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Tips to help with day-to-day living

   
 
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MS/Cancer Support Group members recently tips on how to make some of life’s challenges a little easier in the April conference call.

Margaret started the discussion by recommending InterDry, a moisture-wicking fabric with antimicrobial silver for the management of skin-on-skin irritation. InterDry helps minimize the itching and odor from yeast and bacteria, wicks assay moisture in skin folds and relieves burning and chafing from skin-on-skin friction.

One caller said she had bars installed at the head and foot of her bed. These made getting in and out of bed easier as she has something stable to hold onto.

To help prevents trips or falls, one participant always uses handrails when they are available and wears gripper socks at home to help prevent slips. Another said she wears slacks or a long skirt to keep from being embarrassed if she trips or falls.

One caller said she eats with a salad fork instead of dinner fork because it is shorter and easier to handle. She also used a pen with a gripper when writing.

Other helpful suggestions included the following:
Have a nightlight in each room can help maneuvering during the night.
Attach a lamp to your headboard to turn on whenever you get up.
Get adequate rest, because if you don’t, your symptoms may get worse. 
Don’t think about the things you can’t do, concentrate on what you can do.

The following tips from the National MS Society website were highlighted at the monthly MS/Cancer telephone conference.

Tips on How to Look and Feel Good

Clothing
Have someone take new measurements for the way you stand or sit now. Hemlines, pant legs, garment backs and shirt sleeves might need adjustments to make your old favorites workable and comfortable or your new purchases fit properly.
Shortening a jacket a few inches can make a big difference if you’re sitting most of the time.
If fastening buttons has become a problem, have them sewn onto the outside of shirts or dresses and have Velcro strips put inside to hold the garment shut.

Shopping ideas
Button- and zipper-free garments are easier to use.
If you do select a zippered garment, look for large zippers, in the front.
Fabrics that are soft, non-binding, and washable are a must. Look for Lycra or Spandex in the fiber content.
If you use a wheelchair, try pants with a shortened waist and a roomier backside.
Men’s ties are available pre-knotted, clip-on, slip-on, or with a zipper.
While you want to be comfortable, clothes that are long, have flowing sleeves, have extra-wide pant legs, or have voluminous skirts can be annoying or even hazardous if they can become entangled with your mobility aid.

Shoes
Have the heels of your shoes adjusted. Even 1/4” can make a huge difference. Find the heel height that works best for you.
Have your shoe repairer add leather to or sand down rubber-soled shoes to reduce their stickiness.
Add straps to shoes or sandals so they won’t slip off.
If tying shoes is difficult, try elastic shoelaces, slip-ons, or styles with Velcro fasteners. 
For women, shoes are available with elastic insets that slip on while the strap is fastened.
Try a larger, wider shoe for poor leg circulation.

Shaving
Men who shave every day need a good electric shaver, to use while seated in front of a mirror. 
Rest your elbows on the counter or tabletop for support. 
Women might find that shaving legs poses special problems. Liquid depilatories might be easier to manage. 

Manicures and pedicures
Both men and women benefit from the human touch of a manicure or pedicure, and having someone inspect your hands and feet for cuts or sores could be a boon to your health.

Energy-conserving tips
Do the most difficult things when you have the most energy.
Sit to work, even if you are able to stand. Standing takes eight percent more energy than sitting.
Use a tub bench or bath seat in your tub or shower and purchase a hand-held shower attachment.
Use long tongs or a reacher to help put on pants or to reach anything below hip level.
Keep items you need for each daily activity together and store the most frequently used items between eye and hip level.

For more of these tips go to http://www.nationalmssociety.org/living-with-multiple-sclerosis/mobility-and-accessibility/tipsonhowtolookandfeelgood/index.aspx.

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