Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is one of the world’s fatal neuromuscular diseases characterized by degeneration of the brain and spinal cord’s motor nerve cells. The ALS Association estimates that the disease is responsible for five deaths in every 100,000 deaths of patients 20 years old or older worldwide.
While the average life expectancy of a senior patient is between two to five years from when the diagnosis is made, a person can live for more than five years with excellent care. Here are the essential tips for taking care of a person with ALS besides enrolling them in an ALS care facility, such as Husky Senior Care, to improve their health condition.
1. Attend Doctor Appointments
Doctor appointments are essential in ALS care since the doctor physically examines the patient to determine whether their health condition is being managed correctly. The medication prescription to slow down muscle deterioration and manage the symptoms is also given during these appointments.
Tracking and attending doctor appointments enables you to fully understand the care plan your loved one needs and determine your role. In addition, it offers a perfect opportunity to ask questions and take note of the importance of physical exercises to a patient.
2. Schedule Skilled Nursing Visits
At one point, you’ll need to schedule home visits by a skilled nurse who is highly trained and experienced in offering ALS care to help take care of your loved one. Professional nurses ensure the patient is bathed and dressed, take their medication correctly, and watch for symptoms that need attention.
Fortunately, skilled nursing visits are more often than not covered by the insurance as long as you provide a doctor’s order. You shouldn’t worry about incurring significant medication bills to ensure your loved one living with the neuromuscular disease is well taken care of.
3. Know ALS Care Options
Understanding the different assistance and therapy options in ALS care is crucial in successfully managing the health condition of your family member or friend. For instance, administering physical therapy to a person with Lou Gehrig’s disease at home helps maintain their flexibility and strength.
On the other hand, occupational therapy improves the quality of life of a person with ALS and helps them maintain their independence for a long time. Knowing these options enables you to be in a better position to customize the right exercise programs and to do particular tasks.
4. Put Yourself in the Patient’s Shoes
As a caregiver, it’s important to put yourself in your loved one’s shoes since hearing they have ALS can take a toll on them. While some take the diagnosis in good stead, others may react with shock, anger, or confusion and take time before coming to terms with it. During this period, all your loved one needs is an assurance that you’ll be there for them to talk to.
ALS care can take a heavy toll on your emotional and physical well-being in the long haul. That’s why taking good care of yourself by engaging in stress-relieving activities, joining a support group, and following nutritional tips for a healthy body is vital to avoid burnout. Alternatively, you can seek the services of a competent, dedicated, and experienced in-home care provider to look after your loved one who has Lou Gehrig’s disease.
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