When someone you love is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), caring for them will require making a lot of changes. It’s also a great deal of work. And, though caregivers may be willing to do nearly anything to ensure their family member is as comfortable and happy as possible, no one person can be expected to take on all the care duties that will be required as the disease progresses. If you have a relative that has been diagnosed with ALS, it’s a good idea to start planning for future care early. But, it’s also never too late to enlist more help if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Home care agencies can schedule staff members to visit the ALS patient’s home as often as needed and for as many hours at a time as needed. Home care providers can assist people with ALS in a multitude of ways. We’ve listed just 6 of them below.
#1 Getting In and Out of Bed
Eventually, people with ALS aren’t able to move around on their own and are confined to wheelchairs. They are unable to move from the chair to another surface without assistance. Getting from the chair into bed or from the bed to the chair, requires someone to lift the ALS patient, either manually or using a lift. A home care provider can help to move the person safely. And, when helping them to bed at night, a home care provider can also make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need for a restful night’s sleep.
#2 Help with Dressing
Being unable to move their arms and legs on their own makes dressing difficult or impossible. Home care providers can help them to get dressed in the morning or into their pajamas at night.
#3 Assistance with Household Tasks
At some point, ALS will make it impossible for the individual to take care of their house. Home care providers can do things like vacuuming, sweeping, dusting, and laundry. They can even help to take care of the person’s pets by feeding them and taking them outside.
#4 Eating and Drinking
Although many people with ALS eventually end up getting their nutrition through tube feeding, in the earlier stages, home care providers can assist them with eating. Home care providers can prepare meals that are nutritious and easy to eat. If your family member has trouble holding their hand steady to eat, a home care provider can feed them.
#5 Getting Out of the House
People who are wheelchair bound sometimes suffer from loneliness because they aren’t able to leave the house. Home care providers can help to get your loved one outside to enjoy the fresh air and can even drive them to medical appointments, stores, and social gatherings.
#6 Giving Family Caregivers a Break
Caring for someone with ALS can be exhausting. Family caregivers need to take care of themselves as well. Taking time for yourself is essential to good physical and emotional health. However, ALS patients eventually need full-time care. A home care provider can simply sit with your family member and keep them comfortable and safe while you take a break.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider senior care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.