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 even in product descriptions, I search with the words ‘senior’, ‘stroke’, ‘arthritis’, and ‘seated’ as well as ‘multiple sclerosis’.
I am breaking my list of tried products into categories and blog posts. The first in the series covered kitchen tools and tips. This is the second post in the series and will cover general daily tools and tips.
Spring scissors. I keep a pair of spring scissors hanging on my rollator. My pair have a loop attaching the handle ends. The loop, spring, opens the scissor after a cut. This literally cuts the work of cutting in half. Sorry, I could not resist. My pair have not stayed very sharp, but they do get a lot of use as everyone can quickly find this pair. I even use the sides of the blades to open a tight cabinet door. I like the spring feature so much I have a very sharp pair for cutting fabric that I keep hidden from others. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Long grill tongs. 15 inches of extended reach. Before contactless delivery was the norm, the delivery person would hand me the delivered meal. With contactless delivery, my items are left all over my stoop. I found picking up envelope type packages very hard until I tried my kitchen tongs. That made such a difference! It also saved me from touching a slug that caught a ride on a package. That alone was worth the purchase price. I was able to add a large 15 inch, easy grip, grill tong to my grocery order. The grill style has teeth edges for item grip. If you take tiny pills you may want to make sure the item grip end does not have holes larger than your pills. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Standing Handle DustBin and Broom. My nickname for this is “amusement park sweeper.” Boy does it make sweeping easier if you don’t have to bend down to hold the dustbin. Mine is a different style. The dustbin is more like a little trash can that can swing on a lockable handle. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Remote battery candles. I switched to battery candles mostly for safety when my twins were little. I came across the remote control option in 2019. That really made it easy to have a set. I was even able to schedule when the candles should be on each day. The candles come in many sizes. I lit up hollow Christmas tabletop decorative buildings last year with remote tea lights. If only I knew where I put the remote when I cleared the room for painting. Maybe there will be a universal candle remote soon. Gladiator Tip !
Automatic cleaning cat litter pan. It waits until a cat is out of the litter pan and then rakes the clump into a closed bin. As long as the collecting bin isn’t too full to close, there is no used litter smell. This reduces the frequency the litter box needs cleaning. Mine uses regular clumping litter. Some require a special pellet. I did not want to deal with batteries so I used the adapter. I have a Littermaid.One of my cats took over a month to get used to the new litter box. He would run and watch it ‘clean’ from a safe distance. My only issue is removing the collecting bin liner. It can get tricky. 4.5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Fat weighted pen. It sounds wrong, but a heavier pen is easier to use and control when you have a weaker hand. A relative gave me one of theirs and I have bought a Pilot brand easy grip. If you find it difficult to press down hard enough for a ball point pen, try a fine point felt tip pen (not currently in fat weight form). The weighted pen is a 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Pencil/Pen grips. These can be actual special grips you slide on, wrapped tape, foam tube with a side slit, grippy sports health mesh tape, or a pen that comes with an easy grip. If you need something wider to hold, these all work. However, you may find a fat, weighted pen easier to use. I did. 3 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Robot vacuum. Balance and mobility issues made using an upright vacuum difficult. A robot vacuum with a remote control however, can be used to clean up little messes and vacuum whole areas easily. And, yes, I do seem drawn to remotes. If you are persistent, you can catch a good sale with your desired features. I have a Coredy brand. It came with barrier strips to keep it from cleaning where you don’t want it to go or where it might get stuck. We have not used the strips yet. I did find that a thin area rug needed to be taped down so the vacuum didn’t lose a sweeping brush or get stuck. Otherwise, it handles floor transitions better than a rollator. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Comfort grip tools. This type of grip makes it easier to use a tool longer as well as grip it most effectively with a weaker grip. I always check for an OXO brand option first. Even if OXO doesn’t have what you need, there usually are other comfort grip options. This really includes screwdrivers and wrenches as well as scrub brushes. Just about anything you need to hold to use! Gladiator Tip !
Power toothbrush. I switched when I noticed I was moving my head back and forth and up and down instead of the brush. Some models you can buy replacement brush heads and others you just need to replace the whole toothbrush. Brands and styles of brush moves are a personal choice. Overall, an energy saving Gladiator Tip !
What are some of your helpful general everyday items? Be on the lookout for Dressing and Environment items and tips.