Making life easier

Hi everyone,

I am in touch with a young lady, (whose mother has MS), who, with the help of The Prince’s Trust, is starting up a business designing and making products that would make life for the disabled that much easier.

She is looking for ideas of the sort of things that would do just that. I’m sure we’ve all said, at some time, ‘oh I wish there was…that would make this easier to do’. I know I’ve said it. For me it would be continence pants, that, like a baby’s nappy, undo at the sides, rather than pull ups that mean you have to get your trousers off first which is so hard when your legs don’t work properly.

I think The Prince’s Trust does marvellous work and I would like to support this lady. Does anyone have any ideas for anything at all that you would find helpful but perhaps are unable to find? I will pass all ideas on to her.

Thank you for reading this and any suggestions you may have.

Hilary x

Keep choose one way and follow it

Sorry to be dense, but I dont understand your reply. care to explain, please?

luv Pollx

Hi Hils, ill have a think and see if I can offer any ideas.

Re the type of continence pants you describe…I believe they are already out…called Tena slips. Not tried `em myself, but have seen them.

luv Pollx

Thanks Polly, I know Hannah would welcome any suggestions.

And brilliant - I didn’t know about the Tena slips, looked them up and they are just what I’m looking for!

Hilary x

Hi Hilary

I have been looking for an aid to help me with zips but the only ones available have a hook and are designed for zips which have a small hole at the end of the tag. Most of my smart work trousers and skirts have ‘invisible’ zips and have tiny zip pulls (with no hole for a hook) which I struggle to get hold of, especially if they are on the left which is my worst affected hand. I’m not yet ready for elasticated waisted clothes so it would be great if she could design something which could help me grip these tiny zip pulls. If this gadget also had a chunky, non-slip handle it would be even better as I am sure my left hand is unlikely to get any better.


Hello Hilary

Some form of adjustable base which can grip a bottle or a jar and then fix it self by vacuum to a kitchen work surface-a big sucker type thing. This would enable those of use with only one good hand open things. The things I’ve seen so far are a bit awkward.

Best wishes, Steve

Hi Hilary , You know what? A small early issue I have found with my ppms is I can’t always open bleach bottles anymore. I live alone and have always ran a squirt of bleach around the toilet in the morning …and now? Grrrrr! I bet someone could come up with something simple to squeeze those pesky plastic caps in to open them :slight_smile: Paul

Hi Paul

I have something simple to open bleach bottles - a teenager !!! Once it’s opened, it stays open. Lakeland make a bottle opener (a Y shaped contraption) which I bought as it is supposedto open all typed of bottles including these bottles where you have to squeeze on the sides of the cap but it takes a lot of effort to get the darned thing jammed on tight enough in the first place so it still doesn’t work for me …


:slight_smile: thanks Tracey, One thing I am very pleased about is I have no teenagers in my cottage. Not quite the right thing to do but I will test my 7 year old on bleach bottle opening skills when she is next over :slight_smile: Paul

Thank you Tracey, Steve and Paul for your replies. I have passed all your suggestions all on to Hannah - she will be very pleased to receive them and perhaps will be able to come up with something to help. Her business is still in its infancy as yet but these are exactly the sort of things she wants to hear about.



Hello Hilary,I hope our little spell of Global Waming agrees with you. I spend all my time,modifying,adapting and improving stuff to make my life easier.I use a lot of self adhesive Velcro,cable ties of all sizes,good quality gaffer tape and imagination.

I’ve worked out a simple way to change a duvet cover and stop the duvet moving around inside,have improved the Gents Piddle Pot,have affixed a small mirror to a glove for rear- view on a small scooter,can light and smoke cigarettes whilst wearing winter gloves,have made a full range of disabled friendly cutlery(well friendly enough for this bloke) for less than a fiver,have affixed velcro to the waist band of several pairs of kecks, have made a ‘sock pulleroner’ that works,even though I don’t wear socks…blah blah blah

PM me if anything looks like what you’re looking for



I had a time a few years ago when I had hardly any strength in my legs, and I always found it was a massive job to be able to pull my trousers up when getting dressed or after I’d been on the loo. Taking them off was straight forward, but pulling them up took an absolute age.

Wish your friend luck with the business.


(P.S, for any products that your friend makes, if they could not cost the earth too, that’d be great - most mobility shops seem to charge an arm & a leg!)

Thank you wb and he_funk for your replies. I’ll pass the ideas on, and about costing too he_funk.


What about washable pants with inbuilt absorbtion that dont seep at the leg openings with just a modest leak, contain odour, yet can pass for ordinary underwear if the top becomes visible. Beginning to think this is a much harder problem than it would seem having already tried three different brands without success. Also, maybe something to help with hand fatigue gripping something like a paint brush or paint roller, having not got very far with my decorating today.

Oh, that’s a good one, something to help with gripping paint brushes and paint rollers. My hands get so crampy when I decorate as the handles are so titchy and I can’t swap hands as the left one can’t be trusted with anything!

Tracey x


Did you watch ‘Tomorrow’s world : an horizon special’ that was on tonight. That was really fascinating. All about inventors and how inventing is being opened up by the internet. It’s called ‘Open hardware’ where people share ideas online. You should watch it.

Also, remember the inventor called Trevor Bayliss who invented the wind-up radio? He invented things specifically for disabled people. He also employed disabled people in his factory, maybe your friend should get in touch with him?


Can I ask that whatever is designed it looks stylish and modern, not institutional like so many items that are designed to help. Also I suggest not using ‘the disabled’ as that went out with the ark and rather dehumanises people, how about disabled people? A poll on the MS research blog found that people with MS preferred to be called MSers, but hopefully the market for the products will be broader and so this mightn’t be appropriate.

Good luck to the young lady in question.

I’m not sure whether anyone has already suggested this: similar the contraption used to sell ice cream in the cinema, something to help carry drinks without using your hands.

Thank you all who’ve replied to this thread. Your suggestions have all been passed on to Hannah - I know she will find them really useful.


Hi Pollx! Tena slips have been on the market a long time now! I used to use them for a Heavy period & stop the blood leaking out.