MY ataxia 'hacks' (aka changes/additions that keep me safe or functional)

Seat for bathtub/shower – reason: keeps me falling from imbalance

Elevated toilet seat – reason: weakness in legs made getting up from original seat challenging

Raised couch in living room using several 2”x6” under legs – reason: getting up from couch was very difficult

Using an online app to borrow audio books – reason: mobility issues prevented getting to library (aside from the pandemic) and eye deterioration prevents me from reading
Using an online app to order groceries – reason: again mobility issues prevented me from shopping directly
Use to light on my cell as a short term bedside light – reason: find that my balance is particularly bad in the dark
Reorganized my house so that I can function just on one floor – installed a stacking washer/drier on the main floor and moved my freezer and pantry up from the basement – completed last summer (2020) in anticipation of my decline in mobility
Contracted out my house cleaning and property maintenance - Nelson (where I live) is situated on the side of a mountain… now impossible to reach the gardens or mow
Put some of my raised beds in ‘stasis’ by covering them over with black garden cloth, keeping the weeds and grass at bay.
Using a ‘rollator’ to get around within the house and telescoping walking sticks outside.

I am Canadian and live in a small town so some of my ‘hacks’ might not be applicable to you.


Hi Jacques,

May I make a suggestion? If you can afford it, I would get a walk-in shower like I have. Notice all the hand bars and soap dispensers I have. Plus I have a big seat to sit on and a hand shower.

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:slightly_smiling_face: Our big adjustment was moving house…everything on one level has made a big difference.

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Nice. Have the finances but not the energy to organize (frankly at the rate of the progression of my ataxia, I suspect my time remaining in my house is limited). That said, getting in and out of the tub is increasingly challenging so your email has motivated me to look at figuring out a safe step to my legs over the lip of my tub.

I used to be a fused glass worker so my first attempt at a platform will be some little wooden boxes I made for displays.

Sorry not to respond yesterday but I was having a particularly low energy day… wasn’t able to do much.

When I had foot surgery, I used a transfer chair like this. It meant I could safely sit in the shower, and could dry myself off and shift out of the tub safely. Maybe it can give you some ideas.

Sharon from ModSupport

:thinking: All this link gives is…a link to sign into a Walmart account…

Oh, no problem, Beryl! Walmart probably doesn’t like your UK IP. Here’s what Sharon sent you:

I have serious foot problems that make me unsteady (especially when my eyes are closed and I’m moving my head around like I tend to when I’m shampooing) and a shower stool/seat is a huge help.

You’re adjusting well to bungalow living, Beryl? What adaptations did you have done to your kitchen/bath?


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Hey Jacques in BC, Seenie here from Ontario. Looks like you are pretty well set up there. I hope you get many more years to enjoy your house.

I’m admiring what people are saying about ataxia “hacks”: so many are similar to my Psoriatic Arthritis hacks!

Online grocery ordering has been a godsend for me: I can limit my shopping to what I can do (and more important) what I like to do. I online order the pantry items and cleaning supplies and “ordinary” things. Then I can do a short shop, and cover the produce area (which I like) without being in pain and exhausted by the time I get to the checkout. I must admit, I’ve also become a fan of curbside pickup and Amazon. The pandemic has done some good things in that regard!

All the best to you!

:slightly_smiling_face: It’s just great to be on one level Seenie, no stairs :clap: We renovated before moving in…the kitchen has drawers instead of cupboards, and a pantry ( to avoid as much bending as possible). My bathroom has a large shower (which could take a chair) with a separate hand spray for hair (my husband has a bath). And we went for hard flooring except for bedrooms.

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It sounds ideal, Beryl! And it’s wonderful that you were able to do the work before moving in. (Speaking as one who has lived through the middle of a major reno, LOL). Aren’t the deep drawers in the kitchen wonderful? And an accessible shower is so nice. Congratulations on a good move.