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*COVID-19 Response: Chapter Care Services staff are committed to continuing the programs and services below. Please call us at 412.821.3254 with any questions or concerns.
Our Chapter offers a full range of services to guide and assist you as you learn more about ALS. The pages within the Patient & Family Services section of our website offer a wide range of information for patients, caregivers, family members, friends, and healthcare workers. To register with our Chapter for services, support, and to ensure you receive updates on our educational programs, please call 412-821-3254 or 1-800-967-9296, or click here fill out the Chapter registration survey online.
Western Pennsylvania ALS Patient & Family Services
The ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter provides the following services to eligible individuals at no charge and does not bill insurance companies. The Chapter does not base eligibility on income.
Consultation with Healthcare Professionals
Those living with ALS, their families, friends, caregivers, and health care professionals have the opportunity to speak with a Social Worker, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Occupational Therapist regarding many aspects of ALS care, available community resources, and services. Home visits by these professionals are also available for consultations, evaluations, and recommendations.
The Chapter offers a program to assist those living with ALS to obtain needed medical equipment and assistive technology.
Loan Program: in partnership with several medical equipment suppliers and facilities an equipment loan program makes it possible to provide equipment free of charge for those living with ALS. The loan program offers a wide range of smaller adaptive equipment to help with daily care to power wheelchairs and speech generating devices. All items are subject to availability.
Financial Support: through a Chapter Grant Program. Examples of possible support: co-pays, equipment, personal emergency response systems, and nutritional supplements.
Assistive Technology/Environmental Access: provides help with computer access, communication, and obtaining equipment that assists individuals in managing their home environment.
Chapter Grant Program
The Chapter offers a grant assistance program for home modifications, speech generating devices, power wheelchairs, or respite/home care that meets the needs of those living with ALS. This program is subject to the availability of funds and includes assistance for the following:
Home Modifications: A one-time only grant that provides full or partial payment of such items as stairglides, ramps, or bathroom modifications.
Speech Generating Devices/Power Wheelchairs: This grant is meant to supplement insurance coverage towards the purchase of a speech generating device or a power wheelchair.
Respite/Home Care Program: This program provides periodic short-term relief to those living with ALS to help a primary caregiver have a break from full time care responsibilities, to help when there is no caregiver available to assist with care or while waiting for state funded programs to start.
*Eligible primary caregivers will be considered for a respite home care grant once every six months unless other notification is provided. Home Modifications, Speech Generating Devices or Power Wheelchairs are one-time only grants. Home Modification grants cannot be awarded after the work has been completed and is paid directly to the contractor/provider.
The Chapter collaborates with transportation companies to provide efficient and accommodating transportation for ALS patients. Patients can utilize the transportation service for clinic appointments, medical appointments relating to an ALS diagnosis, and any other Chapter-related event.
Caregivers provide a tremendous amount of care for their loved ones living with ALS. The Chapter recognizes the importance of supporting family caregivers; therefore, the following programs are available to informal caregivers.
Powerful Tools for Caregivers Class: A national program designed for caregivers offered several times throughout the year. The 6 weekly classes provide information to caregivers to develop a wealth of self-care tools. Class participants also receive a copy of “The Caregiver Helpbook”, developed specifically for the class.
Care Connection: Many times when friends and family learn about someone with ALS, they want to help. The Chapter can assist in organizing this network of volunteers from your community of friends, neighbors, and members of community organizations through the Care Connection Program. The program provides a plan for organizing help, training, and information about what approaches tend to be most effective. The Care Connection uses a website – lotsahelpinghands.com – that allows volunteers to sign in and see the community calendar where tasks have been posted by a volunteer coordinator.
Caregiver Appreciation Weekend: Each year the Chapter holds a Caregiver Appreciation Weekend which provides caregivers with a relaxing break to replenish their minds and bodies. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other caregivers and informally support one another.
Educational Material and Programs
As a service to the ALS Community we provide various educational resources, including The ALS Association's "Living with ALS" manuals and videos, as well as other related materials regarding care and information. The Chapter also provides the following:
“ALS Bulletin…Keeping you Posted”: A monthly e-newsletter sent to those living with ALS, their family, and caregivers providing information about ALS, upcoming Chapter events, and webinars.
Resource Groups: Resource group meetings are a time for patients, caregivers, family members, and friends to learn, ask, share and grow throughout their ALS experience. Individuals can participate virtually via computer or phone.
Educational Symposia: The Chapter’s symposiums are excellent learning opportunities and cover a variety of subjects from patient care, research, and advocacy, to new approaches to assistive technology and caregiving. Several educational symposia are held throughout the year and at various locations in our service area.
Chapter Services Application Forms
You have the option to either print these forms or fill them out online. Please follow the instructions on the bottom of the forms to send them back to the Chapter.
To register with our Chapter for services and support, please call 412-821-3254 or 1-800-967-9296 to speak with our Director of Care Services, or click here to fill out the Chapter registration survey online.