Category: ALS Disease

An older adult sits with his hands on a walker in front of him while a woman provides ALS care, standing behind him with her hand on his shoulder.

We Can Help Family Caregivers Provide ALS Care for Loved Ones!

ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a degenerating neurological illness that brings an overwhelming amount of physical challenges that can lead to clinical depression. For people providing ALS care for a loved one, it’s hard not to feel stressed and uncertain about how to help the individual live life to the fullest and stay optimistic. How Can You Best Support Someone With ALS? Dakota Home Care, the leading home care provider in Bismark, Fargo, Mandan, and the surrounding areas, has recommendations to help family caregivers provide ALS care for loved ones: Those with muscle diseases such as ALS are proficient thinkers, even if they are typically unable to communicate clearly. Speak openly while making joint decisions about the person’s ALS care. Patience is vital. Although it may often seem quicker and more efficient to take over certain tasks, show patience and allow your loved one to accomplish the tasks that they can. Confirm with the person that they want help before you assist them. Never take over tasks that still can be performed if the person is provided with adaptive products and time. Set up a computer and internet access. Computers, along with other assistive tools, supply 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. Take advantage of 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 readily available for assorted everyday tasks, such as eating, opening jars and doors, buttoning or zipping up clothing, writing, and taking a shower. For people living with ALS, finding a trusted home care agency to help with providing ALS care is imperative. We can help with: Planning and

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An array of pills and vials of liquid surround a medical syringe, indicating treatment options for the stages of ALS.

What to Expect From the Stages of ALS

An ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) diagnosis can cause both anxiety and questions for the person diagnosed and their family. What causes ALS? What are the ALS symptoms that may be experienced right away, and how will they change in the future? Where am I able to find necessary support? Roughly 30,000 Americans have been diagnosed with ALS with nearly 5,600 new patients diagnosed annually. And though the exact cause is unknown, some scientific studies point to complicated risk factors, such as a doubled risk of ALS in people who served during the Gulf War. Everyone can be affected differently by ALS, but the disease often follows a particular progression of stages. Learning about these phases can help those diagnosed with ALS and those who care for them to execute the most appropriate care plan. As a general guideline, here’s what you may expect to see in each stage of ALS: Early Stages ALS signs may be detected in only one part of the body More mild symptoms may affect significantly more than this one region For some individuals, the first impacted muscles are those used for breathing, swallowing, or speaking Possible Symptoms: Poor balance Fatigue Stumbling when walking Slurring of speech Weakened grip Mid Stages Signs of ALS are now more substantial Twitching might be noticeable Some specific muscles may be paralyzed, while others are weaker or totally unaffected Possible Symptoms: Difficulties standing without support Problems with breathing, especially when lying down Possible uncontrolled and inappropriate laughing or crying, known as the pseudobulbar affect (PBA) Struggles with eating and swallowing, which can cause choking End Stages The individual can no longer drink or eat by mouth Talking may no longer be possible The person with ALS needs complete assistance to care for their needs Possible Symptoms: Paralysis

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