ALS awarenessWelcome back to the Griswold Blog. This post is about providing some much needed and much deserved relief for your loved one with ALS. 

Medications will help treat the symptoms, but there are things you can do to improve your loved one’s lifestyle outside of physical pain relief and assisted living. Consider investing in products that make immobility less aggravating, such as a wireless door chime to alert someone to come into the room, a wireless remote that makes it possible to turn any plug-in appliance on and off from anywhere in the room and a wireless intercom that eases communication throughout the house. There are even 3-station intercoms, which allow for private conversation between two channels. You can order these products online from assistive product providers, like Patterson Medical. Most electronics stores, like Radio Shack, offer these products as well.

There are also some amazing companies that are dedicated to designing and manufacturing mobility aids for people with neurological conditions, like walkers and canes with laser technology. Many of these companies go beyond ordinary service expectations. For example, In-Step Mobility Products, Inc. will ship a walker to your loved one to try for two weeks, and they’ll even bill your insurance or Medicare for you. This company was started when a son designed a walker for his mother, who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder that left her unable to walk and severely depressed. That walker returned her independence and dignity. The company hopes to spread this lifestyle enhancement to sufferers around the world.

Even doing something small, like fastening large safety pins to zippers to create an easy pull tab, can make a big difference for someone with ALS. 

If you’re ever unsure of how to help your loved one with ALS, head to the ALS Association’s website — and pay special attention to the section for patients of ALS and their caregivers, which provides a wealth of resources and advice for friends and family. From support groups and educational seminars to products that aid in daily living and information on research/clinical trials, this is a great source for knowledge, connection with others who can relate and, most importantly, some peace of mind. 

We hope the tips in this post provide some relief for both you and your loved one. Check back on Friday for two technological tools designed for your loved one with ALS and their caregivers. 

Do you know someone with ALS who uses technology to help them? If so, tell us about it in the comments.