MS, MSGladiator, MSLiving, MSWarrior, Tips

What works?

I have purchased a variety of items that I thought would make tasks easier for me and my MS symptoms. Some have worked well and some have not. Many were recommended based on my symptoms, some were brainstormed, and some I stumbled upon. My issues are mobility, weak dominant hand/arm, balance and stamina. I have made dietary changes and exercise to help manage and diminish the effects as much as possible. However, I find using different items can help me keep doing certain tasks and activities. Based on the labels used by physical therapists, occupational therapists, and in product descriptions, I search with the words ‘senior’, ‘stroke’, ‘arthritis’, and ‘seated’ as well as ‘multiple sclerosis’ for helpful items.

I originally thought I would just provide a list of my tried products in one fell swoop. Once I had most listed by function area I felt the post would be too long. Instead this will be a series of blogs so I can add meaningful details about my product experiences. This post will focus on my Kitchen, Food, and Beverage products. Future posts will explore Environment, Dressing, and General product aids.  

Here is a run down of my Kitchen tools experiences with Gladiator Tip and Gladiator Shield Rating tags.

Food Storage:

Gladiator Tip . French Door style refrigerator. I needed to replace a broken refrigerator. As well as looking for what would match color wise, I was faced with several style choices. Curious, I explored the style choices and their price differences. The old refrigerator was a side-by-side and balance wise it was difficult for me to rummage through the bottom bins. The French 3 door option raised the bottom fridge bins to a comfortable height and offered two tiers of freezer space – a sliding open grid top shelf/bin and a divided deep bottom bin. Arranging frozen bag items in a stand up position and with like items in the bottom space helps reduce the need to rummage. The challenge is to get other household members to not rummage and rearrange items 😏.    

Gladiator Tip . Plastic/light weight food storage containers. If you select clear options you can also identify the contents before taking them out of the pantry, fridge, or freezer. Look for your desired use (freezer?), washing, and heating methods. These can be purchased by size or variety size sets.

Rubber wire twist ties. I have serious trouble putting those little square plastic tags back on bread bags. Yes, chip bag clips are an option. However, I find twist ties easier for bread type bags. These rubber wire twist ties come in a variety of sizes and colors. Their only problem is trying to use them in the freezer as they become difficult to untwist when frozen. I am sorry I do not have a picture but they seem to sprout legs and hide. They must be afraid of the freezer! Anyway, I first found them on Amazon and have since seen them in grocery stores. 4.5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Meal/Snack prep:

Electric Can Opener. I keep a manual easy grip and twist can opener for power outages, but I think the name ‘electric can opener’ says it all. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

oster toaster oven
oster toaster oven

Toaster Oven. This is another balance and safety related purchase. I found one with options for temperature, type of cooking, and timer as well as decent capacity. With the additional purchase of toaster oven size pans I can cook most smaller portion size options. I skipped the air frying and mobile app options and found I had decent choices under $50. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Gladiator Tip . Smooth top stove. The smooth top makes it easier to clean spills and move pots and pans around the stove top. As my microwave is above my stove, the smooth top stove becomes additional counter space also. Be careful of still hot burners. Tip: Completely clean spills and splatters between stove uses to reduce hard to clean cooked on spots.

Gladiator Tip . Pre cut fruit, vegetables, and meats;  pre mixed kits like salads, salad toppings, granola, and trail mix; and ready to cook items all save time and energy.

Gladiator Tip . Slow cooker. This lets me start meals during a ‘stronger’ time of day. Use a slow cooker liner for easier clean up.

Gladiator Tip . Strainer tongs. These are pierced serving spoon meets tongs. The tongs scoops are deep to make serving quicker. One scoop is pierced to drain excess liquid while the other is solid to hold in sauce. You pick the sauce amount with each scoop.

strainer tong
strainer tong

Comfort grip tools. OXO brand has the most and is the brand I look for first. The handle grip is usually larger, non-slip, and easier to maneuver. There are whisks, scoops, scrappers, stirrers, flippers, and most handheld kitchen tools in between. I have not been disappointed by any I have tried. I will be exploring OXO brand mixing bowls next. OXO Comfort Grip kitchen tools earn 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Spring shears. The spring helps the shear open for the next cut reducing the energy needed to cut. They are great when new and sharp. Mine became harder to use the more they were washed. I replaced mine with regular kitchen shears. 2 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Spring shear style chopper. This is similar to the spring shears except one blade is replaced with a tiny cutting board.. Sometimes cutting long tender foods is easier with a scissor motion than a knife slicing motion. I actually have not used this as much as I thought. Neat idea but not really needed. 2 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

spring chopper shear
spring chopper shear

Plastic measuring cups. I originally had the sturdy traditional glass measuring cups. When looking for the even older lighter, aluminium version, I discovered plastic versions that are microwave safe! They are very economical and can come in sets. I even bought some for the cat food bins. Beware you don’t buy the easy nesting style that has a cut out along the top as part of the handle. The cut out will work as an extra sprout and can spill the contents onto your hand. You can find them in grocery and big box stores. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

X chopper shredder
X chopper shredder

X shape masher/shredder. I used to use a long two prong tool to shred slow cooked meat or break up ground beef during browning. Then I switched to a traditional zig zag potato masher to use less energy when my dominant hand and arm became weak. The X shape is great at breaking up and shredding meat. It mixes chilli and soups well too. Just don’t look for it to flip or turn anything over. 4.5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Eating/Drinking:

Utensil grips. These were recommended to me by an Occupational Therapist. They are fat covers that slip onto utensil handles. Some can go into the dishwasher. They just did not work for me. My issue is more the fatigue of using the utensils to eat. Switching hands while eating works better for me. 1 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

Lighter weight dishes and bowls. I used to have a thick stoneware dish set where each piece was heavy. Switching to a shatter resistant glass set made a big weight difference in the number of plates I could hold at once. I have a mix of Corelle and Amazon Basic plain white dishes. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .  

Rubber grip and strap water bottle. I have a couple ello brand lockable flip lid water bottles. They have a grid rubber outside that makes them easy to grip, even when wet, and still easily see the liquid level. The top has a rubber strap attached for carrying and hanging on various handles – like my rollator. It is sized to easily fit into the dishwasher. I am a fan. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .

ello water bottle
ello water bottle

Gladiator Tip . Flat bottom cups. I know, you are thinking they all have a flat bottom. Yes. I mean they don’t have a bottom thin or rounded rim. I am even OK with a taper shape. I need the glass/cup to have a wide flat bottom to have a sturdier stand. Otherwise, I knock them over or they tip over on my rollator on the way to a comfortable seat. I have a variety that fall into each category. My ideal cup is a wide college stadium cup.

I hope you find my list helpful. Do you have any other kitchen tools I should look at? If so, please let me know. Be on the lookout for more ‘What works?’ posts.

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