How Patrick got back in the kitchen – despite multiple sclerosis

Accessibility in the kitchen - living with MS - outlined

Disability by multiple sclerosis: Poor balance has its challenges

Patrick bought a regular stool with wheels to see if it would help him day-to-day and especially in the kitchen. But it didn’t make life easier for him, as his feet often bumped against the stool’s frame. 

Only when Patrick was presented with a VELA chair as an assistive device could he live a life with multiple sclerosis with far fewer challenges.

I can’t stand up and talk to someone for more than a few minutes. If you haven’t experienced challenges with balance yourself, it’s really hard to comprehend how much it dominates everyday life.

This is how Patrick talks about his life with multiple sclerosis and the disability that the diagnosis has given him. 

Suddenly, he has no more energy. He can be in his laundry room, folding clothes and ironing, and out of the blue, his energy level drops. That means he has to lean against the table or grab something quickly to avoid falling.

Accessibility in the kitchen - living with MS

Multiple sclerosis and the kitchen were not a good combination

Patrick loves to spend time in the kitchen and cook for his family, but sclerosis has also given him challenges here. When he wants to cook himself, he needs to reach things in the cupboards at all possible heights. This turned out to be a challenge for him because his poor balance resulted in frequent falls.

The stool I had bought would have been great if I had strong abdominal muscles and two well-functioning legs.

But with poor balance and failing legs, he had to stop his activities in the kitchen – until the day he was introduced to a VELA chair that could combine multiple sclerosis with safe kitchen work.

Multiple sclerosis and mobility: A chair made a difference

When Patrick got a chair from VELA, his daily life became markedly different. He could now use his energy in a completely different way and not have to worry about his disabilities, such as poor balance. Patrick mentions some key features of the VELA chair that made a difference in his multiple sclerosis and mobility.


A central brake also helps with mobility

One of the essential things in Patrick’s everyday life is the fact that the chair has a solid central brake. Because his balance can suddenly fail him, it is a big plus for him, knowing that the chair won’t roll away from under him. 

He also highlights the chair’s large rubber wheels as an equally great advantage. In Patrick’s home, they have tiles in the kitchen, where the wheels on the old stool got stuck in the joints – unlike the VELA chair wheels that give him great mobility.

Height adjustment is crucial for his disability

The height adjustment of the chair and the safe brake means that he can reach cupboards at different heights in the kitchen again. In short, the VELA multiple sclerosis chair has changed Patrick’s capabilities and energy level in the kitchen from zero to the highest level again.

The height adjustment allows me to raise the chair so I can have a conversation at eye level with others. And I can lower the chair enough for me to sit down at the dining table with my family – the height adjustment is indispensable!

Help from armrests – assisted living

A VELA chair has armrests that give Patrick support and protect him from falling off the chair. He mentions other features that are nice to have too – for example, the adjustable backrest and the ability to change the angle of the seat. 

A chair for multiple sclerosis can make a big difference, and Patrick is a brilliant example of that.

Patrick’s daily life is more accessible with a chair from VELA

Patrick can cook in the kitchen again without worrying about an energy level that can suddenly drop drastically. He is particularly delighted that he can now be at eye level with the person he is talking to. 

He can now forget his disability for a while and resume his passion for cooking and lower the chair to the same height as a standard dining chair. Now, he can actually both cook and eat the meal with his family afterwards while conserving his energy for the rest of the day.

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VELA stories – living with multiple sclerosis

Ability to work despite having a disability due to a VELA chair

Alisson’s story

Now, I find that I am much less tired. Before I had my VELA chair, my husband and I took 15-20 minutes to move me from the office chair and onto my scooter to get home at the end of the day. Now, it only takes a moment because I have a lot more energy.
Read the full story
Cooking dinner using a VELA chair

Kenneth’s story

Previously, I couldn’t help with making dinner while standing up, especially by the stove. I needed something to hold onto because you never know when you are going to fall. I cook and stir the pot now because I can use both of my hands.
Read the full story

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This content is based on over 50 years of development and expertise in VELA Chairs, with a global reach reflected in the sale of over 500,000 chairs worldwide. This page is a collaborative effort with the author.