Help at Home

In the kitchen

  • Use a microwave oven instead of a traditional stove and kettle.
  • Buy a kettle and iron with an automatic switch-off.
  • When loading a dishwasher, keep knives and sharp objects pointed downward.
  • Wear rubber gloves when washing glassware or knives.
  • Keep regularly used household items, such as kitchen utensils, towels and linens, where they can be easily reached.
  • Serve food from where it is cooked, directly onto plates. You won't have to carry saucepans or casseroles of hot food.
  • Avoid breakable plates and cookware, and try not to use electric knives.

In the bathroom

  • Never lock the bathroom door.
  • Take showers or sponge baths instead of tub-baths. Sit down when showering and make sure someone else is at home while you shower.
  • Keep a rubber bath mat on the floor of the shower, and pad the edge of the tub with a folded towel.
  • To prevent burns, turn on the cold water first.
  • Use shower curtains instead of glass shower doors.

General home safety tips

  • Keep your home well lit and use nightlights.
  • Secure loose rugs to the floor and choose low carpets instead of shag.
  • Keep all floors free from obstacles.
  • While at home, wear low-heeled shoes or slippers with good traction.
  • Choose furniture with rounded edges and pad for extra protection.
  • Place furniture against walls wherever possible.
  • Beds, chairs and toilet seats are easier to use (and safer) if they are elevated.
  • If needed, install handrails on both sides of staircases. Remember that staircases with landings are safer.
  • Use portable phones for more convenient (and emergency) use.

If you are considering buying a new home, keep in mind that bungalows are safer than two-story homes. And look for ground level entry and ease of wheelchair access.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Help-at-Home

Daily Activities

An assistive device is a tool that makes a particular function easier to perform. It might be as simple as a grip for your bathtub, or as intricate as a series of remote control systems. Here are some assistive devices to help you with daily activities:

Cooking and Housekeeping: Devices such as electric can openers and cookware designed for those with limited hand, wrist, and forearm strength can make cooking manageable. By putting cleaning supplies on wheels and using long handled brooms and sponges can help reduce heavy lifting and bending. Reachers can help grasp objects on shelves or in closets.

Dressing: Button and zipper hooks can be used to fasten clothes. Using Velcro on clothes and shoes or elastic shoelaces can make dressing easier. You can fit combs, brushes, and toothbrushes with easier-to-hold handles.

Bathing and Showering: Tub and wall bars with grips can help you get into the shower and help you stay balanced. Rubber mats in the shower prevent falls.

Writing and Reading: Special grips on pens and pencils can help you write letters or pay bills. Special lenses and magnifying devices may correct some of the visual problems associated with MS.

Walking: Braces, canes, walkers and scooters can help you if you have trouble walking. If you can no longer walk, wheelchairs can provide mobility. Transfer boards and lifts can be used to help people with MS get in and out of a bed, tub, automobile, or wheelchair.

The devices listed above are usually prescribed upon referral from your doctor, by an occupational, physical, or speech therapist. Look for catalogues and surgical supply stores for sources of assistive devices.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Help-at-Home

In case of emergency

Make sure telephones in your home are easy to access, and that you can reach essential doors and locks, window latches and any assistive devices (or wheelchairs) you require.

Plan your emergency route exits. Some fire departments will place special stickers on your bedroom window if you have a disability. Test your smoke alarms and change their batteries.

Ask your fire department for a fire safety inspection. Know how to use a fire extinguisher and make sure it's readily accessible in your home.

Install peepholes at eye-level in your front and back doors. You might want to purchase an electric door system, alarm or intercom system for your home.

Assess your home from the outside – are you advertising that someone with a disability lives there? Keep wheelchairs inside or in a garage. If you live alone, change your answering machine or voice-mail message to suggest that you don't live alone.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Help-at-Home

Keeping it Simple

If you have MS, you may feel fatigued often. You can help conserve energy by simplifying your home and your activities. For example, look around your home and ask yourself "Do I really need this?" If not, pack or give it away. Less clutter around your home is safer for you, and makes things easier to find if you are visually impaired.

This rule of simplicity also applies to your activities at home: prioritize and delegate if you can! Ask yourself "Do I really need to do this job right now? Is there anyone who could help, or any assistive device that might help me?" Try to decorate and plan your home environment so that you can sit or stand with everything you need handy. Put the things you use most often within easy reach.

Making your home look warm and using your favorite things can help you simplify work at home and prevent fatigue. For example, lighting can make your home look and feel cheery and warm. Good lighting is also safer. Colors enhance textures and can help brighten a room or relax you. Choose colors that you find cheerful and restful.

Surround yourself with plants and pictures of people you love. Choose music that is pleasing and relaxing to you, and avoid excessive noise from accessories or appliances. Keep the volume of the TV and radio/stereo to comfortable levels.

Find pleasing sources of scent for your home, such as plants, flowers, or even cleaning products.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2020. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/MS-Help-at-Home