A New Perspective on Mobility Aids
Back in 1987 cell phones had just hit the market and were spreading like wildfire. People were rushing to purchase the new tool that was sure to make their life easier. Now, 26 years later, the cell phone has evolved to be a tool that many of us consider a necessity. Smart phones can assist us with everything from finding a local restaurant to managing your bank account. In more ways than one, cell phones have become an assistive device relied on by a large portion of the population.
Much like the cell phone, there are many other assistive devices that can make life so much easier! The National Multiple Sclerosis Society suggests that devices that help with everyday living tasks create a more fulfilling and happy life.
- Bathing and Showering
Tub and wall grab bars can help persons with MS get in and out of the bathtub safely and help keep their balance while showering.
- Grooming and Dressing
Button and zipper hooks can be used to fasten clothes. Velcro on clothes and shoes or elastic shoelaces can make it easier to get dressed. Combs, brushes, and toothbrushes can be fitted with easier-to-hold handles.
- Cooking and Housekeeping
Devices such as electric can openers, rocker knives that minimize wrist motion and strength needed to cut produce, and cookware designed for those with limited hand, wrist, and forearm strength can make cooking manageable and even enjoyable! The heavy lifting and bending often involved in housekeeping can be minimized by putting cleaning supplies and equipment on wheels and by using long handled dusters, brooms, and sponges. Reachers can help grasp objects on shelves or in closets.
- Writing and Reading
Special grips have been designed to enable a person to securely, yet comfortably, grip a pen or a drawing implement. Special lenses and magnifying devices may correct some visual problems associated with MS.
Braces, canes or walkers can help those who have trouble walking. Wheelchairs and electric scooters can provide mobility for those who need additional assistance. Transfer boards and lifts can be used to help people with MS get in and out of a bed, tub, automobile or wheelchair.
After assessment by an occupational therapist, driving may be safely accomplished with the help of hand controls, low-energy steering wheels, and other aids.
Assistive devices are usually prescribed by a physiatrist, or by occupational, physical, or speech/language pathologist, following referral by a physician. There are many catalogues and surgical supply stores that are excellent sources for assistive devices.