Woman with her arm on a man’s shoulder, helping him make life better with ALS

5 Ways to Help Families Impacted by ALS

Woman with her arm on a man’s shoulder, helping him make life better with ALS

These tips can help families impacted by ALS by boosting independence and improving care.

As a degenerating neurological disease, ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) can cause a broad range of physical difficulties that can trigger clinical depression. For those providing ALS care for a loved one, it’s hard not to become overwhelmed. What can you do to help families impacted by ALS to live life to the fullest?

When caring for someone with ALS at home, it is important for family caregivers to realize the struggles that the disease produces in order to offer the absolute best care.

Endeavor In Home Care, providing exceptional home care in Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, and the surrounding areas, offers the following advice to help ensure the best care for someone diagnosed with ALS:

  • Set up a computer and internet access. Computers, along with other assistive systems, provide entertainment and social interaction and make it possible for the person with ALS to help with tasks like paying bills, tracking down information, hiring services, and shopping.
  • Those with muscle diseases such as ALS are competent thinkers, even if they are generally unable to communicate clearly. Talk through choices openly while making joint decisions about the individual’s ALS care.
  • Use adaptive devices. The utilization of adaptive equipment like wheelchairs is a move in the direction of self-sufficiency, not away from it. Adaptive tools are available for assorted daily tasks, such as eating, opening jars and doors, buttoning or zipping up clothing, writing, and taking a shower.
  • Ask if the person wants assistance before helping. Never take over tasks that still can be performed if the person is provided with adaptive tools and time.
  • Patience is vital. Although it may often seem faster and more efficient to take over certain tasks, demonstrate patience and allow your loved one to accomplish the tasks that they can.

For individuals with ALS, self-reliance and excellent ALS care are imperative. The home care specialists at Endeavor In Home Care are extensively trained and experienced in providing the care and assistance needed to ensure those with ALS live their best lives, through services such as:

  • Grocery shopping and other errands
  • Preparing meals and helping with laundry and housekeeping
  • Transportation and accompaniment
  • Fall prevention
  • Help with transfers and walking
  • Companionship
  • And much more

Contact us any time at 480-498-2324 to learn more about how we can help someone you love.

Medications and a syringe, suggesting treatment options for each stage of Lou Gehrig’s disease

What Does Each Stage of Lou Gehrig’s Disease Look Like?

Medications and a syringe, suggesting treatment options for each stage of Lou Gehrig’s disease

Each stage of Lou Gehrig’s disease brings about unique challenges.

Getting a diagnosis of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) can bring about a number of questions and apprehensions, both for the person diagnosed and their loved ones. What’s the cause for ALS? What can I expect in each stage of Lou Gehrig’s disease? Where can I find support?

Nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. are currently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, and almost 5,600 new patients are diagnosed with the illness every year. And though the exact cause is unclear, some research points to complex risk factors, including a twofold risk of ALS in people who served during the Gulf War.

Although each person can be impacted by ALS in different ways from others, the progression of the condition seems to follow particular phases. Learning about these stages can help people diagnosed with ALS and those who care for them put into action the most appropriate plan of care.

Endeavor In Home Care, the leading provider of home care services in Carefree, Chandler, Phoenix, and the surrounding area, shares details below:

First Stages

  • For some people, the preliminary impacted muscles are those used for swallowing, breathing, or speaking
  • ALS symptoms may be detected in just one area of the body
  • More mild symptoms may affect significantly more than this one region

Possible Symptoms

    • Fatigue
    • Weakened grip
    • Stumbling when walking
    • Poor balance
    • Slurred speech

Middle Stages

  • Some specific muscles may be paralyzed, while others are weaker or totally unaffected
  • Twitching may be noticeable
  • Signs of ALS are now more extensive

 Possible Symptoms

    • Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate crying or laughing, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA)
    • Difficulties standing without help
    • Problems with breathing, particularly when lying down
    • Challenges with eating and swallowing, which can lead to choking

Late Stages

  • The person can no longer drink or eat by mouth
  • Talking may no longer be possible
  • The individual with ALS needs complete assistance to care for their needs

Possible Symptoms

    • Paralysis in the majority of voluntary muscles
    • Breathing is significantly affected, causing fatigue, unclear thinking, headaches and susceptibility to pneumonia
    • Mobility is substantially impacted

Obtaining care from a skilled caregiver, like those at Endeavor In Home Care, can increase the quality of life for someone affected by ALS symptoms. Our caregivers work with families to develop an individualized plan of care, allowing those with ALS to maintain dignity and the greatest level of independence at all times.

Reach out to us any time at 480-498-2324 to learn more about how our services can help someone you love.