Welcome to the website of Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft Landesverband Berlin e. V. (Berlin State Association of the German Multiple Sclerosis Society)!
You can find information here about the following topics:
Multiple sclerosis is also known under the acronym "MS." Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease, it causes the immune system to develop antibodies against the body's own tissue. To put it more precisely, the immune system attacks the protective layer of nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
The symptoms can vary greatly. Possible symptoms are quick fatiguing, pain, gait disorders, numbness, visual impairment or bladder dysfunctions.
The disease is often referred to as the disease with a thousand faces due to this wide range of symptoms.
In spite of intense research, the exact cause of multiple sclerosis is still unknown.
About 12,000 people in Berlin suffer from MS, a number that is growing every year. Women are three times more likely to suffer from the disease than men. The onset of the disease occurs in most cases between the ages of 20 and 40. More and more young people are also suffering from it.
Our State Association is a member of the Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft [German Multiple Sclerosis Society] (DMSG).
The German Multiple Sclerosis Society is an independent self-help organisation.
- It aids people who have MS, as well as their families.
- Its mission is to improve the quality of life of people with MS and to enable them to live a self-determined life.
- It advocates that people with MS have the same rights as people without MS.
- It supports research and treatment of MS.
Our State Association has been assisting people with MS in Berlin since 1982.
- We help those who have had the disease for a long time and those who are newly afflicted with it, as well as their families and people caring for MS patients.
- We represent the interests of people with MS in Berlin, for example in umbrella organisations for people with disabilities.
- We educate about multiple sclerosis and draw attention to the disease.
Our State Association offers help without bias or prejudice. This means that the Association is independent from politics, churches, and pharmaceutical corporations.
Our State Association works according to the principle of self-representation. This means that the direction of our work is determined by the people suffering from MS in Berlin.
Lots of questions come up not only when the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis is first received but also in the further course of the disease. Our peer counsellors give answers and provide help, as do our social work and psychology specialists in individual, private counselling meetings:
3.1.1. Peer counselling
In peer counselling, you receive advice from "equals", meaning people who have had a similar experience to yours. In the joint search for a better way to cope with the disease, our peer counsellors contribute their own experiences: their efforts and fears, but also their confidence and courage.
The aim of peer counselling is to help those seeking advice to recognise their own potential and develop a perspective for themselves. The foundation for this is the trust between the counsellors and those receiving the counselling, which develops based on the counsellors being chronically ill themselves while also having the expertise to work as counsellors.
3.1.2. Psychological advice
Our services for psychological advice support people with MS and their families in handling situations that cause a lot of personal strain. Together, we look for possible perspectives.
Contact us if...
… the MS diagnosis has turned your life upside down.
… you are unsure how to carry on.
… everything is now all about the disease and nothing else.
… the relationship with your partner is suffering.
… you feel stressed or sad.
… everything is too much.
… you simply need someone to talk to.
3.1.3. Social counselling
- How can I handle my everyday life with MS?
- Where can I find specialised medical help?
- What financial assistance can I claim?
- What support services are there and where can I find them?
- Who can help me with applications and objections?
- What should I do in relation to my employer and the people in my life?
Our social counselling service is here to answer these and similar questions, which are often in the minds of people with MS, whether recently diagnosed or not, as well as family, friends, and legal guardians. We also advise members on objection procedures.
3.1.4. MS counselling app
The free MS counselling app is a quick and easy method that MS patients can use from anywhere to contact DMSG specialists for social or peer counselling.
3.2. Assisted living
DMSG Berlin offers two types of assisted living:
- Single residence in assisted living (BEW)
- Single residence in assisted living within the care network
These are services of social work peer support in accordance with SGB IX [German Social Security Code, Book 9). We understand all three forms to be assistance for self-help, which takes the manifold concomitant phenomena associated with MS into account and enables those afflicted to retain independence, self-determination, responsibility, and social participation to the greatest possible extent.
Within this framework our experienced specialists, who are familiar with the special life situation of people with MS, support those who have the disease so that they can attain or develop sufficient strength and decision-making competence to manage everyday life.
3.2.1. Single residence in assisted living (BEW)
To support the wishes of MS patients for the most independent life possible in their own residences, we have been offering single residence assisted living (BEW) since 2007.
People with MS can utilise single residence assisted living when they require help from social workers, besides nursing care and/or household assistance, in order to lead their everyday lives in and outside of their residence.
Do you, for example, need help when you are in contact with public offices and authorities, for doctor's visits or in organising your day? Do you perhaps need assistance in finding recreational activities or volunteer work? Then contact us!
3.2.2. Single residence in assisted living within the care network
In 2019, our care network opened its doors at Joachimstraße in Köpenick. It consists of eleven, barrier-free, largely wheelchair accessible one- and two-bedroom flats, as well as a large station flat within the building out of which our specialists attend to the residents.
The direct proximity to the residences in the care network enables us to address the personal needs of the residents in the best manner and with consideration for their respective health conditions.
The residents are the main tenants of their flats and also furnish them on their own. A large common room serves as an extended living room. It has a kitchen with near barrier-free equipment, offering the possibility to get together or invite guests.
3.3. Visiting volunteers
Since 2013, the volunteer visiting service of DMSG Berlin brings together people suffering from MS who wish to get visits and people who want to spend time with them. The visitors come from all sorts of backgrounds, like a reflection of our society. Among them are 20 to 80-year-olds, people with and without MS, women and men, some have children, some have grandchildren, some work and others are pensioners, some use medical aids and others do not.
Reasons for the volunteer visiting service:
- Do you have time, and would you like to use this time to do something valuable?
- Can you see yourself visiting an MS patient on a regular basis?
- Or are you one of the people with MS who would like get visits?
- Perhaps you would like to spend some of your spare time with someone else?
- Perhaps you would like to enrich your everyday life a little?
The activities can be as diverse as the interests of the visitors and the hosts:
- simply sitting together,
- having inspiring conversations,
- playing a game together,
- going on walks,
- or many more things...
- tries to consider the preferences for recreational activities,
- pays attention to realistic commutes when placing visitors,
- supports the visitors by means of regular exchanges of experiences (if needed, including short advanced training),
- insures the visitors for the time spent volunteering.
3.4. Self-help groups and regulars' tables
Do you sometimes feel left alone with your disease and its consequences in daily life?
You can find kindred spirits near you in self-help groups or at regulars' tables!
What does self-help mean?
Self-help means taking problems and their solutions into your own hands and becoming proactive within the limits of your own possibilities. In self-help groups and at regulars' tables, you can experience stress relief and support from the other participants. You will see that you are not alone with your problems and learn how to recognise difficulties, and how to handle and master them.
What are self-help groups and regulars' tables?
Self-help groups primarily focus on dealing with the disease, even though doing things together can also be part of the activities. Self-help groups should therefore stay manageable in terms of the number of participants and they are split when needed. The meeting point is a public or rented space. In contrast, regulars' tables revolve around varying topics which do not need to relate to the disease. The number of participants therefore tends to be less important. However, the regulars' tables of course do not exclude the disease. Meeting points can be alternating localities such as cafés or pubs.
Everyone can start their own self-help group or regulars' table. DMSG Berlin provides support for this. We have self-help groups and regulars' tables all over Berlin.
DMSG Berlin offers different online and on-site events at different dates throughout the year. The programme includes specialised presentations and seminars as well as courses, workshops, and trips relating to the domains of health, sports, recreation, arts, and culture.
3.6. Functional exercises
DMSG Berlin offers several functional exercise groups in the Berlin region with partly different emphases.
Functional exercises means training with therapeutic, musculoskeletal exercises, which have been developed specifically for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Regular physical exercise improves the physical and cognitive capacity, stimulates nerve growth, and has a preventive effect on many concomitant diseases. People with MS can exercise together, whether standing up, seated and/or with medical aids, in weekly group training sessions led by specially trained DMSG functional exercise coaches (for example, physical, ergo- or sports therapists). The exercises are modified by the coaches so that personal ability and training levels can be taken into account.
Functional exercise therapy can be prescribed by primary care or specialised physicians (application for cost assumption = "Sample 56", dry gymnastics, for 12 or 24 months, 1x or 2x per week).
3.7. KOMPASS magazine
KOMPASS is the publication of DMSG Landesverband Berlin e. V. which is issued twice a year. At the centre of each edition is a focus topic with current relevance for people with MS in Berlin. In addition, news from the State Association, event reports, information from science and research, as well as articles about all aspects related to the life with MS can be found in KOMPASS.
10 reasons to become a member
For just 3.50 euros* per month:
- We give advice and are at your side when it comes to questions of social medicine, nursing, social law, and psychology;
- We help you file relevant applications – regardless if these are for rehabilitation treatments, pensions, level of disability or objections to corresponding applications;
- You can profit from special conditions for our events, courses, workshops, and trips in the domains of health, sports, recreation, arts, and culture;
- You will get news worth knowing about MS in the form of the magazines "KOMPASS" of the State Association (2 x per year, incl. event calendar) and "Aktiv" of the Federal Association (4 x per year);
- You will get discounts on select specialist literature;
- You can cast your vote in the members' meeting of the State Association and thereby have a direct say in its direction;
- You will strengthen the representative power of the State Association and thereby the enforcement of your interests in politics and society;
- You will also be a member of the Federal Association, which is part of the global network of MS societies, and you will benefit from the nation-wide networking of the Berlin State Association, as well as the health policy representation at the federal level;
- With your membership fee, you can show solidarity by supporting not only people with MS who are already organised and contribute to ensuring care and assistance for MS patients in Germany, but also enable the promotion of MS research by the Federal Association;
- And last but not least, you will be part of one of the largest self-help organisations in Germany with overall almost 60,000 members.
* The membership fee for individual members is at least 42 euros per year.
Contact us for further information:
Deutsche Multiple Sklerose Gesellschaft
Landesverband Berlin e. V.
Aachener Str. 16
030 / 313 06 47