ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is diagnosed in more than 5,500 people throughout the United States each year. While the majority of patients who are diagnosed with this disease survive about 2 to 5 years with it, there are steps that can be taken to help improve the quality of life, as well as the outlook for the patient.
Proper elder care for the ALS patient begins by understanding the best way to manage this neurological disease, for which there is no cure as of yet. The disease will eventually affect a person’s ability to do some of the things that they used to be able to do, such as work with machines, tools, or to even write.
During the first few months after a diagnosis of ALS, life will likely go on as normal, for the most part. But that’s the time to begin planning proper long-term care. Keeping a positive attitude will be important, especially in the beginning.
What is there to be positive about when diagnosed with ALS? There are many things that people should remain positive about no matter what their diagnosis. While you may feel that it’s the end of your life, you’re still breathing and that means you’re still able to enjoy certain things and to spend time with the people who are most important to you.
Find the right level of care that you’re going to need during the stages of this disease. As it progresses, there will be limits to what you can do in your life, even to taking care of your own basic needs.
Remember that the family members, and especially the caregivers, are going to be in this for the long haul. That means they will need to take the responsibility for just about everything around the house, including cooking, cleaning, tending to the property and maintenance issues, and more.
When you have someone in your family who has been diagnosed with ALS, begin to talk seriously about hiring home care for the elderly as this will become more important as the disease progresses. While you may assume that you can handle things on your own, that won’t be the case for the duration of this disease. Take steps now to plan properly and you will find that the long-term outlook improves with the quality of elder care that the ALS patient receives.