Multiple sclerosis is a medical condition for which a lot of research is going on to find a cure. As of now, there is no cure for it and the goal of treatment is to manage the symptoms.
Individuals suffering from this condition find their motor abilities progressively restricted, till it adversely affects their lives and they may be rendered completely dependent on others for help. In order to improve the quality of their life, efforts are being made to look for newer ways to improve their mobility so they regain some of the independence back. If one has a family member living with them who suffers from multiple sclerosis, they can make certain lifestyle changes such as rearranging furniture to make some things more accessible, having lower shelves built, putting anti-skid rugs, etc. One can also put the heavier appliances in the kitchen on countertops and push furniture against the wall so that nobody accidentally trips and falls.
Technology has made quite a few devices available that can help one overcome problems with vision, hand functions, enable accessibility, mobility, and help in cognitive functioning. Monitors, aids, devices, alerts implants, trackers, wearable devices, and apps have gone a long way in helping patients with multiple sclerosis have a better lifestyle. Some of these devices are explained in detail below:
Also known as adaptive technologies, these devices and products help people with mobility and accessibility issues. These could be small devices that can help them do small chores or sophisticated devices that can help with mobility.
Assisted devices for mobility
- Walkers with canes, crutches, and quad canes
- Walkers with 4 rotator wheels
- Manual and motorized wheelchairs
- Motorized scooter
- Ankle foot orthotic that can control the movement of the ankle
- Hip flexion assist device — a device that helps regulate the gait
Assisted devices for hand and arm function
Many devices can help individuals suffering from the condition do their chores with ease. Stocking aids, Velcro shoes, book holders, buttonhooks, book holders, signature stamps, large pens, and pencils, lift chairs, and leg extenders are small lifestyle changes that aid patients with multiple sclerosis. Additionally, there are many hands-free video communication systems, which can be used with the laptop or handheld and mobile devices. Voice recognition software can now be connected with many home appliances making it easy for them to operate them without having to move to them constantly
Assisted devices for driving
Most vehicles can be fitted with hand controls for acceleration or braking. They can also be fitted with cargo mounts to transport their wheelchair and scooter.
- Houses have to be multiple sclerosis-friendly to make it easy for one to access all parts of the house without the risk of falling. Ramps, mechanical lifts, handrails can help them with this.
- Toilet safety frame, shower chair, handheld shower, extra high toilets are some of the assisted devices that help them visit the washroom and have a bath by themselves in case of slightly advanced multiple sclerosis.
- Wearable devices today are being used in a big way to track basic health parameters. People with the condition can use these smart devices to track their health parameters, set reminders, and alarms.
- With the help of medication, a good diet, a good support system, assisted devices, and a positive attitude, a person with the disease can work towards improving their quality of life.