Bedroom modifications for people living with MS

Consider simple bedroom modifications that may help when living with MS


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Hi, I’m Tamar Kalina. I’m an occupational therapist specializing in multiple sclerosis, and today I’ll be discussing some ways of making your bedroom more efficient. Some of the tips I’ll be discussing are quick and easy, and some are purchases that you can make. Some are more expensive options if you’re looking to remodel or renovate your current home, or purchase a new home.

Bedrooms are another area that can be modified to allow for more efficient use for anyone in a wheelchair or a scooter. As with many rooms for the home, there are guidelines for specifications on doorway entrances to allow free, easy access for anyone in a wheelchair or a scooter. Some door handles can be difficult to open. Here is an example of an easier one, with a level extension instead of a knob, which eliminates wrist rotation. It’s easier to open.

In terms of flooring, either short-piled carpet or rugs that are securely tacked down to the floor with a non-slick backing are really important because throw rugs are a common trip hazard. For light switches, the push pad is easier to use than a regular light switch. And in the bedroom, there’s something you can purchase called an environmental control unit that control lights, TV, fans, and radio with a push of a button—really, many commonly used electronic devices.

For bedding, guardrails can be installed to help someone transfer in and out of the bed, as well as help someone sit up independently on the edge of a bed. There are also hospital beds that can be purchased for the home. The head and the foot of these beds can be raised and lowered automatically. Sometimes it can be difficult to make it to the bathroom at night, so one option is to keep a commode near your bed: a three-in-one commode chair with a raised seat, grab bars, and a removable bucket.

Once again, there are many changes you could make to your bedroom to make it more efficient. These include handlebars or guardrails for your bedding, different types of beds, a hospital bed, and different types of units you could install in the bedroom. In terms of the doorknob, you could use a doorknob extender, a reacher for grabbing difficult-to-reach, high-up items in a closet. And there are many different changes you could make around the bedroom. I hope some of these tips could help.


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