“Home is a shelter from storms – all sorts of storms.” – William J. Bennett
Whenever we think of home, we should be able to conjure up thoughts of relaxation, comfort, and safety. For a loved one with multiple sclerosis, however, the home environment is sometimes actually quite dangerous.
MS impacts millions of people worldwide and may cause dizziness, fatigue, and issues with walking, along with a variety of other symptoms. Because of this, the chance of falls is elevated, and in many cases carrying out daily tasks can lead to injury.
Thankfully, there are some easy steps you can use to make the home safer, more comfortable, and easier to navigate. As March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, it is a great time to help someone you love implement changes to enhance independence and safety.
Our experts in senior care in Topeka, KS have organized room-by-room modification recommendations for you below:
- Place furniture strategically to create wide paths which can be accessed by a wheelchair, but also to provide stable objects for the person to lean against when walking.
- Get rid of any throw rugs and other tripping hazards, including electrical cords or clutter. Thin carpets or hardwood flooring are best for someone with MS.
- Add voice-activated lights, touch lamps, or rocker-style light switches instead of traditional switches, which are often challenging for a person whose hand strength has diminished.
- Use contrasting colors to identify floors, steps, door frames, and walls.
- Make commonly-used items easy to access, at eye level to help the person avoid the need to stoop down or reach up for them.
- Shop for kitchen tools that can assist with specific challenges – for example, there are jar openers and other gadgets which are simpler to use for someone experiencing numbness in the fingers or hands.
- Place a secure chair or stool with back support close to the counter so the person can sit to make food.
- Modify the sink and other appliances as feasible. For instance, moving the faucet to the side of the sink and installing levers instead of knobs makes it easier to get to. Removing cabinets from under the sink permits a wheelchair to slide underneath. An open cooktop in place of a full stove will also create space underneath for a wheelchair.
- Put the person’s regularly-used hygiene items in a basket on a low, easily-accessible shelf.
- Change the height of towel bars as needed so towels are within easy reach.
- Add grab bars, a shower chair, and a raised toilet seat.
- Look for products which are packaged for easier access, such as body wash dispensed with a pump instead of bars of soap.
Grace Home Care, an award-winning provider of senior care in Topeka, KS, is also here to help by providing an in-home safety evaluation as well as delivering hands-on care. We work closely with those we serve, promoting as much independence as possible while offering assistance with tasks where required.
Contact us at 785-286-2273 for a free in-home consultation to find out about the countless ways home care helps people with MS. Together, we can make sure home is the place of enjoyment and security it should be!