The Thriver’s Guide: Accessibility in the Bathroom

June 9, 2015

A couple of years ago, a crew from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) came to my house to film some educational videos.  They wanted me to share my Tips for Making Life Easier™ and demonstrate how I am able to compensate and modify my surroundings to save time and energy and improve my safety.

Your Bathroom and Grooming is one of the videos in the Everyday Tips When Living with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Series. In this video, I invite you into my bathroom to share how I make my bathroom and daily grooming routines easier, safer and less frustrating.

Beginning with the countertop:  Whenever possible, keep everything you need within easy reach. Store cotton swabs, dental floss swords, cotton balls, fiber supplements, or calcium chews in clear containers so you can see at a glance what’s inside. This can be especially helpful if you have cognitive challenges or memory problems.

Re-purpose an old toothbrush holder by using the toothbrush openings to hold an assortment of make-up brushes, emery board, and/or spoon. (Why keep a measuring spoon in the bathroom? Avoid a trip to the kitchen in the middle of the night to retrieve one when you need to administer medication or cough syrup.)

Transfer hair care products, body oil spray, and water from difficult to use pump applicators to trigger-handle spray bottles.  You’ll find decorative spray bottles at drug, kitchen and bath stores.

Instead of using a bar of soap that can be hard to pick up and hard to hold onto, use liquid soap in a pump dispenser.

Place mirrors where you need them, especially when you are in a wheelchair or have to sit while getting ready. Consider using mirrored tiles in strategic locations on your bathroom wall. Perhaps add a few in a decorative pattern to make them look like they are part of the decorating.

Mount a retractable mirror to the bathroom wall. These mirrors pull out for use and then retract against the wall out of the way when you are finished.

Purchase a hands-free mirror that hangs around your neck or lay it on your counter.  Then swivel the mirror (for normal or close-up magnification) to comb your hair or apply your make-up.

Reuse items from around the house as drawer organizers. Use ice cube trays to hold earrings; the little cups keep earrings from getting jumbled and they are easy to see and retrieve.

Use paperclips and binder clamps from office supply stores to join boxes, baskets, and plastic containers together. Create configurations that will fit into your drawer to hold pencils, sponges, make-up deodorant, toothpaste, etc.

I hope these tips help you with some of the challenges you deal face.

Please share your tips and timesavers.  I’d love to know your Tips for Making Life Easier™


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