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 learned to 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. So far my series has covered kitchen tools and tips, general daily tools and tips, and tools, tips, and cautions for your environment. This post will cover dressing and accessories.
Button hook/zipper pull. They make a specific tool that acts like a combination crochet hook and sewing needle threading loop. The other end has a hook that helps pull up zippers. The loop end goes through the buttonhole and loops around the button to pull it through the hole. I bought this proactively when advised by an occupational therapist. I really don’t use it. I avoid buttons and zippers mostly and can manage a couple buttons when needed still. 3 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Elastic shoe laces. There are a few types. One is just like regular shoe laces but made out of elastic. You thread and tie these like regular laces. Another is elasticized laces that are in a coil. You thread these like normal laces but then the extra coil keeps them on without tying. There is a bungee style that is laced but has a sliding lock tightens and loosens the laces. I have used and like all of these. They all turn laced shoes into slip ons. Another type that intrigues me but I have not tried are elasticized rubber cords that each close one set of shoe lace holes. If anyone has tried these, please let me know how well they work. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Pull on pants/shorts. Basically I avoid buttons and zippers. This does not mean I think these are easy to put on. Stretchy fabrics tend to encourage uncooperative feet to create a new path down and out. I gather up one leg at a time of yoga or similar type pants. Then place the leg on the floor such that I can put my foot in far enough for my toes to touch the floor before I try to pull up the pants leg. Also, at least for women, you can find nice looking pull up versions of lounging, casual, jeans, and even dressy shorts and pants. 3 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Long handle shoe horns. This sounds like a slam dunk great idea, right? Not if your uncooperative foot is on the same side as an uncooperative hand. 0 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Makeup. I apply moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation to my face with a makeup sponge shaped like an egg or a teardrop. The makeup sponge needs a flat edge for what you want to apply. The sponge needs to be shaped and sized for you to hold and then control the dabbing, spreading, and blending. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Lever back earrings. Have a weak grip or reduced dexterity in one hand and want to wear pierced earrings? Think clip style pierced earrings. There is usually a straight post to go through the hole and then a hinged back cover that flips up to keep the earring in place. This is so much easier than holding a tiny post cover and placing it on the post end. I have even been able to put them on while riding (not driving) in a car. Or while stopped at a traffic light. 5 out of 5 Gladiator Shields .
Necklaces. It helps if you can skip the clasp and just put it on over your head. What about shorter necklaces? There are sliding chain extenders that attach at the clasp to add inches when extended and then slide away up to half the added length. I have found the extenders in a variety of color finishes and lengths. Gladiator Tip .
Bracelets. I wear elasticized bracelets, bangles, or the popular thin wire adjustable charm bracelets. Buckle type wristbands are possible if I wear them on my uncooperative hand side. Gladiator Tip .
Well that is my list of useful and not so useful products and tips. Did I miss something you found helpful or not so useful? If so, please let me know. I plan a post soon with anything I missed or new like how to stop a push button ignition car in an emergency.