Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is a motor neuron disease.
The National Institutes of Health states that between 14,000 and 15,000 people in the United States have the disease. It typically affects people between the ages of 55 and 75. The disease is progressive and there is no cure. Eventually, people with ALS rely completely on others to assist them with every aspect of daily life.
It’s a difficult disease to cope with and requires a lot of work and dedication from caregivers.
Because of the many challenges the disease presents, family caregivers often find that they need outside assistance to provide the best possible care for their loved one. Elder care can provide the assistance you need to ensure your family member with ALS is able to stay safely and comfortably at home. Below are just 5 of the many things an elder care provider can do for someone with ALS.
#1: Wheelchair Transfers
People who are in a wheelchair need to periodically be transferred to another surface, like a recliner or their bed. Wheelchair transfers can be dangerous to both caregivers and the older adult if they are not done correctly, and they often require two people to complete. Elder care providers are experienced with wheelchair transfers. They can make sure your aging relative is able to sit where they are comfortable throughout the day.
Early on, even dressing can be difficult for people with ALS. They may have trouble fastening buttons, pulling up a zipper, or pulling clothes over their arms or legs. An elder care provider can allow them to dress as independently as possible but step in to assist with parts of dressing that are too hard.
Good hygiene is important for health and self-esteem. Eventually, a person with ALS is unable to wash themselves and will need help. This can be an uncomfortable task for family caregivers and their older family member. Having an elder care provider assist with bathing can be a better option since the provider is a professional and not a family member.
Eating becomes difficult and exhausting when the senior starts having trouble lifting food or eating utensils. Swallowing also becomes harder as the disease progresses. An elder care provider can help by preparing soft foods that are easy to swallow and by assisting the older adult to eat.
Elder care providers can be an important source of companionship when getting out of the house to see other people is hard. Elder care providers can chat with the senior, do activities with them, or just sit with them while they watch a movie or television.
If you or someone you know needs Senior Care in Mankato, MN, contact Adara Home Health Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.