Question

Living With Multiple Sclerosis

What are some ways to make my life easier if I have multiple sclerosis?

A Answers (1)

  • AShelley Peterman Schwarz, Neurology, answered
    A few simple and inexpensive ways that I've found to make my life with multiple sclerosis (MS) easier are:
    1. Rubber bands. I found it easier to grasp and turn a doorknob if we wound several rubber bands around the largest part of the doorknob. Rubber bands can add girth to handles on kitchen tools, hairbrushes and toothbrushes, and other household objects. Try adding rubber bands anywhere you need a little extra help gripping.
    2. Thermo pellets. Thermo Pellets are heat-activated foam beads that may be formed into any shape to create custom grips on all kinds of items, making it easier and more comfortable to grasp and hold them in your hand. By warming the foam beads in hot water, on a heating plate, or in the microwave, the beads can be molded and remolded.
    3. Power strips. I learned that I could turn all my computer equipment -- monitor, printer, and CPU -- on and off by pressing one switch if I plugged all of them into a six-outlet power strip. I put the power strip on top of my desk, within easy reach. You can put one within easy reach in other rooms and use it to plug in a lamp, radio, TV, stereo, fan, and other items. You can find power strips with safety features, such as circuit breakers or surge protectors, at hardware stores and discount stores.
    4. Reachers. As their name suggests, reachers extend your reach or help you pick up or grasp objects. They come in various lengths, weights, and means of operation. Some have trigger grips, similar to a pistol's which are operated by squeezing your finger. Others have full-grasp handgrips that allow you to squeeze with all your fingers. I found one reacher with a locking mechanism that enables me to hold an object tightly without continuing to grasp the handle. Some reachers have magnets at the end for picking up metal objects. Others have rubber grippers or vinyl-covered tips for better holding power. Battery-operated reachers automatically open and close gripping jaws with a light push on a rocker switch. Some reachers fold in half for traveling or storage, and some come with a carrying attachment that clamps the reacher to a walker or wheelchair. Try out different kinds of reachers for different activities around the house; you will find they make your life so much easier.
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