Supporting Kerrie living with MS

Supporting Kerrie living with MS
Posted on Mon 25 Mar 2019

One thing Kerrie knows about Multiple Sclerosis is that maintaining fitness is good for her mental and emotional wellbeing as well as her physical wellbeing.

As a wife and mother of two active teenage sons, Kerrie’s main goal is to stay as strong as she can, especially with standing, to maintain a level of independence. This is one of many goals she is working on attaining with Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Kerrie is a regular in her local Cerebral Palsy Alliance gym working with exercise physiologists and one-to-one sessions with a personal trainer.

Kerrie was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than 10 years ago when she noticed changes in her body.

Multiple Sclerosis is a progressive disorder that affects people in different ways, and many people diagnosed continue to lead an active and independent life. It is a disease that damages nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. This in turn impacts the body from tingling limbs, loss of mobility, vision issues just to name a few. Treatments can slow the progress of the disease and help manage symptoms.

 

Opening the doors to help everyone

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Cerebral Palsy Alliance was able to open the gym doors to people with a range of disabilities. Across the site with gym, the dedicated team of exercise physiologists and personal trainers are delivering one-to-one sessions and group programs targeted at certain goals. The gyms are special as they have modified equipment for people in wheelchairs and plenty of space to accommodate walkers, wheelchairs and other equipment.

Finding the right gym and trainer has been difficult for Kerrie, who now spends most of her time in her chair. She needed a gym that would accommodate her wheelchair in the workouts and also trainers who would be able to work with her disability. She has been a regular in the gym since 2017 after hearing the gym was opening its doors to everyone.

Kerrie said that being part of Cerebral Palsy Alliance and its gym has been a really positive experience.

“Other providers you just pay the money and are just a client, but I feel really cared for here,” she said.

 

Hitting her goals

Kerrie’s focus on her physical goals have also delivered other unexpected benefits.

“I think emotionally it has really benefited me coming twice a week to the gym here at Cerebral Palsy Alliance. There is a supportive and welcoming team here, it’s close to home and having an outlet like this has been really positive for me.”

 

“I’m also focused on keeping my ability to stand as much as I can. At the moment I can still stand to transfer which gives me a level of independence. But once I have to do slide transfers, that’s a game-changer for me because it makes life a little more difficult.

 

Keeping the strength in my legs is probably more important and then I focus on moving. I think that the more I move my body, the more it’s able to keep moving.

And I don’t forget my upper body, because I use my arms a lot, pushing my body up when I transfer. My favourite activity for that is boxing!

It’s great because the Cerebral Palsy Alliance team understand my goals and are excited about making a fun program that we can mix up to keep it fun. My personal trainer Allan reads my reports and is interested in understanding my MS.”

 

Benefits of the one-stop-shop

The gym is just one gateway into the organisation. Kerrie is now receiving other support through occupational therapy and physiotherapy, which she accesses through the NDIS.

“I think having everything in one building is so much better for me. My previous occupational therapy was delivered over the phone, whereas at CPA I receive it face-to-face, which adds a whole new level of care.

It was through speaking with the team here at Cerebral Palsy Alliance I realised that I was eligible for the supports I really need under the NDIS.

And the best part is I can receive them all in one place because Cerebral Palsy Alliance is a one-stop-shop. 

I did think that the supports and services were only available to people living with cerebral palsy, but that is not the case. I’m excited to have my next NDIS plan so I can start receiving more supports here.”

Kerrie can tire easily with MS so having to travel long distances for services is not ideal to conserve her energy levels. Receiving services closer to homes means she can direct her funds towards the personal supports to help her maintain her independence.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance can help you understand your NDIS funds and plan the services and supports you will need to achieve your goals, just like we did with Kerrie.

Find out more about MS. Contact one of our friendly team on 1300 888 378 or  ask@cerebralpalsy.org.au

CPA transform lives through finding the perfect home for clients who need accommodation support. Our client Ashley is now living his best life, since moving homes he's build independence, made friends and taken up new hobbies.

CPA is pleased to welcome specialist psychology team, Diverse Minds, to our Allambie Heights campus in northern Sydney from 23 July 2019.


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