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Preparing your Home for Degenerative Multiple Sclerosis

by Alicia Lam Taracido  

 

Holding Hands Of all the diseases that could afflict man, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the worst. Some people show mild symptoms, but others are affected more strongly and can even have trouble going about their daily tasks. For people suffering from degenerative multiple sclerosis, life can be very difficult. To ease their troubles, it is important to prepare their homes in such a way that their daily activities are made much easier. Before learning how you can prepare your home for someone with degenerative multiple sclerosis, you should learn about the disease and its effects.

What is multiple sclerosis?

Multiple Sclerosis is a long-lasting disease that affects a person’s optic nerves, spinal cord, and brain. This disease affects the myelin sheath, the fatty material surrounding nerve fibers, which causes the nerves to degenerate and become scar tissue. This prevents the brain from sending signals through the body, which can result in symptoms like trouble walking, muscle weakness or spasm, blurred or double vision, fatigue, numbness and tingling, decreased bladder or bowel control, sexual problems, depression, pain, and issues with memory. Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease, resulting in the gradual deterioration and loss of function of tissues and organs.

 

Preparing your home for someone with multiple sclerosis

Simple tasks like preparing a cup of coffee, taking a bath, or cleaning up can become cumbersome tasks for someone with multiple sclerosis. Making modifications to your home to make it easy to navigate through is one step of making life easier for someone suffering from this disease.  The key is to make your house environment more comfortable by making certain modifications. Here is how you can adapt your home into becoming more multiple sclerosis-friendly.

 

Manage your bedroom

Rearrange the furniture in your bedroom so the bed is easily accessible without having to navigate around anything. Install adaptive devices next to the bed like grab bars that help with getting on and off the bed and blocks to stand on. Make sure the bed is not too high off the ground. Eliminate unnecessary items from the wardrobe. Place essential items like water bottle , napkins, medications, books, cellphone, etc. well within reach. If there are shelves in the bedroom, make sure they are not higher than your shoulder level.

 

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Modify the bathroom

Besides the bedroom, the bathroom is the second room in the house where you spend most of your time. It is important that you pay extra attention to bathroom safety .  Install grab bars next to the toilet to help get on and off the commode .  Also, install them next to the bathtub and in the shower. Place a shower chair or a bathtub transfer bench so they can be seated while they take a shower.

A hand-held shower nozzle is ideal. Long-handled sponges and brushes are also very useful. Install anti-slip decals in the tub and non-skid mats outside. It is also advisable to install a toilet safety frame. You could also install an elevated toilet seat that makes it easier for them to sit and stand. Stock up on incontinence products such as pads, disposable underwear, and rubber mats, if necessary.  View all Bathroom Safety Items

 

The kitchen

Place everyday cutlery like bowls, plates, and glasses on an easy-to-reach shelf. You can place the less often used items on higher shelves or lower cabinets. Keep a handcart so they do not have to carry all the items in their hands. A stool is very handy so they can remain seated while they cook or wash dishes. Workhorse appliances like blender, food processor, etc. are excellent options to help prepare dishes much faster and easier. Make sure all containers are plastic so they are easy to use and will not break.  View all Adaptive Dining Products

 

Manage the living room

Make sure there are plenty of firm and thick cushions around. Chairs should be strategically placed so they are easy to reach or navigate around. Place a small-sized table next to the couch or their favorite seat so they have easy access to their essentials like books, remote control, cellphone, and so on. People with Multiple Sclerosis suffer from vision problems, so it is advised to use light bulbs that are at least 100 watts. Install anti-glare treatments for the windows.

When you are preparing your home for someone who suffers from degenerative multiple sclerosis, you need to keep their safety and ease of access in mind. Remove all forms of clutter that could hinder their movement. Rearrange your furniture for easy maneuverability. If you have pets, it is advised that you keep them away for a while. Keep the floors of your house clean to avoid falls.

The most important factor of modifying your house is to make it simpler for someone with degenerative multiple sclerosis to live in. Follow these tips and make your house more friendly, comfortable, and safe.

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