The Problem

MND affects people in different ways, but most will experience some form of physical disability. This will affect movement and mobility, although the rate of progression can vary widely. Lack of mobility presents a number of challenges for a person with MND and for those caring for them.

Changes to mobility can happen rapidly and needs change faster than the services can be put in place. It is important therefore to plan sensitively and as early as possible for the future needs of the person with MND and their family where appropriate.

Support you can give

In the early stages of mobility problems, people may be able to use walking aids such as walking sticks and Zimmer frames, however as the disease progresses you will need to discuss longer term solutions with them.

In the long term, people living at home will need specialist equipment such as grab rails in the home, disabled bathroom facilities, a stair lift and a specialist wheelchair.

A full assessment is normally carried out by a physiotherapist and/or occupational therapist, who identifies the movement and handling needs of the person with MND and also their carers. They will normally discuss:

  • safe techniques for handling people with MND
  • how the limbs, head and neck should be supported during transfers
  • equipment that may help, such as sliding sheets, hoists, profiling beds, mattress elevators, riser-recliner chairs and turning tables.