By Pam VanVliet
The word support can mean many different things to pALS and caregivers living with ALS. From an equipment stand point, support means adaptive equipment that can help pALS move and live well with ALS. For example, when walking becomes challenging, a walker or power wheelchair. In the bathroom a sliding shower bench, hand grips and automatic soap dispenser for safely bathing, and a raised toilet seat with handles. As eating & drinking starts to become challenging, adaptive untensils and cups. It can also be helpful to change door handles from turn to lever.
Support also comes from family, friends and volunteers! Being aware of the needs of the family, walking the dog, yard work, house work, meals. For a caregiver the question “what can I do for you” can be overwhelming. Instead, look at what the caregiver needs and offer to help with that.
Support also comes from our community, recently a Schwan’s truck pulled up in front of my driveway. The man walked up with a bag of food and I told him I did not order anything. He asked if I was the ALS lady, and I said yes. He said he just wanted to help with food for our families and this was a personal donation from him.
What does support look like to you?