A wide range of equipment and technologies can improve mobility and help manage ALS symptoms as the disease progresses. These devices can make it easier for people living with ALS to get around their homes, speak and perform day-to-day tasks like bathing and going to doctor’s appointments—making life easier for both the person living with the disease and their caregiver.
Because every person living with ALS is a little different, it’s hard to say exactly when each person will need each assistive device, but we recommend installing a wheelchair ramp and purchasing an SGD (Speech Generating Device) device before either is necessary.
Getting used to the equipment and incorporating it into your daily routine can be challenging. You should give yourself time to adjust to these additions to your home and daily life.
If you’re having difficulty obtaining many of these devices, financially or otherwise, please contact your local ALS Association chapter's Care Services Manager. They can help you find the right retailers or professionals, or you may be able to take advantage of our Equipment Loan Program.
When a person living with ALS can no longer walk, a power wheelchair can restore a great deal of mobility. Medicare and some insurance policies provide coverage for people living with ALS who need this equipment.
If you need assistance with sourcing your power wheelchair, please contact your local ALS Association chapter.
Once navigating the home becomes difficult, wheelchair ramps are often a necessary home modification. Wheelchair ramps can range from inexpensive portable ramps to a complete remodel of entryways, patios and doors. Federal law requires that apartment buildings and other multi-unit homes are constructed with basic accessibility in mind, but cramped spaces and other barriers may still exist.
For more information about making your home more accessible, please contact your ALS Association local chapter.
When ALS begins to affect the muscles that control breathing, respiratory assistance will become necessary. A number of technologies, including breathing pacemakers, can help people living with ALS breathe. Both surgical and non-invasive respiratory aids are available.
For more information on respiratory aids, please contact your local ALS Association chapter.