Five Methods to Help a Loved One With ALS

ALS Worldwide, May 15, 2017

When people are diagnosed with ALS, they typically hear “You have one a terminal disease for which there is nothing that can be done.” Many leave their doctor’s office believing they are powerless and without options; all they can do is go home and wait for the inevitable.

ALS Worldwide does not believe in this message. While there is no cure, we should provide options to help people live better and longer. Here are five methods to help a loved one who has ALS by advocating for and arranging the following:

1) Symptom-specific medication. New research continues to shed light on medication that can help control symptoms. This includes medications that counter the uncontrolled laughing and crying experienced by many ALS patients, soothe muscle cramps, and slow down nerve degeneration.

2) Communication technology. Technological advances are opening up new ways for ALS patients to express themselves by clearing airways, banking their own voice, and using alternate approaches such as laser pointers or eye gaze technology.

3) Meditation. Many struggle with feelings of despair. Studies have shown that meditation can reduce stress and depression in people with chronic illnesses like ALS, increasing their quality of life.

4) Physical activity. Exercise is good for the body and mind. This is especially true for ALS patients. People with ALS can benefit from moderate aerobic activities such as cycling and gentle range of motion stretches.

5) Occupational therapy. An occupational therapist can help people with ALS find new ways to do daily tasks that have become impossible with weakened muscles; altering clothes so they are easier to put on, or getting the person a walker.

Visit the Care and Support section of our website,, to learn more about methods that will help you or someone you love.

At ALS Worldwide, we believe the message should be: “You have a terrible disease. We are going to do everything we can to help you manage this until the day comes when all of us together can overcome it.” Help us make sure this message reaches more people by donating today at

The only nonprofit global health organization that provides FREE guidance, care, and support to people living with ALS via video conference, email, social media, phone, and in-person visits in more than 125 countries. We strive to help people live better and longer with ALS. Until there’s a cure, there’s ALS Worldwide. Visit