8 Tips for Entertaining at Home When You Have Multiple Sclerosis

1.Energy-Conserving Party Planning and Hosting Tips

Just the idea of entertaining friends and family in your home when you have multiple sclerosis (MS) can be overwhelming. But if you employ some simple energy-conservation strategies, “you really can enjoy the company of your guests, which is what hosting is all about,” says Margaret Weisser, a social worker and manager of client services for the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America.

2.Time It Right

Identify the times of day you have more and less energy. If you tend to be tired in the evening, think about hosting a brunch or lunch, suggests Weisser. Or just do dessert.

Getting together with loved ones is more important than what you serve and when you serve it, says Shelley Peterman Schwarz, 69, of Madison, Wisconsin, who was diagnosed with MS in 1979 and is the founder of the website Making Life Easier. Though Schwarz uses a wheelchair to get around, she says she and her husband entertain three or four times a month.

3.Keep It Small

Before you had MS, you might have hosted dinner parties for 30 that started at 8 p.m. and went to 2 a.m., says Rosalind Kalb, PhD, vice president of the professional resource center at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

To set yourself up for success now, though, you may need to plan more intimate gatherings that start earlier in the day and “won’t require as much of your energy to carry out,” Dr. Kalb says.

4.Ask Your Guests for Help

It’s okay to ask everyone on your guest list to bring something, says Kalb. Schwarz agrees, saying she finds that most guests enjoy bringing something.

“One of my friends is a fabulous dessert maker,” Schwarz says. “I couldn’t touch hers, so I have her bring desserts.”

Just be sure to keep a list so you know who’s bringing what.

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