Back to Courses

Caring for ALS Patients


Overview & Objectives

Patients with a primary diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have needs that are specific to this neuromuscular disorder.  ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease, involves degeneration of both the upper and lower motor neurons, which leads to the eventual wasting and atrophy of all voluntary muscles including the muscles that are used for respiration.  This module covers the statistics, basic physiology, symptoms, and treatments for patients with ALS.  The most common problems associated with ALS in hospice patients are reviewed along with comfort measures hospice aides can carry out within their scope of practice.  The learning objectives for this module include:

  • Discuss the prevalence of ALS in the United States
  • Explain the basic physiology of ALS
  • Review common symptoms in ALS patients
  • List hospice aide comfort measures for ALS patients
  • Describe the overall goals of care in ALS patients


  • Learning Module
  • Group Exercise:  Comfort Measures for ALS Patients
  • Test Questions
  •  Instructor Answer Key
  • Attendance Sheet
  • Evaluation Form
  • Certificate of Attendance