Multiple Sclerosis Disability Accommodations: Take Control and Make Changes

Mandy Crest Health Guide
  • Living with multiple sclerosis often means making lifestyle changes, big and small. While it is very difficult to take that first step and admit that you need some type of assistance, once you make the necessary accommodations for your disabilities you will find that it actually empowers you. You will be more in control and less dependent upon others.

    There are many things you can do to make life easier, some I've done, some I haven't needed to do yet. Take advantage of these and any other methods available to improve your quality of life.

    Cane

     

    Buying a cane was the first purchase I made after diagnosis. It really brought the reality of MS home. It was clear that I needed one, but I was reluctant to actually do it. My husband, watching me look at canes online said, “If you're going to get a cane, GET A CANE!”. That's how I ended up with a red paisley adjustable folding cane. It immediately improved my gait and allowed me to appear in public looking like I didn't actually need a cane. There is even a cane with a built-in stool seat to give you a rest when you need it. It's not particularly attractive but it has the potential to save the day.

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    Shower Chair

     

    If standing for long periods of time is a problem, being able to sit in the shower, even for a few moments, can make your morning routine much easier.

    Shower Grab Bars

     

    With this simple installation you can avoid a dangerous fall.

    Hair Dryer Stand

     

    Now that you are safely out of the shower, this handy helper will hold the hair dryer for you while you brush and style, giving your arms a break.

    Wheelchair

     

    This is a tough one, but if the situation calls for it get yourself a wheelchair. You can purchase a lightweight, folding wheelchair which can easily store in your car or even on an airplane. It follows that if you need a wheelchair around your own home that additional adjustments, such as a wheelchair ramp, and widened doorways must be made.

    Kitchen Stool

     

    A tall stool gives you the height you need to comfortably work on kitchen countertops.

    Footware

     

    If you have trouble walking, get some lightweight slippers which grip the floor and don't flop off. I hate to say this, but “sensible shoes” are called for. Avoid flip-flops and clogs.

    Pen

     

    I recently discovered a wonderful pen which is designed for people who have difficulty maintaining a grip on a regular pen. You'll be thrilled to find that you can write legibly again!

    Air Conditioning

     

    MS can be aggravated when you are overheated. Install air conditioners and area fans to help keep you cool. Avoid hot tubs and saunas.

    Magnifying Reading Glasses

     

    There are many items to choose from when your eyes are giving you trouble. Take advantage of magnifying reading glasses, hand held magnifiers, even magnifiers with lights which can easily fit into a pocket or purse.

    There are many issues that come with multiple sclerosis which are beyond our control, but most of us can find ways to improve our situation. Don't be afraid to admit that you need help. Then do something about it. You'll be glad you did!

Published On: January 25, 2008