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Active member
Oct 7, 2004
I have also read the posts from people wondering how to make their homes more accessible to their family member with ALS. I have enough brochures to paper one of our walls. This is what we finally ended up doing that was the most practical and affordable for us.

Jack's arms went first, and then his legs. I had bought various aids myself before I even realized that they could be borrowed or rented from Home Care, MILES, SMD, and other organizations. There are all kinds of services available, but unfortunately we have to find them ourselves.

The only renovation we made to our home was a wheelchair ramp right in our garage. The slope is steeper than what specs allow, but it worked well for us. I just dug in my heals and pushed harder. I also purchased a Multi-lift, which is similar to a Hoyer but much more versatile. I was able to get Jack in & out of our 1-Ton truck with the lift (basically 2 simple heavy duty strap slings and a battery operated lift), also in & out of bed in our camper, and we could have had more bases installed in our bathroom and/or bedroom.

I purchased a commode with a seat that lifted itself with a set of shocks. Being an x-ray tech, I was also comfortable giving the occasional warm water enema when required. Although they are not preferred, they were better then having too much strain. I bought a long orange funnel at Canadian Tire which allowed Jack to pee in the toilet for a much longer time. It worked well. When I told my young grandson that he could not play with it because it was for Grandpa to pee in, he got a strange grin on his face and said, "No, Grandpa's bum wouldn't fit on that!" I laughed! Out of the mouths of babes ! LOL!

I got Jack a jogger's water bottle holder that I strapped around his neck and shoulder. Then he was able to sip on water or beer when we were out somewhere, and not always have to ask for help. Every little bit helped with his independence and made him much happier. We frequently loaded him in the truck and took him out to restaurants, flea markets, shopping, etc. He preferred to stay in the truck sometimes and just 'people watch', which was one of his favourite passtimes when I would shop. Super duty power stroke trucks are the #1 break-in vehicle in MB. Because we had a handycap sticker, we could park in the handicap zones. I always called Jack my Rottweiller.

Anyway, there were many small innovations that we utilized to make our lives easier. Even a voice activated computer. It worked well until Jack got frustrated and swore at it. Then it didn't respond to him. LOL! It's maybe just as well.

Well, I am now off to the dental surgeon. Above all, keep smiling and have a great day.

I love all of you! ...........Pat O:)
Snowbird, thanks for all the suggestions you are passing this way. I will not forget the long funnel? As the caregiver to my husband, I really appreciate the encourgement. Hopefully, I will be able to do this alone too. Keep posting how you handled the problems that you encountered. I'm sure I'm not the only one who could use the ideas. Thanks again.
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