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.
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
In the Living Room
- Use remote-control blinds.
Carry a cell phone or cordless phone;
hands-free headsets are also very convenient.
Avoid chairs and sofas that allow you to
sink into them or that have slanted backs; the ideal height for seating
surfaces is between 19-20 inches.
In the Bedroom