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8 Tips for Making Your Home More MS Friendly

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
  • Woman working from home office
    Easy Home Improvements for MS
    If you've recently been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis or are worried your symptoms are getting worse, it's only natural to feel concerned about how MS will affect your daily life. Problems with mobility and vision can make everyday living full of new challenges, but there are some easy things you can do at home to improve your comfort and safety. Here are eight tips to get started.
  • Woman at home in kitchen, near wooden shelves with food
    Get rid of clutter.
    Living in a space that's disorganized and overflowing with objects can be exhausting whether you have MS or not. If you've put off any household organization in the past, now is a great time to clean and simplify your space. An easy solution is to put into storage or otherwise get rid of things you don't use frequently, paying particular attention to clearing off surfaces in case you need to use them for balance. The objects you use frequently can be placed in easy-to-reach spots, saving you time and energy.
  • mature man practicing yoga in bedroom, standing on one leg
    Replace your flooring.
    To make it easier to get around your home, take an assessment of your flooring. This step is particularly important if you are using a wheelchair or other form of mobility assistance. It's best to remove rugs, which can create uneven surfaces, or use a non-slip pad and tape to secure the rugs you want to keep. Removing thick carpeting in favor of thinner varieties or incorporating tile, hardwood or smooth materials can also improve your ability to get around.
  • young woman relaxing on couch in living room with red wall and red curtains
    Rearrange your furniture.
    Not only does rearranging your furniture give you a fresh start, but it can also provide walking assistance. While grab bars are a great safety measure, especially in the bathroom, couches, sofa tables, dining tables and dressers can all be an aid in other parts of the house, just be sure to use sturdy furniture that won't move or become unstable when used for balance.
  • Close-up of hand on door handle with outdoor scene in background
    Rethink your doors.
    Round doorknobs can make it difficult to get in and out of rooms. A relatively inexpensive solution is to replace them with lever handles, which are much easier to operate. You can also think outside the box, or in this case, outside the door, by removing it entirely. Not only does removing the door remove problematic knobs, it also provides more room in the doorway for a wheelchair.
  • Woman preparing Caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes on chopping board
    Incorporate contrast.
    Having trouble with your vision can be scary if MS is affecting your eyes. To compensate and improve your confidence in getting around, you can get creative with colors. Dark and light colors when paired together can provide easy-to-see contrast. Examples include using a dark switch plate on a light-colored wall, cutting light-colored foods on a dark cutting board and marking edges of steps and door frames in a contrasting color to make them easier to see.
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  • kitchen chairs
    Rise up.
    Uplift yourself by raising your furniture, which can make it much easier getting out of chairs and beds so you can save your energy for the activities you enjoy. High-top dining tables and chairs can be bought at most stores, or head to your home good or hardware store for bed risers or blocks. You can also raise your toilet or purchase an elevated toilet seat to make your bathroom more accessible.
  • woman scrolling through phone
    Go remote.
    If you have MS, remote controls are a great solution for your home, allowing you to manage all sorts of gadgets and appliances, from ceiling fans, home theater systems and even your thermostat, without walking from room to room. If you really want to go above and beyond, smart home systems can connect all of your electronic devices to your smartphone or tablet. Environmental control units are another option that are made specifically for people with mobility impairments.
  • Woman watching TV on couch with her dog
    Keep relaxation in mind
    Any type of chronic illness can cause stress, and where MS is concerned, stress can actually trigger or make your symptoms worse. To encourage stress relief, design your home to make it easy to unwind. Do you need to replace an uncomfortable mattress or sofa? How about new soft towels or sheets? Other ideas include developing a schedule or plan for managing household chores, using scents you like and having humorous books, movies or TV shows on hand for a quick way to relieve stress through laughter.
8 Tips for Making Your Home More MS Friendly
  1. Creating a Comfortable Environment for People with Low Vision. American,Foundation for the Blind
  2. Manage Stress, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  3. Multiple Sclerosis Lifestyle and Home Remedies, Mayo Clinic
  4. At Home With MS: Adapting Your Environment, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  5. Multiple Sclerosis FAQs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society
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Last Review Date: 2020 Dec 18
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.