Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease that affects the nervous system and muscles. The disease damages motor neurons and eventually makes it impossible for the ALS sufferer to control their muscles. Eventually, a person with ALS requires assistance to carry out nearly every function of regular life. Being a family caregiver to someone with ALS is a difficult job. Knowing some tips that can make managing daily life easier can help. Below are 5 tips to help.
1. Keep a Go Bag on Hand.
You never know what situation is going to come up and living with ALS often requires some extra supplies. You want your aging relative to be able to enjoy outings and be prepared to stay somewhere a little longer. Also, you never know when a person with ALS will need sudden medical care that requires a trip to the hospital. Having a bag on hand that contains supplies you use on a regular basis can help you be prepared for anything. Some things that may be useful are:
- Adaptive eating devices, such as utensils with wide handles or foam sleeves that slip over handles.
- Hand wipes.
- Extra prescription medications.
An elder care provider can help pack the bag and replenish supplies as needed.
2. Use Adaptive Equipment.
There are lots of devices that can make certain activities easier. Ask a doctor, physical therapist, or occupational therapist about ways to make things easier. For example, using wide handled silverware can make it possible for someone with ALS to eat independently for longer. A shower chair can help them to bathe safely on their own.
An elder care provider can help the older adult to use the assistive devices, such as slipping foam sleeves on silverware or helping them to transfer safely to the shower chair.
3. Get a Handicap Tag for the Car.
Apply for a handicap tag for the car. A hanging tag can be moved from one car to the next so that other family members or an elder care provider can drive the senior in their car, but still utilize handicap parking.
4. Live as Normally as Possible.
Your aging relative should be encouraged to continue doing the things they love for as long as they are able. If they meet friends for coffee once a week, they should keep doing it. An elder care provider can help them to get dressed to go out, drive them where they need to go, and remain to assist them as needed.
5. Get Help.
No one should expect to take on all the duties of being a caregiver for someone with ALS. Eventually, you will need help. Employing an elder care provider early on can ensure the older adult’s needs are met even as they change. An elder care provider can also help family caregivers to take care of themselves by giving them time to take a break.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Jericho, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.