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MS CPD by The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland

As part of our continuous professional development (CPD) for this month a session on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) was hosted by representatives of MS Ireland – The Multiple Sclerosis Society of Ireland to provide information on Multiple Sclerosis.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological condition that affects the central nervous system. It is a progressive illness and there are different types of MS. A transition can occur from one type to another, and the speed of the transition can vary, but the most common type is relapsing-remitting. In Ireland, there are over 9,000 people living with MS and 300 additional cases every year.
The symptoms of MS and its severity can vary according to each person, and they can be motor, sensory and cognitive according to the lesions. The most apparent symptom is the reduction in mobility, but other symptoms such as fatigue, spasticity, weakness, vision problems, changes in sensation, memory and concentration problems are often present. Unfortunately, there is no cure for MS, but there are a number of treatments that can help to manage the condition and reduce the frequency and the severity of the relapses.
In Ireland, 90% of people with MS are of working age, however, the rate of employment in the country is 17% lower than the European average (43% compared with an EU average of 60%). Over 34% of people with MS have permanently withdrawn from work as a result of MS and 66% of people with severe MS have retired due to their condition.
MS Ireland is a national organisation that provides information, services and support to the MS community. Their services include programmes for one-on-one support, physiotherapy, symptom management courses, newly diagnosed sessions, and MS Information Line. Additionally, they provide the only national respite and therapy centre for people with MS in the country.
The organisation provides support for people with MS and their families and has constant work with the dissemination of information about MS. MS Ireland has a great number of projects to promote information for our community such as the MSunderstood Café, a sensory café which allows customers to experience MS symptoms and help our community to gain a better understanding of the daily challenges faced by people with MS. This project was brought on the road in the form of a bus to various locations around the country.
The simulated environment of the café was created withby people with MS to ensure the aspects were as realistic as possible. Some examples of MS ‘symptoms’ that could be experienced by customers include:
Chairs were weighted and harder to collect to represent fatigue in arms;
The menu board blurred to simulate a vision impairment;
Spongy floor to make people feel a little out of balance, etc.
This project promoted an unusual experience that raised awareness about MS and the challenges they face on daily activities. MS can affect many parts of a person’s life depending on their physical abilities. Providing an adequate and accessible environment, especially in public spaces and buildings, can promote a better quality of life and inclusion for the MS community. Providing awareness and understanding of MS in our community is a great improvement for all.
To read more about MS Ireland, click here and to check more about the MSunderstood Café, click here to see the video
Alternatively, if you need further information on how to make facilities or services more accessible and inclusive, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on (01) 415 12 85 or e-mail