully<br />

understand the impact of MS.<br />

Support groups do not necessarily have to meet in<br />

person. With the unlimited connections the Internet<br />

provides, online support groups are also a suitable and<br />

equally beneficial alternative for many people who are<br />

living with this ailment.<br />

Meditate regularly<br />

Meditation has been shown to both improve mental<br />

health and lessen chronic pain. Additionally, regular<br />

meditation can result in a more positive outlook and<br />

decreased stress levels. Learning to meditate without<br />

guidance can be a challenge, but with the rise of<br />

meditation in mainstream culture, it’s likely you have a<br />

knowledgeable instructor near you. You can also turn to<br />

online guided tutorials to learn how to meditate properly<br />

from the comfort of your home.<br />

Find a form of exercise that works for you<br />

Though exercise with MS can prove difficult, simply being<br />

outdoors can improve your mindset. If possible, exercise<br />

provides added endorphins which have been shown to<br />

benefit mood. Even mild exercise such as a relaxed hike<br />

along a well-kept trail will work as an excellent mental<br />

health break. It’s difficult to be negative when surrounded<br />

by beautiful scenery, particularly if you make outings a<br />

part of your regular routine.<br />

Another great form of exercise for people with MS is<br />

swimming. Spending some time in the pool, whether<br />

you’re doing leisurely-paced laps or water walking,<br />

provides a great cardio workout while being easy on<br />

the joints.<br />

Play games for your memory<br />

Memory loss is a fairly common symptom of MS, which<br />

can be both debilitating and frustrating. The ability to<br />

recall information is a key component to independence,<br />

which is something no one wants to lose. Playing games<br />

meant to maintain memory can help eliminate the<br />

aggravation of forgetfulness.<br />

Remember the positives in your life<br />

Making a list of things you love, appreciate, and are<br />

grateful for can be a useful prop for bad days. Taking<br />

the time to remember how many things you have to be<br />

happy about is often one of the most mentally helpful<br />

activities a person can do. Pin the list somewhere<br />

you see it regularly and don’t be afraid to add to it.<br />

Positivity plays an enormous role in mental health<br />

and while it can be difficult to maintain, having<br />

a physical reminder or motivation, like a list, can<br />

help. Some studies are even showing that a positive<br />

outlook can improve your physical health alongside your<br />

mental wellbeing.<br />

Giving in to frustration can be easy, but remembering to<br />

care for your mental health and overall well-being is an<br />

important part of living. MS may mean more physical<br />

difficulties but it does not have to affect your mental<br />

health. With support, beneficial routines, and a positive<br />

outlook, you can live a more fulfilling life.<br />

Lisa Marshall wanted to start AussieWell.net after meeting some of her long-distance online friends on a trip. Being from<br />

the States, they had a lot of ‘typical’ questions about living in Australia, and so Lisa decided to provide a newcomer’s<br />

guide, a go-to for any and all info on moving to or living in the country. Now that she invests a lot of time in her site,<br />

she continues to think about the safety, wellness, and overall lifestyle advice she can spread to Aussies and their visitors.<br />

Online resources: artofliving.org/au-en/benefits-meditation-0<br />

intheswim.com/eGuides/burning-calories-in-the-pool<br />

4<br />

5<br />

12 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

DR GOOGLE –<br />



LIESL MURDOCH, <strong>MSWA</strong> COUNSELLOR<br />

Which of you reading this article would put your hand up<br />

if asked, “Have you googled MS?” I imagine that most of<br />

you would. And you would not be alone in answering in the<br />

affirmative. In fact, recent research suggests that 8 out of 10<br />

internet users have looked online for health information and<br />

that 66% of these searches were related to a specific disease<br />

or medical problem. 1<br />

Information found on the net can be helpful. It can increase<br />

your knowledge about MS, its possible causes, current and<br />

future drug treatments and help with symptom control and<br />

management. This new found knowledge can also improve<br />

your communication with health professionals, assist you to<br />

make better, more informed decisions regarding your care<br />

and provide you with a sense of control and mastery over this<br />

often unpredictable illness. However, access to this digital<br />

library is not without its pitfalls.<br />

Entering ‘multiple sclerosis’ into the google search engine<br />

will, in 0.41 seconds, produce a staggering 21,200,000<br />

results! But are all these entries verified and accurate?<br />

Regrettably not, for much of what is on the net is unverified,<br />

inaccurate and often contradictory. It is an urban myth that<br />

all that is written on the web has its foundations in honesty<br />

and integrity.<br />

So how does one decide what is reputable? This can be done<br />

by following a few simple guidelines.<br />

Visit reputable websites<br />

Sites ending in edu.au, gov.au and org.au will take you to<br />

dependable Australian websites e.g. mswa.org.au<br />

• edu – pertains to an educational site such as a university<br />

• gov – government bodies<br />

• org – prominent health organisation<br />

American sites: use the above but drop off the ‘au’<br />

UK sites: replace ‘au’ with ‘uk’.<br />

Look at the credentials of the author<br />

• Articles written by people who are specialists in their fields<br />

will post their qualifications and usually supply an address<br />

for correspondence.<br />

• Thorough academic research is usually undertaken by<br />

a team of researchers so multiple authors suggest the<br />

information may be of greater quality and reliability.<br />

• ‘Testimonials’ may give a personal edge to a story but one<br />

person’s experience cannot be broadly applied across a<br />

greater population.<br />

Look at the date of publication<br />

• It’s hard to believe but the internet has been around for<br />

over 20 years so the more recent the date of publication<br />

the better.<br />

Look at what type of language is being used<br />

• Academic information is often presented using formal/<br />

scholarly language.<br />

• Simplified language and sweeping generalisations or claims<br />

can infer a lack of accurate and plausible research and<br />

information.<br />

Does the site feature online/interactive ‘click on here’ ads?<br />

• Often, less reputable sites have ads which make<br />

unreasonable promises. e.g. “lose 10 kg in 10 days”.<br />

Such ads would suggest the accuracy of featured<br />

information may also be as improbable.<br />

• Ads also suggest the web page would not be in existence<br />

without them. Reputable sources have large organisations<br />

and corporations funding their websites.<br />

Avoid sites that require payment for information<br />

Payment for information implies that someone is trying to<br />

make money from the site and their motives in sharing their<br />

information may be less than noble.<br />

Navigating the web for solid and accurate information can be<br />

a daunting task but it can be done. By using these guidelines,<br />

you can increase the integrity of the information you are<br />

reading. The main thing to remember is to be selective in what<br />

you browse through and take on board. Dr Google should be<br />

seen as a complementary tool to your MS management and<br />

not the principal source of information and understanding<br />

about MS. The internet can assist you but it cannot be<br />

an adequate substitute for the knowledge and clinical<br />

guidance by your doctor and other health professionals<br />

involved in your care.<br />

Don’t forget the <strong>MSWA</strong> Health Team can help source<br />

trusted articles, links and verify information for you.<br />

Contact us on 9365 4888 or via our website mswa.org.au<br />

1<br />

www.pewinternet.org/files/old-media//Files/Reports/2011/PIP_Health_Topics.pdf<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 13




Earlier in the year, an Employment Forum planned for Bunbury<br />

became an informal gathering better suited to the smaller<br />

numbers who attended. Joshua Boyes, a lawyer from Maurice<br />

Blackburn Lawyers, shared his knowledge and experience of<br />

legal issues on a variety of topics including:<br />

• The potential availability of multiple disability insurances<br />

through Superannuation accounts<br />

• The potential consequences on insurance benefits if you<br />

roll over your Superannuation accounts and/or lower your<br />

working hours per week<br />

• Eligibility requirements included in insurance policies<br />

• Definitions to be met by claimants for the approval of<br />

disability benefits<br />

• Reasonableness in informing an employer of a recently<br />

diagnosed condition and each party’s obligations<br />

The <strong>MSWA</strong> Employment Forums are a great opportunity<br />

for Members to find out more information on issues such<br />

as disclosing your MS to an employer, your rights and<br />

responsibilities at work as well as accessing your<br />

superannuation and travel insurance. The Forums provide an<br />

explanation of the services offered by the <strong>MSWA</strong> OT Team;<br />

supporting people living with MS to stay in the workforce<br />

longer. These include fatigue management programs,<br />

employment assistance, assistive technology solutions and a<br />

sleep advisory service.<br />

The next Employment Forum which will be facilitated by<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, is planned for 1<br />

November 20<strong>16</strong> from 5.30 - 7.30pm in Perth. If you are<br />

interested in attending, please contact Sarah Lorrimar<br />

on 9365 4858 or Sarah.Lorrimar@mswa.org.au.<br />

Superannuation Insurance Benefits Joshua Boyes, Maurice Blackburn Lawyer<br />

The typical Australian is severely under-insured for disability,<br />

and it is important to explore every avenue of potential benefit<br />

available to a person when they are unable to work due to a<br />

medical condition. Gaining some monetary benefit to replace<br />

a person’s income-earning capacity can become especially<br />

difficult at times when the condition is such that a person is<br />

unable to take advantage of statutory schemes, such as claiming<br />

for WorkCover payments or a claim through the Insurance<br />

Commission of WA after a motor vehicle accident, for instance.<br />

With the introduction of MYSUPER in January 2014, it is now<br />

compulsory for Super Funds to provide members with default<br />

life and disability insurance. This means when you join with an<br />

employer nominated fund, insurance will be included by default<br />

without the need to fill out a medical questionnaire. However,<br />

Funds have been providing default life and disability insurance<br />

for many years prior to the introduction of MYSUPER.<br />

Not only is life and disability insurance offered by default, but<br />

it is also usually provided with automatic acceptance, meaning<br />

as long as you meet basic eligibility requirements such as being<br />

‘at work’ and doing your usual hours and duties when you join<br />

the fund, you will likely be covered. Pre-existing conditions<br />

are often covered which is a huge advantage, especially for<br />

those people suffering from chronic illness or a family history<br />

of illness which would otherwise limit their insurance options<br />

if seeking cover elsewhere in a stand alone policy.<br />

There are two common types of disability insurance offered<br />

by Super Funds:<br />

• Income protection (IP) which generally provides monthly<br />

payments of 75-85% of your previous earnings (capped at<br />

a specified amount) while you can’t work for a period of 2<br />

years, 5 years or sometimes even up to the age 67<br />

• Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance is a lump sum<br />

you can claim if you cannot return to any work that you are<br />

educated, trained or experienced in as a result of injury or illness<br />

Most Australians have more than one super fund so it’s<br />

important to remember that you could have multiple TPD<br />

insurances if you hold multiple superannuation accounts, and<br />

if so, you can make multiple lump sum claims. IP policies,<br />

however, will usually have an offset clause meaning you can<br />

only claim on one policy and your overall payments could not<br />

exceed 75-85% of your previous income. If you have several<br />

super funds and are thinking of consolidating them all into<br />

one, it is important to check what insurance entitlements you<br />

might lose so you can make an informed decision.<br />

If you or someone you know has already stopped work and the<br />

insurance ceased or the account has been closed, you may still<br />

be able to claim. As long as your account and insurance were<br />

active on the date you stopped work due to health reasons you<br />

should be entitled to claim, even if it was years ago.<br />

If you make a claim and it is rejected, you can lodge an internal<br />

complaint. If you are still not happy with the decision or if you<br />

think the fund or insurer is stalling the claim, you can appeal<br />

to the Financial Ombudsman Service or Superannuation<br />

Complaints Tribunal or take your case to a Court.<br />

Contact Maurice Blackburn on 1800 196 050 for free<br />

advice on any superannuation or insurance questions, to<br />

check your cover or to help with a claim.<br />

14 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>




A large part of an Occupational Therapist’s (OT) work is<br />

providing information, doing assessments and recommending<br />

and prescribing the correct equipment to match the<br />

individual’s needs.<br />

The wide range of equipment includes chairs and seating, rails<br />

and ramps, aids in the kitchen and bathroom, beds, computer<br />

access, scooters and so on. Every assessment is unique and<br />

correct prescription makes all the difference. To make a good<br />

selection, it is advantageous to know what equipment options<br />

are available and what different suppliers stock.<br />

Members and their carer or family need to be involved in the<br />

equipment assessment and selection process because they<br />

know what they require the equipment for, and how it will be<br />

used. It is this working together that leads to the best outcome.<br />

Funding of equipment is a separate issue to the assessment<br />

and selection of equipment. Funding bodies have different<br />

criteria on grant eligibility, which is usually based on income.<br />

Members who are not eligible for these funding grants often<br />

feel alone and disappointed when it comes to accessing<br />

equipment. The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)<br />

subject to eligibility criteria, will hopefully resolve many of<br />

these issues for Members as it rolls out in the future.<br />

We also occasionally meet Members who have spent a lot<br />

of time and money on equipment but have not made a good<br />

selection, based on their needs.<br />

Our OTs can provide information, assessment and<br />

recommendations to Members and their families even when<br />

the equipment will need to be self-funded. We would like<br />

to help you get it right and to save you from unnecessary<br />

expense and frustration.<br />

Contact the <strong>MSWA</strong> Occupational Therapy Team via<br />

reception on 9365 4888 or email enquiries@mswa.org.au<br />

Rome<br />

wasn’t seen<br />

in a day<br />

Fold, Pack, Travel<br />

1300 622 633<br />

www.scootersAus.com.au<br />

WH20241/<strong>MSWA</strong><br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 15




The <strong>MSWA</strong> Social Welfare team provides psychosocial<br />

interventions that facilitate a Member and their family’s<br />

wellbeing.<br />

We assist individuals, families and groups experiencing social,<br />

emotional or financial difficulties to improve quality of life, by<br />

educating and supporting them and working towards change<br />

in their social environment. The Social Welfare Department<br />

look at what benefits, entitlements and supports are available<br />

for Members and their families.<br />

What do we do?<br />

• Case Management<br />

• Advocacy support<br />

• Carer Support<br />

• Support Coordination of funded NDIS plans<br />

• Take and make referrals from various departments where<br />

they have identified welfare support is required<br />

• At home visits to carry out an assessment. Our goal is to<br />

keep people in their own homes for as long as possible and<br />

maintain their family relationships<br />

We source information and facilitate access to supports<br />

including:<br />

• Accessing support following an exacerbation of MS<br />

• Looking into respite services/residential care/aged care<br />

facilities<br />

• Arranging funding applications and HACC/ACAT assessments,<br />

CAP applications, support in the home<br />

• Provide advice on benefits and support for people on low<br />

income and how to access these supports<br />

• Meet with social workers/other hospital teams to help with<br />

planning discharge<br />

• Providing carers support<br />

• Provide information and direction on financial issues<br />

• Information on benefits and entitlements<br />

• Signpost to other professionals/organisations to enable the<br />

best and most appropriate support<br />

The Social Welfare department has been kept very busy<br />

keeping up with the increased workload. Our department<br />

has now grown to six Social Welfare Officers, including<br />

Gerald who is based in Bunbury and is covering the<br />

South West.<br />


BUS PORT<br />


LINKS<br />

The new Perth Bus Port is opening soon. Because of the<br />

new queueing system, people with disability might need<br />

a bit of extra help to use it.<br />

A short information video can be viewed on the Transperth<br />

Online YouTube channel here: youtu.be/cMc00yHQVB0.<br />

It includes closed captions and an AUSLAN translation.<br />

Full details on the opening of Perth Bus Port,<br />

including upcoming service changes, can be also<br />

found at transperth.wa.gov.au/PerthBusport<br />

<strong>16</strong> | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>





The <strong>MSWA</strong> muMS group is a newly formed support group for<br />

women living with MS who are expectant mothers or mothers<br />

of babies and children under the age of seven.<br />

Held every two months at Heathcote Reserve in Applecross,<br />

the group is facilitated by two <strong>MSWA</strong> Counsellors, Liesl<br />

Murdoch and Jean Hudson. Each meeting is semi-structured<br />

but the focus is on the mums sharing their experiences with<br />

each other.<br />

Coming together as a group provides an opportunity for<br />

mums living with MS to meet with others living in similar life<br />

circumstances. The group members offer support to each<br />

other and discuss their concerns, thoughts and feelings. It is<br />

also a place to learn new information, not only on parenting<br />

but also to share their tips on how they manage MS symptoms<br />

that influence their day to day activities. For example, sharing<br />

knowledge on fatigue management and meal preparation.<br />

The muMS group provides a sense of belonging, reminding<br />

Members there are other mums out there living with<br />

MS and when needed, mums can draw on this support.<br />

To keep in contact between meetings, the mums can be part<br />

of a muMS Facebook group that is overseen by one of the<br />

group participants.<br />

The dynamic group has mums who are both new and<br />

experienced, with children aged from infant years through to<br />

preschool. This provides a welcome diversity and variety of<br />

experiences to be shared. Group members come from across<br />

Perth; including Northern and Southern suburbs and out to<br />

the Swan Valley.<br />

Previous meetings have seen around six to eight mums attend<br />

and the group is hoping to expand, warmly welcoming any<br />

new Members.<br />

To make sure you are updated with upcoming events and<br />

groups such as the muMS group, please keep <strong>MSWA</strong> updated<br />

with any new additions to your family to ensure you don’t<br />

miss out!<br />

If you are interested in coming along to the next muMS<br />

group, please contact Sarah Lorrimar on 9365 4858 or<br />

Sarah.Lorrimar@mswa.org.au<br />

Upcoming meetings<br />

Tuesday 18 October, 10am-12pm,<br />

Swan House Meeting Room, Heathcote Reserve, Applecross<br />

Tuesday 13 December, 10am-12pm,<br />

Swan House Meeting Room, Heathcote Reserve, Applecross<br />



On August 11 the Living Well with MS seminar, for people<br />

newly diagnosed with MS, was held at The Boulevard Centre<br />

in Floreat.<br />

These sessions provide an overview of MS and treatments,<br />

an introduction to living with MS and the <strong>MSWA</strong> supports<br />

available. Fortunately, the heavy rains didn’t deter people<br />

from coming along, with a great turnout of 38 attendees,<br />

including some friends and family.<br />

Professor Allan Kermode, an MS Neurologist, started the<br />

evening off by providing a very informative overview of MS. His<br />

presentation explained the different types of MS, symptoms<br />

and potential causes of MS which have appeared over time.<br />

He also discussed the history of treatments for MS and the<br />

range of options available now, including new medications<br />

and current research into improving the management of MS.<br />

Representatives from the <strong>MSWA</strong> Nursing, Counselling,<br />

Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy teams then provided<br />

brief summaries of the services available at <strong>MSWA</strong>. These<br />

included services such as fatigue management programs,<br />

exercise programs, massage, education and various therapy<br />

options…just to name a few!<br />

The seminar was a wonderful opportunity for people to<br />

meet others living a similar experience whilst being able to<br />

receive useful and valid information from informed health<br />

professionals.<br />

If you would like to attend the next Newly Diagnosed<br />

Seminar or would like any further information for yourself<br />

or someone you know, please contact 9365 4888.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 17



SIMON ROLPH, <strong>MSWA</strong> COUNSELLOR<br />

Compassion cannot cure multiple sclerosis (MS). There we<br />

go. I’ve stated the obvious but with expectations now set<br />

realistically low, I will now explain why compassion can be<br />

one of our most powerful allies in our response to a diagnosis<br />

like MS.<br />

Paul Gilbert is a British psychologist, university professor,<br />

founder of compassion focused therapy, and author of books<br />

such as The Compassionate Mind. So it’s safe to say he<br />

knows a little bit about compassion. Paul defines the essence<br />

of compassion as “a basic kindness, with deep awareness<br />

of the suffering of oneself and of other living things, coupled<br />

with the wish and effort to relieve it”.<br />

I’ll start off by addressing the deep awareness of suffering.<br />

I am guessing that if you are reading this you either have an<br />

MS diagnosis or know someone with one. If so, you will be<br />

all too aware of the impact a diagnosis of MS can have with<br />

the potential for emotional pain, physical pain, grief and loss.<br />

Take away the reality of living with MS and we still live in a<br />

world full of suffering. Read a newspaper or watch the news<br />

on any given day and you will witness ongoing tragedy and<br />

pain. Given the world we live in and the hard truth of living in<br />

a body that is susceptible to disease and illness, suffering is<br />

an inevitability. Throw in a highly complex but tricky brain that<br />

has the capability of producing a range of painful thoughts<br />

and feelings, and suffering is but one painful memory away<br />

from being a reality.<br />

Fortunately, it isn’t all doom and gloom. As soon as we are<br />

able to recognise and become aware of our own suffering,<br />

we have choice of how we want to respond. So much of<br />

our lived experiences are out of our control; the world we<br />

are born into, the genes we inherit, the autoimmune<br />

diseases we can develop, but we still have choice of how<br />

we can respond.<br />

Holocaust survivor and author of ‘Man’s search for Meaning’<br />

Viktor E. Frankl famously said:<br />

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of<br />

the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given<br />

set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”<br />

This last human freedom provides us with the choice to try<br />

and relieve our suffering with compassion, with kindness. So<br />

what does this look like in real life?<br />

One of the most common MS symptoms is fatigue and in my<br />

role as a counsellor I have had the opportunity to listen and<br />

witness a range of responses to this symptom. These have<br />

included frustration towards the limitations of fatigue, feelings<br />

of guilt towards reduced capabilities, beating themselves up<br />

(metaphorically) as a result of reduced capabilities, pushing<br />

beyond their capabilities with the consequence of exhaustion,<br />

and fear of the future implications of fatigue. Does any of this<br />

sound familiar? Replace fatigue with physical pain, change<br />

in mobility or cognitive changes and many of the described<br />

experiences are still potentially relevant. Frustration, guilt, fear,<br />

self-criticism and many more painful thoughts and feelings<br />

have the ability to show up.<br />

All of these responses are entirely normal and natural and<br />

there is nothing we can do to stop them from showing up<br />

from time to time. However, getting caught up in these painful<br />

thoughts and feelings is often unhelpful and can actually<br />

contribute to further suffering.<br />

A compassionate alternative then is to recognise our initial<br />

response to a symptom such as fatigue (or any form of<br />

suffering), and choose to offer ourselves some kindness.<br />

Rather than beating ourselves up with self-criticism, offer<br />

some words of comfort and support. Rather than push<br />

beyond our capabilities, allow ourselves to have a break and<br />

perhaps a shift in expectation. Rather than getting caught up<br />

in frustration, guilt and fear, acknowledge the presence of<br />

these painful emotions and do something kind and helpful.<br />

This could be something as simple as taking a few deep<br />

breaths, having a glass of water, going for a walk, making<br />

contact with someone who is important to you.<br />

Self-compassion can look very different depending on<br />

the context and isn’t always warm and fuzzy. Sometimes<br />

being compassionate towards ourselves is making the<br />

hard choice; not eating that very tasty chocolate bar but<br />

instead going out in bad weather to get some exercise.<br />

Sometimes it is quitting a job to allow for a new start, leaving<br />

a bad relationship or making painful sacrifices for long<br />

term benefit.<br />

We have many different relationships, whether with friends<br />

or family but the most important relationship we have is with<br />

ourselves. We are constantly in our own company and at<br />

some point we all experience pain. At that point we have a<br />

choice. We can criticise ourselves, beat ourselves up, react<br />

in an unhelpful way, or we can recognise our suffering, offer<br />

ourselves some support and kindness and be our own best<br />

friend. Neither will change the initial cause of the suffering<br />

18 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

ut depending on the approach, the experience itself can be<br />

vastly different.<br />

Being compassionate towards ourselves can be challenging.<br />

Maybe we haven’t had much practice at being self-compassionate.<br />

Maybe we have a belief that kindness and compassion are a<br />

sign of weakness. Maybe we believe that self-criticism can be<br />

motivating and to be honest, it can be at times. But take a moment<br />

and imagine having a donkey to carry your goods to market<br />

(trust me, this is relevant).<br />

For your career as a trader to succeed, you need your donkey<br />

to transfer your products on a daily basis. How do you do<br />

this? Well, you could whip the donkey and cause pain as<br />

motivation to move forward. Or you could dangle a carrot<br />

in front of the donkey, offer support, encouragement and<br />

kindness and reward your trusty steed when you arrive at<br />

the market. Either of these approaches can get the desired<br />

result but in the long term the punished donkey will likely<br />

feel anxious, depressed, have no desire to be loyal and<br />

ultimately lead a rather unhappy existence. The rewarded<br />

donkey may not always get the goods to market on time,<br />

but will be motivated, have a far kinder and trusting<br />

relationship with its owner and will likely have a more<br />

content and meaningful life than the punished donkey.<br />

The choice we have then is what kind of owner do we want<br />

to be to ourselves?<br />

If you would like to learn more about how to have a<br />

greater capacity for compassion and self-compassion,<br />

you can contact the <strong>MSWA</strong> Counselling department<br />

on 9365 4811 to organize an appointment with one of<br />

our counsellors.<br />

For further information on Paul Gilbert, compassion<br />

and a range of relevant books, audio and video content,<br />

please visit the following website:<br />

compassionatemind.co.uk/about-us<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 19




I haven’t always lived in a nursing home, neither have I always<br />

had to live with multiple sclerosis. I was quite normal and just<br />

before my diagnosis, I lived a robust, even adventurous life<br />

that I thought I would tell you about.<br />

It was 1982 and my husband Greg and I had built and launched<br />

the boat we planned to live on with our three children. We’d<br />

then been and visited both sets of the children’s grandparents.<br />

One set in Sydney, NSW and the other set in Kalgoorlie, WA and<br />

in doing so, we’d given the children a rushed familiarisation<br />

with mainstream Australia’s culture.<br />

We felt that because they’d spent most of their lives in<br />

eastern Arnhem Land in a remote mining community<br />

and had never seen things like a double-decker bus or an<br />

ice-skating rink we were obliged to broaden their horizons.<br />

We’d arranged distance education for them whilst on-board<br />

and had bought the latest technological devices for safety and<br />

labour-saving, whilst we’d be ‘under way’. Consequently, our<br />

suitcases were very heavy and bulging with our goodies and<br />

we flew into Darwin planning to get a connecting flight to<br />

our settlement, board our boat and then commence on the<br />

wonderful adventure we’d planned.<br />

We arrived in Darwin to find the town was full. There were<br />

‘Men At Work’ concerts and a Tax Agents Convention<br />

both happening in the same week. The town being so<br />

popular decidedly inconvenienced us. It was Darwin’s<br />

busiest weekend since cyclone Tracy. Lots of repairs to<br />

cyclone-damaged buildings had been done over the past<br />

few years but to be phoning around town for accommodation<br />

whilst waiting for vacancies on a plane out, was what we<br />

regarded as nightmarish.<br />

One morning, after failing once more to get on a flight, we’d<br />

secured, by phone, one night’s accommodation at a motel just<br />

around the corner. We decided to walk. The streets seemed<br />

to be crowded; Greg and I each carried a heavy, bulging,<br />

suitcase. Greg carried two actually, but neither of us said<br />

anything. We both knew things were bad enough without<br />

embroidering our circumstance by grizzling.<br />

I was tempted to groan though in the sub-tropical heat,<br />

the dense pedestrian traffic, the suitcases that were so heavy<br />

and three children to keep an eye on. The fact that we’d be<br />

able to navigate our boat by satellite, because of what we’d<br />

just bought, but technology had not advanced sufficiently to<br />

put wheels on our suitcases, is curious today, but was at the<br />

time, very uncomfortable. I really felt like groaning. We made<br />

it to the motel.<br />

The motel certainly appeared to be good enough. It would<br />

keep weather out. Mercifully, it was air-conditioned, and<br />

although we had said ‘yes’ to the motel management’s offer<br />

to put all the beds we needed into our one room it sure looked<br />

déclassé when we entered the room.<br />

Eventually the girls wanted to swim. We hoped the swimming<br />

pool would cool us down and brighten our moods. Poised at<br />

the water’s edge, one child screamed, wailed like a Sicilian<br />

widow and staggered backwards away from the pool. Within<br />

seconds her sister did the same and of course, so did their<br />

youngest sister. Floating in the pool was something so germy<br />

and horrible that we, the parents, weren’t going to get wet<br />

either. We returned to our cramped room.<br />

The girls had had a really memorable experience and perhaps<br />

it was that they’d never forget it that made any talking<br />

unnecessary. It was very quiet. Eventually, Greg stood,<br />

changed into a clean shirt, one with a collar (that meant<br />

something serious), kissed me on the cheek and said he’d be<br />

back in a few hours.<br />

He left. We waited. He came back. He’d bought a car.<br />

We’d drive out of Darwin, down to Katherine and then across<br />

Arnhem Land and then we’d be home. There were no roads<br />

into Gove in those days so the trip after Katherine was going<br />

to be on bush tracks; the occasional creek/river crossing,<br />

buffalo herds, brumby packs and kangaroos everywhere.<br />

We planned to sleep in the vehicle (a LWB Toyota Land Cruiser),<br />

and avoid any heroics with snakes or migratory crocodiles. We’d<br />

bought tinned fruit, a can opener, toilet paper (bio-degradable),<br />

spoons, water in huge flagons and we had a compass and a<br />

map that didn’t look all that thorough.<br />

Three days of driving and we were back home, able to see our<br />

boat, above water, and also the bloke who had said to Greg on<br />

the phone in Darwin that he’d buy the car.<br />

We got on-board and unloaded the suitcases at last. We<br />

spent a few days in Melville Bay where we fine-tuned the new<br />

contraptions we’d bought and ventured out to do ‘sea-trials’<br />

before we headed away.<br />

After each day on the water, doing sea-trials etc., we’d walk up<br />

the beach to the boat club and I would be unsteady on my feet<br />

because of what I thought was some ‘sea-leg’ thing. It was years<br />

before I had my unsteadiness investigated and MS diagnosed.<br />

Prior to my diagnosis, I was having great fun doing such<br />

interesting things and even now, I find my diagnosis no reason<br />

for doing things of less interest and no reason to have less fun.<br />

20 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>




I held out for as long as I could. All around me I saw people<br />

succumbing to the pressures of advertising and peer<br />

pressure, but I was determined to stay strong. I would not buy<br />

a Navigator for my car! No, not even if sometimes I did end<br />

up lost and bewildered up blind alleys, meandering through<br />

unknown suburbs, having to stop, often on the side of roads,<br />

to pour over my ancient street directory.<br />

Then one day an old school friend, coincidentally the<br />

same age as me, fervently pointed out that difficulties<br />

with directions were nothing to do with age or hormones.<br />

“I blame urban growth,” she said, so I decided I would too,<br />

and I bought a GPS Navigator.<br />

My Navigator has transformed my life. I love the fact that I<br />

am able to choose a voice for it, so I picked one that sounds<br />

like Colin Firth. When I’m driving and the voice says – “In<br />

500 metres at the roundabout take the second exit”. I smile<br />

dreamily as I remember that scene from Pride and Prejudice<br />

where Colin Firth comes striding out of the lake all damp and<br />

masculine in his wet shirt. I’m so much more relaxed driving<br />

now with Colin in the car. Sometimes I even take a long drive<br />

just to spend some quality time with him.<br />

I took a long drive with Colin the other day and went to visit my<br />

niece. She is the first of her generation in my family to have<br />

children of her own, and I have discovered that I love being<br />

Great Aunty Ros, or Grunty Ros as they call me. My Great<br />

Niece (Griece?) at two and a half has recently discovered a<br />

new word and manages to use it in every sentence. “Akshully<br />

(actually) me don’t want soup,” she said very firmly today,<br />

stomping her feet to make sure we knew she meant it. “Me<br />

want cake for lunch akshully.”<br />

Her brother, at four and a half, is a passionate devotee of<br />

superheros and invited me to look at his Spiderman T-shirt<br />

and shorts in great detail. He hates to take them off, much<br />

to his mother’s despair. She has managed to buy all the<br />

Spiderman material available in Spotlight so she can make<br />

multiple outfits. The little hero also taught me how to hold<br />

my fingers so they shoot webs out and catch the baddies. I’m<br />

sure I will find that very useful.<br />

Both children are fascinated by my wheelchair and spent<br />

considerable time examining the brakes. Spiderman very<br />

helpfully pushed me around the house and showed me his<br />

toys. We had a little itsy bitsy problem when I decided to go<br />

down a step to see the new trampoline, resulting with me<br />

lying on my back with my legs in the air. It didn’t hurt very<br />

much and he tried very hard to help me up, but in the end he<br />

used his supersonic voice to call his mum who came faster<br />

than a speeding bullet to save the day.<br />

I think super powers run in the family. I wonder what mine<br />

could be. I’ve thought about leaping tall buildings in a single<br />

bound but I don’t really have a head for heights. X-ray<br />

vision would be useful these days; I could save a packet of<br />

money on medical bills. I quite like Wonder Woman’s outfit,<br />

especially her red boots. Every woman craves red boots.<br />

I’m a bit of a romantic, but living with MS has taught me I also<br />

need realism. I think perhaps I might become The Intrepid<br />

Ros, Super Navigator - able to go anywhere “akshully”,<br />

with Colin.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 21




Is intelligence quotient (IQ) the most significant factor in<br />

determining the pathway we choose, and will our IQ determine<br />

the fate and ultimate destiny of our lives? Well the answer is<br />

‘yes’ and ‘no’. Being intelligent is all well and good but not<br />

nearly as much as we’d like to think.<br />

Recent studies have shown that intelligence and logic play far<br />

lesser roles than our feelings and emotions do. Often we think<br />

with our heart, and this can affect almost all aspects of our<br />

lives. It is the life-skills we have acquired which affect how<br />

we use the intelligence we have been blessed with, whether it<br />

be in a fruitful or even inspirational way, or in a self-defeating<br />

and destructive manner.<br />

Life-skills touch our self-awareness, our motivation to do<br />

certain things that may be completely out of character and<br />

certainly far below what we are really capable of. Life-skills<br />

affects our neatness, how we want to present ourselves to<br />

our peers, how we handle significant relationships and our<br />

enthusiasm in life, or the lack of it. Life-skills can make<br />

us ‘rich’ or ‘poor’, whether that be financially, spiritually or<br />

regarding our health, but particularly how and what we think<br />

of ourselves.<br />

We can be as smart as a whip, very intelligent, but without<br />

life-skills this can come at a real cost such as depression,<br />

loneliness, anxiety, drinking problems, juvenile delinquency,<br />

impulsivity, and road rage. These are just a few examples of<br />

the cost of life-skills illiteracy in today’s society.<br />

The list is seemingly endless. Very intelligent people are<br />

not immune to the disruption of their personal and family<br />

life, to divorce, and drug abuse. In fact, it is the erosion of a<br />

cohesive family life of people we might consider smarter or<br />

more talented than ourselves which are all that more visible<br />

to us. If it was possible to drill down further, in such instances<br />

we would find the countless costs in personal tragedies of<br />

missed opportunities and quiet despair all of which point to<br />

an ignorance of life skills or their application.<br />

What could and should have been a caring and nourishing<br />

exchange of view-points often explode into angry hurtful and<br />

harsh overreactions. What starts out as minor slights and<br />

infractions to our ego, which are often not even intended or<br />

real, suddenly become perceived and imagined. Cascades of<br />

change in today’s rapidly advancing technologies make the<br />

inability to adapt even more costly than we can ever imagine<br />

because we have become too involved. It may even cost us<br />

our health, profession, marriage, even our precious life.<br />

Therefore, here are some life-skills techniques for you to<br />

consider. First, there is the influence understanding brings to<br />

the problem, that is the ability for you to understand what<br />

controls your perceptions. Second, divergent thinking or<br />

the thinking skills necessary for you to discover that there<br />

is always more than one answer or solution to the problem.<br />

Convergent thinking is another, that is your ability to maintain<br />

your focus on what you are doing and then prioritising your<br />

choices.<br />

Mapping your life is the life-skill, the capacity, to draw<br />

pathways to show yourself how to get from your present<br />

situation to your desired future. Imagine your future<br />

and visualise in pictures and words your very own thinking<br />

processes.<br />

Instructions for a good life<br />

Eat plenty of brown rice. Give people more than they expect<br />

and do it cheerfully. Memorize your favourite poem. Don’t<br />

believe all you hear, spend all you can spare and sleep all you<br />

want. When you say “I love you”, mean it. When you say “I’m<br />

sorry”, look the person in the eye. Be engaged at least six<br />

months before you get married. Believe in love at first sight.<br />

Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. Love deeply and passionate.<br />

You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.<br />

In disagreements fight fairly, no name calling. Don’t judge<br />

people by their relatives. Talk slowly but think quick. When<br />

someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer smile<br />

and ask, “Why do you want to know?” Remember that greater<br />

love and greater achievements involve great risks. Call your<br />

mum. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze. When<br />

you lose, don’t lose the lesson. Remember the three Rs —<br />

respect for self, respect for others and responsibility for all<br />

your actions.<br />

22 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. When you<br />

realize you’ve made a mistake take immediate steps to correct<br />

it. Smile when picking up the phone, the caller will hear it in<br />

your voice. Marry someone who you can talk to. As you get<br />

older, their conversational skills will be as important as any<br />

other. Spend some time alone. Open your arms, but don’t let<br />

go of your values. Remember that silence is sometimes the<br />

best answer. Read more books and watch less TV. Live an<br />

honourable life. When you are old and look back you’ll enjoy it<br />

a second time. Trust in God, but lock your car. Do all you can<br />

to create a loving, tranquil home.<br />

Read between the lines. Share your knowledge. It is a way<br />

to achieve immortality. Be gentle with the Earth. Pray. There<br />

is immeasurable power in it. Never interrupt when you are<br />

being flattered. Mind your own business. Don’t trust a person<br />

who doesn’t close their eyes when you kiss them. Once a<br />

year go somewhere you have never been before. The greatest<br />

satisfaction of having wealth is to help others. Sometimes<br />

not getting what you want can be a stroke of luck. Learn<br />

the rules and then break some. The best relationship is one<br />

where you love each other more than you need each other.<br />

Judge your success by what you had to give up to achieve<br />

it. Your character is your destiny. Approach love and cooking<br />

with reckless abandon.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 23

<strong>MSWA</strong> AWARDS<br />

PHARMACY 777<br />



<strong>MSWA</strong> awarded Pharmacy 777 with its Business Commitment<br />

Award at the 20<strong>16</strong> MS Dinner Auction held in August.<br />

The Award is presented annually alongside an Individual<br />

Commitment Award, and is <strong>MSWA</strong>’s way of highlighting and<br />

acknowledging the generous support provided by businesses<br />

and individuals to the organisation throughout the year.<br />

Nominations are made for businesses and individuals<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> feel have gone above and beyond in the way they<br />

contribute their time and resources to support the goals of<br />

the organisation.<br />

Pharmacy 777 were awarded the Business Commitment<br />

Award for their amazing fundraising efforts which have<br />

totalled to over $110,000 in the past 5 years. They have also<br />

helped spread awareness about the cause by participating<br />

in the City to Surf as a team running for <strong>MSWA</strong>. Pharmacy<br />

777 entered a team of 38 in this year’s City to Surf where<br />

along with individual runners running for <strong>MSWA</strong>, they raised<br />

$22,000!<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> CEO Marcus Stafford said, “Pharmacy 777 have<br />

demonstrated their commitment to <strong>MSWA</strong> in the most<br />

phenomenal way.<br />

“Their fundraising has supported an MS Wellness Camp,<br />

contributed to the renovations at <strong>MSWA</strong> high support<br />

accommodation and respite facilities Fern River and Margaret<br />

Doody House and additionally, has been used to outfit our<br />

facilities with essential equipment for our Members.<br />

It is the support and generosity of organisations such as<br />

Pharmacy 777 that allows us to continue to support the<br />

people we are here to serve, people living with MS and other<br />

neurological conditions”, Marcus said.<br />

Kim Brotherson, Pharmacy 777 Managing Director, accepted<br />

the award on behalf of the Pharmacy 777 Group. A long-time<br />

advocate and fundraiser for <strong>MSWA</strong>, Kim is incredibly<br />

proud of the relationship <strong>MSWA</strong> and Pharmacy 777 share.<br />

“We’re driven to make a difference, not just to the health of<br />

our patients but also to the wider community”, he said. “I<br />

appreciate the support from all of the Pharmacy 777 team in<br />

their fundraising efforts for such an important cause. We are<br />

proud to support <strong>MSWA</strong> in the outstanding work they do in<br />

improving the lives of so many people.”<br />

Thank you Pharmacy 777 for your ongoing support and<br />

congratulations on the Award.<br />

24 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>




The MS Mega Home Lottery launched in August 20<strong>16</strong> with<br />

a multi-million dollar grand prize package worth $2.2 million<br />

- our biggest Grand Prize yet. Consisting of a fully furnished,<br />

professionally decorated, Webb & Brown-Neaves show home<br />

in Hillarys, valued at $1.7 million, PLUS $500,000 cash. The<br />

lottery sold out in 3 weeks with the Grand Prize draw to be<br />

held on Wednesday, 2 November.<br />

Keep your eyes on mswalottery.com.au to see if you’re<br />

one of the lucky winners - all tickets have a 1 in 15<br />

chance of winning.<br />


The Mundella EveryWoman Expo was held at the Perth<br />

Convention and Exhibition Centre from <strong>16</strong> to 18 June, with<br />

the <strong>MSWA</strong> as its charity partner. In addition to our own MS<br />

stand, a few of our Members and staff got to participate in the<br />

Bodhi’s Bakehouse Celebrity Kitchen with some well-known<br />

‘Perthonalities’!<br />


The <strong>MSWA</strong> Annual Dinner Auction is an opportunity for us to<br />

thank our supporters from throughout the year with a night of<br />

food, music and of course, fundraising at the State Reception<br />

Centre, Fraser’s in King’s Park. In addition to silent auction<br />

items, we had some amazing items in the main auction including<br />

a luxury holiday for two to Italy, a getaway to Margaret River<br />

and luxury wine packages. $34,341 was raised on the night to<br />

support Western Australians living with MS.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 25


UPDATE<br />


Hello to you all! <strong>Spring</strong> is here so let’s put away our winter<br />

woollies and open our arms to welcome the rays of sunshine<br />

in to our lives. I trust this edition finds you all fit and well and<br />

ready to move into the warmer months. The <strong>Bulletin</strong> is a great<br />

opportunity to reflect on the months gone by and share it<br />

with you.<br />

In May we had the Volunteers Week luncheon. This event, at<br />

Burswood on Swan Function Centre, went off with a bang<br />

and was enjoyed by all. We couldn’t have asked for more;<br />

beautiful food, magnificent views and excellent company. The<br />

room was abuzz with chatter and laughter and I have had lots<br />

of positive feedback with the general consensus being to go<br />

back there again. The staff were amazing from start to finish.<br />

Our Bunbury Volunteers also enjoyed a sumptuous lunch<br />

while watching the sun and the waves at Back Beach Café.<br />

The Moore River Members camp was, as always, a huge<br />

success. We had a couple of volunteers helping out over the<br />

four days. It makes such a huge difference having them give<br />

a helping hand. Of course it was even more helpful to me,<br />

because I don’t have to wash as many dishes!<br />

The weather was all over the place. We had a taste of rain<br />

when we arrived and packed up (typical), and we had a<br />

couple of gorgeous sunny days in between which enhanced<br />

the already spectacular views. We enjoyed the sunshine while<br />

we cruised down the river hearing the story of how Guilderton,<br />

commonly known as Moore River, came to be.<br />

The sun was so magnificent, we were also able to enjoy<br />

another day relaxing down by the river mouth, while we ate<br />

a hearty barbeque lunch, listening to some tunes (with me<br />

dancing around) and soaking up the much needed rays. I must<br />

admit, I was a bit tame this year and only dressed up once. I<br />

could be described as a bit of a colourful fairy, prancing and<br />

dancing around while waving my magical ribbon. A sight you<br />

wouldn’t want to miss, or maybe you would!<br />

All in all, it was a fantastic few days our Members thoroughly<br />

enjoyed, as did the staff and volunteers. I would like to<br />

personally thank our volunteers - Rosalind and Sandra.<br />

Their time and effort was much appreciated and everything<br />

wouldn’t have run as smoothly as it did without them.<br />

26 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>

I would also like to thank all the staff who attended. Without<br />

staff these camps cannot happen. In fact, they also continue<br />

to work after hours during the camp in a volunteering capacity<br />

until our lovely Members are off to bed. So at some point all<br />

staff members were a volunteer.<br />

Over to our Rockingham<br />

Centre, John Wallace,<br />

one of our Southside<br />

Volunteers, celebrated his<br />

80th birthday in July. John<br />

has been volunteering as<br />

Santa, donning the red and<br />

white suit for many years<br />

at their Christmas parties.<br />

John is also the resident<br />

photographer for the group.<br />

He has been volunteering with us for many years, unofficially,<br />

but I am pleased to see he now officially volunteers for us.<br />

What a milestone John, and we wish you all the best and trust<br />

you had a special day.<br />

Our dining room chairs at the Wilson Outreach centre are<br />

looking fantastic and are a tad more comfortable, thanks to<br />

our Tuesday volunteer Rosalind. She kindly donated cushions<br />

for our new chairs; the Members and staff are truly grateful<br />

and appreciate your generosity.<br />

Can you believe we are well over half way into the year?<br />

Christmas planning will be on the agenda and possibly in full<br />

swing for some. I feel like I’m still getting over last year and<br />

20<strong>16</strong> is nearly on top of us again.<br />

The theme last year was red and silver and I wonder what<br />

it will be this year, as most of you know I like to dress to<br />

the theme and match the colours of the day. Maybe this year<br />

some of our volunteers might like to get up on stage and<br />

entertain the many who attend each year. I’m happy to join in<br />

with you if you have an idea. Give me a call if you would like<br />

to organise something and we can go from there.<br />

In August I attended a Volunteer Managers Workshop<br />

called Volun-terroir (terroir meaning terrain) conducted by<br />

Andy Fryar of Better Impact. This workshop was amazing.<br />

Andy is a wine connoisseur and a lover of wineries all around<br />

the world.<br />

This workshop was called, ‘What the wine industry can teach<br />

us about good volunteer management’. And guess what?<br />

He was right. The information shared was very timely and<br />

discussed the opportunities, changing demographics and<br />

pitfalls of volunteer management. Throughout the day he<br />

successfully managed to relate his message back to wineries.<br />

For the wine lovers out there, I thought I would share the<br />

interesting history of the wine industry in Australia.<br />

1788 - First vines arrived in Australia<br />

1791 - First known record of successful wine production<br />

1950 - Wineries became better at refrigeration which equated<br />

to a better quality of wine<br />

1960 - A greater selection of fortified wines produced<br />

1970 - More balance in industry and wines<br />

1980 - Australia led the world in cask wine production<br />

20<strong>16</strong> - Australia is the 4th largest exporter in the world<br />

with a huge growth over the years. In 1985 there<br />

were 506 wineries and in 2015 this had increased to<br />

2500 wineries.<br />

I always like to take this opportunity and time to thank our<br />

Volunteers for all that they do. They make such a difference<br />

to our Members lives and the working day of many staff<br />

across several departments. Any time given is always valued,<br />

no matter how little. We at <strong>MSWA</strong> appreciate all of you and<br />

the array of skills, knowledge and diversity you bring to<br />

the organisation. A day doesn’t go by without me learning<br />

something new and it is important for all of us to share, listen<br />

and learn as ‘knowledge is power’.<br />

If you know of anyone wanting to volunteer on a regular<br />

basis, please don’t hesitate to pass on my contact details:<br />

volunteer.coordinator@mswa.org.au or 9365 4897. I will<br />

try and place a volunteer where possible, and be creative<br />

in finding a suitable position for both the volunteer and/<br />

or individual department. Alternatively, if you are looking<br />

at volunteering once or twice a year, you could contact<br />

the Senior Events Coordinator, Katherine Fowler at<br />

katherine.fowler@mswa.org.au or 6454 3151. That’s all<br />

from me. Until next time and bye for now.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 27




Digital magazines, colour therapy, games and MS educational<br />

resources are all part of the new Medical Day Procedure Unit<br />

iPads package provided by <strong>MSWA</strong>.<br />

Dee Menzies, <strong>MSWA</strong> Hospital Liaison Nurse commented that<br />

the newer MS therapies have seen patients shift back to the<br />

hospital setting for their treatment rather than in the home.<br />

We conducted a short survey of patients about the types<br />

of resources and entertainment they would most like to see<br />

on the iPads. This guided us in choosing the selections we<br />

have uploaded.<br />

“With patients having to spend more time in hospital, it<br />

is important to make their treatment as comfortable as<br />

possible,” Dee said. “We are hoping the iPads will help pass<br />

the time.”<br />

Eloise DeRosa, the Unit Nurse Manager said, “the six iPads<br />

are a great educational resource and will also provide MS<br />

patients with entertainment while they receive treatment.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> will regularly update the iPads and continue to monitor the<br />

level of satisfaction through patient and staff feedback.<br />

“<strong>MSWA</strong> were very kind to support us by purchasing these<br />

resources,” Eloise said.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> staff will add new resources to the iPad’s regularly<br />

to provide variety.<br />




All PLC Year 10 students are expected to undertake a personal<br />

project. It doesn’t have to be service related, however, Ruby<br />

Cownie is a neighbour and fairly frequent visitor to Margaret<br />

Doody Respite House, so she decided the house needed<br />

brightening up. Ruby spent many hours creating this beautiful<br />

mosaic which has been hung in the courtyard where it will be<br />

most visible to all.<br />

The glass tiles were provided by Frank Cardinale, at Original<br />

Ceramics in Leederville, who was happy to donate to such a<br />

good cause.<br />

The staff and Members would like to offer our heartfelt<br />

thanks to Ruby for all the time and effort she put into this<br />

wonderful project.<br />

28 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>


Regional Round Up<br />

The latest<br />

news from<br />

the South<br />

West<br />




As mentioned previously, we are very excited to finally see<br />

our long held plans for a purpose built Bunbury Services Hub<br />

being realised. The progress is remarkable and having had a<br />

short tour of the shell, the floor plan is very impressive!<br />

The generous sized physiotherapy gym, massage room,<br />

meeting areas and consulting rooms will all be welcomed<br />

by Members and staff. The Outreach Group has re-located<br />

several times over the past 13 years and to finally have a home<br />

with areas designed to suit the purpose will be refreshing.<br />

We are on track for the building to be completed by the end<br />

of 20<strong>16</strong>! <strong>MSWA</strong> has funded both the purchase of the land<br />

and the construction of the facility. This is all made possible<br />

through the great success of our Events and Fundraising<br />

ventures like the highly successful Mega Home Lottery!<br />










1300 DR TO ME (1300 37 86 63)<br />


<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 29



DAWN<br />


BURKE,<br />

QUILTS<br />


GIFTED<br />


TO <strong>MSWA</strong> MEMBERS<br />

The W.A Quilters Association representative Cathy Robertson,<br />

recently visited Wilson Outreach Centre again, bringing with her<br />

another two large bags of amazing quilts made by members of<br />

their Association.<br />

These quilts have been kindly donated to our Members; to<br />

brighten their lounge chairs and beds or just to keep their<br />

knees warm. Sheila, Narelle and Janice were on hand to pick<br />

their favourites from the pile and are thrilled to have them in<br />

their possession.<br />

The Quilters Association have been friends of <strong>MSWA</strong> for a<br />

few years now. They have generously donated quilts for<br />

each resident of our high support accommodation facilities<br />

including Fern River, Hamilton Hill and Treendale Gardens,<br />

and both respite homes.<br />

Cathy said the group thoroughly enjoy passing on their beautiful<br />

quilts to community groups like <strong>MSWA</strong> and has assured us she<br />

will be returning with more! These quilts are really beautiful<br />

and bring a welcome splash of colour with them.<br />

We would like to thank Cathy and her fellow quilters for<br />

their ongoing generosity.<br />



The wonderful staff from the Bunnings Willetton store have<br />

once again visited us at Wilson. They also joined in our<br />

Mexican Fiesta happily wearing their sombrero hats!<br />

This store has been very generous to us here at Wilson. They<br />

have supplied vegetables for our raised garden beds as well<br />

as staffers. Bec and her assistant came along to plant them!<br />

Member Sheila Hayfield particularly has a love of our garden<br />

beds here at Wilson, she can often be seen tending to them<br />

whilst here at Outreach. Sheila is pictured here with the<br />

Bunnings staff and some of our beautiful, healthy looking<br />

vegetables. So far the crop has yielded a dozen or so potatoes,<br />

beans and some lovely herbs.<br />

Currently there is a fierce<br />

competition among our<br />

Members, from several<br />

Outreach Groups and<br />

our residential facilities,<br />

which is due to finish at<br />

the end of August. We<br />

have all been vying for<br />

the title “Winner of the<br />

best vegetables grown<br />

over the winter season”.<br />

The results will be<br />

reported in the next <strong>Bulletin</strong> so watch this space!!!!<br />

OLA OLA!<br />

‘Mexico’ at Wilson Outreach was a huge success.<br />

Staff, volunteers and Members all made a fantastic effort with<br />

their costumes and really had a fun time singing and dancing!<br />

We were lucky enough to have a visit from ‘Nicko’ who played<br />

his piano accordion whilst walking around the atrium!<br />

We even had our very own ‘Pablo’, who was made by our<br />

Members in preparation for the ‘Fiesta’ party at the end of our<br />

trip to Mexico. He was used as a piñata and looked fabulous<br />

until of course he was broken to pieces!<br />

Our month in Mexico was very colourful and was<br />

thoroughly enjoyed by everyone!<br />

30 | <strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong>



Want to know what is happening at the Outreach or make an<br />

appointment with our MS Nurse Maureen? Then give us a call<br />

on 9841 6651 and we will send out this month’s program.<br />

The annual Members Camp is on in Denmark in November.<br />

Places are limited so if you are interested in attending or need<br />

more information please give Sumit a call on 08 9365 4888.<br />

Thank you to everyone who has given us their feedback and<br />

their ideas on outings and activities for the group. We really<br />

value your feedback and are grateful for your input.<br />

We celebrated Volunteer Week in May with a luncheon<br />

sponsored by <strong>MSWA</strong>. It was a lovely get together and the<br />

first time we have had the opportunity and we are already<br />

looking forward to next year’s! Our small but dedicated group<br />

of volunteers help out with all sorts of fundraising activities<br />

and play a huge role in the annual Swim. So a big thank you.<br />



Here at Beechboro, we are all very much looking forward to<br />

the warmer weather as it has definitely been way too cold this<br />

winter for our liking!<br />

We spent June trying to stay warm with a few wintery games<br />

like ‘snowball basketball’ and ‘air ice hockey’. We also enjoyed<br />

some nice warming curry lunches from our brilliant Brenda<br />

and her team!<br />

In July, we brought the glam to The Lodge and spent our days<br />

living it up in ‘Las Vegas’. We tested our luck with a roll of the<br />

dice and tried a hand or two of cards. Our last week finished<br />

with a photo booth, where fun props and a city backdrop<br />

provided a lot of fun and many unique keepsake photos!<br />

Christmas is fast approaching so if you have any suggestions<br />

for a suitable lunch venue please let us know. Perhaps<br />

somewhere we have been before or a new one; we are open<br />

to ideas.<br />

We would like to thank the <strong>MSWA</strong> staff who have visited from<br />

Perth, Gail, Sue and Lou, and Leonie from Bunbury. We are<br />

grateful for the time that you have taken to come down and<br />

update us on what is happening.<br />

We are waiting to hear about a visit from an OT so we will<br />

keep you posted.<br />

If you have an email account, you can send us a note at<br />

albany@mswa.org.au and we can add you to our mailing<br />

list and keep you updated on what is happening.<br />

In August we focused on the Rio Olympics, as we barracked<br />

for green & gold!! We even had our own ‘mini games’ going<br />

which included shooting, bowling, javelin and more. Go<br />

Australia!<br />

Sadly, we had to say goodbye to our Physiotherapy Manager,<br />

Marilyn, who retired after 23 years of service at the <strong>MSWA</strong>.<br />

We had a lovely farewell morning tea and showered her with<br />

gifts of appreciation from the Members and staff!<br />

Best of luck Marilyn and thank you!<br />



We all love a Christmas in July and our team at Southside<br />

didn’t disappoint!<br />

Lovely handmade decorations, a Christmas quiz, a delicious<br />

turkey lunch with all the trimmings and Santa made up the<br />

day! There was no snow however! Our Santa for the past<br />

nine years has been volunteer John. It was also John’s 80th<br />

birthday weekend, so instead of plum pudding we had John’s<br />

favourite - Black Forest cake complete with candles.<br />

We’ve enjoyed some interesting activities on Friday mornings<br />

such as – jewellery making, mosaics and sun catchers. In<br />

our ‘snapshot corner’ we’ve had experts from Wilson visiting<br />

to talk about subjects to help us in our MS journey: Sleep<br />

disorders, swallowing etc. Thanks to nurse Sandra along with<br />

physios/OTs and other specialists. We appreciate your time!<br />

Our physio area has added a Pilates machine and several<br />

Members are enjoying the benefits. Commencing shortly,<br />

we’ll have a new masseur for our Thursday morning sessions.<br />

Massages are very important to MS bodies.<br />

Brian and Sally are in Scotland for eight weeks, Trish and<br />

Rex are in Spain and UK visiting relatives and adding on a<br />

cruise down the Rhine! Angie and John are spending four<br />

weeks in Sydney with family in NSW and have family visiting<br />

from Japan. Jenny and husband are caravanning across Oz<br />

for a couple of months. Very impressive Jenny! Peter and<br />

Rose, and Doug and Anne have also been cruising in the past<br />

few months. We could be opening up the ‘Southside Travel<br />

Consultants Ltd’ division of MS! Just kidding! Looking forward<br />

to a few travel stories soon.<br />

<strong>MSWA</strong> BULLETIN SPRING 20<strong>16</strong> | 31

We’re fundraising<br />

with<br />

Discover thousands of valuable up<br />

to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for<br />

many of the best restaurants, arts,<br />

attractions, hotels, travel, shopping<br />

and much, much more!<br />

NEW!<br />

The best<br />

of Bali.<br />

$13 from every member order goes directly to <strong>MSWA</strong>.<br />

To reserve your new Entertainment membership please contact us on:<br />

Phone: (08) 6454 3121 | email: katherine.fowler@mswa.org.au<br />

or go online to: www.mswa.org.au/entertainment<br />

Are you NDIS Ready?<br />

Have you thought about your continence care?<br />

Coloplast’s recent NDIS participant survey found:<br />

40%<br />

of participants would like to<br />

make changes to their<br />

continence funding in their<br />

next NDIS meeting.<br />

Participants said:<br />

“I didn’t even know I could<br />

include continence<br />

products on the plan.”<br />

“I would have appreciated<br />

more information about the<br />

different products before<br />

my planning meeting.”<br />

Coloplast can help you to explore the best continence solution to ensure you acheive your goals and aspirations.<br />

Call our NDIS planning support line on freecall 1800 880 427.<br />

The Coloplast logo is a registered trademark of Coloplast A/S. © 20<strong>16</strong>-08 CON478. All rights reserved Coloplast A/S, 3050 Humlebaek, Denmark.<br />

CON478.indd 1<br />

25/08/20<strong>16</strong> 2:37:49 PM

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