As someone who loves and care for your ALS patients, you may be looking for ways to help them out of their illness. While you can’t cure ALS, there are some steps you can take to make life more manageable during this difficult time in your family’s life. Here are some of the best ways to care for your ALS patient, without sacrificing their quality of life in the process.
Get as much information about ALS
It’s a crucial step in caring for a person with ALS that you understand what you’re up against. Familiarize yourself with what an ALS patient is going through and learn about current research, ALS treatments, and available services. Don’t hesitate to ask questions—ALS patients are often happy to share their personal experiences so that others can gain insight from them. Knowing what to do in case of emergency and other ways to make them comfortable is a good start.
Use simple and straight-forward language to communicate With ALS Patient
Just because someone has an ALS diagnosis doesn’t mean they are unintelligent. Many people with ALS are smart, witty and insightful. That’s why communicating with them in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner is essential.
Establish a regular schedule for respite care
You don’t have to take care of an ALS patient all by yourself—respite care is a great way to get away from being so hands-on with your loved one. Having a consistent schedule in place will let you both know when someone else is going to be taking over, and will help keep things running smoothly during those times when you have a break.
Eat nutritious foods, get sufficient rest, and exercise routinely
It’s important that people with ALS be healthy both physically and mentally. Eat a balanced diet, get plenty of rest, and exercise regularly. Eating well will give you more energy so you can continue doing what you love every day. Eating right is an integral part of taking care of yourself—the foods we eat have tremendous impacts on our physical and mental health. Having an idea on what they should eat and not to eat is essential for there treatment and health.
Pay attention to your patient’s body’s signals of stress
ALS is a complex and progressive illness that involves all systems of your body. This, in turn, can cause stress and fatigue even in ALS patients who may not be suffering from extreme muscle weakness. The only way you’ll be able to tell if they’re suffering from stress is by paying attention to their body’s signals. Some signs include irregular breathing patterns, increased heart rate, increased perspiration levels, dilated pupils, pale skin complexion or dark circles under their eyes. Regularly take note of there body signals is the key to know their status and changes in their body.
Develop a strong support system.
Family and friends can play a vital role in helping ALS patients live well with their disease. To develop a strong support system, try seeking out groups of other ALS patients. These online forums can help you find those who’ve been through similar experiences, share coping strategies, and offer valuable information on local treatments and resources. One of these communities is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Online Support Group.
Caring for an ALS patient is tough work. It’s important that you treat them with respect, be there to answer their questions, and take good care of them. The more you do it, the easier it will become! There are also organizations like A Life Story Foundation which helps ALS patients continue on living their life in an enjoyable way.