Helpful Home Adjustments for MS
- Make Your Home MS-FriendlyMultiple sclerosis (MS) can affect almost everything you do at home, from cooking and bathing to sitting and walking. But a few changes around the house can make living with MS much easier, safer, and more comfortable. You'll feel more at home in your personal space—and in control of your own well-being.
- Start from the Floor and Go UpIf you have trouble getting around because of MS, walking or wheeling on carpet may be difficult. Smooth, nonskid flooring is a better choice. If you do have carpet, secure it well. Remove loose rugs and mats before they trip you up.
- Convenience in the KitchenStore food, cookware, and dishes within easy arm's reach—between knee-height and the top of your head. Keep this in mind when choosing appliances, too. For example, a side-by-side refrigerator lets you keep both freezer and fridge items at a convenient height. A front-control stove means you don't have to reach over hot pans. Another tip: Save steps by dedicating a nearby cabinet for those items you use most frequently.
- Handy Cooking ToolsWhen MS makes it difficult to chop vegetables or lift heavy pots, adaptive cooking tools can come to the rescue. Examples include rocker-style knives, lightweight cookware, and easy-to-grip utensils. Not sure what's available? Check out AbleData's huge database of adaptive products, including kitchen gadgets.
- Comfort in the Living RoomA deep, cushy sofa or chair may look inviting, but once you sit down, it can be hard to stand up again. Choose a comfortable chair with sturdy armrests. You can raise a chair that's too low by placing it on blocks. Just make sure the blocks have receptacle holes so the chair legs fit into them instead of resting on them, where they could slide off. Raise a low table by adding leg extenders or wheels.
- Safety in the BathroomGrab bars are safety essentials around the tub, and they're now sold in colors to complement your bathroom décor. Putting a nonslip mat in the tub is smart, as well. A raised toilet seat makes it easier to sit down and get up. A single, lever-style handle for each faucet takes less effort to use than other types of controls.
- Ease in the BedroomA higher bed is easier to rise from in the morning. If you have trouble getting into and out of bed, consider a motorized bed that raises and lowers as needed. Some models look like attractive furniture rather than hospital beds. Leave plenty of open space on both sides so it's easier to make the bed.
- Bright Lighting IdeasIf your vision is affected by MS, avoid sudden transitions in lighting, such as going from a dark bedroom into a bright, shiny bathroom. Nightlights soften the transition and reduce tripping. Paint stair edges in a bright color to make them stand out. Avoid busy patterns on walls and floors, which can confuse the eye.
- Create a Peaceful HavenYou don't have to sacrifice style to adapt your home to MS. Decorate with an eye toward beauty and relaxation. Soothe your senses with restful sounds (a bubbling aquarium, soft background music) and pleasant aromas (scented candles, potpourri). Personalize every room with photos and objects that make you smile.
Helpful Home Adjustments for MS