The early signs of ALS are when muscle cramps and twitching, weakness in hands, legs or ankles or difficulty speaking or swallowing begin. Loss of movement follows, and then moving around the home becomes progressively more difficult. The help of a caregiver, whether that person be a professional or a family member, is eventually needed. Home accessibility is better when you can plan ahead and enjoy the freedom to move around your home without big obstacles.
There are ALS home modifications and adaptive equipment for ALS patients that can help extend one’s independence, and keep mobility possible. The accessibility solution will depend on the rate of progression of the disease, the style of your home, personal finances and personal choice.
Here are some home modifications and adaptive equipment tips to help you find your ideal solution.
- Understand your options and seek help from a contractor that genuinely cares about your situation, and that offers full service – ALS adaptive equipment, remodeling, exceptional customer service. All these factors matter. There are more options that most people know about so ask for more than one choice.
- Get a full evaluation specific to your needs from a proven and certified professional. There may be a solution that you haven’t thought of. Your home is unique and you are unique, and a personal evaluation is the best way to understand what is best for you.
- Prioritize needs and budget. Make a list and weigh your options. There can be a difference between what is desired and what is realistic.
- Evaluate lift and transfer solutions to reduce the human aid element. A ceiling lift may work better than a mobile lift, for example. Enjoy your independence for as long as possible. Ceiling lifts can do the heavy lifting to your bed or bath/shower and take the weight off the family or caregivers.
- Contact your ALS Association Foundation to visit their learning lab, gain support from their care coordinators and learn what is available through their loan closet.
- Add bathroom grab bars, which are one of the most affordable and viable solutions available to help reduce falls.
- Widen doorways if you depend on a wheelchair or any other equipment on wheels that require a bit more space for safe passage. This extra room will be helpful to open up your home and avoid frustration with tight spaces.
- Consider a bathroom remodel with no threshold or barriers. Roll-in showers and walk-in tubs can greatly improve comfort and ease of bathing.
- Couple adaptive solutions based on a priority list. A barrier-free bathroom remodel OR a combination of an elevator/stairlift and a TubBuddy System that works with your existing bathroom.
- Explore funding options that may be available for your family. Home modifications and adaptive equipment installation may be covered by a non-profit or a government-backed grant. Look for that free money.
ALS Home Modifications Project
Learn how a veteran chose to prepare his home to accommodate his FUTURE accessibility needs, after being diagnosed with ALS.
ALS Home Modifications and Adaptive Equipment for ALS Patients
If you follow a plan for your situation and home, independence and safety are achievable. If you need help developing that plan, then seek out a local accessibility expert near you.
Please note that home construction services like door widening and accessible bathroom remodels may not be available at all 5 Accessible Systems’ locations.
Find a local ALS Chapter near you.