ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” is a neuromuscular disease which begins as muscle weakness and then slowly progress into total and complete paralysis throughout the entire body. Being a caregiver for a family member or friend with ALS is challenging. It is also hard on you physically and emotionally. The trick is to find a balance between caregiving and your own needs so that you don’t get burned out. Three Tips to Ponder as You Care for Someone With ALS
Learn how to care for your loved one who get ALS. Here are some helpful tips for you:
Educate yourself about ALS
You’ll be better able to support your loved one if you know well about ALS. Arrange knowledge of ALS by reading books on the symptoms or Ask the doctor what to expect as the disease progresses. Contact the ALS Association or other groups that educate and offer resources on this disease.
Caregiving is a full-time job. It’s exhausting, especially if you’re unable to sleep through the night. Don’t afraid to ask for help when you need. Everyone can give a hand, only they don’t know how to do. You can ask your relatives, your friends or any nurses and doctors near you. Don’t do it alone. That will make you tired and lose time and energy
ALS Healthcare Team
It is absolutely essential to seek support to care ALS patients. There are some common You ALS healthcare team for your loved one such as Neurologist, Physical therapist, speech and swallow therapist, Nutritionist and Respiratory therapist
This team of healthcare professionals can both assist you to take care your loved one and help ease any symptoms arise.
Muscle weakness is a primary symptom of ALS, and the patients will get trouble of walking, eating, using the bathroom, bathing, and keeping the head upright
Assistive devices like wheelchairs, bathtub lifts, raised toilet seats, removable headrests, and special eating utensils can improve the functioning and quality of life for ALS patients. Moreover, they can improve the quality of life of the caregiver.
You can ask for help from community. They are your friends, relatives, or neighbors. They are always willing to help. Maybe they don’t know how to do, the you should write out specific tasks that you need assistance and they will follow up.
Care for Yourself
While you care for your loved one, don’t forget about yourself. You also need time to relax and do what you want. Your health is important. If you don’t care about it, you wont have energy to continue your caregiver job.
Watch for Signs of Depression
Caring for someone with ALS is very difficult. Being a caregiver, you will experience a lot of feelings from worry, fear, frustration, discomfort, and/or even anger. Many caregivers also feel guilt, like they should or could be doing a better job, or feelings of uncertainty about the future.
It’s important to be knowledgeable about the early symptoms of depression and see your doctor if you are experiencing one or more of them.
Look out for these signs that you have depression during time of taking care the patients:
- You feel sad, empty, hopeless, or worthless.
- You’ve lost interest in activities and things you once loved.
- You cannot sleep well .
- You’re angry, irritable, or frustrated.
- You’ve lost your appetite and have lost weight, you’ve gained weight.
- You have trouble with memory and concentration.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor to take suitable treatment. See, take care of others but don’t forget yourself