ALS patients gradually lose control of their muscles, and with this comes loss of control of the things around them. An environmental control unit or system (ECU/ECS) is a device that lets people manipulate appliances with switches, joysticks, and other types of remote controllers, or by voice or even eye movement.
ECUs can improve quality of life and the ability to socialize for people with ALS. They can also decrease a patient’s reliance on others, reinstating a sense of freedom and providing much-needed privacy.
What Would You Like to Do?
Being able to conduct routine tasks around the home or office places control back in the hands of ALS patients, increasing their personal comfort and reducing demands on caretakers.
ECU can be as simple as switches to control items plugged into the home's existing wiring or controlling beds, lights, televisions, climate control, security systems. Being in control of these daily tasks can greatly increase self-sufficiency and be the difference between living independently at home and requiring in-home assistance.
Social Interaction and Privacy
Whether a patient is able to use hand-touch devices or has experienced a complete loss of mobility, ECUs make it easier to stay connected to family and friends. With simple eye movement, ALS patients can control infrared-enabled devices that allow them to send email, play games with their children, or spend time together with movies and music.
On the other side of the same coin, ECUs can help individuals with ALS maintain a sense of privacy. As ALS progresses, an increasing need for help from family members or caregivers can be emotionally upsetting. By incorporating assistive technology like ECUs, patients gain the privacy that is essential to empowerment and autonomy.