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.

nurse making heart shape with hands

The Best Way to Care for Someone After Heart Surgery

nurse making heart shape with hands

After heart surgery, follow these tips to care for the incision, reduce pain and swelling, and more.

After heart surgery, an intricate web of transitional care needs arises, from dietary changes to incision care, pain management, swelling reduction, and more. The last thing an older adult wants after coming back home from such a stressful event is to face the need for rehospitalization.

To help make sure your senior family member recovers completely and as rapidly as possible following heart surgery, review the following guidelines for effective transitional recovery:

Caring for the Incision

Details on how to care for the incision will be provided prior to discharge from the hospital. Problems to be aware of include:

  • Occasionally, a swelling or lump appears at the top of the chest incision, and can take several months to go away completely.
  • The incision can be gently cleaned (don’t rub) with soap. Do not use creams or lotions on incisions until healing is complete.
  • Always keep the incision clean and dry.
  • Avoid extreme hot or cold water temperatures, as they can cause faintness.
  • If the incision is healing and dry, brief showers (no longer than ten minutes) are normally allowed. If there are sutures in the chest, stand with one’s back to the shower spray.
  • If showers are not accessible, short baths (limited to ten minutes) may be taken.

Pain Management

In the beginning, there may be some incision or muscle discomfort in the chest area during physical activity, but there should not be pain in the chest similar to the pain prior to surgery.

  • If the surgery was bypass surgery, and if vein grafts from the legs were used, there may be more pain in the legs than around the chest incision.
  • A prescription for a pain medicine will be given prior to leaving the hospital.
  • Walking, daily activities, and time will help to reduce leg discomfort and stiffness.
  • Itching, tightness and/or numbness along the incision are common after surgery.


It is possible to go back home with some level of swelling in the legs and feet, particularly if vein grafts were taken from the legs. If swelling is detected:

  • Walk every day even if legs are swollen.
  • Lift feet higher than heart level when resting. Attempt to do this three times a day for one hour to lessen swelling. (Note: recliners do not properly elevate feet.)
  • Do not cross legs while lying in bed or sitting. This puts pressure on the veins underneath the knees and slows down blood flow.
  • Hospital support hose may be recommended.

The recovery and transitional care period can be a daunting time and you may be tempted to call the doctor over each and every discomfort or symptom. Following are the symptoms that warrant a call to the physician immediately:

  • Increased exhaustion or shortness of breath.
  • Temperature higher than 101 degrees F on more than one occasion or chills for 24 hours.
  • Abnormal pain or other symptoms not alleviated by medications.
  • If the sternum feels like it moves, or it pops or cracks with movement.
  • Significant oozing, redness, swelling or tenderness at the incision sites.

The professional home care team at Endeavor In-Home Care can help considerably in keeping someone on the road to recovery after heart surgery by providing personal care services, helping around the house and with meals to allow the individual to rest and recuperate, running errands, picking up medications, and so much more.

Contact us at 480-498-2324 to learn more about how we can help you. We’re pleased to offer services to help seniors throughout Mesa, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and nearby areas.

senior lady in wheelchair with arm in sling

Ask These Questions Before a Discharge From the Hospital

senior lady in wheelchair with arm in sling

Finding answers to these key questions can help ensure a smooth transition home after discharge from the hospital.

How wonderful it is when the medical personnel lets you know that your older loved one is ready to be released from the hospital after a surgical procedure. Yet as they hand you that collection of discharge papers and directions, a certain degree of nervousness may start to settle in. Will your family member be able to take care of herself at home after discharge from the hospital? Read more


How Hospice Care Helps Provide Relief and Peace


Discover how hospice care helps bring relief from troubling symptoms for patients and peace of mind for their loved ones.

Deciding when it’s the right time to shift focus from proactive cure efforts to hospice care can be extremely difficult for the family members of someone diagnosed with a life-limiting health condition. It’s important to first understand exactly what hospice is and how hospice care helps. Hospice care provides supportive emotional, social, and spiritual services to both the terminally ill person and their loved ones, usually in the person’s home. Read more

Shot of a handsome male doctor talking to a senior man in hospital

Is Palliative Care the Right Choice for Someone I Love?

Shot of a handsome male doctor talking to a senior man in hospital

Is palliative care the right choice in your particular situation?

If you’re asking yourself, “Is palliative care the right choice for someone I love?” you first need to understand exactly what palliative care is, and what it is not. For many people, it’s synonymous with end-of-life care. The more accurate intent of palliative care, though, is to offer comfort from symptoms like pain, vomiting and nausea that are a consequence of either a medical condition or from the treatment for that condition. Sometimes this does take place at the end of life. Read more

stressed senior woman

Why Your Siblings Haven’t Helped with Providing Care for Your Parents

stressed senior woman

Learn the underlined reasons why your siblings haven’t offered to help with providing care for your parents.

If you are providing care for your parents and your siblings consistently withhold help from you, you are not alone! In fact, 50 percent of all family caregivers are caring for an aging loved one alone, according to a recently available report from AARP. Read more

adult children talking with professional

Caring for Elderly Parents: The Benefits of an Elder Mediator

adult children talking with professional

If you need help caring for aging parents with your siblings, contact an elder mediator!

When caring for elderly parents, even tightknit siblings can struggle to work together to fulfill their parents’ care needs. Levels of stress and emotions are, needless to say, running high. Couple that with your past family history and dynamics, which have a tendency to resurface during difficult times, and it’s not hard to see how difficult this stage in life can be for all of you. Read more

lady talking to senior man who is listening intently

How to Address Senior Concerns Surrounding Home Care

While many aging adults naturally embrace a new caregiver coming into their lives to help them thrive and enjoy a higher quality of life, there are some seniors who may still feel uncomfortable. At Endeavor In Home Care, we’re sensitive to the feelings of each senior we serve, and are skilled in helping to ease the concerns surrounding home care. Read more

adult daughter talking to senior mother about home care

Why Are Aging Loved Ones Hesitant About Receiving Help at Home?

As home care professionals, we get to see the joy, companionship, and increased quality of life seniors gain from having a caregiver. But we also know that many people initially reject the thought of in-home care help. Read more