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An 'MS House' That Lets You Walk in a Patient's Shoes

June 6, 2017

There’s a Multiple Sclerosis (MS) House that allows a healthy person to experience some of what life is like for someone who lives with MS. It was created under the sponsorship of the European Multiple Sclerosis Platform to mark World MS Day at a meeting of the European Parliament in Brussels. People walking through the house will be able to see and feel things from a different perspective, better understanding what MS is all about. It is divided into multiple rooms, such as a living room, kitchen, study room, and bathroom.

The Living Room

There’s a TV that displays half-definition pictures, which is used to illustrate vision problems. An armchair is set very low to the floor to show the difficulty of getting up from a chair due to leg strength issues and fatigue. An inflatable mattress is on the floor to demonstrate how an MS patient has difficulty balancing while walking.

The Kitchen

There’s a heavy coffee mug and an unbalanced tray to demonstrate fatigue symptoms.

The Study Room

A computer contains a “jumbled” keyboard, which stimulates how cognitive problems may make it difficult to find the correct word to use when typing. There is an “Alice in Wonderland” book where the same page is read over and over again because the reader has already forgotten what he read by the end. Ankle weights are displayed to show how MS patients feel when walking.

The Bathroom

An infrared heater and a blurry mirror are used to simulate how a hot shower or weather can flare MS symptoms.