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dsabra

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Joined
Mar 23, 2008
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Loved one DX
Country
US
State
FL
City
Boynton Beach
My 70 year old father-in-law has been suffering with "ALS-like" symptoms for 4 years now but has not had the muscle atrophy associated with the disease. The only dignosis from several neurologists - (including one specializing in ALS at the University of Miami) is a progressive neurological disorder of unknown origin.

He was healthy his entire life and then startered to experience weakness in his arms and legs, tripping and falling, slurred speach, shaking of the limbs. It has progressed to the point where he can no longer speak and is confined to a wheelchair. It screams ALS but nobody will confirm my uneducated diagnosis.

As the disease progressed we purchased all the equipment we thought would make his life easier, walkers, Jazzy, hoverround, special toilets, a lift to get him in and out of his bed, rehabbed his bedroom and bathorooms taking out walls to make getting to the toilet easier etc. etc.. It seems we are in a continual quest to keep up with this disease

I now need a recommendation on two pieces of additional equipment.
1. A speech augmentation device
2. A hoist to move him from his wheelchair to a chair in the living room (He is quite heavy 280 lbs and his wife is rather small)

You all seem so knowledgable and I could really use your expertese.

Thanks
Doug
 

CindyM

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Sep 17, 2006
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Learn about ALS
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New England
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Hi Doug- welcome to the forum although I am sorry to hear about your FIL. We have quite a few caregivers here with worlds of experience. I am sure you will get a lot of good tips! Again, welcome! Cindy
 

Al

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Joined
May 25, 2004
Messages
7,960
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
10/2003
Country
CA
State
On
City
NW of Toronto
Hi Doug. My Hoyer lift will lift 400 lbs. I'm only about 210 so it works pretty good. I don'y need it all the time yet but it picks me up off the floor pretty good.
AL.
 

msde302

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Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
77
Reason
CALS
Country
US
State
MN
City
St. Paul
I'll second the Hoyer lift. We've had ours (courtesy of the ALS loan closet!) for a little over a year. I'm pretty small (only 5' 3") and I don't have any trouble getting my mom around.

We've only used it when I do a bad transfer (thankfully this has only happened a couple of times!) and my mom ended up on the living room floor. It's sooo good to know that it's sitting in the bedroom in case anything happens. However, my mom HATES it. She hates rides and likens the hoyer to some sort of carnival ride. :) The occupational therapist said that I should have to ride around in it so my mom can have a good laugh. Who knows, after a couple of glasses of wine, it might sound like a good idea?
 

CindyM

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LOL, don't let the grandkids know that lifts can be used for rides! :-D
 

nspoc

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Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
113
Reason
CALS
Country
US
State
Illinois
City
Olympia Fields
Hi MSDE302 and Cindy -

Don't laugh about the rides! We've done it.

Pat (my PALS) and I are particularly close with the kids in the neighborhood - when Pat was able we did mosaics with them, carved Halloween pumkins - etc. We did not want them to be frightened of Pat's disability - so we had wheelchair races (at one time we had 2 power chairs), the little ones played "taxi" with the chairs (very clever of them), and the kids always play with her adaptive devices (grabbers, etc.)

Now that we have ceiling lifts we put all of the kids in the slings and sent them flying through the air and across the various rooms. Their parents loved the idea.

No one is afraid of Pat - even with her bipap on 24/7. When they visit they crawl into her bed with her and tell her about their day, they do homework together, and watch TV.

The kids range from 4 years old to 2 boys of 16! (Of course they no longer crawl onto the bed - LOL). The 16 year olds get on the computer with Pat and show her videos of their favorite NBA stars making incredible moves on the court. Pat loves it. What 16 year-olds do that? We love these kids!

We feel honored to have these kids around and no one is afraid. Try the ride thing - you might like it!

On a more serious note = we have found that the Hoyer swings around a lot - the ceiling lifts are more stable - but a lot more pricey.

Take care - Beth
 

MtPockets

Very helpful member
Joined
Jun 1, 2006
Messages
1,528
Reason
PALS
Diagnosis
05/2006
Country
US
State
Ms
City
Gulfport
Hi Doug,
What I use and like a lot is called The "Voyager Portable Patient Ceiling Lift w/ 2 Pole Easytrack System". It is portable in that it can be set up and moved quite easily. However I just use it above my bed for transfers from the wheelchair to the bed and back. The power unit runs off of a battery about the size of a cassette tape, so it is easy for my wife to move it, if needed. You can find out more about this system on their web page at:
http://www.southwestmedical.com/Pat...Ceiling_Lift_w_2_Pole_Easytrack_System/1539p0
 
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