All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for May 2004

MS Society defends respite home closure

May, 2004
Jane Gillard
Star Newspaper

A MEETING about the closure of the western suburbsí only respite house for multiple sclerosis sufferers will be held next week.

People affected by the closure of the MS Respite House in Williamstown are invited to attend the meeting on Wednesday, 12 May.

The MS Society of Victoria has defended its decision to close its four-bed respite house on Power St and said it was part of a statewide redistribution of MS respite facilities.

But the news has been a shock to nearly 80 families who could book their loved ones in for up to four weeks a year and take a break from their role as carers. The Footscray meeting has been organised by the Western Region Disability Network (WRDN). MS Society chief executive officer Lyndsay McMillan will be the guest speaker.

WRDN executive officer Helen Adams said she hoped users would get questions answered at the meeting.
"This will be a chance for people to voice their concerns about the closure of the service and to ask questions of the MS Society."

Mrs Adams said. "But we would like the MS Society to rescind the decision to close it.

"Alternatively, we would like the MS Society to alter their arrangement to give respite to those, in the North, West and Inner city, who are going to lose it."

The MS Society charity intends to close the facility on 8 August and all beds are booked until then. About a quarter of the families who use the Williamstown respite home are from the Western suburbs. The MS Society also offers two beds for MS respite care in Watsonia. It plans to use the funds from the sale of the Williamstown house to fund five respite beds in a yet-to-be built centre in Pakenham and two beds in Beaumaris.

The meeting will be at the Church Hall, 10A Hyde St, Footscray, with registration from 9.30am and the meeting starting at 10am. To book or to get help in attending, call Maria on 9687 7066

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