Modifying Your Home When You Have MS
If you have multiple sclerosis, you may need to make changes to your home to make it more comfortable and accessible.
Make Room to Maneuver
Walkers, scooters, and wheelchairs all require ample
turning space; consider this when arranging furniture. Refer to your device's
manual , which should specify its specific turning radius. Avoid having lots of
side tables and other small pieces of furniture that clutter
Plug In and Turn On Without Hassle
Make outlets and light switches accessible with
Install an intercom system to make room-to-room
In the Bathroom
"Showering is tiring, plus soap and water make it
easy to slip," says Wechsler. To make it safer, install a steady seat or
bench in the stall and use a hand-held shower nozzle. Roll-in showers exist for
people in wheelchairs.
For showering, it's best to replace glass
doors with a shower curtain and install grab bars. "But grab bars must be
professionally installed," Wechsler tells WebMD. "They need to be
screwed into wall studs to be safe." In addition, have an occupational
therapist advise you on the best placement for them. Mechanized tub seats are
available for people needing extra help getting in and out.
Sinks should have long, lever-type faucet
handles. Insulate any pipes to avoid bumps and burns.
A standard toilet can be made more
comfortable by installing a raised toilet seat with handles.
In the Kitchen
Use a refrigerator/freezer with side-by-side
If possible, install a wall-mounted oven;
other oven modifications include side-hinged doors and stove dials that face
Remove cabinets under the sink and under a
portion of countertop to create a food-prep space where you can be seated
(again, be sure to insulate any pipes). Use slide-out shelves, lazy Susans, and
drawers for easy access to food and dishes.
Use electric jar and can openers and a food
processor. "You're given a certain budget of energy every day," says
Wechlser. "Why expend that energy on kitchen grunt work when you could use
it to go out and see a movie instead?"
In the Home Office