Adapting to Make Life Easier:

  • I am in a wheelchair, and before visiting a site or traveling, I research the address using Google Maps or another map site. I use the street view to see accessibility.
  • Adapting the way I write by using a small computer with voice recognition.
  • During the summer, I try to finish any outdoor activities before lunch.
  • I find it better to run errands in the mornings or late evenings when the days are hotter.
  • When cooking, I have a comfortable rolling stool that I keep in the kitchen for when I’m tired so I can sit down.
  • Libraries and senior centers are unstoppable resources; they keep you informed and keep you up to date.
Woman in a wheelchair sitting on a laptop at a desk

Adapting to Make Life Easier:

  • After losing more mobility in my left hand, I had trouble putting my hair up. I am 51 years old and have always had long or shoulder-length hair. I got a super shortcut and love it! So much less stressful to take care of!
  • I love my garden stool. I use mine inside and out. It comes in handy when I’m dusting. You can sit on it or flip it over and kneel.
  • I put a thick foam pool noodle under the covers at the end of my bed to help take some of the weight of the sheet and blankets off of my feet. It works well for me.
  • I discovered that when I fall, it’s because I have something in my hand, get off balance, and can’t brace my fall. AARP magazine showed a way to fall without hurting vulnerable bones like the hip and knees. I also put everything I need to take up and down the stairs in a bag so I’m not trying to juggle multiple items and use the top of my rollator to take things from room to room.
Woman sitting on a stool while gardening

Adaptive Tools:

  • I have almost no heat tolerance so I use cooling vests, cooling neck bandanas, and wrist coolers when the weather becomes at all warm.
  • I bought a pair of collapsible walking poles and they’ve been life-changing. I use them to walk through airports and then collapse them, put them in the pocket of my backpack, and put them through the X-ray belt at TSA. They help me so much to keep moving.
  • I use a home bed assist grab rail.
  • A grabber to help reach things high and low!
  • I use an adaptive electric chair that has breaks. It raises so I can reach my washer, kitchen cabinets, and closets. It goes low enough to load and unload the dishwasher and safely put things in the oven.
Woman walking on the beach with walking sticks

Links to Adaptive Tools:

  • I just got a Grit Freedom chair so I can keep doing what I love. Hiking outdoors.
  • I’ve been using a rolling 3-tier cart from IKEA for about a month. I can put dinner plates, silverware, etc. on the top tier. And I can put multiple items from the fridge or pantry on the others.
  • The big foot cane provides stability on all types of surfaces as the cane maintains coverage on the ground by rocking the cane/foot opposite of the walking movement.
  • The car cane is a very helpful tool when you need that little push up. It can be found on Amazon, is light weight and works for any car!
  • I like to read but struggle to hold the books with my arthritis; I purchased this book page opener which helps me to read. There are several different types/materials out there.
  • Mobility Towel A MS Certified physical therapist recommended this towel for faster drying off after a shower and/or swimming with less fatigue and balance issues.
A middle-aged Black man sits at a table writing in a notebook.

Find Motivation to Adapt:

  • Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to try adaptive tools that allow you to keep enjoying life.
  • Practicing positive talk to myself and others has a profound impact on my attitude towards my limitations and life with MS. A little saying like “I did the best I can” every day helps!
  • The power of No. No is a complete sentence and you should not feel guilty saying it. I have learned this power and decline to do things that will use more energy than I have or will need later.
  • My best tip is to take care of your mental health. One way to do that is to write down your feelings and thoughts. Journaling is a great place for self-exploration and can help to shift your thinking in ways that better support you.
  • The best way to handle MS is to live your life as naturally as you can! Make everything as normal as you can! I accept what I have and enjoy what I can! Life is too short so make the best of it!
Young woman writing on calendar

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